Amid a sea of golf’s top-ranked players, a number of dark horses, some scattered thunderstorms and what’s been called the “hardest” course in tournament history, American Jordan Spieth begins his U.S. Open title defense as the major’s first round gets underway Thursday at Oakmont Country Club in Pennsylvania.

Seeking the fourth major title of his young career, No. 2-ranked Spieth teed off with fellow Americans Zach Johnson and Bryson DeChambeau at 8:35 a.m. Thursday morning, just 11 minutes after No. 3 Rory McIlroy, recent Masters victor Danny Willett and American Rickie Fowler.

The favored and top-ranked Jason Day will see how high Spieth and McIlory set the bar, as he won’t tee off until 2:20 p.m. ET beside Adam Scott and South Africa’s Louis Oosthuizen.

Despite the massive star power and talent present at this year’s tournament, even with Tiger Woods sitting out once again while he recovers from back surgery, the treacherous Oakmont course will be difficult for every player to overcome.

In true U.S. Open fashion, Oakmont’s fairways are particularly narrow and, should a player misfire off the tee, he’ll face very thick, rough grass. And even if they stay within the fairway, there’s 210 deep sand bunkers lying in wait to consume balls.

“I don’t think anyone’s going to be in the red come 72 holes,” Spieth said. “It will be a challenge, but I’m certainly looking forward to it.”

Weather will also be a factor throughout the first day. According to, a thunderstorm is expected from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m., and two more storms may take place at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.

Prediction: Day, Spieth, and McIlory are favored by oddsmakers, and it’s likely one of them will prevail. Look for Spieth and Day to battle over the last few holes and Spieth to claim his second title, making up for his disastrous turn at the Masters.

TV Schedule

Thursday, First Round

Fox Sports 1 will air from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET

FOX will then air from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. ET

Friday, Second Round

Fox Sports 1 will air from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET

FOX will then air from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. ET

Saturday, Third Round

FOX will air from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. ET

Fox Deportes will run concurrently from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. ET

Sunday, Final Round

FOX will air from 11 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. ET

FOX Deportes will run again concurrently from 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. ET

Live Streams

The U.S. Open’s official site is streaming two featured groups and several holes live.

Fox Sports Go will also run its live coverage throughout the tournament.