U.S. Open: Top 5 facts to know

Caddie Michael Greller and reigning Masters champion Jordan Spieth. AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

On the eve of the first U.S. Open to be played in the Pacific Northwest, here’s what you need to know about the 115th edition of our national championship.

Chambers Bay will be long

The course will play between 7,200 and 7,600 yards each day of the U.S. Open, which leaves it shy of being the longest course in U.S. Open history.

It will, however, have the three longest par-4s in tournament history.

All three holes (11th, 13th, 14th) have scorecard yardages in excess of 530 yards, a year after the fourth hole at Pinehurst set the Open record at 529 yards.

World rankings say Woods is a long shot

After being No. 1 in the world as recently as May 2014, Tiger Woods has dropped to 195th in the Official World Golf Ranking this week.

Not only does that make him the 71st-ranked U.S. golfer on the list, but it also makes him one of the most improbable potential champions in U.S. Open history.

Since the world rankings were launched in 1986, only one player who went on to win a major has been ranked lower than Woods is now: Ben Curtis (396th), who won the 2003 Open Championship in his first career major appearance.

Mickelson shows up for majors

Beginning with his last U.S. Open runner-up result (at Merion in 2013), Phil Mickelson has had five top-3 finishes on the PGA Tour.

Four of those have come in majors: runner-up performances at Merion, the 2014 PGA Championship and the 2015 Masters and a victory at the 2013 Open Championship at Muirfield.

History suggests McIlroy will miss the cut

Rory McIlroy enters the week as the No. 1 player in the world, but he has missed the cut in his past two starts: the BMW PGA Championship in England and the Irish Open.

In his professional career, McIlroy has twice entered a major after missing the cut in his previous start (2013 Open Championship, 2010 Masters). He missed the cut in each of those majors.

Spieth’s second would conjure up Sarazen

If Jordan Spieth were to win this week, he would become the first player since Woods in 2002 to win the Masters and the U.S. Open in the same year.

But in winning his second major before his 22nd birthday, he would do something that hasn’t been done in almost 100 years: He would be the fourth-youngest player ever at the time of his second major victory, the youngest since Gene Sarazen won his second at the 1922 PGA Championship at Oakmont.