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It’s US Open week. Already. How has that happened? 

We’re not over Scottie Scheffler’s Masters win, let alone his arrest at the PGA Championship.

Once again it puts a great big highlighter pen on just how intense the condensed golf major season is. It’s utter lunacy.

I can only write about my experience as someone who works in golf. I don’t want to spoil the magic, but we’ve been writing reams of preview content for The Open in the weeks running up to the US Open. Our heads have been in Royal Troon for months before play has even got underway at Pinehurst. Won’t somebody please think of the children?

I can only imagine how the players feel. At least when they come out the other side they can all put their earnings in a giant vault and swim in it like Scrooge McDuck.

A year before the pandemic struck, the powers that be decided golf’s four biggest tournaments in the men’s game would all be played in consecutive months, starting with the Masters in April and concluding on these shores at The Open in mid-July.

One finishes and you’ve got barely any time to think before the next one starts. (At least the LPGA has one extra major to stretch it out a bit – though I’m not for a second suggesting we add a fifth into the men’s game.)

And that nine-month wait from watching the Claret Jug being hoisted in the air to that first drive down Magnolia Lane is nothing short of torture. We find ourselves doing out-of-character things like 100-day countdowns. It’s madness.

I know the PGA Tour want to accommodate The Players and FedEx Cup Play-offs to make them part of some sort of super summer of American golf, but it’s the big four we get excited about – particularly on this side of the Atlantic where, need I remind you, the game was invented – and it all feels a bit diluted.

Well at least come up with a solution, I hear you say. (Probably.)

OK, here’s my four-point plan. (Obviously.)

1. Move the PGA Championship to earlier in the year. It was played in February once-upon-a-time and it’s generally considered the fourth major by, well, everyone, so why not make it the first? We’ll be much more up for it if it’s also ending a lengthy major-free period.

2. This means The Players can stay in March and Masters in April, making for a really fascinating three-month period before you get into the summer.

3. Then you’ve got a nice two-month break before the US Open, which we’ll keep in June, please.

4. Finally – and I’ll get some grief for this – move The Open to September. Why not? It would be much more fun, and the weather is no more unpredictable then than it is in July.

My new schedule would almost halve the wait time to the restart, and there’s always the excitement of the DP World Tour season conclusion to keep the purists going.

And in Ryder Cup years it will feel like nothing.

Now, who’s with me?

Major streakers

Adam Scott
Adam Scott has played in 91 major championships in a row. (Credit: Getty Images)

Adam Scott has played in every major since the 2001 Open, including every US Open since 2002. Sergio Garcia has played in every US Open this century. Incredible records which were coming to an end until the USGA stepped in to hand both a lifeline.

It means everyone’s favourite dashing Aussie will make it 92 in a row as he bids to become just the second man to play in 100 consecutive major championships after Jack Nicklaus. (Who else?)

From what I can work out, he’ll get to at least 94 as he’s already qualified for next month’s Open at Royal Troon, and he holds a lifetime exemption at the Masters. After that, who knows. Time to start working your way back up the world rankings, Adam…

Scott’s hot

Scottie Scheffler won at the weekend. (I copy-and-pasted that line.) This time it was The Memorial, which means his season record now reads T5-T17-T6-T3-T10-1-1-T2-1-1-T8-T2-1.

In fact, since the first of those five wins, at Bay Hill in March, he has lost to a grand total of nine golfers. He’s also earned north of $24 million. Oh, and this:

Don’t say “Tiger-esque”. Don’t say “Tiger-esque”. Don’t say “Tiger-esque”. Don’t say…

But can he get the job done at the Pinehurst this week? According to stats doyen Justin Ray, the omens are mixed:

Who are we trying to kid?

The shot heard round the world

The chap who went viral for hitting a shot over the buildings onto the Old Course in St Andrews is rightly being lambasted for his idiotic actions.

But that doesn’t mean we can’t admire the shot itself. The noise! My goodness.

The R&A now apparently stands for “Reckless & Asinine”…

And finally…

It’s US Open week (you already knew that) and the bunkered team has been churning out #content like it’s the last major ever. And as we like to champion each other, here’s some vital reading as we head to Pinehurst…

Six people, including reigning US Open champion Payne Stewart, were killed in a plane crash in 1999. Michael McEwan’s previously untold story of what happened that fateful day is an absolute must read.

Can you believe Martin Kaymer’s last win ANYWHERE was the 2014 US Open? But, he tells Ben Parsons, he can win more.

There’s nothing like a US Open or an Open Championship to throw up some seriously feel-good stories, and John Turnbull has tracked down two of them. I will never get bored of normal people playing in majors, and John met the science teacher who will tee up at Pinehurst.

He also tracked down Robert Rock’s caddie who, if you follow English football below the Premier League, is almost certainly a name you know.

And, as always, the team answers the Burning Questions ahead of the US Open – and there are a couple of surprises in there…


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author headshot

Alex Perry is the Associate Editor of bunkered. A journalist for more than 20 years, he has been a golf industry stalwart for the majority of his career and, in a five-year spell at ESPN, covered every sporting event you can think of. He completed his own Grand Slam at the 2023 Masters, having fallen in love with the sport at his hometown club of Okehampton and on the links of nearby Bude & North Cornwall.

Associate Editor

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