Jun 2nd, 2018
Who will make an impact at the US Open?
The second Major of the season is almost upon us, and this year’s edition looks more open than most US Opens in recent years.
The venue for the 2018 tournament is Shinnecock Hills, which will be hosting the Open for the fifth time, though the first since 2004. The course has been substantially altered since then, with the most significant change being an increase in length of 449 yards. This may ensure that this year’s Open is not quite so welcoming for shorter hitters, and will give those who go big off the tee the kind of advantage that they are used to having in these events.
Which players rank among the favourites to win the US Open? Here are some of the market leaders set to make an impact at Shinnecock Hills.
One of the biggest hitters in the game, Johnson is also one of the straightest, which helps to explain his US Open record of fourth-second-first prior to last year’s missed cut at Erin Hills.
With the course set to be firm and fast this year, those who can blast it from the tee and keep it on the fairway are likely to thrive. With a top ten in the Masters and solid top-20s at the RBC Heritage and the Players, he is in the right form to pick up his second Major.
It’s been four years since his last Major, but McIlroy remains one of the most dangerous players in world golf, and there are clear signs that he is returning to his best form. He picked up his first title since 2016 at the Arnold Palmer Invitational in March and has four other top-five finishes this season. He is sure to be a threat at the Open.
Spieth has a fortunate habit of saving his best golf for the big events, and his remarkable consistency in Majors makes him a contender here. He’s already won this tournament and the Open Championship, so the course at Shinnecock Hills will not be a problem, and while he will need to ensure that waywardness doesn’t affect his driving, his deadly accurate iron play and reliable putting, along with his golfing intelligence, will serve him well.
The current top-ranked player in world golf has the game to handle all conditions, and there are many reasons to expect that he will thrive on this course. A long, inland links layout is ideal for a player who hits long from the tee, is adept in the wind, and has one of golf’s best short games. As Thomas showed when winning the Honda Classic earlier this year, the tougher the conditions, the more he shines, and a second Major could beckon.
Each of the four Majors has a unique appeal, and this year’s US Open promises a classic mix of links golf and fast, dry conditions. With the world’s best golfers battling hard for glory, it should be a feast of high-class sport for all golf fans to enjoy.
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