The third major of the 2022 golf season arrives with controversy swirling behind the scenes. 

However, the USGA did its best to ensure as little wind as possible was taken out of the sails of its premier event as 2022 U.S. Open contenders take on The Country Club beginning Thursday morning.

It will be the first time since 1988 that a national champion will be crowned in Brookline, Massachusetts, and some of the top contenders are entering with momentum playing.

This year's affair is set with a loaded field featuring most of the best golfers in the world. 

Masters champion Scottie Scheffler and PGA Championship winner Justin Thomas are both looking to double up.

Scheffler is aiming to become the sixth golfer to win the Masters and U.S. Open in the same season, while Thomas seeks to become the seventh in history to capture titles at the PGA and U.S.

Neither is the favorite at Brookline, though. That honor belongs to Rory McIlroy, who has more momentum than anyone else in the field after defending his title at the RBC Canadian Open.

McIlroy has three other top 10 finishes in his four prior starts and is one of just four golfers to finish in the top 10 at three (or more) of the last five U.S.

However, the man making the most headlines this week has been Phil Mickelson, who missed the first two majors of the year amid fallout from controversial comments. 

Mickelson returned to action last week and enters The Country Club still seeking a U.S. Open to round out his career grand slam. 

Unlike 2021, when he stepped into the U.S. Open fresh off a major championship victory, Lefty this year has played just three rounds of competitive golf over the last four-and-a-half months. 

There no doubt that his six career second-place finishes at the U.S. Open continue to haunt him, and his 10 top 10s at this event since 1995 show that he's in the thick of it for more often than not.

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Open as possible during the week. Be sure to stick with CBS Sports for live coverage throughout the third major of the year, and check out the U.S. Open live leaderboard coverage in Round 1.