Golfers get in final practice shots at US Open at Erin Hills

Rory Mc Ilroy shocked by decision to cut down heavy rough at Erin Hills

Thursday-Friday: 11 a.m. -6 p.m., Fox Sports 1; 6-9 p.m., Fox.

That might have made it a lot easier on Dustin Johnson - and everyone else - a year ago at Oakmont.

The U.S. Open is always billed as the ultimate test in golf due to course conditions but this week could also be one of the toughest logistical challenges as the major comes to Erin Hills for the first time.

"That was the most satisfaction that I've had in awhile", he said, "just knowing that I made it and I was going to be here to play".

Sportsmail's golf correspondent DEREK LAWRENSON examines five players you need to keep your eyes on at Erin Hills. If I pick one (a win) up here, great.

There's more to it than just length. For someone who grew up in Northern Ireland, he has the reputation of favoring benign conditions instead of firm, wind-whipped conditions.

As with most big sporting or entertainment events weather is the wildcard, and with blazing temperatures and a threat of violent thunderstorms spectator safety will be a prime concern. Instead of complaining about the obstacles and allowing it to enter a player's subconscious, champions embrace the obstacles, as tough as they may be, and find a way around or out of them.

"We know we've had some issues the last two years". He returned for the Masters, where he tied for 22nd at 2-over par.

This time, McIlroy has been out for six weeks because of a recurring injury in his rib that caused him to miss almost two months at the start of the year.

Stenson is uncertain whether the recent streak will continue, or whether the crop of first-timers will go on to become second or third-time winners.

The unknown is how sharp he will be this week. "The ovation I got when I went up on No. 9 yesterday ... yeah, it's pretty cool".

"I don't think it's a secret that I feel like my driver is one of my biggest weapons in my bag". "I felt like coming back into it I was playing well enough to win". I don't feel it at all.

"Well, it's exciting I think if it's played the right way - the right way is subjective", Spieth said Tuesday when asked about a par-5 finishing hole at major tournament. Johnson played two practice rounds last week after missing the cut at the Memorial.

Keep it in the fairway. There is plenty of hay, thick and knee-high, for the really wayward shots. He missed a 4-foot birdie putt on the bumpy green. And keep a good attitude. He joked about buying a house in Wisconsin and giving cheese a try should he win the U.S. Open this weekend.

"I really don't think, as long and as varied the tee boxes might be, that this is too complicated of a golf course".

"Everyone is going to run into some sort of trouble out there, everyone is", he said. "It's a matter of how you handle yourself in that moment to prepare yourself to greatness", added Day. McIlroy lost in a playoff in South Africa in January - his last tournament before the rib injury - while Day was coping earlier this year with his mother's treatment for lung cancer. Denied a special exemption, the 50-year-old Wisconsin native shot 10-under to qualify for the first U.S. Open in his home state - and his 20th overall. He knows that it is going to be a grind, as US Opens tend to be.

After a miserable time at the US Open, Scott has managed to turn things around in the past few years.

Nobody is paying closer attention to the "Phil Mickelson watch" than is Roberto Diaz.

He is No 10 in the world - only Tiger Woods and Sergio Garcia were ranked higher at a younger age.

Spieth's game has been spotty this year. Pagel will be the chief referee for the U.S. Open, who can make immediate decisions that would stand. "I mean it was - I don't wish it upon anyone". "If I miss a little bit left, I've got an extremely hard up and down".

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