1. US Open Power Rankings - Every tournament, I try to post the PGATour.com Power Rankings, partially because I sometimes use it to help me make picks, and also because I sometimes find it quite amusing. I'm not sure what the formual for it is - it can't be any worse than my formula to pick winners - but with the bigger tournaments it seems as though all you have to do is grab Phil, Westwood, who's ever No. 1 in the WGR that week, a defending champ, a Euro and a US youngster and you've pretty much got your power rankings.

I'm not tryin to diminish whatever work was put into the list, but every week before I click on it, I mock up a dummy power rankings and see how it stacks up. Needless to say, I do a better job with those guesses than I do with my official picks each week. In fact, I hit 8/10 names this week.

2. Groups to Watch - There will be no better group starting on THursday than Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson and Rory McIlroy. You've got the savvy vet, the young gun, and the bomber looking for his first major. The storylines are compelling and you can bet the drives are going to be back back back back gone, especially on the reachable Par 5's.

That may be the best group to watch, but the most entertaining (due to outfit selection) will be Rickie Fowler, Ian Poulter and Hunter Mahan. By the end of watching them play you'll either be 1. blind because of McIlroy 2. Metrosexual because of Poulter or 3. somewhere in between all of that because of Mahan. Viewer discretion is advised.

3. Tee Times - I have nothing snarky to say about this year's tee times, other than when I looked through them I was really hoping Tiger Woods had changed his mind and wanted to shock everybody with a comeback. I knew I wasn't going to get that satisfaction when I saw a link come across Twitter for this: Das Boot.

4. The inevitable Who-of-the-best-to-never-win-a-major-might-win-the-US-Open-this-year speculation. Looking  through the list of U.S. hopefuls (Steve Stricker, Matt Kuchar, Dustin Johnson, Bubba Watson and Nick Watney), I'm mostly pulling for Johnson because I think he's really on the verge of becoming special, but I think Watney probably has the best chance in that group. He's played solid all year and it might very well be his time.

For the U.K., the obvious person to root for is Lee Westwood. He's in the same boat Phil was in for so many years. At some point - and we just saw this with Dirk Nowitzki in the NBA Finals - you just want a guy to win so you don't have to hear about them anymore. It got that way with Phil. When the media starts to speculate whether it will ever happen for a guy - whether they have what it takes to ever get it done, it just gets old and you start to feel for them... unless they're LeBron James.

5. Assuming you knew what the old name and logo of the FedEx Cup finale was, you may or may not be disappointed that it has changed. I could not tell you what it was called or labeled last year, even though I watch every single round of the finale. That really says something about the "playoff" and the brand of the tournament, doesn't it? I spent at least 6 hours watching coverage of the FedEx Cup finale and when they actually changed the title and sponsor, I couldn't remember the first one. Something about that just seems ridiculous to me.

6. If you can't make it to Congressional this week, you can still "walk the course" with this video series. I spent some time going through each of the holes and the one thing that really stood out to me was how intimidating this golf course looks right now. Maybe part of that is because it's got the US Open label this year, but also hearing golfers on Twitter saying it's a true test of golf kind of pushes it over the edge for me. I think a true test of golf is scary because I know I'd fail that test, but every year I love watching the professionals struggle a little bit. And, I think you do too.

7. Phil Mickelson was once the best to never win a major - a title he held for quite awhile. See how the US Open  escaped him so many times before. If nothing else, this is a great slideshow to show the way Phil's body has changed over the years. Maybe you're not into that kind of thing, but it's still entertaining. It's not until slide 13 that the pounds start to really show, which was around 2006. It's good to see Phil getting back to pre-Hefty days for the sake of his golf game and health.

8. I've been struggling with my putting lately and actually found this tutorial from Golf.com pretty helpful. Check it out if you can't seem to hit those short putts with consistency. I don't know what it is, but when I'm on the green inside of 10 feet, I don't seem to be able to put the same kind of smooth stroke on the ball. I'm guessing it's because of nerves, but I went through this exercise and it did some good.

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