WEDNESDAY, JUNE 7, 2017
by Mike Purkey

Erin Hills makes its major-championship debut next week when it becomes the third public-access course in four years to host the U.S. Open. If you wish, you can scare up a host of players who would be considered legitimate favorites.

Here, we will take a closer look at two players – one a usual suspect and the other, who is not – for whom relatively untested Erin Hills could be ideal, for totally different reasons.

Jordan Spieth, winner of the 2015 U.S. Open at the maiden major at Chambers Bay, and PGA Tour rookie Jon Rahm are perfectly suited to play well at Erin Hills, although each has different tools to tackle the test.

 


by Gary Van Sickle

Done any good reading lately? Like, say, on a green?

Golf instructor Dave Pelz, an acknowledged authority on putting and wedge play, is pretty sure you haven’t. I’m pretty sure he’s right. We had this recent conversation about reading greens.

 



Credit Mickelson for PR move

Phil Mickelson is a public-relations genius (“Mickelson’s likely WD at Open exposes USGA flaw,” June 5, http://bit.ly/2qR48Vb).

I’ll be shocked if the date for his daughter’s graduation isn’t moved up a day or two. Not only will he be able to play in the U.S. Open, but his image as a great father and family man is strongly reinforced.

 


Withdrew: From this week’s FedEx St. Jude Classic, Padraig Harrington, after he was hit in the elbow by an amateur whom Harrington was instructing during a clinic near Washington. "Caught me on the left elbow –middle of the clubface, middle of the elbow," Harrington told The Associated Press’ Doug Ferguson. "I was pretty sure it was broken." It wasn’t, but the injury required a trip to the hospital and six stitches. Harrington said on Twitter that he expects to be out for 12 days, adding: “There’s no truth in the rumor that it was the amateur’s best strike of the day.” Harrington missed three months earlier this year while recuperating from neck surgery. He hopes to play again in two weeks, with an eye on next month’s British Open, which will return to Royal Birkdale, where Harrington won the Claret Jug in 2008.

 


Keeping score

13-2

Odds for favorite Dustin Johnson to win the U.S. Open next week at Erin Hills in Erin, Wis., according to Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook. Johnson, the defending champion, is No. 1 in the Official World Golf Ranking. Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth and Jason Day are the second choices, at 12-1 each. Rickie Fowler is a 15-1 selection. Hideki Matsuyama, Justin Rose and Jon Rahm carry 20-1 odds. And for the first time in many years, Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson are tied in something relating to a major championship: both are off the board, for disparate reasons. Mickelson intends to attend his daughter’s high school graduation on June 15, which would conflict with the first round (“Mickelson’s likely WD at Open exposes USGA flaw,” June 5, http://bit.ly/2qR48Vb), and Woods is recuperating from back surgery and the fallout from a recent DUI arrest (“Woods needs help, and his life might depend on it,” May 31, http://bit.ly/2rFStwz).



FROM THE INDUSTRY

Knollwood Country Club in Elmsford, N.Y., has reopened for play after the final phase of Canadian architect Ian Andrew’s renovation. The course, an 1895 Lawrence Van Etten design, includes work by such noted architects as A.W. Tillinghast, Seth Raynor and Charles Banks.

 

Bridgestone Golf will herald the U.S. Open with limited-edition, USA-themed hats, bags and headcovers, the company announced. Each piece is designed in a red, white and blue color scheme and available at select retailers or through www.bridgestonegolf.com.

 

Ahead, the headwear, apparel and accessories company, will be the primary headwear provider of the British Open, the New Bedford, Mass., company announced. The British Open will be played July 20-23 at Royal Birkdale Golf Club in Southport, England.

 


CALENDAR
June 7-10
Men’s amateur: Monroe Invitational
Monroe GC, Pittsford, N.Y.
June 8-11
European Tour: Lyoness Open
Diamond CC, Atzenbrugg, Austria
LPGA: Manulife LPGA Classic
Whistle Bear GC, Cambridge, Ontario
Men’s amateur: Palmer Cup
Atlanta Athletic Club, Johns Creek, Ga.
PGA Tour: FedEx St. Jude Classic
TPC Southwind, Memphis, Tenn.
Web.com Tour: Rust-Oleum Championship
Ivanhoe (Ill.) Club
June 9-11
Symetra Tour: Four Winds Invitational
Blackthorn GC, South Bend, Ind.
Champions Tour: Principal Charity Classic
Wakonda Club, Des Moines, Iowa
June 14-17
Men’s amateur: Sunnehanna Amateur
Sunnehanna CC, Johnstown, Pa.
June 15-18
LPGA: Meijer LPGA Classic
Blythefield CC, Belmont, Mich.
Web.com Tour: Air Capital Classic
Crestview CC, Wichita, Kan.
PGA Tour: U.S. Open
Erin Hills, Erin, Wis.
June 16-18
Symetra Tour: Decatur-Forsyth Classic
Hickory Point GC, Decatur, Ill.
June 18-22
Junior: Western Junior
Park Ridge (Ill.) CC
June 19-24
Men’s amateur: British Amateur
Royal St. George’s GC, Sandwich, England
June 20-21
Junior: Pepsi Little People’s Tournament
Westview GC and Knights of Columbus Par 3, Quincy, Ill.
June 21-24
Men’s amateur: Northeast Amateur
Wannamoisett CC, Rumford, R.I.

      
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