Can't wait for the next golf major? Here's a quick post-Masters primer

From ESPN - April 16, 2018

There is typically a big exhale after the Masters. A decompression period commences for many who competed at the year's first major championship, the run-up having been long and exhausting. Given the time from the final major of the previous year until the Masters, the hype is considerable.

For the past 11 years, the Players Championship has filled the big-tournament void between the Masters and U.S. Open. That will change in 2019 with a significant schedule change that will see the Players move to March and the PGA Championship move from its traditional August date to May.

For now, however, there is another somewhat lengthy period before the next major. The U.S. Open is 10 weeks away, followed rather quickly by The Open and the PGA.

With that, here is a rundown of the next three major championships in 2018.

U.S. Open, Shinnecock Hills Golf Club, Southampton, New York, June 14-17

Shinnecock is one of the gems of American golf, a links-style course on the tip of Long Island that played host to the second U.S. Open in 1896 and has since held it on three occasions in modern times, including Retief Goosen's 2-stroke victory over Phil Mickelson in 2004.

Mickelson was going for consecutive majors after having won the Masters that spring. He and Goosen were the only players under par because of a major controversy that arose on the final day over the treatment of the greens, which were not watered and subsequently became baked out and nearly impossible to putt. The final-round scoring average was 78.72 and players were howling.

Just 11 players who competed in the 2004 U.S. Open were in this year's Masters, including Mickelson, Tiger Woods, Adam Scott, Justin Rose, Paul Casey, Ian Poulter, Sergio Garcia, Zach Johnson and Bubba Watson, who was virtually unknown and advanced through local and sectional qualifying to play his first major championship.

Shinnecock also hosted the U.S. Open in 1986 (Raymond Floyd) and 1995 (Corey Pavin) and -- owing to its revered place in the game -- has already been awarded the 2026 tournament. How will it be set up this year? Expect difficult conditions, especially after the scoring onslaught at Erin Hills a year ago.

This is a return to a traditional U.S. Open course, and you can expect scoring (read: difficult) to reflect it.

Here is the USGA's list of exempt players to date. It does not include those who will qualify via top 60 in the world criteria at two dates before the championship, nor does it include those who make the field via sectional qualifying.

The Open, Carnoustie Golf Links, Carnoustie, Scotland, July 19-22

Often derided as "Car-nasty," it is generally regarded as the sternest of the 10 Open venues and ranks among the hardest courses in the world. There is nothing subtle about it. At more than 7,400 yards, it is the longest course to hold The Open, and its narrow fairways are often buffeted by strong winds.

PGA Championship, Bellerive Country Club, St. Louis, Aug. 9-12


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