Stricker takes blue-collar path to US Open

Steve Stricker center and Jim Furyk chat on the ninth green Monday during a practice round for the U.S. Open at Erin Hills. Temperatures were around 90 for the opening day of the 117th tournament that tees off Thur

Determined to avoid the embarrassing rules mess from a year ago, the USGA is shaking up the way it officiates the U.S. Open at Erin Hills. Rory McIlroy is clearly following the same approach as the most decorate champion in history.

After U.S. Opens at Oakmont and Chambers Bay the last two years came under criticism - the former for a rules controversy and the latter for the condition of putting greens - the USGA is desperate for the 117th edition run smoothly. Still just 27-years-old, Kohles has cleary proven his pedigree in the past, and this week provides a good chance to jump back into the mix.

The course is located at southern end of the Kettle Moraine, a dramatic landscape that was shaped by glacier activity millions of years ago.

"Well, it's exciting I think if it's played the right way - the right way is subjective", Spieth said Tuesday when asked about a par-5 finishing hole at major tournament. "I think he'd be the man who could be closest to overpowering this course - setting the target for the rest".

"I might buy a house up here if I win", he said. "The ovation I got when I went up on No. 9 yesterday ... yeah, it's pretty cool. I didn't feel like my body was restricting me in any way from doing what I wanted to do", he said.

It was a major gaffe, saved only by Johnson playing so well that he had a four-shot lead when he birdied the final hole to win the U.S. Open.

Kevin Na shows how hard the US Open course is at Erin Hills if you stray from the fairways.

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"And that's why I like tougher conditions, because it constantly tests that barrier to see if I can push even further and further and further mentally and physically with regards to playing tough venues such as the US Open like this". It's a matter of how you handle yourself in that moment to prepare yourself to greatness, and like you said, I'd much rather the course harder than easier.

Traditionally U.S. Open courses challenge golfers both mentally and physically with a combination of lightning fast greens, narrow fairways and gnarly rough. Adam Scott concurs, though as much focus as there has been on length and driving, he still sees an impeccable short game as going a long way.

There are 17 other players from the 2011 Amateur who are in the field for the 2017 U.S. Open.

Phil Mickelson, a runner-up six times, is not the model of accuracy off the tee.

He is No 10 in the world - only Tiger Woods and Sergio Garcia were ranked higher at a younger age. They're going to make putts, and then you've got a par 72.

Spieth's game has been spotty this year.

"I have got married and there is the time off due to the injuries, so it has been kind of a amusing sort of five or six months". And they'll go, okay, do I actually want to push it even more or do I have enough in the tank. "I haven't cracked the code, but hopefully I'm on my way".

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