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Can Tiger recapture the magic of '08?

Tiger Woods hasn’t received a big since that eye-popping efficiency at Torrey Pines in 2008.

However the former global No. 1 is again and hungry for good fortune at Shinnecock Hills on Lengthy Island this week.

Debate has raged over what will be the larger success — a 15th main for Woods after his lifestyles skirmishes and 4 again surgical procedures, or previous rival Phil Mickelson in the end touchdown a US Open after six runner-up spots to protected the occupation grand slam.

The jury is out.

“You are evaluating Cadillacs,” mentioned global No.2 Justin Thomas.

READ: Feisty fanatics and fiery direction boost Shinnecock Hills US Open
Tiger Woods defied injury to win a remarkable 2008 US Open in a playoff with Rocco Mediate.
Woods’ thoughts is without a doubt keen, and his 42-year-old frame has held up right through a promising go back to the sport this season.

Enjoying his first US Open since 2015, the thrill is again.

“He surely strikes the needle,” mentioned Australia’s former global No.1 Jason Day. “Everybody need to see what he seems like, how huge he’s, the parable at the back of Tiger Woods.”

Day has grow to be shut buddies with the American, and he ribbed his buddy in textual content messages about his outfit the remaining time america Open was once held at Shinnecock Hills in 2004.

“I despatched him an image. He had MC Hammer pants on. I am like, ‘hi there guy, have a look at those pants, they are horrible,'” mentioned Day, who, like quite a few execs, is holing up in his RV close to the direction to steer clear of the infamous Lengthy Island visitors.

Woods, who’s staying on his luxurious $20 million yacht Privateness in Sag Harbor, did not chunk.

However in line with Day, his standard banter suggests his aggressive mojo is again after some darkish instances right through his quite a lot of harm layoffs.
Jason Day teased Tiger Woods about his 2004 US Open outfit.
Tiger Woods (left) will play with world No.1 Dustin Johnson in the first two rounds of the US Open.
Mickelson will have to even be within the twilight of his occupation — he turns 48 Saturday — however he’s going to be roared on by way of an adoring New York crowd who willed him to 2nd at the back of South African Retief Goosen on a tumultuous and arguable ultimate day in 2004.

A primary win for 5 years previous this season suggests the mercurial left-hander nonetheless has the firepower to compete on the most sensible stage. And this present day, it is all directed at america Open as he bids to grow to be most effective the 5th participant to win each and every of golfing’s 4 majors after Gene Sarazen, Ben Hogan, Gary Participant, Jack Nicklaus and Woods.

“It could imply an terrible lot,” mentioned Mickelson, taking part in in his 27th US Open after lacking remaining yr’s tournament to wait his daughter’s commencement.

“I think like should you win all 4 you are a whole participant. The 5 guys who’ve achieved it are the 5 highest to have ever performed the sport. I need to be the 6th.”

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Phil Mickelson is bidding to win the career grand slam at Shinnecock Hills.

However whilst the 2 40-somethings make for a neat narrative, the tale will have moved on.

The favourite for the 118th US Open is the big-hitting Dustin Johnson, reinstated as global No.1 after sealing Sunday’s St Jude Vintage with a walk-off eagle.

The 2016 champion will play along Woods and Thomas within the first two rounds Thursday and Friday.

READ: The assembly with Tiger Woods “I’m going to by no means disregard”
Thomas, 25, received his leap forward main in america PGA remaining August and is likely one of the sport’s most fun younger abilities, together with early life buddy Jordan Spieth, the 2015 winner and three-time main champion.

Spieth has struggled of past due, particularly along with his in most cases red-hot putter, however the Texan has come the belief it is a “lengthy occupation and effects are not going to return by way of in need of them to return.”

He’ll start his marketing campaign along Mickelson and Northern Eire’s Rory McIlroy, who remains to be chasing a 5th main and primary since 2014.

McIlroy was once stung on the Masters as he did not problem eventual winner Patrick Reed at the ultimate day, however the 2011 US Open champion has been taking part in his time on Lengthy Island, taking part in unique close by lessons such because the Nationwide and Friar’s Head.

And as one of the most sport’s big-hitters, he has been licking his lips in observe on the beneficiant fairways on be offering at Shinnecock Hills.

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In 2004, solar and a drying wind made the ancient, links-like Shinnecock Hills direction devilishly tricky, with some vegetables desiring watering between teams and gamers aiming for the bunkers off the tee at the brief 7th since the placing floor was once too slick to carry complete pictures.

Mickelson, then again, is excited the USA Golfing Affiliation has realized its lesson for this yr.

“That is considered one of my favourite lessons,” he mentioned. “It is the most efficient arrange that we have now observed. I think as regardless that success has been taken out up to conceivable to the place ability is the principle element.”

‘Desires occur’

The United States Open claims to be essentially the most “open” main of golfing’s 4 huge occasions, with a box of 156, whittled down from about nine,000 hopefuls — together with amateurs, jobbing membership pros and journeymen traveling execs — world wide.

“If you have got the sport, if you have got the facility, america Open empowers you to pursue your dream,” mentioned Jeff Corridor, the USGA’s managing director of laws and Open championships.

All of the qualifiers have tales to inform. How about this one from Canadian Garret Rank, a 30-year-old whose day activity is as an NHL referee? The achieved beginner golfer, who simply completed running on the Stanley Cup playoffs, got here thru sectional qualifying in Georgia remaining week. He additionally beat testicular most cancers in 2011.

“I have were given an actual activity, so I might believe this like the head of my golfing occupation this week,” mentioned Rank, who’s considered one of 20 amateurs within the box. “I am gonna move in the market and feature some interior expectancies on how I need to play and what I need to do however on the finish of the day, that is only a birthday celebration for me and my friends and family.”

Closing yr American Xander Schauffele entered america Open at Erin Hills ranked 378th on this planet. He tied for 5th, and ended the season as PGA Excursion Rookie of the Yr.

Discuss with CNN.com/golfing for extra information, options and movies

“Desires occur. They begin at america Open,” added Corridor.

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