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5 things to know about this year's golf US open

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Sky Sports’ Ewen Murray on why this week’s US Open is an important moment for the sport

It's the first time the competition has been held in the Pacific Northwest
It’ll be a very different US Open. It’s the first time it’s been staged in the state of Washington. The course [at Chambers Bay] will be breezy, which will be unusual, plus it’s only eight years old, so it’s a new era for US golf. Very few have experience of playing there. It’s going to be a test – nobody knows what the winning score will be.

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The closing four holes could settle it
I can see birdies being laid there and a few results and disasters happening. It’s a nice balance to finish the course. The last hole is a par five and has a bunker called Chambers Basement – one of the deepest bunkers I’ve ever seen. It’s going to play a part.

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Look out for the usual suspects
After winning the Masters, Jordan Spieth is the only one who can win the season grand slam. His caddie’s told me Spieth has become more adaptable in different conditions. Martin Kaymer’s the holder and I like this course for him – there are a lot of pitching and running shots. Plus there’ll be shots off the green, which he excels at.

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Ignore the form – McIlroy is still the man to beat
He missed the cut at Wentworth, but he also won the Match Play in San Francisco, which isn’t too far from Chambers Bay. When he has a good day, if you beat him you win the tournament. A lot will depend on the weather – he’s not had a great record in windy conditions but if the weather stays right for him he’ll be right up there again.

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But Phil Mickelson will be hoping its seventh time lucky...

He’s finished runner-up six times but never won it. This could be his last chance to ever do it. Should he win it’ll be a great story. His career deserves a grand slam.

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Sky Sports is showing the US Open live as part of a summer of sport including The Ashes, F1, international rugby and US Open tennis

[Images: PA, Rex Features]

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