Sept. 16 (UPI) -- Golfers are at Winged Foot Golf Club and ready to begin play in this week's U.S. Open from Thursday through Sunday in Mamaroneck, N.Y.
World No. 1 Dustin Johnson, who won the PGA Tour Championship earlier this month and was named Player of the Year on Monday, is the betting favorite to win the 2020 U.S. Open, but lots of popular veterans are attracting action at multiple sportsbooks.
At William Hill sportsbooks, more money has been placed on Tiger Woods to win at Winged Foot than any other player, while Phil Mickelson has drawn the largest bet. Last week, a bettor placed a $45,000 bet on Mickelson to win the event at 75-1 odds at a William Hill sportsbook in Nevada. The bettor would win about $3.4 million if Mickelson is victorious.
Meanwhile, Brooks Koepka and Scottie Scheffler are the only big-name players who will miss the tournament. Koepka announced last week that he will skip the event due to injuries, while Scheffler -- the 2020 PGA Tour Rookie of the Year -- withdrew due to a positive COVID-19 test.
The United States Golf Association admitted that it might find spots to give players an occasional break in this year's tournament.
"We kept looking at ways [to] make the golf course a little bit easier because this is such a great test," USGA CEO Mike Davis said Wednesday. "It puts the premium on everything."
Despite that, the USGA doesn't plan to allow the low scores that have been seen since golf returned from a three-month shutdown because of the coronavirus pandemic.
"We're going to let Winged Foot be Winged Foot," said John Bodenhamer, USGA senior managing director and the individual tasked with setting up the course this week. "... When you think about some of the great U.S. Open players of all time -- Bob Jones, Ben Hogan, Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods -- you never heard them complain.
"They accepted the challenge. They knew -- in fact, in some ways, they knew when others were complaining, it gave them an advantage. Part of the lore of a U.S. Open is it's a very tough golf course, hopefully set up in a fair but stern manner."
History at Winged Foot and prize money
The U.S. Open -- bumped from its traditional spot on Father's Day weekend by the COVID-19 outbreak -- will have no fans in attendance due to the virus. The last time the tournament was at Winged Foot came in 2006, when Geoff Ogilvy shot 5-over to outlast Mickelson and Colin Montgomerie for his lone major championship win.
In 1974 -- in what has been called "The Massacre at Winged Foot" -- Hale Irwin won with a 7-over 287 to capture the first of his three U.S. Open victories.
This year's U.S. Open will have $12.5 million in prize money on the line, with $2.16 million going to the winner.
How to watch (All times EST)
First Round: Thursday, 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Golf Channel; 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. on NBC
Second Round: Friday, 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Golf Channel; 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on NBC
Third Round: Saturday, 11 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. on NBC
Fourth Round: Sunday, 10 a.m. to noon on Golf Channel; noon to 6 p.m. on NBC
Notable Thursday tee times
1:16 p.m. EST: Bryson DeChambeau, Dustin Johnson, Tony Finau, Tommy Fleetwood
1:38 p.m. EST: Rickie Fowler, Matthew Wolff, Viktor Hovland, Xander Schauffele