1 Can Phil Mickelson finally win a U.S. Open? Mickelson has finished runner-up in the national championship a record six times, including when Payne Stewart won at Pinehurst in 1999. He has made no secret of his desire to win and become only the seventh player in history to win all four majors and complete golf's Grand Slam. "That means he can play U.S. Open golf," former two-time U.S. Open champion Curtis Strange said of Mickelson's second-place finishes. "He just hasn't won."
2 Can Rory McIlroy win another major? At 24, McIlroy already has two major titles -- the 2011 U.S. Open and the 2012 PGA -- and appears on track to make a run at a third. He won the BMW PGA Championship in England just two weeks ago and followed that with an opening-round 63 at the Memorial.
3 Is Jordan Spieth ready to win a major? In the two biggest tournaments so far this year, Spieth, 20, has played in the final group in the final round at the Masters and Players Championship. If he can get in contention again and win, he would become the youngest since John McDermott in 1911 (19 years, 10 months) to capture the U.S. Open.
4 It's not the same Pinehurst No. 2. The Donald Ross-design, which Paul Azinger called the greatest inland course in the world, along with Pine Valley, has undergone a major restoration since the last U.S. Open in 2005. The biggest transformation performed by the design firm team of Ben Crenshaw and Bill Coore was to eliminate the rough and line each side of the fairway with waste bunkers that include wiry tufts of grass.
5 Great Scott, Adam is hot. With Tiger Woods missing his second major in a row, Australia's Adam Scott comes in as the No. 1-ranked player in the world -- and one of the hottest. The 2013 Masters champion won the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial two weeks ago and was ready to win again last week at the Memorial until a double-bogey at the par-3 12th hole on the final day.