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Padraig Harrington's verdict on Tiger Woods' US Open chances

Padraig Harrington's verdict on Tiger Woods' US Open chances

"The USGA is not going to want to lose these greens early in the week and for the first couple of days I'm sure they will be slow", Woods said.

The former world No. 1 definitely isn't in a slump, but he's not exactly thriving either, at least not enough for his lofty expectations, so he came to Pebble Beach with a new approach and some strong self-criticism ahead of the 119th U.S. Open.

Measuring just over 7,000 yards, this venerable layout is not lengthy by modern standards, contrasting with the power paradise of Bethpage Black that we saw at the PGA Championship. "But he's got an wonderful history around a golf course like this". Then there's Rory McIlroy, who is arguably golf's most consistent player right now and just dominated the RBC Canadian Open last week.

The issues at the U.S. Open in each of the past four years have varied.

"But in the end, we have to make a decision about what we think is best for the championship". Woods won his last U.S. Open in 2008 down the California coast at Torrey Pines outside San Diego.

Has any U.S. Open in recent history had more storylines entering the tournament than the 2019 version?

On players complaining about USGA course setups: "Yeah, I mean, I guess the only reason they're complaining ... That's where I need help with my trainers, physios, my workout regimes and, hopefully, I can make that happen". Koepka (+850) won the 2017 U.S. Open at Erin Hills in Wisconsin by four shots and then past year by a stroke at Shinnecock Hills in NY.

Attention has rightly been placed upon two-time defending Brooks Koepka, who is seeking history, former victor Dustin Johnson, the great Tiger Woods, returning to the site of his most dominant triumph, and the in-form Rory McIlroy.

However, he cautioned that momentum doesn't necessarily carry over from one tournament to the next. And the reality is that he didn't even score all that well at that event.

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The report came at a time when South Africa faced successive losses in their first three matches of the ongoing showpiece event. South Africa have needed some much-needed good news in the ongoing World Cup where nearly everything is going against them.

Recent victor at Colonial, the Korean American displays numerous classic battling traits required at the US Open, and he has made the cut in each of his last five appearances, including a seventh place at Oakmont three years ago. He'll have Northern Ireland's Ricky Elliott on the bag once again, with the two having formed one of the most formidable partnerships in the game.

Pebble Beach is a short track relative to the runways of recent U.S. Opens, which brings quite a few shorter hitters into the hunt. "That's ultimately what I want".

Jack Nicklaus won the first US Open staged at Pebble Beach in 1972.

Phil Mickelson, a six-time runner-up in the event, ran after his ball and illegally putted it before it could roll off the 13th green. While the usual booming drives were a feature of his win, McIlroy's iron play and putting - the latter so often a negative in his game - were on the money. The small greens and tight fairways will not only reward accuracy but the ability to get up-and-down and gain stokes against the field around the green.

Harrington also analysed the Pebble Beach course and highlighted the "stern finish". His Memorial victory came after seven top-10 finishes this season, including a tie for third at the PGA Championship.

The Offaly man was tipped in Canada last week and duly finished joint-second to McIlroy to record a third successive top-10, after an eighth at the PGA and third at the RBC Heritage.

He is scheduled to tee off in Thursday's opening round of the U.S. Open alongside Billy Hurley III and Brian Davis.

"I think we've listened intently", said Bodenhamer.