The US Open, just around the corner, has more than just great golf this year, but along with it, offers up something that’s not exactly common in a sport like golf. The US Open this year brings us some real life heroes to engage our imagination and engender our enthusiasm.
Tiger Woods is back to defend a title that he won and become the first player in twenty odd years to win back to back events.
The last player to win the U.S. Open in back to back style was Curtis Strange, who has been in demand to answer questions lately about how he got there. Tiger Woods is now getting his chance to repeat a history that seems to have eluded multiple golfers.
“Bethpage feeds right into his game,” Strange said. “It eliminates even more players in the field than most Opens because it’s a long, hard golf course. After his performance last week, and all the skeptics writing him off, I think he’s (Woods) a heavy, heavy favorite.”
Tiger Woods is the stuff heroes are made of limping his way to a win at Torrey Pines last year in spite of a fracture of his left leg and ligaments that were more than shredded, causing that he end his season early and check in for surgery just a scant week or so later.
A win will give Woods a Grand Slam of double ups, having already won back to back Masters Events, British Open Events and PGA Championship events in his lifetime. Tiger being Tiger, he’s obviously the odds on favorite to win this year, but he’s not the only comeback and he’s not the only hero that the media, and the fans will be rooting for.
The primary competition for Woods will be Mickelson, who everyone thought might be out of the events when his wife of sixteen years, Amy, was diagnosed with breast cancer last month.
He immediately stopped his PGA schedule of events, and moved to be with his wife, but it was indicated by some further tests that perhaps the cancer may have been detected early enough that she need not be rushed headlong into surgery.
Mickelson and his wife, who has encouraged his play, may in fact make the US Open this year less about green and more about pink as he, already a darling of the media, plays in her honor.