An Early Look at the 2009 U.S. Open

Sam TastadCorrespondent IIIJune 16, 2009

FARMINGDALE, NY - JUNE 16:  Tiger Woods walks across a green during the second day of previews to the 109th U.S. Open on the Black Course at Bethpage State Park on June 16, 2009 in Farmingdale, New York.  (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)

The 2009 U.S. Open is in the next few days and is one of the biggest, if not the biggest, championships in golf.

This year's U.S. Open will be played at Bethpage Black in New York, where Tiger Woods last won the only U.S. Open played at Bethpage Black in 2002. Bethpage Black was designed by A.W. Tillinghast, and this year's U.S. Open will again be played at the Black Course. The course has a par of 70, and will be played at a long distance of 7,445 yards.

Tiger Woods is the defending U.S. Open champion after playing 90 holes on a bad knee and overcoming Rocco Mediate's surprising finish.

Tiger Woods is again the favorite, and should be. He played the Memorial two weeks ago, and had his game clicking on all cylinders.

You can't overlook Phil Mickelson, though. He is a fan favorite, and is playing for his wife right now, who has breast cancer. What would be better than a Tiger-Phil wire-to-wire battle at Bethpage? It's definitely what the fans want to see. Although, what's better than an underdog competing for one of golf's toughest tournament, too?

A few sleepers to watch at this year's U.S. Open are: Geoff Ogilvy, Zach Johnson (who leads the FedEx Cup standings), Paul Casey, Jim Furyk, and Sean O'Hair.  All of these golfers could all compete for the U.S. Open Championship.

Now it's your turn to see who will win the 109th U.S. Open!