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THE LOST ART OF THE LONG IRON

Graeme McDowell was playing the 18th hole at Merion when his ball landed near the plaque to commemorate the 1-iron Ben Hogan hit in the 1950 U.S. Open. These days, the 1-iron has gone the way of the 8-track player. McDowell hit a hybrid. Some players don’t even carry 4-irons anymore.

CAN WEBB SIMPSON DO IT AGAIN?

Defending champion Webb Simpson will try to join some exclusive company at Merion. Only four players in the last 100 years _ Curtis Strange, Ben Hogan, Ralph Guldahl and Bobby Jones _ have won back-to-back U.S. Opens.

A NEW EXPERIENCE ON AN OLD GOLF COURSE

Even though Merion has been around for more than a century, it will feel new to the majority of players in the U.S. Open. Because it has been out of the rotation so long, only 11 players have played competitive rounds on the course. That includes Phil Mickelson and Steve Stricker from the 1989 U.S. Amateur, Kevin Chappell and Morgan Hoffmann from the 2005 U.S. Amateur, and Rickie Fowler from the 2009 Walker Cup. Those were all match-play events.