USGA feels pressure heading into U.S. Open at Pebble Beach

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Palmer, one of golf's all-time greats, died in 2016.

"If I can take that freedom I played with, I'll get off to a good start and be right in the tournament from the get-go". "He knows it's not for him".

"But how could you not like this place and get good vibes, especially the last couple of days with the weather we've had".

Most of the attention is on Koepka and his bid to go back-to-back-to-back. I haven't played a lot here (in the AT&T Pro-Am) over the years and playing in February, although I did the past two, I don't think has helped me at all other than I was here.

Tiger Woods would like to: He could write another chapter in an unbelievable comeback that culminated with a win at the Masters this year.

That missed cut, though, just might have been a blessing in disguise.

McIlroy said that while he brought the jersey with him he would remain neutral with the Raptors preparing to take on the Golden State Warriors in nearby Oakland in Game Six of the NBA Finals on Thursday.

With the course measuring just over 7,000 yards, he's played two events with four wedges in his bag and removed his three-iron to better prepare for this week.

Different history could be made this weekend as Brooks Kopeka tries to win his third-consecutive U.S. Open. "That was the reason for putting that extra wedge in". I guess at that point you sort of assumed that sooner or later he was going to break through, " David Young said.

For McIlroy, feeling good might be the key to his Open chances.

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There's so many guys that shoot themselves out of it just because it's a major. I've seen it so many times.

"I've said it the last time, there's so much pressure".

A bit of miscommunication during the winner's ceremony created confusion that was quickly corrected with McIlroy asking his caddie Harry Diamond to chase down his favourite flat stick. "It really comes down to who's going to make putts".

"I hit driver. I hit it hard", he said.

"So, no, I definitely didn't give it away".

McIlroy, the jersey and his bag did thankfully make it to the California coast for this week's US Open, but the sports fan confirmed that the jersey would be staying in the suitcase this week.

The USGA has come under heavy criticism leading into this U.S. Open because of the way the last few have played out, with Phil Mickelson saying officials have messed up the course "100% of the time" when it doesn't rain to Golf Digest quoting anonymous players as saying a boycott was considered in the past. He's been watching as McIlroy has been rounding into shape, too. As the saying goes-you can't win the tournament on Thursday, but you certainly can lose it. Follow along with us all day as we provide live updates and analysis on all the action out West.

It's the mental side that has been hardest to conquer, something McIlroy believes he is on his way to solving.

"I don't have to play like an idiot here and fire at pins hanging out over the ocean, but I can hit some shots and know I'm confident I can get out of trouble around the greens". "And hopefully I can do that more often".

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