Tom Watson ... skydiver
U.S. Open at a glance
Dates: June 15-18.
Site: Erin Hills Golf Club in Erin, Wis.
The course: Wisconsin developer Robert Lang was behind the building of a public golf course on pure pastureland with hopes of attracting the U.S. Open. The course about 40 miles northwest of Milwaukee was designed by Michael Hurdzan, Dana Fry and Ron Whitten. It opened in 2006 and was awarded the U.S. Open four years later, one year after Lang had to sell the course. It has the appearance of links golf, with rolling terrain and no trees, surrounded by wetlands and a river. It will be the second time in three years that the U.S. Open is held on a public golf course.
Length: 7,741 yards.
Par: 72 (36-36).
Cut: Top 60 players and ties.
Playoff (if necessary): 18 holes on June 19.
Field: 156 players.
Purse: $12 million.
Defending champion: Dustin Johnson.
Last year: Dustin Johnson won his first major championship by closing with a 1-under 69 for a three-shot victory at Oakmont. The final round was complicated by Johnson’s golf ball moving on the fifth green, and the USGA telling him on the 12th tee that he may – or may not – be penalized. Johnson played the last seven holes not knowing the score, making the one-shot penalty he ultimately was assessed a moot point.
Key statistic: This is the first time since Pebble Beach in 1992 that a U.S. Open is a par 72.
Making good: Dustin Johnson became the seventh player to win the U.S. Open one year after he was runner-up. The others were Tiger Woods, Payne Stewart, Jack Nicklaus, Bobby Jones, John McDermott and Alex Smith.
Noteworthy: Only once in the last five years has the U.S. Open champion played in the final group.
Quoteworthy: “What Erin Hills doesn’t have is history yet, but everybody had to start somewhere.” – USGA executive director Mike Davis.
TV (all times CT): Thursday-Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (FS1), 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. (FOX); Saturday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. (FOX); Sunday, 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. (FOX).