2017 U.S. Open, British Open and PGA Championship offer major challenges

OAKMONT, PA - JUNE 19: Dustin Johnson of the United States kisses the winner's trophy after his victory at the U.S. Open at Oakmont Country Club on June 19, 2016 in Oakmont, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images) Getty Images

2017 U.S. Open, British Open and PGA Championship offer major challenges

PGA Tour

2017 U.S. Open, British Open and PGA Championship offer major challenges

Sergio Garcia’s sudden-death victory in the Masters marked the completion of golf’s first major on the 2017 calendar.

Garcia defeated Justin Rose on the first playoff hole by two shots after the golfers were tied at 9-under following 72 holes.

Garcia was 0-for-73 in majors before he earned the green jacket on Sunday.

Garcia’s history in major tournaments was an ugly one before this Masters. It first left a mark with a duel-for-the-ages against Tiger Woods in the 1999 PGA Championship. Garcia was only 19 and lost to Woods by one shot.

Now 37, Garcia has finally removed the major monkey off his back.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Open is just nine weeks away. It will be contested a new course – Erin Hills in Wisconsin.

Here is a look at the three remaining majors on the 2017 calendar and what people might expect from each:

U.S. Open

Where: Erin Hills, Erin, Wis.
When: June 15-18
Defending champion: Dustin Johnson
Buzz: The U.S. Open will feature a new course in the rota for the second time in three years. Erin Hills, which hosted the 2011 U.S. Amateur, is expected to play 7,600-7,700 yards, but with wide and hot-running fairways, the course won’t play long nor narrow. The course will play as a par-72, marking the first U.S. Open do so in 25 years. Dry conditions are also expected given Wisconsin’s climate that time of year. We could actually see some low scores here. Dustin Johnson is both the odds-on favorite and defending champion as he looks to recover after missing the year’s first major due to a freak back injury. As it stands now, all of the game’s other top names – Jordan Spieth, Rory McIlroy, Jason Day, Rickie Fowler – are in good shape. This will also be Sergio Garcia’s first U.S. Open as a major champion. Will Tiger Woods show up at Erin Hills? Only time will tell if he’ll be ready.

Open Championship

Where: Royal Birkdale, Southport, England
When: July 20-23
Defending champion: Henrik Stenson
Buzz: A staple in the Open rota, Royal Birkdale has produced Mark O’Meara (1998) and Padraig Harrington (2008) as champions in its last two hostings of the Open. This course can play extremely difficult, as it did with high winds in 2008 (Harrington won at 3 over). Henrik Stenson and Paul Casey finished in the top 10 that year, but most of the game’s big names weren’t around for that ’08 Open.

PGA Championship

Where: Quail Hollow Club, Charlotte, N.C.
When: Aug. 10-13
Defending champion: Jimmy Walker
Buzz: The annual host of the PGA Tour’s Wells Fargo Championship, Quail Hollow becomes a major championship course this summer. There have been some big-time winners at this course via the Wells Fargo. Woods captured the tourney in 2007, Fowler earned his first PGA Tour win at Quail Hollow in 2012 and McIlroy is a two-time Wells Fargo champion (2010, ’15). Phil Mickelson also has a fantastic record at Quail Hollow. No victories, but he does have a runner-up showing (2010) and top-4 finishes in three of his last four appearances at Wells Fargo.

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