US Open 2018: All you need to know

The US Open gets underway this week as the top golfers from around the globe descend upon Shinnecock Hills golf course in Long Island, New York, to battle it out for the Championship trophy.

Last year’s winner Brooks Koepka will be hoping to become the first golfer since Curtis Strange back in 1989 to successfully defend his US Open crown when the action gets underway on Thursday.

As part of the build up to the 118th US Open, FOX Sports Asia takes a closer look at the course and some of the more interesting facts, figures and records concerning the year’s second major championship.

Shinnecock Hills is said to be the oldest golf club in the United States and was founded in 1891. The clubhouse, which opened in 1892, was also the first in the US.

Legend has it that the course was built with the labour of 150 native Americans of the Shinnecock tribe, and that the original course design used Indian burial mounds as obstacles.

Situated in the wealthy district of Southampton on Long Island, the course is very exclusive and can be played by invite only. Even with an invite, green fees are reportedly around $350.

Shinnecock Hills will be hosting the US Open for the fifth time. The first took place in 1896. Last time it hosted the tournament in 2004, South Africa’s Retief Goosen was the winner. He was just one of two players to finish under par at four under. The other was runner up Phil Mickelson (-2).

Retief Goosen in 2004.

Mickelson will once again be looking to complete a career grand slam. The 47-year old, a five-time major winner, has an astonishing six runners-up finishes at the US Open, his most recent being in 2013.

The fairways for this year’s US Open are wider than ever. At an average width of 41 yards, they are 15 yards wider than during previous editions.

The course is built on coastal land that resembles Scottish links courses. With no trees, long grass and shots at the mercy of the often strong ocean winds, conditions at Shinnecock Hills resemble those experienced during the British Open.

Tiger Woods would equal the record for most US Open wins (4) currently held by Willie Anderson, Ben Hogan, Bobby Jones and Jack Nicklaus if he were to prevail this week.

Masters champion Patrick Reed will attempt to become only the sixth player in almost 70 years to win the first two majors of the year following Ben Hogan (1951, 1953), Arnold Palmer (1960), Jack Nicklaus (1972), Tiger Woods (2002) and Jordan Spieth (2015).

Spieth will also be looking to improve his record in the tournament. The 24-year old Texan has just one Top 10 finish in the Open in six attempts. Admittedly it was a win – at Chambers Bay in 2015.