At the US Open the man to beat is Scheffler

It's a familiar tune in the world of golf every week, especially when a major tournament is on the horizon: Everyone against Scottie Scheffler

by Andrea Gussoni
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At the US Open the man to beat is Scheffler
© Getty Images Sport - Michael Reaves / Staff

It's a familiar tune in the world of golf every week, especially when a major tournament is on the horizon: Everyone against Scottie Scheffler. From Thursday to Sunday, the stage is set for the 2024 US Open, the third of the four major events on the annual calendar.

And the undisputed world number one arrives with the momentum of already clinching five victories this season, including a triumph last week at the Memorial.

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This year, players will face the challenge of the demanding Pinehurst No.

2 course. It's a return to North Carolina for the fourth time in the last twenty-five years, commemorating the 25th anniversary of Payne Stewart's incredible victory in 1999, with a remarkable par putt that left Phil Mickelson one stroke behind.

The last time the tournament was held at these latitudes, ten years ago, it was Martin Kaymer who emerged victorious. The German dominated the competition, finishing at -9, eight strokes ahead of the runner-up. There are endless accolades to describe Scheffler's current form.

The American will play in his seventh US Open, with his best result being a second-place finish in 2022 at Brookline. As mentioned, the twenty-seven-year-old has already notched five victories this season, a feat last achieved by Tom Watson in 1980.

Tiger Woods will also tee off, returning to action after missing the cut at the PGA Championship. Xander Schauffele, winner at Valhalla, will undoubtedly be motivated for another stellar performance. Tiger received a special exemption from the USGA to compete, as his exemption for winning the 2019 Masters has expired.

This will be his first US Open since 2020. Rory McIlroy, a two-time winner this season, finished second in this tournament last year in Los Angeles, although he doesn't have a strong history at Pinehurst. Collin Morikawa is also in great form, while Swedish Ludvig Aberg should not be overlooked.

Wyndham Clark defends his title, having surprised everyone last year, establishing himself as a solid force in global golf. In the major that allows more non-"elite" golfers to participate, three Italians will also be in the field: Francesco Molinari, Edoardo Molinari, and Matteo Manassero.

They are the three Italians who have made the most significant mark on golf in Italy over the past two decades. All three earned their spots through qualification tournaments around the world and are eager to deliver a memorable performance.

Let's start with the only Italian to win a Major, Chicco Molinari, who triumphed at Carnoustie in the 2018 Open. It's been a forgettable season for the Turin native, with his level of play far removed from what made him one of the best golfers in the world half a decade ago.

This will be his 14th US Open appearance, in a week where he has often struggled. Francesco's best result is a 13th place finish in 2021 at Torrey Pines. His brother Edoardo will make his fifth appearance in this major, having made the cut in three out of four previous attempts.

Manassero continues to script an incredible story, returning to one of the year's four most important events for the first time since 2016, with an incredible motivation to achieve something immense.

Us Open Scottie Scheffler
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