The 2012 U.S. Open will get under way next week and the very best golfers in the world will compete for the most prestigious USGA championship in a week universally considered the toughest test in golf. Two players are attempting to enter the tournament with some momentum. The only problem is that momentum may not necessarily be a good thing.
No golfer in history has ever won a tour event and the U.S. Open in back-to-back weeks. That could be a frightening omen for Lee Westwood and Rory McIlroy.
McIlroy is just beginning to return to form and has taken over the lead at the St. Jude Classic as of Saturday. If he holds on for the win, it may not be the best thing for him, historically speaking. He isn't really thinking about that right now, however. He's just focusing on how he's performing at the moment.
"I saw a lot of positive signs with my ball striking. ... This is really what I wanted heading into next week," he said. "For the time being, my mind is focused on trying to win this tournament."
Lee Westwood, meanwhile, just captured the Nordea Masters title in Sweden on Saturday. Although the tournament was a European Tour event rather than a PGA event, he will attempt to win the first major of his career next week.
Regardless of whether history plays a part in the performances of Westwood or McIlroy next week, they will both have their work cut out for them as they compete against a stacked field.