Now that the dust has settled on Sergio Garcia’s sudden-death victory at the Masters and completion of the year’s first major, we can now focus on the next major, the U.S. Open. The first round of the 117thU.S. Open begins on June 15th at Erin Hills, a golf course that’s never hosted a major championship before. So not only will the course be under “major” scrutiny but it will also mark the first U.S. Open ever to be played in Wisconsin, although Wisconsin has hosted 4 other major championships.
If you look at who’s won the U.S. Open over the last few years, you’ve got a pretty great list of golfers;the likes of World #1 Dustin Johnson last year at Oakmont to Rory McIlroy in 2011 at Congressional.
Most of the time U.S. Open courses will play long and narrow but Erin Hills, which hosted the 2011 U.S. Amateur, is expected to play between 7,600-7,700 yards, but with more wide and fast running fairways. The course will play as a par-72 and conditions are usually dry in June in that area of Wisconsin. Hence, we may see some lower scoring than usual at this year’s U.S. Open.
While Sergio Garcia ended his 0-for-73 in majors at Augusta National just a few weeks ago, we now ask who the favourites are to contend at Erin Hills. Will they also be a first-time major winner, like Sergio?
At the moment if you look at CrownBet’s US Open Futures, you’ll see Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy and Jordan Speith at the top. These three could definitely all win, but here are my outside the box picks for the 2017 US Open.
Rickie Fowler – Not a great record at the U.S. Open, with 4 of 8 cuts made with two top tens, but I like Rickie’s overall game when it comes to “majors” especially at Erin Hills as it probably won’t play like typical “US Open” courses. He’s long currently 24th in driving distance plus his GIR is 41st plus he makes a lot of birdies (5th in birdie average).
Matt Kuchar – Coming off his best finish in a major(T3) Kuchar is poised for that first major victory. Watching him at Augusta this year I can definitely see him winning a major and other than a green jacket the US Open could be his next best shot. Having made the cut in the last 7 US Open with a best finish of T6 and worse T46. Why not Kuchar?
Jon Rahm – The young 22-year-old Spaniard could join Sergio as the next major winner. I love watching this guy play week to week. He’s a top 10 machine (5 this year). While his only experience at a US Open is a T23 at Oakmont last year his game tee to green might just put him in the winner’s circle at Erin Hills.
Who’s your pick?