Tomorrow and Friday
ESPN: 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
NBC: 2-8 p.m.
Monday (if necessary)
ESPN: Noon-2 p.m.
NBC: 2 p.m. to finish of 18-hole playoff
On the Web
There will be a live scoreboard for every round. Go to: philly.com/usopen
Did you know?
* Tiger Woods owns five top-five finishes in the U.S. Open. The record is 11, held by Willie Anderson and Jack Nicklaus. Alex Smith, Walter Hagen, Ben Hogan and Arnold Palmer each had 10. Bobby Jones, Gene Sarazen and Julius Boros had nine each.
* Twenty-five different foreign-born players have won the Open a total of 31 times. But it already has been done five times this century.
* Only four players have ever shot a 63 in this major: Johnny Miller, final round, 1973, Oakmont; Tom Weiskopf, first round, 1980, Baltusrol; Jack Nicklaus, first round, 1980, Baltusrol; and Vijay Singh, second round, 2003, Olympia Fields.
* Tiger Woods birdied the 72nd hole last year to force a playoff with Rocco Mediate. The last person to birdie the closing hole in regulation to win by one was Bobby Jones, in 1926, to beat Joe Turnesa. In 1993, Lee Janzen birdied the last hole at Baltusrol to win by two.
* Twenty-two players from either Scotland or England have won this title. But it only has happened once since 1927. That was Tony Jacklin, 39 years ago at Hazeltine, site of the PGA Championship this August.
Into the Black
Bethpage Black Course
Site of 2002 and 2009 U.S. Open
No. 1: par 4, 430 yards
No. 2: par 4, 389 yards
No. 3: par 3, 232 yards
No. 4: par 5, 517 yards
No. 5: par 4, 478 yards
No. 6: par 4, 408 yards
No. 7: par 4, 525 yards
No. 8: par 3, 230 yards
No. 9: par 4, 460 yards
OUT: PAR 35, 3,669 YARDS
No. 10: par 4, 508 yards
No. 11: par 4, 435 yards
No. 12: par 4, 504 yards
No. 13: par 5, 605 yards
No. 14: par 3, 158 yards
No. 15: par 4, 458 yards
No. 16: par 4, 490 yards
No. 17: par 3, 207 yards
No. 18: par 4, 411 yards
IN: PAR 35, 3,776 YARDS
TOTAL: PAR 70, 7,445 YARDS
Feature hole: The 15th is, pure and simply, a brute. Not shockingly, it played as the hardest hole in relation to par in 2002. There were twice as many double bogeys, not bogeys, as birdies. That doesn't even count the nine "others" that this 458-yard par 4 yielded. It plays uphill all the way, with a green that's almost impossible to hold if you're hitting your approach out of the rough. The putting surface might be the most severe on the premises. And the second shot, or in some cases the third, is not only long but all carry. The front bunkers are menacing. To get out of them, you have to clear nearly 10 feet of elevation. Maybe that's why locals affectionately refer to it as "Heart Attack Hill." The way the story goes, Sam Snead once walked off the course during a match with Byron Nelson after enduring a bad experience here. He's probably not the only one.
Last five U.S. Open winners
2008: Tiger Woods, Torrey Pines
2007: Angel Cabrera, Oakmont
2006: Geoff Ogilvy, Winged Foot
2005: Michael Campbell, Pinehurst (No. 2)
2004: Retief Goosen, Shinnecock Hills
2010: Pebble Beach (Calif.) Golf Links
2011: Congressional Country Club (Blue), Bethesda, Md.
2012: The Olympic Club (Lake), San Francisco
2013: Merion Golf Club (East Course), Ardmore
2014: Pinehurst, N.C. (No. 2)
2015: Chambers Bay, University Place, Wash.
Tiger Woods (2-1): Won last year at Torrey Pines on one leg. And won here last time, in 2002. Also won his last tourney, 2 weeks ago. Guess that makes him the fave.
Phil Mickelson (5-1): Probably asking too much, with what he's going through off the course. But New York always has been his kind of crowd.
Jim Furyk (10-1): Missed cut here in 2002. But won the title in 2003, finished second in '06 and '07.
Padraig Harrington (12-1): For whatever reason tweaked his swing after winning two majors last season. Played well here in 2002.
Geoff Ogilvy (14-1): Won this in 2006, was in contention last June.
Angel Cabrera (16-1): Won this in 2007, just won the Masters.
Vijay Singh (18-1): Won the last of his three majors in 2004. Still dangerous when putter cooperates.
Paul Casey (20-1): Third in world, for whatever that's worth. Euros don't win this.
Sergio Garcia (22-1): Who knew breaking up with Greg Norman's daughter, Morgan, could have this kind of impact on someone's game?
Sean O'Hair (24-1): Would like his chances more if his wife wasn't expecting their third child any day.
Ian Poulter (26-1): Showed a lot at last September's Ryder Cup.
Ernie Els (28-1): Won in 1994 and '97. Got the last of his three majors at 2002 British Open.
Retief Goosen (30-1): Two-time U.S. Open winner has been showing signs of former self.
Zach Johnson (32-1): He's second on the PGA Tour money list.
Steve Stricker (35-1): Comes close a lot, doesn't win very often.
Five others to ponder: Camilo Villegas, Rory McIlroy, Henrik Stenson, Tim Clark and Robert Karlsson.
The dreaded pick
Anyone can pick Tiger. And probably be right. Since I usually limit myself to one Tiger pick a season, I'll save him for the PGA Championship. So who then? I'll take a stab at Furyk, even though the wet conditions won't help his chances. Throw him in an exacta with Ogilvy. I'd like Mickelson a lot more if his wife wasn't waging the battle of her life. It would be too great a story line. Same with O'Hair, for different reasons. So go with Stenson as your longer shot. I took Garcia in a seasonlong pool way back in December. What was I possibly smoking?