Round One of the US Open: Golf’s toughest test returns to Brookline at Country Club


Site: Brookline, Massachusetts.

Course: The Country Club. Yardage: 7,264. Par: 70.

Prize money: TBA ($12.5 million in 2001).

Television: Thursday, 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. (USA Network), 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. (NBC), 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. (USA Network); Friday, 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. (USA Network), 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. (NBC); Saturday, noon to 8 p.m. (NBC); Sunday, noon to 7 p.m. (NBC).

Defending champion: Jon Rahm.

Last year: Jon Rahm won his first major at Torrey Pines and became the first player to birdie the last two holes to win the U.S. Open by one shot. The victory came two weeks after Rahm had a six-shot lead through 54 holes at the Memorial and had to withdraw because of a positive COVID-19 test. Louis Oosthuizen was runner-up for the sixth time in a major.

Notes: The U.S. Open returns to The Country Club for the fourth time and the first time since Curtis Strange beat Nick Faldo in an 18-hole playoff in 1988. … Tiger Woods chose to withdraw to make sure his right leg heals and strengthens in time for the British Open at St. Andrews. … Phil Mickelson is missing only the U.S. Open for the career Grand Slam. He is playing for the first time on U.S. soil since late January. Mickelson chose to sit out for four months and returned to play in the Saudi-backed LIV Golf series last week. … Mickelson, Dustin Johnson and Bryson DeChambeau are among 12 players in the field who played in the LIV Golf tournament last week outside London. … The U.S. Open has not had a playoff since 2008, the longest stretch of the four majors. The previous three U.S. Opens at Brookline have all been decided in 18-hole playoffs. … The last four major champions were all in their 20s. … Players in the top 10 in the world have won the last four majors.