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The Loop

Why you should root for . . . (Dustin, Jordan, Jason . . . Branden?)

June 21, 2015

UNIVERSITY PLACE, Wash. -- Crazy things can happen at Chambers Bay, as we've already seen, but barring a series of incredible collapses, it's reasonable to expect that today's U.S. Open winner will come from the group of four golfers starting their rounds at four: Jordan Spieth, Dustin Johnson, Jason Day, and Branden Grace. There's really no bad outcome here -- please don't shoot 59, Joost Luiten -- so let's take a moment to examine why you should root for each of them. Starting with the wunderkind...

On a broader level, these types of obstacles are nothing new to Day. He grew up in extreme poverty in Australia -- his first club came from the town dump -- lost his dad at age 12, became an alcoholic, and has had to fight tooth and nail for every gain he's ever made in life. Every time he seemed poised to break through, an injury hampered him, and though I typically hate the word 'deserve,' truth is truth: More than any other golfer, Day deserves this.

Dustin Johnson: As I wrote yesterday, the final round could represent the culmination of a long and rocky road for DJ. Like Day, he's lived a complicated life, but most of DJ's complications seem to be self-inflicted, starting with legal trouble in high school and continuing through ALLEGED failed drug tests on the Tour. Whether he truly has his life together at this moment due to fatherhood or maturity or whatever is anyone's guess, but regardless of his mental state, he has too much talent to go deep into his 30s with no major championships.