US Open 2022: Tee times, prize money, TV coverage from Brookline as Rory McIlroy heads the field
The focus will, hopefully, be on the golf this week as LIV Golf takes a backstage seat as the third major of the year at the US Open is up for grabs. Rory McIlroy is the man in form as he arrives at Brookline on the back of an excellent win at the Canadian Open. He is a major contender, while Jon Rahm will look to defend the title.
McIlroy 'disappointed in route' Mickelson took to join LIV Series
Brookline. One word like few others can prompt frightening flashbacks for any fan of European golf over the age of about 30.
The Ryder Cup of 1999 will always be remembered for the sight of wives and girlfriends of US players celebrating on the 17th green after Justin Leonard had holed a monster putt. The celebrations, high heels stomping on the green, were premature as Jose Maria Olazabal still had a putt to keep European hopes alive. The Spaniard missed, allowing celebrations to continue, but It was an unedifying sight.
There was nastiness to the Ryder Cup at that time; Brookline was the nadir. Modern Ryder Cups are still fiercely competitive - spectators from both sides occasionally step over the line - but they are played in a positive spirit.
What happens next in that battle is up for debate - lawyers will likely get rich, that much is evident - but there will be plenty of eyes on ‘rebels’ Phil Mickelson and Dustin Johnson.
It would be some story were Mickelson to complete golf’s Grand Slam after all the controversy in recent months. It would be some story, given the way he chopped the ball around the Centurion Club last week.
orthern Ireland's Rory McIlroy celebrates his win on the 18th green during the final round of the 2011 U.S. Open golf tournament at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Maryland, June 19, 2011
Image credit: Reuters
World No. 1 Scottie Scheffler went a little cold after winning the Masters, which was totally understandable, but a closing round of 66 in Canada on Sunday suggested the outstanding form is not far from the surface.
As defending champion, Jon Rahm will have his supporters. He will arrive at Brookline extremely fresh, as he has not played since the Memorial Tournament a month ago. A tied-10th finish did not do justice to Rahm’s play, and if the putter gets hot he has a big chance of going back-to-back.
The biggest name of all will not be teeing it up, as Tiger Woods pulled out citing fitness issues. He looked extremely sore at the US PGA Championship, and his aim is to be competitive in the Open at St Andrews.
One player who has a lot in his favour is Matthew Fitzpatrick. The 27-year-old is still seeking his first professional win in America, but Brookline suits his game perfectly. He’s not a bomber off the tee, but finding fairways and greens in regulation is his modus operandi and he was a winner at the course in the 2013.
COURSE: The Country Club, Brookline
The Country Club is one of the most storied tracks in golf and has hosted the US Open on three previous occasions.
There have been changes since Curtis Strange tasted victory in 1988, with the course lengthened and different holes added in a composite layout.
Length, length, length are at the forefront of golf as technological changes allow players to hit the ball further. But there is always a place for something short and sweet. The 11th - named Redan - is a par 3 of 131 yards. No more than a wedge, but it is a raised green sloping from front to back, guarded by bunkers and a brook. Appearances can be deceptive and as well as offering birdie chances, it could see big numbers run up.
There will be changes of routing from 1988, and only Pebble Beach has played shorter than The Country Club's 7264 yards, but the layout and how it will be set up will protect it from being picked apart by the bombers of the game.
Players walk down the fairway prior to the US Open at The Country Club on June 14, 2022 in Brookline, Massachusetts.
Image credit: Getty Images
What the likes of McIlroy, Rahm and Scheffler will find is a penal layout. The USGA will do everything in its power to ensure the players are met with the toughest test in golf.
There have been criticism of recent layouts at the likes of Chambers Bay, but that will not be levelled at one of the most revered courses in golf.
Hit it off line and players will be punished. Arguably that is how golf should be played - meaning the hit-it-as-far-as-you-can-and-find-it brigade are unlikely to flourish.
Prize Money: Total fund of $12.5 million, with winner’s share being $2,250,000
Format: 72-hole strokeplay. Two-hole aggregate if playoff is required.
TV Coverage: The US Open is live on Sky Sports in the UK
Rory McIlroy: "Regardless of whether I won (the Canadian Open), I would feel good about my game. I think producing the shots I needed to produce over the last couple of holes, under pressure, lost the lead, to get it back again, I think the resilience that showed and where I am at with my game and confidence level. I am proud of that and looking forward.”
Scottie Scheffler: "I like the challenge, these events are really hard and for me it's fun challenging yourself like that. This style of golf suits how I play and how I approach tournaments."
Jon Rahm: "I want to play against the best in the world in a format that's been going on for hundreds of years. That's what I want to see. Yeah, money is great, but when Kelley and I - this first thing happened, we started talking about it, and we're like, will our lifestyle change if I got $400 million? No, it will not change one bit. Truth be told, I could retire right now with what I've made and live a very happy life and not play golf again. So I've never really played the game of golf for monetary reasons. I play for the love of the game, and I want to play against the best in the world."