A victory for Lefty was a shock at the PGA Championship, but for him to follow up with a win at Torrey Pines would be even more surprising.
Mickelson has struggled at Torrey Pines since its redesign in 2001, and his overly aggressive playing style is detrimental. Mickelson has expressed the importance of adapting to the course and not targeting every pin.
If Lefty does win, he will be the fifth golfer in history to win the PGA Championship and US Open in the same year. The last golfer to achieve such a feat was Brooks Koepka in 2018. He will also become the sixth player to complete the career grand slam – winning all four majors.
Rahm home the advantage
The last time we saw Jon Rahm he was six shots clear at the Memorial Tournament and looking unbeatable until he had to withdraw after testing positive for Covid.
That form, with his previous performances at the Farmers Insurance Open – played annually at Torrey Pines – suggests that he could be the number one contender for victory this week.
The Spaniard has a solo win, a runner-up finish and has also finished T-5 and T7 in five starts at the Farmers Insurance Open, which could bode well for him at the US Open.
Who else could challenge?
Bryson Dechambeau is the reigning champion after destroying the field last year at the Winged Foot Golf Club, in New York.
The big-hitting American bombed huge drives off the tee which no one else could match. If he tries the same, he will likely put himself into a lot of trouble.
South African Garrick Higgo was in fine form prior to the PGA Championship and then missed the cut. This time, he comes to the US Open on the back of a victory last week at the Palmetto Championship.
This could be the confidence booster Higgo needs to give a better account of himself at the second time of asking.
Other players in with a chance are Will Zalatoris who has finished second at the Masters, T8 at the PGA Championship and T6 at last year’s US Open, in his last three major championship appearances.
Xander Schauffele will probably be close without winning again, and Brooks Koepka is likely to be challenging come Sunday, well, because he is always challenging come Sunday.
In fact, in his last 15 majors, Koepka has missed one cut, won four times, and finished in the top 10 on another six occasions. If he is able to put aside his spat with Dechambeau, and the knee is good, he could win.
The course and the possible winning score
Torrey Pines (South Course) is ranked the third most difficult on the PGA Tour and it is expected to play tough this week.
One of the major changes made for the US Open is the par four sixth. The same hole was played as a par five at the Farmers Insurance.
With three 500+ yard par fours (6th, 12th, and 15th) and two 600+ yard par fives (9th and 13th). A similar score to the one-under-par that Tiger Woods and Rocco Mediate achieved in 2008 could be good enough to win. Anyone who is under par after 72 holes will be competitive.