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Off The Tee: A Memorial Breakthrough, Phil’s Woes, U.S Open Preview, and South Dakota’s Upcoming Two-Man

Golf’s second major is a week away, and there’s an air of uncertainty surrounding a lot of the top players in the world, heading to Pinehurst for the U.S. Open.

In this installment of ‘Off The Tee’, 4 Deep Golf’s Joel Harrington helps us identify who we need to keep an eye on heading to North Carolina.

The Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide Insurance - Final Round
DUBLIN, OH – JUNE 01: Hideki Matsuyama of Japan is congratulated by Jack Nicklaus after winning the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide Insurance at Muirfield Village Golf Club on June 1, 2014 in Dublin, Ohio. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

At the top of that list is 22-year old Hideki Matsuyama from Japan, who already has a couple of top ten finishes in majors last year, and can now add his first PGA Tour win, after he beat Kevin Na in a playoff at the Memorial last weekend.

But the story in Ohio was also about the collapse of Adam Scott and Bubba Watson, who combined to play the back nine in four-over-par.

Joel talks about Matsuyama’s success while others around him were failing:

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There’s been some good news and some bad news for Phil Mickelson over the last week or so.  The bad relates to an insider stock trading probe involving Phil and some top names from the financial world.

The good?  After three failed attempts, Phil finally found an opening for a tee time at Pinehurst, and got in a couple of practice rounds this week.

The big question on everyone’s mind: what’s Phil’s state-of-mind going to be heading into a major he’s never won.  Here’s Joel’s take on Lefty:

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2014 U.S. Opens Preview Day
PINEHURST, NC – APRIL 14: A general view of the 18th hole during the 2014 U.S. Open Preview Day at Pinehurst No. 2 on April 14, 2014 in Pinehurst, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

As for the latest U.S. Open odds, Phil (15-to-1), Rory McIlroy (10-to-1), and Adam Scott (12-to-1) are the players to beat, but in Rory’s case especially, Joel doesn’t think he’s ready just yet:

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South Dakota’s amateur championship schedule cranks up this month, starting with the Two-Man Championship this weekend at Lakeview Golf Course in Mitchell.

Joel is in the field and like the way this course sets up:

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