Defending US Open champion Justin Rose tees off alongside Phil Mickelson Thursday at Pinehurst.
The Open is the one major championship that has always eluded Mickelson. If he can pull of a win this weekend, he would be the sixth player ever to complete a career Grand Slam. Gary Player is the only golfer in history to complete his career Grand Slam at the US Open. Mickelson is looking to join him. Phil Mickelson has a record 6-time runner-ups at the US Open, including finishing second to Payne Stewart in the historic 1999 US Open at Pinehurst.
The road for Mickelson will not be easy.
Players to keep an eye on are 2014 Masters champ Bubba Watson, 2-time major and 2011 US Open winner Rory McIlroy, 20-year-old Jordan Spieth, and of course the current world No. 1 Adam Scott. Jordan Spieth finished tied for second in the Masters this year and the question has to be asked, is he ready to win a major? He will tee off with other young stars, Hideki Matsuyama, and Rickie Fowler.
Another group to watch will be that of Bubba Watson, Adam Scott, and Charl Schwartzel. Scott and Watson are two of the hottest golfers on the tour right now and Schwartzel rounds out the pairing as the 2011 Masters champ. Bubba won the Masters earlier this year and in 2012 and Scott won last year. The group is a powerhouse.
Tiger Woods misses another tournament due to recent back surgery. Since his third US Open victory in 2008, Woods has missed 25 percent of the major tournaments.
A sleeper to look out for is 2013 PGA Championship winner Jason Dufner. His play has been great as of late and he is teeing off with friend and fellow PGA champ Keegan Bradley and 2010 PGA winner Martin Kaymer.
The field is stacked against Phil this weekend at Pinehurst No. 2.