Five storylines to follow as the best players in the world descend upon Pinehurst Resort in North Carolina this week for the June 13-16 U.S. Open.


With charges stemming from his arrest during last month’s PGA Championship having since been dropped, Scottie Scheffler, fresh off his win at the Memorial Tournament, enters the U.S. Open with a clear mind as he looks to extend what has already been a remarkable year.

World number one Scheffler counts the Masters among his five titles this year on the PGA Tour, where he has finished outside the top 10 just once in 13 events and cemented himself as the preeminent force in men’s golf.

At the PGA Championship, where he was arrested ahead of the second round, the unflappable Scheffler managed to finish in a share of eighth place after what prosecutors later agreed was a misunderstanding between him and an officer directing traffic.

In Scheffler’s last two U.S. Open starts, he finished in a share of second place, one shot back, in 2022 and solo third in 2023 when he was three shots back of the winner.

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With his triumph at last month’s PGA Championship, Xander Schauffele finally shed the title of best player to never win a major, and that breakthrough victory could open the floodgates for the 30-year-old American.

When Schauffele lipped in a six-foot birdie putt at the 72nd hole for a one-shot triumph at the PGA Championship, he not only snapped a two-year win drought but also rid himself of questions about his inability to close out a big event.

And now Schauffele gets to focus on an event where he has historically fared well, having secured six top-10 finishes and never done worse than a share of 14th place in seven U.S. Open appearances.

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Rory McIlroy, desperately looking to end his 10-year major drought, has posted top-10 finishes in his last five U.S. Open appearances, including last year when he ended one shot back of surprise winner Wyndham Clark.

The Northern Irishman arrives at this year’s U.S. Open fresh off a share of 15th place finish at the Memorial Tournament and having already secured two wins on the PGA Tour this season.

McIlroy has recorded eight top-10 finishes in 15 U.S. Open appearances, including in 2011 when he won at Congressional Country Club while setting the mark for lowest 72-hole score in the tournament’s history at 16-under-par 268.

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Tiger Woods returns to competition for the first time since the PGA Championship where the 15-times major champion, playing in only his third event of the year, missed the halfway cut by eight shots.

The injury-ravaged golfer accepted a special exemption to play in this year’s U.S. Open, which will mark his 23rd start in an event known as the toughest test in golf and first since 2020 at Winged Foot Golf Club.

Woods this week will receive the Bob Jones Award, the United States Golf Association’s highest honor, in recognition of his commitment to sportsmanship and respect for golf’s time-honored traditions.

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Phil Mickelson produced one of golf’s most improbable wins when, at age 50, he won the 2021 PGA Championship to become the oldest major champion and now looks to once again turn back the clock and complete the career Grand Slam.

Mickelson, who turns 54 on the final day of the year’s third major, has recorded six runner-up finishes at the U.S. Open but missed the cut each of the last two years.

The six-times major champion is one of 12 LIV Golf players in the 156-player field this week at Pinehurst.


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