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Storylines Abound for the 2021 US Open

The 2021 PGA Tour season has returned to a sense of normalcy. From the drunken jeers in the crowd, to the roars on the 18th green, the PGA Tour is back. Fans make the PGA Tour much more enjoyable, for fans and players alike. Another thing that has returned to the PGA Tour this season is the drama. From Phil Mickelson’s miraculous victory at a rowdy Ocean Course in Kiawah Island, South Carolina, to Jordan Spieth’s return to form, there has not been a shortage of intrigue. Going into the US Open next week, many emerging storylines will make the tournament a must watch. So, let us take a deeper dive into some of these storylines before the tournament kicks off on Thursday.

1. Bryson vs. Brooks

This rivalry seems to have been brewing for a couple of years now. Bryson DeChambeau is as polarizing a figure as there is in the game of golf, as his “new-age” approach makes him an interesting personality. I think this approach gets on Brooks Koepka’s nerves (or maybe Brooks is just mad that Bryson can drive the ball further than him, who knows). In any case, in the last two weeks, viral videos and memes have brought this rivalry to the forefront, and it will be interesting to see if any sparks fly at the US Open. Even adding more intrigue is Bryson trying to defend his 2020 US Open Championship with a victory at Torrey Pines.

2. Rahm’s Return

Jon Rahm has had a pretty stressful last week. On June 5, as he wrapped up his 3rd Round at the Memorial Tournament, he was having arguably the best tournament of his professional career. He was racing pass a talented field, leading by 6 strokes and sitting at -18. However, as he walked off the 18th green, he was told he had tested positive for COVID-19, and he was forced to withdraw. Why he couldn’t play on Sunday by himself and carry his own bag is beyond me. But hey, rules are rules, and Rahm had a win ripped from his grasp. He has since been cleared to play at Torrey Pines this week, and it wouldn’t surprise me if he came out with a vengeance and was in contention from the outset on Thursday.

3. Another Miracle by Lefty?

Phil Mickelson was not even supposed to qualify for the 2021 US Open. He was on the outside looking in, and it looked like his winning days on the PGA Tour (let alone major championships) was far behind him. But then the PGA Championship at Kiawah Island happened. Phil outplayed a star-studded field to become the oldest major championship winner in PGA Tour history at 50 years old. With that victory, he qualified for this US Open at Torrey Pines. And speaking of Torrey Pines, Phil has a long history with the course, even winning the Buick Invitational at Torrey Pines 20 years ago. Needless to say, I would not be counting Lefty out heading into this week.

4. Other Nuggets

Can Jordan Spieth continue his return to form and cap it off with a major win? It is certainly possible. Can Rory Mcllroy summon a “Jordan Spieth-like” return to form? The former world number 1 has not won a major since 2014. Is this the tournament where a young stud officially takes the next step and captures a major, like Will Zalatoris or Viktor Hovland?

These are just a few of the storylines. The intrigue will certainly be there this week at Torrey Pines; lets hope the tournament lives up to the hype.

By: Lake Feldmann

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