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June 11, 2012
June 11, 2012

Table of Contents
June 11, 2012

LEADING OFF
THE MAIL
Inside: THE WEEK IN SPORTS
JOSH HAMILTON
  • Josh Hamilton has outsized talents and grand plans for the free-agent windfall coming his way. But the Rangers' centerfielder also feels pressure to be larger than life. Through his faith, his family and a more studious approach to the game, he's learning bigger isn't always better

STANLEY CUP FINALS
ROAD TO BRAZIL
BOXING
U.S. DECATHLETES
Departments

Open Questions

SPORTS ILLUSTRATED surveyed more than 50 Tour pros on everything from which major is the most fair to who beat Hogan in 1955

So Tiger Woods won the Memorial and tied Jack Nicklaus for second in PGA Tour wins at 73. Whoopee. In golf, it's all about the majors, the four tournaments that can make a career and highlight a year. The second major every season, next week's U.S. Open, to be played at the Olympic Club in San Francisco, is regarded as the most difficult. Tour pros have a love-hate relationship with the Open, as you'll discern from their responses to some of the 17 questions herein. The reality of the Open is that you either embrace the challenge, or you are beaten before you start. Tiger will be there in full, because his number is 18.

This is an article from the June 11, 2012 issue

Q Beside yourself, who would you like to see win the U.S. Open?

11% TIGER WOODS

7% LUKE DONALD

22% PHIL MICKELSON

6% LEE WESTWOOD

6% JONATHAN BYRD

"LOOSE LIPS Nobody. I want to win every major. Why would I want someone else to win?"

Note: Twenty other players received votes.

Q Will Phil Mickelson ever win the U.S. Open?

YES 65%

NO 35%

[The following text appears within a chart. Please see hardcopy or PDF for actual chart.]

Q Based on course setup, which major is the fairest?

PGA CHAMPIONSHIP 41%

MASTERS 28%

BRITISH OPEN 24%

U.S. OPEN 7%

Q Again, based on course setup, which major is the most difficult?

U.S. OPEN 87%

MASTERS 4%

PGA CHAMPIONSHIP 4%

Q What is your favorite major championship?

MASTERS 61%

BRITISH OPEN 15%

PGA CHAMPIONSHIP 2%

Q Who won the U.S. Open the last time it was played at Olympic?

Lee Janzen 87%

Payne Stewart 6%

Johnny Miller 1%

Don't know 6%

"LOOSE LIPS I couldn't even tell you."

Q Who won the 1987 U.S. Open at Olympic?

Scott Simpson 39%

Curtis Strange 7%

Hale Irwin 6%

Lee Trevino 6%

Johnny Miller 4%

Payne Stewart 4%

Lanny Wadkins 4%

Don't know 28%

Q Who beat Ben Hogan in a playoff at the 1955 U.S. Open at Olympic?

Jack Fleck 24%

Sam Snead 17%

Arnold Palmer 9%

Ken Venturi 7%

Don't know 35%

Four other players received votes.

Note: One player under 30 correctly answered the last three questions.

Q Should the U.S. Open change its 18-hole playoff format?

NO 64%

YES 36%

"LOOSE LIPS Every playoff should be three holes."

Q On a scale of 1 to 10, how do you rate Olympic?

[The following text appears within a chart. Please see hardcopy or PDF for actual chart.]

5 3%

6 7%

7 23%

8 27%

9 20%

10 20%

"LOOSE LIPS If you show up to play with members on a Tuesday, Olympic is still so pure. The USGA doesn't need to try and trick it out or make it gimmicky. They don't need to do a lot because it's a great test."

Q Will Lee Westwood ever win a major? Will Luke Donald?

[The following text appears within a chart. Please see hardcopy or PDF for actual chart.]

90% YES

LEE WESTWOOD

87% YES

LUKE DONALD

Q What is your favorite U.S. Open course?

Pebble Beach 26%

Bethpage Black 13%

Olympic 13%

Pinehurst No. 2 9%

Congressional 6%

Olympia Fields 6%

Shinnecock Hills 6%

Winged Foot 6%

ALSO RECEIVING VOTES: Baltusrol, Merion, Oakmont, The Country Club, Torrey Pines, None

Q Your least favorite U.S. Open course?

Oakmont 15%

Bethpage Black 13%

Shinnecock Hills 11%

Pebble Beach 9%

Southern Hills 9%

Torrey Pines 9%

Congressional 6%

Pinehurst No. 2 6%

"LOOSE LIPS You love it because it's Pebble Beach, but you hate it because there are really only two pin positions you can get to when the greens are really hard."

ALSO RECEIVING VOTES: Hazeltine, Northwood, Olympia Fields, Olympic, Winged Foot, None

Q What is the best course never to host the U.S. Open?

Pine Valley 19%

Cypress Point 11%

Augusta National 7%

L.A. Country Club 7%

Quail Hollow 7%

Riviera 7%

Sahalee 6%

ALSO RECEIVING VOTES: Any Bandon Dunes course, Colonial, Firestone, Fort Ord, Muirfield Village, National Golf Links, Royal Oaks, San Francisco Golf Club, TPC Sawgrass, Victoria National

Note: Riviera (1948) and Colonial (1941) have hosted the U.S. Open.

Q Do you like the USGA's graduated-rough concept?

YES 91%

NO 9%

Q Will Tiger Woods break Jack Nicklaus's record for most majors? Would you have given the same answer after the 2008 U.S. Open?

[The following text appears within a chart. Please see hardcopy or PDF for actual chart.]

65%

YES

56%

IN 2008 32%

NO

NOW 41%

3% NO COMMENT

"LOOSE LIPS I will not answer questions about Tiger Woods. Ever."

Q Based on what you saw at the Masters, are Tiger Wood's issues physical or mental?

[The following text appears within a chart. Please see hardcopy or PDF for actual chart.]

57% MENTAL

21% BOTH

12% PHYSICAL

10% NO COMMENT

"LOOSE LIPS Neither. It's golf."

FOLLOW @SI_golf

PHOTOPhotograph by KOHJIRO KINNOGOLDEN GATEWAY Olympic Club, with its tight, sloping fairways, has held four previous Opens. The lowest winning score was three under (1987).PHOTOFRED VUICH (WOODS)PHOTODAVID WALBERG (DONALD)TWO PHOTOSROBERT BECK (MICKELSON, WESTWOOD)PHOTOKOHJIRO KINO (BYRD)PHOTOROBERT BECK (JANZEN)ILLUSTRATIONTREVOR LAZARUS (ILLUSTRATION)THREE PHOTOSPHOTOKOHJIRO KINO (PEBBLE BEACH)AMERICA'S COURSE Player favorite Pebble Beach has hosted the U.S. Open five times and will do so again in 2019.PHOTOFRED VUICH (WOODS)SIX CHARTS