Nick Dougherty explains why he is so fond of the US Open and reveals what to expect from Oakmont this week. The US Open is well known for teetering on the edge of what is a fair test of golf. The USGA dont always get it right, and weve seen that over the year. Any time they have to water the greens in between groups is a sign that theyve missed it. To be in with a chance of winning the replica set of clubs and golf bag used by this years US Open champion, simply answer this question When conditions are like that, youre relying too much on luck as well as skill and thats nonsense. Having said that, I loved the difficulty of the US Open and it will always be my favourite of the four majors. You know that par is always going to be a good score regardless of where the tournament is and it is fair to say I never played on a gentle course at the US Open.Very rarely does a winner of the US Open say that they were not quite on top of their game, which you do hear sometimes at regular Tour events. Jason Day said that at Sawgrass recently and still found a way to get the job done, but the US Open wont let you off like that. Angel Cabrera ended the week five over when he won the tournament in 2007 But even if you are playing well and full of confidence, youre not going to hit perfect shots for 72 holes. It just means you are tighter with your dispersion when you do make mistakes, and it means knowing where your misses are.If youre playing poorly and missing on both sides, youve got absolutely no chance on a US Open course. And if you make too many mental errors at crucial times, its also not going to get you very far.It is tough to be critical of Phil Mickelson as he has been runner-up in his home Open six times, but a lot of those times its been the odd bad shot that has let him down. This was abundantly evident in that infamous finish at Winged Foot 10 years ago, and he was also too loose on too many occasions as Merion and that let in Justin Rose for the win. Mike Davis said if they ever had a problem with a scheduled host venue for the US Open and had to switch it at short notice, they could tee it up at Oakmont within two or three days. Nick Dougherty on Oakmont I think its the hardest of the four majors to win and, more often than not, the man holding the trophy on Sunday evening will have been the grittiest player over the four days. Graeme McDowell was a prime example of that when he won at Pebble Beach in 2010.It wasnt that he was constantly hitting sensational shots, but he played to his strengths, stuck to the shape of shot he likes to hit and he simply made fewer mistakes than his closest challengers.I hope the Oakmont course is set up in similar fashion this year to when I played there in 2007 because. Although it was not the easiest, or the hardest course I played, it definitely felt the fairest. Oakmont last hosted the US Open in 2007 The fairways are not super tight. I dont like it when its almost impossible to keep the ball on the fairway and all you can do is chop your ball back out. But I do like good shots to be rewarded and bad shots to be punished, and thats what you will get in a US Open at Oakmont.You want the guy holding the trophy at the end to have stood out from the rest under that cauldron of pressure having delivered at the very highest level. You want the champion to have dealt with all the challenges, both mentally and technically. You dont want to see players being punished for good shots if the USGA get the course setup wrong. You will get the odd bad bounce here and there, and thats fair enough, but youll probably get a couple of lucky breaks as well.But weve seen a few times that players have hit what appear to be perfect shots, only to find its impossible to hold the ball on a fairway or a green, and it rolls down a bank and into a position where its virtually impossible to get up and down.I dont believe we saw any of that at Oakmont last time, so if anyone gets out of position, they will probably only have themselves to blame. I remember the rough being really thick in 2007, and some people dont like to see that - they want to see the pros have a fighting chance to get to the green. Dougherty finished the 2007 US Open in tied-seventh after playing with Woods on the Saturday I agree with that to a point, but because the fairways were that little bit more generous at Oakmont, the punishing rough was fine with me. You knew you had to hit the fairway in order to be able to go at the green.When I played with Tiger in the third round nine years ago, he missed only one green all day, at the 18th, and thats because it was the only fairway he had missed all day and it led to a closing bogey.You stand on each tee knowing if you go offline, youre more likely to make bogey than par, and if youre two over and trying too hard to claw it back, you could be stood on the next tee at four over. It is the ultimate test, its what a US Open is all about and I think well see that again at Oakmont.There was a lot of criticism of Chambers Bay last year, particularly over the condition of the greens and the fact that a couple of holes were off limits for spectators. The USGAs decision to change the par-five 18th into a par-four for the second round also didnt do down well with players or viewers. Chambers Bay recieved criticism from the players during last years tournament Generally, I like what Mike Davis and the USGA do at any US Open venue. I wasnt a fan of changing the par on 18 last year, but I like the way they vary the lengths of several holes. The par-three eighth at Oakmont could be a driver for some players one day, and a short iron the next.Weve seen long, tough par-fours turned into risk/reward driveable par-fours, and each hole can present a completely different challenge for the players over the week.Davis, the executive director for the USGA, was talking about Oakmont recently and said that if they ever had a problem with a scheduled host venue for the US Open and had to switch it at short notice, they could tee it up at Oakmont within two or three days. Heavy bunkering and thick rough are a feature at Oakmont The course is presented virtually the same all year round and rumour has it that the greens are actually quicker for the members than for a major tournament. Im not sure I believe that, but I do know that the challenge is there for all to see, and theres no need to have the layout tricked up.The tournament officials dont have to do much to set it up for a US Open, and if you ever get the chance to play there, youll be presented with pretty much the same conditions at the Tour pros face.That is testament to the design talents of Henry Fownes in the early 20th century, and it is simply a great major championship venue.Watch the US Open throughout the week live on Sky Sports 4 - your home of golf American Golf Competition Win replica clubs and bag of the 2016 US Open champion - enter now! Also See: Critchley on historic courses Lefty: Oakmont is toughest US Open latest news Golf live on Sky Sports Fake Wholesale Shoes . 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Wholesale Shoes .com) - Minnesota Vikings fans would surely concede Teddy Bridgewater is not Peyton Manning.SAN FRANCISCO - Down three runs and in danger of getting pushed to the World Series brink, Pablo Sandoval and the San Francisco Giants raised up some Panda-monium.Sandovals single set up the tying run in the fifth inning and the 2012 Series MVP followed with a go-ahead, two-run single in the sixth that sent the Giants surging past the Kansas City Royals 11-4 Saturday night at pulsating AT&T Park.Hunter Pence, eyes ablaze, had three hits, three RBIs and a nifty sliding catch in the ninth inning, and Joe Panik hit a two-run double in a four-run seventh. San Francisco piled on 16 hits in a marathon of exactly 4 hours.We never give up, thats the thing, Sandoval said. Weve been doing it all year in these situations. We know how that feels.The Series is tied at two games apiece, ensuring the title will be decided at Kansas Citys Kauffman Stadium next week.Madison Bumgarner tries to put the Giants ahead Sunday night when he starts against Royals ace James Shields in a rematch of the opener, won by the Giants 7-1.This was a great ballgame, I thought, especially the way we came back, Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. So I enjoyed it.Showcasing baseball at its exciting best, the game included a sprawling catch by Royals centre fielder Jarrod Dyson that left a pair of divots, and the first use of expanded video review in Series history — which became a turning point. Jeff Kelloggs safe call at second base was upheld on catcher Salvador Perezs pickoff attempt of Joaquin Arias, helping the Giants build the pivotal rally.Four fans in the first row near the Giants dugout wore giant — of course — white panda heads as they cheered on Sandoval, nicknamed Kung Fu Panda and a veteran of the teams World Series titles in 2010 and 12. The switch-hitter batted just .199 right-handed during the regular season but came up with his first two-hit game from that side of the plate since Aug. 25, emphatically tossing his bat after lining a single to centre that put the Giants ahead.Clutch hitter, Royals manager Ned Yost said. I thought we had the situation right in the palm of our hand.Lost in the torrent of runs was the earlier fit of pique by Bochy, who threw his hat to the dugout floor when his infielders botched a third-inning grounder. The mood was different by the eighth, when former Journey singer Steve Perry sprinted to the front row of the second deck behind home plate and led the crowd of 43,066 in a sing-along of When the Lights Go Down in the City.The outlook seemed far different in the third inning, when ominous, dark clouds formed over the bayside ballpark, and the Royals burst ahead 4-1 against Ryan Vogelsong with the help of the botched grounder. Orange-clad fans quieted, and there even were scattered boos.But Yusmiero Petit settled the NL champions with three innings of scoreless, two-hit relief to improve to 3-0 in the post-season, and 11 different Giants had hits, including three of 10 in thee No.dddddddddddd 9 spot; Petits single made him the first Giants reliever to get a Series hit in 78 years.Yost stayed with starter Jason Vargas into the fifth, removing him after Paniks leadoff double. Royals relievers had been 7-0 in the post-season and in Game 3 pitched four hitless innings to preserve a 3-2 win.But Yost couldnt get to his HDH triad of hard-throwing relievers: Kelvin Herrera, Wade Davis and Greg Holland.Jason Frasor and Danny Duffy combined to allow the tying run in a two-run fifth. And Brandon Finnegan, the first player to appear in the College World Series and World Series in the same year, allowed Sandovals two-run single and Brandon Belts RBIs single in the sixth.There was intermittent light rain in the early innings. Pences RBI forceout in the first gave the Giants a short-lived lead.Kansas City went ahead with a two-out four-run rally in the third with the help of two infield hits that gave the Royals 18 in the post-season, matching the total of all other teams combined. Eric Hosmer hit a slow tapper to the right side. Belt ranged far off first base to field it, and quickly looked to see if he could get a forceout at second.With no play there, Belt whirled around and tried to toss to Vogelsong. But the pitcher didnt get to the bag cleanly, messed up his footwork and had no chance to prevent Hosmer from reaching with a tying single.Bochy slammed his cap to the dugout floor. Omar Infante grounded a two-run single up the middle for a 3-1 lead, and Perez followed with a bloop single for a 4-1 lead.Occasionally I do show emotion in that dugout, Bochy said. I just felt for him. I mean, this guy was making great pitches, and we couldnt get that last out.Buster Posey cut the deficit in the bottom half with an RBI single, tying Barry Bonds team record of 21 career post-season RBIs. Pences RBI single in the fifth caused Frasor to throw up both arms in frustration, Sandoval singled Pence to third and Juan Perezs sacrifice fly made it 4-all.Oh, man, somewhere inside of me secretly I had hoped that it would go seven games for the excitement and the thrill of it, Yost said. Sure looks that way.UP NEXTRoyals: Shields has a 7.11 ERA this post-season, totalling 19 innings in four starts.Giants: Bumgarner is 3-1 with a 1.40 ERA in five post-season starts this year.PITCHERS AT THE PLATEVargas became the first AL pitcher to bat twice in a Series inning since Bostons Luis Tiant in the 1975 opener.MUSIC TO THEIR EARSCarlos Santana played The Star-Spangled Banner on a guitar, joined by son Salvador Santana on keyboards. Just before that, the ceremonial first pitch was thrown — from the rubber — by Mone Davis, the 13-year-old who this year became the first girl to pitch a shutout in the Little League World Series. Bryan Stow, the Giants fan who sustained a traumatic brain injury when he was beaten outside Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles in 2011, yelled Play Ball! ' ' '