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U.S. Open 2024: Five things to know

U.S. Open 2024: Five things to know

Golf’s Major season continues with the 124th U.S. Open as the championship returns to Pinehurst Resort. Here are your five things to know.

Pinehurst’s championship pedigree

Pinehurst is no stranger to championship golf. The U.S. Open’s return to Pinehurst marks the first time in over a century the United States Golf Association (USGA) has awarded four Opens to a single site in a span of 25 years.

It staged its first U.S. Open in 1999, when Payne Stewart won his third Major as a 15-foot par putt saw him edge out Phil Mickelson by one shot. Six years later, New Zealander Michael Campbell won his first Major having come into the tournament as a qualifier. Most recently, Martin Kaymer fourth European in a five-year span to win the U.S. Open in 2014

Pinehurst No. 2 is the only golf course to have hosted all five of the USGA’s most prestigious events: U.S. Open (1999, 2005, 2014), U.S. Women’s Open (2014), U.S. Amateur (1962, 2008, 2019), U.S. Women’s Amateur (1989), and U.S. Senior Open (1994).

Since its inception in 1907, the course has also hosted the US PGA Championship in 1933 and the 1951 Ryder Cup.

Clark defends

Wyndham Clark held off Rory McIlroy to win his maiden Major with a one-shot victory at Los Angeles Country Club last year.

He now returns hoping to become just the second person, after Brooks Koepka, to retain the U.S. Open title since Curtis Strange won in 1988 and 1989.

His victory last year forms part of a run of five different Americans winning the last five Majors, the longest such streak in 40 years.

Clark was playing at Oklahoma State University the last time Pinehurst hosted the U.S. Open in 2014.

While the 30-year-old, who made his Ryder Cup debut in Rome in September, claimed his third PGA TOUR title at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am earlier this season, he has missed the cut in the first two Majors of the year.

Wyndham Clark-1500159935
Wyndham Clark paid an emotional tribute to his late mother after winning his first Major title

Inside the field and the key stories

There are 37 DP World Tour members set to tee it up in the penultimate men’s Major of the year, with a series of great storylines among those.

Matteo Manassero will continue his career renaissance with his first appearance at one of golf’s elite events since 2016, while Tom McKibbin also came through Final Qualifying to earn his maiden Major appearance.

Albeit no longer a DP World Tour member, Robert Rock was another to emerge from the 36-hole qualifier at Walton Heath as he made a remarkable return to competitive golf after two years away. The Ryder Cup-winning Molinari brothers, Edoardo and Molinari, also came through qualifying on both sides of the Atlantic respectively to earn their place in the field.

Robert MacIntyre also tees it up following on from his momentous first PGA TOUR title in Canada earlier this month as he is joined by a host of past U.S. Open champions, including Rory McIlroy, Matt Fitzpatrick and Justin Rose.

Adam Scott, the 2013 Masters champion, will make his 92nd consecutive Major appearance this week, extending golf's longest active streak.

Robert MacIntyre (right) is seen chatting to U.S. Open qualifier Richard Mansell during a practice round

Olympics spots at stake

With this year’s gold calendar containing the Olympic Games this summer, there is a game within the game this week in North Carolina.

The U.S. Open is the final event before the 60-man field for the men’s competition at the Games is determined.

The United States is the only country that will field four golfers at the Olympics, being held this year at Le Golf National in France, while most countries will have two, and others only one.

While many of the different nations’ spots are locked in with one week of qualifying to go, there is still jostling to be done, particularly for the U.S. team with Collin Morikawa, Patrick Cantlay and Max Homa among those vying for a spot alongside Scottie Scheffler, Xander Schauffele, and most likely U.S. Open defending champion Clark.

What kind of test will Pinehurst provide?

The 2014 U.S. Open at Pinehurst No 2. in 2014 was the first since the 2010 restoration by Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw, which stripped the course of its rough and returned it to its original Donald Ross design.

Despite the absence of penal rough and narrow fairways associated with USGA events only three players finished under par, with Kaymer winning by eight shots.

Ten years on, no new trees or bunkers have been added, and there has been no redesign or relocation of any greens.

One distinct switch is that this will be the first U.S. Open ever played on ultradwarf bermudagrass putting greens, which provide better playing conditions throughout the year in the North Carolina climate. A decade ago, it was bentgrass.


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