The U.S. Open is all about hard work for the 156 golfers competing at Shinnecock Hills in Southampton, New York.
Unlike the glamour of the Masters or the lore of the British Open, the best golfers in the world have to execute and show off their skills on nearly every shot if they hope to have a chance at winning the U.S. Open.
If they struggle and make mistakes, the course will make those golfers pay a penalty, and it may be severe.
The United States Golf Association regularly makes the U.S. Open layout the most difficult layout of the year, and it means that competitors must keep the ball in the fairway and do an excellent job in and around the greens.
Dustin Johnson is the favorite to win the event, and the No. 1 golfer in the world is coming off a victory in the FedEx St. Jude Classic.
If you are only as good as your last shot, Johnson is very good indeed. He holed out on a pitch shot on the 72nd hole of the tournament, and he comes into the U.S. Open with momentum. Johnson is listed at plus-800 according to OddsShark.
Justin Rose is the second choice at plus-1200 (bet $100 to win $1200), while Justin Thomas and Rory McIlroy are both plus-1400. Here's a look at the odds for the top favorites in this year's national championship event.
U.S. Open odds (courtesy of OddsShark)
Dustin Johnson, +800
Justin Rose, +1200
Justin Thomas, +1400
Rory McIlroy, +1400
Jason Day, +1600
Rickie Fowler, +1800
Jordan Spieth, +1800
Jon Rahm, +1800
Brooks Koepka, +2000
Tiger Woods, +2200
Phil Mickelson, +2500
Branden Grace, +2500
Henrik Stenson, +2800
Hideki Matsuyama, +3300
Bryson DeChambeau, +3300
Tommy Fleetwood, +4000
Patrick Reed, +4000
Paul Casey, +5000
Marc Leishman, +5000
Alex Noren, +5000
Sergio Garcia, +5000
Francesco Molinari, +5000
Fans can follow the results of the first round and stay abreast of the U.S. Open leaderboard by following this PGATour.com link.
While Johnson appears to have as much talent as anyone playing today, McIlroy and Jason Day can come close to matching the No. 1 ranked player in the world.
Both McIlroy and Day have exceptional power, and when they hit the ball accurately and do an excellent job around the greens, they can come pretty close to matching Johnson shot for shot.
McIlroy has not always been consistent with his putting, and if he doesn't pick up that area of his game, the superstar from Northern Ireland may fail to make a serious run at the U.S. Open.
Justin Rose is not a glamorous player, but he is one of the most consistent golfers on the tour. He excels at keeping his ball in play and avoiding serious mistakes. Rose is also an excellent putter.
Thomas held the No. 1 ranking before Johnson regained that position with his win last week, but don't think that the change in the rankings is going to impact Thomas that much.
He has all the tools needed to win this tournament, and his concentration is superb when he gets near the green. If Thomas can get off to a good start in the first round, it would not be a shock to see him at or near the lead on moving day and the final round.
All eyes will be on Tiger Woods, who is looking for his first victory of the year and his first major championship since winning the 2008 U.S. Open. Woods has been troubled by a slew of injuries in recent years, but he appears to be healthy at this point in the 2018 season.
Woods has had two top-10 finishes this season, and his ball-striking has improved noticeably. Tiger struggled with his putting in the Memorial Open, but if he can pick it up in that area while retaining his accurate tee shots and fairway play, he could make a run at the first page of the leaderboard.
Jordan Spieth is nearly always a factor in the major tournaments, and even though he has not been playing consistently, he knows how to rise to the occasion. Few golfers can putt like Spieth, and he should be ready to get off to a sharp start.
The U.S. Open will be televised by the Fox Network, the fourth straight year it will broadcast the tournament.
Fox and FS1 will combine to provide nearly wall-to-wall coverage of the event.
Television Broadcast Schedule
Thursday, June 14
FS1: 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Fox: 4 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Friday, June 15
FS1: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Fox: 4 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, June 16
Fox: 11 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, June 17
Fox: 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.