Four of this diverse dozen, Morikawa, Rahm, McIlroy and Scheffler, have major titles. Six more, Dahmen, Buckley, Beau Hossler, NeSmith, Rodgers and Hardy, made it to this week by earning spots via 36 holes of qualifying in a process that starts with nearly 9,000 entrants, whittles to 870, then ends with 65 joining the other 91 who had earned exemptions straight into the field.
The golf course they face over the weekend will be unlike most any other they’ve seen, not only because of the craggy, hilly layout at The Country Club, but also because the weekend forecast expects 10-15 mph wind blowing from the north.
“I would expect over the weekend for it to get a little faster and a little fierier,” McIlroy said. “You have to be pretty precise already, but maybe just that little bit more precise with everything.”
Given how we stand with the field and forecast there’s still every chance we see a surprise winner emerge even with some established names also in the running.