U.S. Open 2019

First impressions of Pebble Beach setup for U.S. Open Lush	
				Geoff Shackelford  Golfweek

Phil Mickelson would like to: Turning 49 on Sunday, he's in search of a U.S. Open title to complete the career grand slam - and nobody plays better at Pebble Beach, the scene of five of his wins on the PGA Tour.

'It is not just critical that we have a smooth week for the championship but for the game itself, ' said tournament director, John Bodenhamer. "Pebble Beach is such a wonderful place with what we try to accomplish in achieving a tough test". "I played with less technical thoughts, and that was really it".

"We are endeavouring to set up and play a U.S. Open as the U.S. Open has always been at Pebble Beach and just let history unfold, as it always has, and it will take care of itself", Rodenhamer said.

To the USGA's credit, there has been less talk this week at the U.S. Open about what might go wrong than usual.

A U.S. Open used to be easily defined: Tight fairways, unsafe rough, and deadly quick greens.

"If you look at the length of this golf course, and it's obviously not one of the longest golf courses that we play all year, but there's so many approach shots, if you do drive it well, between sort of 130 and 150 yards, obviously there's some approach shots that are much longer than that as well, but I just wanted to give myself every possible option in terms of yardages and shots that I could play".

With 243 FedEx Cup points following solid finishes at the World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions (tied for 11th), the WGC-Mexico Championship (tied for 19th) and the WGC-Dell Technologies match play (tied for 9th), Li needs another 23 points to attain special temporary membership.

Now, here we are, back at Pebble Beach and everything, for the time being, looks ideal.

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Among them was Rory McIlroy, who has been stalled on four major titles for almost five years, but arrived at Pebble Beach brimming with confidence after a seven-shot win at the Canadian Open on Sunday. "We will follow what the architect intended with that true test in the way the golf course is presenting both on the putting greens and the fairways".

"I told Steve, look, my goal is to get back to No. 1 in the world".

After riding a red hot putter to a final round of 61 on Sunday at the Hamilton Golf and Country Club, McIlroy said that while he has made some stupid mistakes trading his putter for an National Basketball Association team jersey would have been one of biggest. "I don't think any of us have the same body we had 19 years ago".

McIlroy, who goes off the 10th tee with Spain's Jon Rahm and Australian Marc Leishman at 7:51 am, is seeking to add to his tally of four majors for the first time since 2014. "This game was taken away from me for a few years there".

"I know that the odds are against me to win it. And I think Jason is trying to tap into that and trying to turn his year around".

"I said to Harry, 'Could you go and find Laurence?"

Woods, however, declined to be drawn on whether that means he sees this week's tournament at Pebble Beach as a chance to close in further on Jack Nicklaus's record of 18 major titles - or whether that's a target for him still.

"I felt like the whole country was behind that team", he said of the Raptors.

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