The U.S. Open is always a war of attrition. Golf’s toughest major tests the patience of the best in the world, putting them in the heat – both metaphorically and physically this week at Congressional in steamy Bethesda, Maryland – that comes with long rough and even longer golf holes.
For some, the battle was over before it began. Several of the usual suspects won’t be there – Mike Weir and Vijay Singh both see lengthy major streaks come to an end this week – while Tiger Woods is staying home to nurse an injured knee and ankle, as well as his ego.
With Woods on the sidelines, the focus is on which golfer who can rise to the top of a crowded pack. Can the Europeans continue their dominance, with the top three spots in the World Golf Rankings currently held by those from across the ocean? Can Phil Mickelson finally win the one tournament that has broken his heart so often? Will a Canadian be around on the weekend?
Here are the key storylines this week: