This year’s third and arguably the most difficult Major Championship is upon us this month and it’ll no doubt be another captivating week, this time at Los Angeles Country Club.
2023 marks the 123rd staging of the event, but it’s a new experience for LACC with the venue playing host to the tournament for the first time.
With very few players in the field having played competitive golf at the course before too, questions remain as to who the track will suit. Will it be the bombers? Or the short game specialists? Only time will tell.
But once again at a Major, the main storyline will be LIV Golfers teeing it up alongside the rest of golf’s elite in what is – unfortunately – becoming a rare occasion. Will the winner of this year’s event be a full-time player on Saudi-backed circuit? It’s definitely possible.
Many LIV stars have enjoyed past U.S Open success and three of the last six winners now play on the new breakaway tour – Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka and Bryson DeChambeau.
Winning the U.S. Open is hard. Winning it twice is almost unthinkable. Only 22 players have triumphed in this event multiple times, and just two British players have ever accomplished that exact task.
Scotland’s Willie Anderson and Alex Smith both did so back in the early 1900s, so Matt Fitzpatrick would be creating history if he was to join them. But can he really do it?
Yes, he can. The 28-year-old is one of the finest talents in the game and having already won this season at the RBC Heritage, he’s in great form.
Now comfortably a top ten player in the world and a proven Major winner, the Sheffield-born star should be flying high with confidence. Curtis Strange defended his title in 1989, Brooks Koepka did so in 2019, and don’t rule out Fitzpatrick from doing it in 2023.
It would be a remarkable turn of events for the six-time Major winner to finally complete the career Grand Slam this month at 53 years young.
The Californian’s finished runner-up on six occasions in this tournament, with the most recent instance being back in 2013. He makes his 32nd appearance in the event this month.
And having famously won the 2021 PGA Championship and more recently finishing T-2 at the 2023 Masters, age clearly isn’t limiting Lefty’s performances on the biggest of stages.
Don’t rule out some more Mickelson magic with the veteran aiming to become just the sixth player to ever complete the Grand Slam.
The Spaniard’s domination of the sport continues and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him claim another ‘W’ here in LA.
The 28-year-old enters the week as a former winner while he also now packs a Green Jacket in his suitcase. You can bet your house on the Scottsdale resident triumphing in a Major again at some point in his career.
The World No. 1 became the first player from Spain to ever win the U.S. Open with his stunning display at Torrey Pines two years, and more history beckons if he was to earn victory again this year.
Most notably, he would become the first European to win the event twice in more than 100 years. The last to do so was Scotland’s Smith back in 1910.
Koepka claimed his fifth Major recently, and he’s also a favourite to add another to his name this month.
The American remains in fine form following a season that’s included a Major win, second place at Augusta as well as LIV Golf success.
As a proven two-time U.S. Open Champion already, he has the credentials and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him win his sixth career Major title this month at LACC.
Only six golfers in the history of the game have managed to win this event three or more times.
The most recent player to do so being – you guessed it – Tiger Woods. The 47-year-old lifted the trophy for a third time back in 2008.
The 34-year-old’s Major drought is well-documented and nobody would have believed you if you said back in 2014 that Rory wouldn’t win another Major for nearly a decade.
He’s played in 32 since his last triumph, and we have to start pondering; will Rory ever win a Major again?
The Northern Irishman’s enjoyed top ten finishes in each of his last four starts in the U.S. Open so he has that to lean on, as well as romping to an eight-shot victory at 2011.
It’s a tournament that carries positive memories, and that might be the deciding factor in McIlroy finally ending that barren run in the Majors.