Just how special is the US Open for an American? US University student Mike Smith writes about watching the tournament growing up...

The US Open From An American Point Of View

It is often said that The Masters rings in the summer in the United States, but some of my best summer memories are centered around the US Open.

Schools are out for summer and the weather is finally warm as families gather on the third Sunday in June to celebrate Father’s Day.

If you come from a golfing family like mine, this always centers around watching the US Open.

Many of my favorite childhood memories consist of watching sports with my dad, and this annual tradition certainly sticks out.

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Father’s Day is one of the few days of the year in which there are never any conflicts, and the only thing that matters is being with the family.

We would often play golf ourselves in the morning, as long as we were back home in time to watch the events of championship Sunday.

We then relaxed outside at home, watched golf and ate whatever my dad decided to grill that day (writing this is making me a bit nostalgic for American summer weather).

Related: Fathers and Sons of the US Open

Sometimes my mom would make dinner reservations at night, but if it looked like the tournament might come down to the wire, we weren’t going anywhere.

One of my first golf memories is watching Tiger Woods’ 2002 US Open victory at Bethpage Black.

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I was only nine at the time, and I remember feeling inspired and excited cheering for Tiger.

Whenever he was in the hunt for a major championship everyone paid attention and rooted expressly for him.

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Experiences watching Tiger compete in the major championships certainly heightened my interest in watching and playing golf.

My Dad, however, was always partial to Phil Mickelson.

Unfortunately for him, the US Open has never been kind to Phil, as it is the only major tournament that he has not won.

Related: Phil Mickelson: The US Open’s Nearly Man

Often Phil came very close, only to lose in heartbreaking fashion, such as his infamous double bogey on the 18th hole to lose by one stroke in 2006. He would also finish second in 2009 and 2013, and also came close at Pebble Beach in 2010, finishing fourth.

A victory for Phil would have been a nice Father’s Day present for my Dad’s favourite golfer, but all memories remain positive regardless.

Although I won’t be there to celebrate this year, families around the US will come together to celebrate golf and their Dads.