Golf Care Ambassador Bernard Gallacher offered our readers a little insight into the upcoming US Open which will take place June 15-21 at the gorgeous Chambers Bay, University Place, Washington. The Pacific Northwest will host the tournament for the first time in history, with the course itself causing a little controversy along the way. This year however, all eyes will be on Rory McIllroy, including Bernard’s:
Who are your favourites and why?
Rory will start as favourite. Forget the blip he had in the UK, when he missed the cut at Wentworth and Royal County Down – I expect him to be rested, better prepared and ready to add to his Majors haul. Dustin Johnston is definitely another big favourite, and I feel that it is only a matter of time before he wins a big one! Jordan Speith and Rickie Fowler would also be up there because they are both very confident, having won the Masters and The Players respectively, and both are up there with the best putters on Tour.
What are your thoughts on Rory McIllroy, given his tough time at the Irish Open?
Rory had too many off course distractions at the Irish Open, a tournament which he successfully hosted, seeing record crowds coming through the gates. Also, it is a tournament that he has never won, so even the best player in the world can try too hard at times!
The Chambers Bay course is expected to be a challenging one. What would your advice to the players be facing this unique and difficult course?
Chambers Bay is a public course situated in the Pacific North West in the Puget Sound. It is 8 years old and was designed by Robert Trent Jones Junior. It can stretch to 7585 yards long with difficult, fast undulating greens and when you factor in the coastal winds, I can see why it could provoke some strong words from the players such as Ian Poulter. I expect the winning score to be in single digits below par or maybe even over par!
Does a tougher course make for a better tournament?
The USGA want to make it the stiffest examination possible for the best players in the world and will set up the course to test every department of their game.
Anything else you are particularly looking forward to about this US Open?
It will be intriguing to watch Tiger Woods try and add to his 14 major victories, but most of the spectators will be hoping Phil Mickelson, so often denied a victory in this Major Championship, will prevail and become only the sixth player in the history of the game to complete the Grand Slam.