More about the U.S. Open

Posted: June 13, 2007


Tomorrow and Friday - ESPN, 10 a.m.-3 p.m., and 5-7 p.m.; NBC, 3-5 p.m.

Saturday and Sunday - NBC, 12:30-7 p.m.

If needed, an 18-hole playoff would be held Monday starting at noon. ESPN would broadcast the first two hours, with NBC taking over at 2. If it's still tied after 18 holes, it reverts to sudden death.

The course

No. 1, par 4, 482 yards

No. 2, par 4, 341 yards

No. 3, par 4, 428 yards

No. 4, par 5, 609 yards

No. 5, par 4, 382 yards

No. 6, par 3, 194 yards

No. 7, par 4, 479 yards

No. 8, par 3, 288 yards

No. 9, par 4, 477 yards

Out, par 35, 3,679 yards

No. 10, par 4, 462 yards

No. 11, par 4, 379 yards

No. 12, par 5, 667 yards

No. 13, par 3, 183 yards

No. 14, par 4, 358 yards

No. 15, par 4, 499 yards

No. 16, par 3, 231 yards

No. 17, par 4, 313 yards

No. 18, par 4, 484 yards

In, par 35, 3,576 yards

Total, par 70, 7,255 yards

Feature hole

Let's go with the 17th, a par 4 of 313 yards. Which, of course, is only 25 yards longer than the par-3 eighth. So which hole do you think will yield more 3s? Just a thought. Anyway, Ben Hogan drove the green in the final round in 1953 and two-putted for the birdie that sealed his victory. The first three rounds, he'd played it with an iron off the tee.

There's severe bunkering to the left of the fairway some 50 yards short of the putting surface. A layup still leaves you with a delicate wedge shot. There's another huge bunker guarding the right of the green, and a devilish one just over the back left. So if you're not precise, you have problems.

"I'd be shocked if most players in the field didn't go for [it] off the tee, but it's a very risky shot," longtime Oakmont head pro Bob Ford said. "You'll see birdies, but expect to see a share of double bogeys as well."

That's why they call it strategy. And it could keep things interesting, if it's tight coming down the stretch on Sunday.

Handicapping 101

Tiger Woods (2-1) - Would be some way for first-time father-to-be to celebrate Father's Day.

Jim Furyk (6-1) - Has been playing well, 2003 winner nearly got it done again last year.

Retief Goosen (8-1) - Anyone who's won this thing twice and almost added a third must have a clue.

Geoff Ogilvy (10-1) - Only one guy has repeated since 1951.

Vijay Singh (12-1) - Only his putter knows for sure.

Padraig Harrington (14-1) - Contended in 2002, almost won last year. But only one European has won this since 1927. And that was 37 years ago.

Phil Mickelson (15-1) - Only his sore wrist knows for sure.

Adam Scott (16-1) - Hasn't been great in majors yet, but he probably will win one or two, maybe even soon.

Ernie Els (18-1) - Last guy to win this thing twice at same course was Jack Nicklaus, 1967 and '80 at Baltusrol.

Rory Sabbatini (20-1) - Having strong year. Don't know whether he hits enough fairways to win. Just don't pair him with Tiger.

Sean O'Hair (22-1) - Has played as well as anyone over last few months.

Zach Johnson (24-1) - Only players in last half-century to win first two legs of Grand Slam were Hogan, Palmer, Nicklaus and Woods.

Henrik Stenson (27-1) - Well, he is ranked seventh in the world, for whatever that's worth.

Sergio Garcia (30-1) - Not with my paycheck, but feel free. His act really is starting to get lame.

Luke Donald (35-1) - Was right there after third round at last year's PGA, for whatever that's still worth.

Five more to ponder: K.J. Choi, Ryan Moore, Jose Maria Olazabal, Charles Howell III and Stewart Cink.

The dreaded pick

Anyone can take Tiger, and I did at the Masters. Which means he'll probably win this one. But since I usually limit myself to one Tiger pick a year, I'll go with Furyk, whom I went with a year ago. Hey, he almost won. I also happen to think O'Hair will have another solid week. I'm obviously liking those Pennsylvania connections. Expect Goosen to be in the hunt, too.

Future venues

2008 - Torrey Pines Golf Course (South), La Jolla, Calif.

2009 - Bethpage State Park (Black), Farmingdale, N.Y.

2010 - Pebble Beach Golf Links, Pebble Beach, Calif.

2011 - Congressional Country Club (Blue), Bethesda, Md.

2012 - Olympic Club, San Francisco, Calif.

2013 - Merion Golf Club, Ardmore, Pa.

Last five Open champs

2002 - Tiger Woods, Bethpage Black

2003 - Jim Furyk, Olympia Fields

2004 - Retief Goosen, Shinnecock Hills

2005 - Michael Campbell, Pinehurst No. 2

2006 - Geoff Ogilvy, Winged Foot

The remaining majors

British Open, July 19-22, Carnoustie Golf Club, Carnoustie, Scotland.

PGA Championship, Aug. 9 to 12, Southern Hills Country Club, Tulsa, Okla.

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