Bryson DeChambeau will carry a No. 9 world golf ranking to the tee at 8:02 a.m. Thursday for the first round of the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach.
Many eyes will be on Brooks Koepka, the two-time defending champion who is aiming to become just the second golfer to win three consecutive U.S. Open titles.
Koepka is chasing Willie Anderson from golf’s early days. Anderson accomplished the feat in 1905.
DeChambeau a Sleeper Pick
Chambeau enters as a sleeper pick of some golf experts. That’s based on the five PGA Tour titles and the one European Tour victory he has racked up since July 2017.
The former Clovis East standout who now lives in Dallas will start the Open on the 10th tee, playing alongside Justin Thomas, the 2017 PGA champion, and Kevin Kisner.
His best Open finish was a tie for 15th in 2016. He has yet to crack the Top 10 in a major.
Two other PGA regulars with ties to the Fresno area didn’t qualify for the U.S. Open this year.
Chappell Recovering From Back Procedure
Kevin Chappell of Fresno announced on Instagram in November that would have a microdiscectomy procedure on his back and didn’t give a return date.
“2018 has been a tough year for me physically,” Chappell wrote. “After considering all my options with my team, we have decided having a microdiscectomy is the best option for my future.”
Chappell fell to 83rd in the FedExCup standings in 2018 after making the TOUR Championship he previous two seasons.
Watney Failed to Qualify for Open
Nick Watney, a Sacramento native who starred at Fresno State, attempted to qualify for the Open in Columbus, Ohio. He failed to advance with his 2-over-par 74.
In 2015, Watney showed he knows how to navigate the exacting Pebble Beach course, finishing second in the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.
Pebble Beach Course is Often the Biggest Star
This is the sixth U.S. Open played at Pebble Beach and it has never been easy on the players, with Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson among those who complained about the condition of the greens the last time the tournament was here, in 2010, when Graeme McDowell won it with a score of even par.
In fact, only seven players have finished an Open at Pebble Beach under par, led by Woods’ record-setting 12-under performance in 2000. Jack Nicklaus won the first U.S. Open at Pebble Beach in 1972 with a 2-over score, while Tom Watson finished at 6-under in 1982 and Tom Kite was 3-under a decade later.
How to Watch
What: 2019 U.S. Open
Where: Pebble Beach Golf Links, Pebble Beach
When: Thursday, June 13-Sunday, June 16
Purse: $12.5 million
TV: Thursday (9:30 a.m. PT-4:30 p.m.) on Fox Sports 1, (4:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.) on FOX Sports. Friday (9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.) on Fox Sports 1, (4:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.) on FOX Sports.
Saturday (9 a.m.-7 p.m.) and Sunday (9 a.m.-7 p.m.) on FOX Sports.