It’s about this time of year that all eyes turn to the US Open... and several of our players have already had theirs opened by what’s in store at Congressional.
Charl Schwartzel, the only player in the field with a chance of a grand slam this season, Louis Oosthuizen, the reigning Open champion, and world No.2 Lee Westwood all played in Washington yesterday and were of the same opinion. “It’s incredibly tough, but fair,” they all said after taking a sneak preview of the course where Ernie Els won one of his two US Opens.
Lee was en route for Memphis where he will defend the title he claimed last year and I expect a solid showing as he looks to overtake Luke Donald again at the top of the rankings.
Meanwhile Rory McIlroy showed that he is in the right frame of mind and form to pose a serious threat in Washington next week. His fifth place finish at The Memorial was an excellent warm up and he putted better than he has for some time so all bodes well.
Along with Stuart Cage, Rory went on a UNICEF mission to Haiti and by all accounts had a fantastic time as he looked at how the nation is re-developing after the horrendous earthquake.
Now he’s heading for Congressional to do his own reconnaissance and then a company day for Jumeirah will be followed by two days at Pine Valley with yours truly.
It’s a very interesting week for Rory and I’m sure he will emerge from the end of it ready to take on the world’s best.
Finally, full marks to Gregory Bourdy who came through Open qualifying after finishing second last week and continues his steady progress towards the world’s top 50.