Total dominationIf McIlroy’s display in Canada was the best golf of the year then the leading performance overall has been Tiger’s to win the Masters. At Majors the pressure is at a different level. Woods is also responsible for the greatest Major performance of all time, his total domination of the 2000 US Open at Pebble Beach, where the tournament is returning this year. To put that win in context, Ernie Els said he had played the golf of his life to finish three over par, 15 shots behind Tiger. When a player of Ernie’s quality says that, it tells you how exceptional it was. Woods will be raring to go this week. In fact, he would have loved to walk off the 18th green at Augusta in April and straight onto the first tee at Pebble Beach. He is definitely a contender. His record-breaking win 19 years ago means that he has memories from this place that nobody else does. Having ended his 11-year wait for another Major, the gates are open and No16 could come at any time now.
It’s not sticking my neck out but Brooks Koepka is my other fancy for this week. He is seeking a third consecutive US Open and, like McIlroy, is a great driver with a terrific set of attributes. They say players are judged by their Major performances. With four wins from his last eight Major starts, that department seems to be very much Koepka’s strength. It’s obvious that the US PGA champion knows how to get the job done. He isn’t scared in the big events and that is a huge quality that marks out the very best.