Koepka, Woods chase history as US Open tees off at Pebble Beach

Jordan Spieth

Jordan Spieth

It's here in Pebble Beach in McIlroy's suitcase, but being in Warriors land it's unlikely to make an appearance this week.

The Northern Irishman, who is looking for a first Major win since 2014, began his round at the 10th hole with a bogey.

And the 30-year-old believes he is in similar free-flowing form ahead of the year's third major championship after winning his second tournament of the season in the Canadian Open on Sunday.

But the build up to the 119th US Open at cherished Pebble Beach Golf Links has included rumbles of discontent over recent miscues stretching back to the shocking condition of the greens at Chambers Bay in 2015 and including the 2016 rules debacle at Oakmont, which saw eventual victor Dustin Johnson play the last seven holes without being certain of his score.

McIlroy, the 2011 U.S. Open victor, hopes he can start well at Pebble Beach on Thursday, saying it was the key to possible success. The field is wide open.

"What's not to like". We got to Chambers Bay and watched the ball dance down fairways like a pinball machine and bounce on greens like a Plinko board.

"These greens are so small, you can nearly put it in the center of every green and have 20 feet, no matter where the flag stick is". And you know you are going to make mistakes, so it's a bit like a boxing match.

The lack of wind the following year at the wide-open course at Erin Hills, where Brooks Koepka won at 16 under and six other players finished at 10 under or better, provided a final leaderboard that looked more likely a weekly tour event than the notoriously tough U.S. Open.

Scotland's Willie Anderson was the first and so far only golfer to achieve the feat back in 1905 and Koepka is a 15/2 favorite to emulate him.

"I know that his drive and his will to be successful is very, very high". "But if you lay up and leave yourself a hundred yards it's probably one of the most hard hundred-yard shots I've ever faced because the green's so small".

"Any time you win a tournament by more than three shots, it's a great performance".

And in his first pro start at Pebble Beach, he shot 63-64 on the weekend to finish T-2; that ties his lowest weekend score ever on TOUR (along with the 1999 Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines).

"We're all playing from the same spots", said Woods. You hit it in a lot of the middle of the greens here, and you're going to be in a good position.

"We are endeavoring to set up and play a U.S. Open as the U.S. Open has always been at Pebble Beach and just let history unfold, as it always has, and it will take care of itself", Bodenhamer said.

Koepka is scheduled to tee of at 1.47pm (2047 GMT/4.47am Malaysian time) alongsid British Open champion Francesco Molinari of Italy and US Amateur champion Viktor Hovland of Norway. Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose and Woods round out the top five in order.