This year’s PGA Tour US Open match promises to be much different than US Opens of years past. It’s hosted in Washington state for the first time, at The Chambers Bay course. The British links-style course was opened in 2007 and is one of the longest courses in USGA history, at more than 7,900 yards. It’s also the longest course to ever host the US Open.
That’s not the only challenge golfers are facing, though — with its Pacific coastal setting, there are equally good chances of howling winds and drenching rain. In addition, this will be the first US Open played entirely on fescue, creating even more opportunities for upset.
That’s not good news for some of the golfers in the running, though Rory McIlroy, golf’s number one ranked player, and Phil Mickelson are heavily favored.
In a sad sort of golf footnote, Tiger Woods will also be teeing off, but no one expects much from him. This former number one is now ranked 195th among professional golfers – some are wondering whether he is healthy enough to compete at all.
The 2015 US Open Players and Their Gear
Of the 156 players in the Open, only a few are really likely to walk away with any of the $9 million cash purse. Here’s a quick run-down of the top picks and their gear:
Phil Mickelson. This will be Mickelson’s 25th US Open, and his second time going for a career grand slam. He’s killing the long shots, which will do him a huge favor at Chambers Bay. He’s great with creative shots and he’ll need them there. All and all, he’s the favorite to win with his bag full of Callaway gear, including a Big Bertha 815 Double Black Diamond driver and an Odyssey PM Prototype putter.
Rory McIlroy. He’s the number one player in the world right now, so he’s obviously among the favorites to win. Add to that the fact that he won the US Open in 2011 with his Titleist Scotty Cameron Select Newport GSS Prototype putter and he should have the right mindset to kill this tournament once again. His long drives will also help, along his ability to think on his feet. Watch for McIlroy and his Nike Vapor Pro driver and his Nike Method 006 putter.
Rickie Fowler. What’s not to love about Fowler? He’s made Top 15 in all five majors and four WGC events since the 2014 Masters — this could be his turn to take it all. He’s a strong player on links-style courses, so he’ll be right at home at Chambers Bay. Fowler will be carrying a Cobra Fly Z+ driver and a Scotty Cameron Prototype putter.
Jordan Spieth. Spieth took the Augusta National using the same skillset that may win him the US Open. Those imaginative chips and his propensity for sinking must-make putts are going to come in handy on the rugged terrain at Chambers Bay. Spieth will have a loaded arsenal with him, including his Titleist 915D2 driver and a Scotty Cameron 009 Prototype putter.
Tiger Woods. Poor Tiger — he’s gone from golf’s favorite up and coming rookie, to a legend in the making, to the player that everybody loves to hate. However, love or hate, Tiger in contention is good for the game of golf. He’s ranked 195th in the world right now, which is still better than most (all) of us, but no one expects him to do much at the US Open. Still, if he’s planning on making a comeback, this would be a great time to do it. Somewhere, deep down, Tiger’s still the same guy who was once the top player in golf. He’s coming in swinging Nike gear, including a Nike Vapor Speed Prototype driver and a Nike Method 001 putter.