This week the United States Open Golf Championship will be held at the Olympic Club at San Francisco.  There is a lot of anticipation for the event this year as well as a number of stories.

The USGA has released the pairings for the Thursday and Friday rounds, and there are some very attractive made for a Hollywood movie type of three-somes.

First and foremost will be the matinee headliner of Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods and Masters Champion, Bubba Watson.  Be glad you are at home watching these three because if you were at the tournament I can assure you the gallery size for this triumvirate would parallel the crowd at a Rose Bowl game.

Tiger is the early 5 ½ to 1 favorite with the Vegas odds makers.  This is likely due to his win two weeks ago at Jack’s place – The Memorial. 

Of course we have seen this before this year. Tiger wins at Bay Hill and the world announces “He is Back” then he falters badly and appears not to be able to handle the pressure of a major while playing in the Masters.  Then he looks like the Tiger of old on the weekend at the Memorial. The question remains, will he contend this week.

Buggy anyone?

In Scotland, they are called buggies, but here in the good ol’ USA we call them Golf carts, or even sometimes affectionately – chariots.

Next week during the U.S. Open a name of court cases of a bygone era – Casey Martin again will be riding a cart for the his rounds after, qualifying for tournament.  Martin, who is the Oregon Golf Coach, retired from competitive professional golf six years ago.      

Casey Martin is most known amongst the golf aficionados as the man  who successfully sued the U.S. PGA Tour in 2001 for the right to ride a cart.  Martin suffers from a  because of a degenerative circulatory disorder and has had difficulty walking due to this condition since his teenage years.

I am quite confident NBC will give this significant play again, although it has been more than a decade since this was major news on the golfing front.

Martin did take a cart during local and sectional qualifying and will be allowed the use of a cart during the tournament this week.  His playing companions will not be able to hitch a ride with him between holes. 

Who will win?

Normally a fluke does not with the U.S. Open. It is a tournament with the most severe conditions in terms of deep and thick rough, dry fairways, hard and fast greens, and demonic pin placements.

The person who wins typically is hitting a lot of fairways, is able to control their ball flight, and is playing outstanding around the greens.

This one is on the West Coast, and not many have won more on the left coast than the left hander, I am taking Phil Mickelson.  Plus with the nickname in  GCSSA circles, Flopsy McChokenstien due to a few of his near misses in majors, I am hoping Phil can get the 5 second place monkey off of his back and magically find it this week by the bay. 

Until Next Time, Stay Classy Thermopolis, Wyoming.

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Johnny Goodman writes a weekly sports column for The Soap Boxers. His articles can be found in The Goodman File.

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