The sixth-ever U.S. Open to be played at Pebble Beach Golf Links in California, and second this decade, boasts a star-studded field with 12 previous U.S. Open champions.
The 156-player field includes the last two U.S. Open winners at Pebble Beach, Tiger Woods and Graeme McDowell.
One of the top storylines going into the season’s third major is the performance of Brooks Koepka, who has won back-to-back titles at both the U.S. Open and PGA Championship.
Fans will also be on high alert every time Woods swings the club, as he is attempting to capture two major titles in a single season for the first time since 2006, when he won The Open and PGA Championship.
There is the outside chance for an unexpected player to capture the U.S. Open crown, but only two of the last six major tournaments have been won by first-time champions.
U.S. Open Leaderboard
Scott Piercy (-1)
Nine players tied at Even.
The full leaderboard can be found here on USOpen.com –Update as of 10:45 a.m. ET
In the last three U.S. Opens, the scoring has been all over the place, from Brooks Koepka winning at 16-under in 2017 to the two-time defending champion winning with an over-par score a year ago.
When Dustin Johnson won in 2016, the best scores were less extreme, but only four players were able to finish under par.
If Pebble Beach plays in a similar fashion to Oakmont Golf Club and Shinnecock Hills Golf Club, players will struggle to stay in red numbers for 72 holes.
In the last U.S. Open at Pebble Beach in 2010, Graeme McDowell won by shooting even par for the tournament.
If the course plays tough for all four rounds, driving accuracy and efficient putting will be rewarded.
Johnson, Rory McIlroy, Tony Finau and Bubba Watson are among the longest drivers on the PGA Tour, which could play into their advantage on longer holes.
David J. Phillip/Associated Press
By getting to greens in two or three shots, players with the best average driving distance could be able to take advantage of the small window of opportunity given to them to record birdies or eagles.
But in order to fully take advantage of the course, golfers have to be accurate in addition to driving the ball a far distance.
Jim Furyk and Chez Reavie rank first and second in driving accuracy on the PGA Tour, and Furyk could be an intriguing name to watch since he has a U.S. Open victory to his name from 2003.
Jordan Spieth could be among the players who benefit from a strong weekend of putting, as he ranks in a tie for fourth in one-putt percentage behind Aaron Baddeley, Justin Rose and Si Woo Kim.
Avoiding two-or-three-putt situations will be crucial for players on a course that is already difficult to manage.
Conversely, the course could open up and allow some low scores to be had. If that occurs, some of the best scorers on the PGA Tour should be expected to sit on the first page of the leaderboard.
Johnson leads the PGA Tour in scoring average, while Patrick Cantlay, Rory McIlroy, Webb Simpson and Koepka are directly behind him on the list.
If low scores are attainable, the top players in the game are more likely to take control of the tournament because of how consistent they have been over the course of the season.
One or two outliers to that logic could appear on the leaderboard, but if the scoring trend results in plenty of rounds in the 60s, we expect a star-studded field to crowd the top 10 when Sunday rolls around.
Statistics obtained from PGATour.com