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After Further Review: It's a wide-open U.S. Open

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Each week, takes a look back at the week in golf. Here's what's weighing on our writers' minds. 

On choosing a U.S. Open favorite ...

Not since before Tiger Woods announced “Hello, world” has there been so much parity at the highest level of golf, and heading into next week’s U.S. Open, one would be challenged to find a true favorite.

Jason Day is world No. 1 for a reason and certainly seems poised to add to his major collection. Rory McIlroy also seems to be rounding into form. And Jordan Spieth played like, well, Jordan Spieth two weeks ago on his way to victory at the Dean & DeLuca Invitational.

Add to that collection Brooks Koepka and Phil Mickelson, who finished tied for second on Sunday at the FedEx St. Jude Classic, and Dustin Johnson, whose closing 63 was the round of the day in Memphis, and things suddenly seem even more open heading into Oakmont. - Rex Hoggard

On the USGA's alternate-selecting process ...

A handful of alternates will soon get a long-awaited call from the USGA, telling them that they are in next week’s U.S. Open. That much we know.

What we don’t know, though, is who they are, or how they were ordered on the waiting list for the season’s second major.

When Tiger Woods withdrew on Tuesday, his spot didn’t go to Daniel Summerhays, the first alternate from the Ohio sectional that was stacked with Tour players. Instead, it went to Thitiphun Chuayprakong, who had finished fifth among 40 players at a sectional in Japan last month.

For whatever reason, the USGA doesn’t reveal its method for prioritizing alternates, nor does it make known who is next in line. One alternate didn’t find out where he stood this week until he drove to Oakmont in person to inquire.

The USGA has the right to customize a pecking order for its biggest championship. But by going out of their way to keep the alternate methodology and prioritization a mystery, officials simply create unnecessary questions that could be easily avoided. - Will Gray

On Lydia Ko vs. Brooke Henderson ...

Lydia Ko vs. Brooke Henderson: Here’s hoping their epic duel Sunday at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship is the first of many. Here’s hoping the 19-year-old Ko and 18-year-old Henderson can keep entertaining us with the kind of dramatic shot-making and riveting drama they delivered so spectacularly at Sahalee Country Club. If they can, women’s golf just might get more of the respect and attention it deserves. With 20-year-old Ariya Jutanugarn also in the mix, the women’s game is with rich with entertaining possibilities. - Randall Mell