Its rich colors may seem ever muted and its pastoral images always subtle, yet, as the ensuing pages show, the U.S. Open is a golf tournament that has a distinctive pattern of its own, one that contradicts its superficial tranquillity. It has a way of offering a big favorite to watch; this year, Jack Nicklaus. Then it presents a superchallenger whose every move must be followed, too. Next week this will once again be Arnold Palmer, the man tenderly brushing the green at right during last year's Open. It always seems plain, as play begins, that nobody else has a chance to win so tough a tournament. No chance at all...
Yet, often as not, the U.S. Open course thwarts the hopes of the favorites, and all eyes end up following the fortunes of a Ken Venturi as he moves toward a startling victory on a sun-burnished day.
Filled with momentary successes and sudden collapses, the Open presents an athletic challenge to the gallery, which knows that the man who moves the fastest is the man who sees the most.
Finally, it often comes down to what a man does to a ball buried in the traditionally deep U.S. Open rough.