On the eve of the 2011 U.S. Open Championship there are more questions to be asked then answers to be given about this year's tournament. With no Tiger Woods, no repeat winner of a major over the last 10, and a proverbial game of musical chairs atop the World Golf Rankings, this weekend at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Maryland. America's major has only been won by three American since 2000, with Northern Ireland's Graeme McDowell taking the title last year. But this year hopefully the American's can show their true colors and take one for the home team.
Phil Mickelson, Steve Stricker, Dustin Johnson; these are some of the men that can bring glory back to the U.S. Open for American's. Unfortunately their competition with international players only grows stronger by the day, with the majority of the World Golf Rankings cluttered with international players at the top. Martin Kaymer, Graeme McDowell, and current number one Luke Donald all will be vying to take the title back to their homelands, hopefully they'll have to put up quite the fight to do so.
This will be the third U.S. Open held at Congressional and first since 1997. The course originally opened in 1924 and has been extended to 7,250 yards from the back tees. It normally is a par 72 but plays as a par 70 for all PGA tour events as holes 6 and 11 will be played as par 4's. Originally designed by architect Devereux Emmet, Congressional and has been renovated over the years by numerous architects, most recently by the famed Rees Jones. Congressional is known for it's rolling terrain, narrow, tree-lined fairways, and large challenging greens.
Previous U.S. Open Champions at Congressional:
- 1997: Ernie Els
- 1964: Ken Venturi