Scottie Scheffler, a new status to assume
At the US Open, Scottie Scheffler alternates the good and the bad. On the one hand, his two missed cuts in 2016 and 2019. On the other, the best amateur performance in 2017 (27th) and a good 7th place at -1 total last year.
Although the native of Ridgewood, New Jersey, recently missed the cut at the USPGA before finishing 18th in the RBC Canadian Open last week, he will definitely be one to watch at the Brookline Country Club. Especially after flying over the start of the year. In 2022, the American won the first major of his career at Augusta. The last winner of the green jacket also became world number 1 thanks to his four titles obtained in six tournaments (WM Phoenix Open, Arnold Palmer Invitational, the match-play world championships and therefore the Masters). A new status he assumes.
Rory McIlroy, regaining consistency
According to Matt Fitzpatrick, “Rory McIlroy is the best player in the world when he’s fit.” This is good for him because with his victory last Sunday in Canada, his second this season after his success in October in Las Vegas, the Northern Irishman has just regained the podium of global golf. And a well-known status for him as a favorite for the next Grand Slam. Still considered the best driver on the PGA Tour (3rd in driving distance, 3rd in stroke gained from the tee), the four-time Major winner is also enjoying renewed success in putting. Almost perfect at short distance this season (95% success at 1.5m and less), he has been able to improve his success at medium and long distance to climb back from 15th place in the world where he fell last July (31st in stroke gained putting 2022, 90 ranks better than last year). At the top of his endorphin levels after his very recent success in Toronto, he will have to be consistent on Thursday at Brookline over four laps, his sin which has prevented him from winning in the majors since 2014.
Justin Thomas, counting on his strike force
Winner of the last major, the PGA Championship in May, the American is one of the three indisputable favorites of this US Open with Scheffler and McIlroy. The 29-year-old, from Louisville, has not left the World Top 10 since 2017, world No. 1 in 2018 for three weeks and one week in 2020. He has finished in the Top 10 eight times since the start of the season. Third Sunday at the RBC Canadian Open, the world No. 5 is in better shape than ever to play this US where he came 19th last year. Accompanied by Phil Mickelson’s former caddy: Jim “Bones” Mackay, Justin Thomas will also be able to count on his legendary strike force.
Sam Burns, surfing the form of the moment
Sam Burns’ dynamic has completely reversed this year. They are far from the three missed cuts in his first four tournaments (Farmers Insurance Open, WM Phoenix Open and Genesis Invitational). From now on, the Louisianan appears as one of the players in form on the circuit since he remains on a success at the Charles Schwab Challenge and a 4th place at the RBC Canadian Open.
In major, the 25-year-old has yet to find the key. But his best result recently fell during the last USPGA (20th). For his second participation in the US Open, the one who did not pass the second round last year could take advantage of his current level to obtain the best title of his career.
Jordan Spieth, a great start to be confirmed
The former world number 1 is also a former winner at the US Open. It was in 2015, a victory one step ahead of Dustin Johnson and Louis Oosthuizen. It is also his only Top 10 in the tournament. In ten participations, the American found himself cut three times (2013, 2018 and 2020) and remained in 19th place during the last edition.
This year, the Texan did not shine in major with a missed cut at the Masters and a 34th place at the USPGA. On the other hand, the 28-year-old player will arrive at Brookline on a good streak with three Top 10s in his last five tournaments, including his title at RBC Heritage and his 2nd place at AT & T Byron Nelson.
Cameron Smith, “launch” his record in a major tournament
The Australian and his long neck have been almost essential in Grand Slam tournaments for four years, more particularly at the Masters where his putting works wonders. On the podium at Augusta this year, then 13th in the PGA Championship last month, the 6th player in the world has not quite had the same success at the US Open (no top 35 in five years). A tournament where the former player of the Asian circuit had nevertheless revealed himself at the highest level, with a 4th place in 2015 in Chambers Bay.
Brookline’s journey bears little resemblance to that of Sawgrass, where he won the “near-major” Players Championship in March. But his overall consistency may well help him not drop too many points in the hairy roughs of Brookline Country Club. And why not, to “launch” his prize list in one of the four biggest tournaments on the planet. Touched by his delicate 4th round at the last Masters and without a Top 10 since, Smith will be on the relaunch this week near Boston.
Dustin Johnson, the “dissident” of LIV Golf
After joining LIV Golf against all odds, Dustin Johnson returns to the United States for the US Open. The American has been talked about a lot in recent weeks, with his termination from the PGA Tour and his participation in the new Saudi league. The former world No. 1 has not been transcendent this season on the PGA Tour with no victory on the clock and three missed cuts despite a 12th place at the Masters and a 4th place at the WGC Dell Match-Play.
Brooks Koepka, a note of hope
Looking at his results in 2022, Brooks Koepka does not appear to be an obvious favorite at the US Open. This year, the former world number 1 missed the cut in 4 of the 10 tournaments in which he participated. His last two outings, at the last two majors, resulted in a miss-cut at the Masters and a 55th place finish at the USPGA. But his performances at the world match-play championships (5th) and at the WM Phoenix Open (3rd) deliver a note of hope.
Especially since the 32-year-old has always done well at the US Open. Since his missed cut during his first participation in 2012, the double winner of the tournament (in 2017 and 2018) has never finished beyond 18th place. Brooks Koepka even remains on four consecutive Top 10s. Better still, over the last four editions, Koepka has only been beaten by four golfers in total. He beat or was tied with 616 players out of 620, or 99.4%!
Phil Mickelson, odds of 200 to 1
Mickelson, a big name in the Saudi league, has been absent from the field since his participation in Saudi International in February 2022. After his last victory at the PGA Championship last year, the American was widely criticized for his affiliation and his remarks on the LIV Golf. Lefty had already been a winner in Brookline, Massachusetts at the Country Club, in 1999, during the Ryder Cup with the American national team.
With his 45 career victories on the PGA Tour and his six grand slam victories, he only misses the US Open where he finished second six times. At 200/1 with the bookmakers, Lefty is clearly not one of the favorites and his performance at a press conference on Monday, where he seemed helpless, did not raise his rating. Quite the contrary.
Victor Perez as an underdog
Last year, the Frenchman achieved the best ranking of his career, climbing to 30th position in the world rankings. He remained in the top 40 from October 11, 2020 to June 20, 2021. Then the Frenchman had a slack period, falling to 153rd position. But since his victory at the Dutch Open on May 29, 2022 followed by his 3rd position at the Porsche European Open, the Tarbais is once again back in the world top 100 in 93rd position. In his first appearance at the US Open in 2021, Perez missed the cut. He returned a year later to play the tournament a second time and participate in his fifth major. The 29-year-old hasn’t missed the cut since 1er May 2022 during the Catalunya Championship.
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