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The 2020 U.S. Open finally starts today at famed Winged Foot Golf Club in New York and there’s a weird feeling heading into the second major of the year – Tiger Woods isn’t really the story heading into Thursday’s first round.

Woods, the greatest golfer of all time, has been used to being the favorite, or least the talking point, heading into all major championships since he turned pro and took over the game.

Things are much different now, though, as the younger guns on Tour (of which there are so many) are the ones who are getting picked to either win or at least contend at a championship that Tiger has won three times in his career.

Basically nobody is picking Tiger to win the U.S. Open this year. The tournament previews have barely included his name, as his play hasn’t been all that solid since he came back this summer after the long COVID break.  Having seen how well so many other big-name players have played this summer it’s only right that their names are the ones getting picked to win.

Call me crazy, or a Tiger homer (I am), but I think all of this could play in his favor when he places his tee in the ground this morning at 8:07 a.m. and continues his chase for Jack Nicklaus’ record of 18 major championships.

I know Tiger’s best finish in his past four events was a T-38 at the PGA Championship. And I know he’s mostly been finishing up his Sunday rounds while the leaders are just getting started, but something inside me thinks that this week could be something different, something special for the GOAT.

Winged Foot, as I said before, is going to play extremely difficult. It’s going to get ugly out there for a lot of players who are really good at golf. But I think the difficulty of the course plays into Tiger’s strengths. He’s a great driver of the golf ball and his iron play is the best ever. If he can put those together – as he did at Royal Melbourne Golf Club at the Presidents Cup last December – on this difficult of a track there’s no reason why he can’t do enough to hang around for three days before making a move on Sunday.

And imagine if that happens? Tiger in contention again on a Sunday? Remember that Sunday at Augusta last year when he made his move down the stretch and the sports world stopped and just watched his greatness?

How fun would that be again?

Tiger knows he’s a heavy underdog going into this one and I have to think he likes that. I have to think that fuels him and makes him want to show everyone that yeah, the greatest of all time can still get his golf ball around pretty well.

I could be wrong and this take could be done by noon today but I really don’t care. I’ve been wrong a ton of times when trying to predict what will happen in sporting events.

I could be going with my heart a little too much here, too, which is fine because my heart wants to have a lot of fun the next four days.

But my brain does think this is something that Tiger can do this week. And if he does, it would be so fitting for a U.S. Open that we thought just a few months ago might never be played.

Oh, and I did call that 2019 Masters win before he teed it up.

Let’s go have some fun this week.

Let’s go Tiger.

Wednesday’s biggest winner: Dustin May.

(Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

Dodgers pitcher Dustin May continues to be really good and on Wednesday he brought Fernando Tatis Jr. to his knees with a wicked 98 mph pitch. The Dodgers won their eighth straight game and became the first team to clinch a playoff spot, too.

Quick hits: Clippers’ heated argument… Mike McCarthy’s struggles… Halsey’s awesome Twitter account… And more.

–  Mike Sykes explains why the Paul George-Montrezl Harrell argument during Game 7 perfectly summed up the Clippers’ failed season.

– Steven Ruiz wonders if Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy learned anything during his time away from football.

– Charles Curtis explains why singer Halsey’s NBA Twitter account is the breakout star of the playoffs.

– Wednesday was a big day for gamers as Sony announced the release date and price for the PS5.

– And here are the biggest announcements and reveals from the PS5 event.

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