The US Open 2017 previewWRITTEN BY THE EDITOR ON JUNE 13, 2017. POSTED IN SPORTS
One of sport's great spectacles, the US Open is always a must watch event. Commonly known as the toughest test in the sport, it dishes up huge amounts of drama, so let's have a look at what to expect this time around.
The US Open is always about being the toughest golf tournament in the world. This year could be a little different however as an unknown, and perhaps 'fairer' course in Erin Hills awaits the golfers.
The USGA suits will no doubt have some plans to still make it a stern test, but after the disaster which was last year's final round, they are no doubt going to do what they can to ensure this one goes smoothly.
First par 72 course for the US Open since 1992. Big and long with 4 par 5s, it obviously favours the big hitters.
Listen to my recent interview with Fox Sports' Shane Bacon at 18:30 below to get his first hand thoughts on the layout.
It's a really beautiful layout, and though it may be quite open and generous off the tee, blustery wind and deceptive undulations will come into play. This will require a fair amount of strategy, and certainly make for an exciting viewing spectacle.
For a full look at the course, here are the two nines.
So we know the course is a little fairer this time round, but what about the weather? This is always a huge factor as wind and heat will make things tougher.
Not the toughest conditions, but it could get a little interesting late on Sunday. The USGA will no doubt try trick the course up to make it tougher, but the rain will soften it nicely.
When picking a winner in any big tournament nowdays, you think Dustin Johnson as the instant favourite. He is the defending champion, he is the best driver player out there, and he holes putts unlike a few years ago.
Everyone playing this course has about the same amount of knowledge about it, which is very little, so that plays into Johnson's advantage too.
With it being a par 72, the four par 5s again favour Johnson who will be able to give himself a few eagle putts. So there's your favourite, Dustin Johnson.
Players to back
The hype around Rahm continues to grow, and this course is really made for him. He can bomb driver all day, give himself numerous birdie chances, and maintain the intensity to take him deep contention wise. He has only really had one bad round all year, so you just have to back this future super star of the game.
1st in the stats on sand saves, 6th in total driving efficiency, 8th in one putt percentage, 19th in Greens In Regulation from 200+ yards. Fowler has a game that is more than handy in majors, and is certainly worthy of being called a major contender at Erin Hills. He packs quite a bit of length off the tee too, and then you know he is 'due' as well after showing steady progress on tour each season. Likes playing in the wind too, his win in the Scottish Open a couple years back further strengthen his chances here.
With his length and major expectations, he is a go to for sure in the betting stakes. People have been backing him for major success for a few years now, and Erin Hills is the kind of course he will look at and know his chances are better than ever.
A good driver player, and someone that won't mind a bit of wind and having to play the odd tricky blind shot, Louis Oosthuizen is a natural choice to do well at Erin Hills. His absence from the winner's circle is a concern, but he does have a run away Open Championship title to his name. When it comes to the South African, you only back him on feeling, and this week I have a good feeling for him doing well.
If he could have putted at a level slightly above average, he probably would have won the Masters a few months back. The guy hits it so damn good, and is brilliant off the tee. Comfortable in wind, and experienced in Major golf, Scott won't get a lot of attention this week, but he's a good bet. Relatively flat greens this week compared to previous US Opens, and that will bring Scott closer to the leaders. Has to be considered at the very least.
You may have forgotten that Lowry had the lead in the US Open last year going into the final round. He bombed out terribly, and his season fell apart from there. But he is an odd kind of player that has the right kind of game for US Opens. That may sound like a bullshit comment, but with attention elsewhere, he's the kind of guy that can get it around without too much notice. The lessons from last year also a huge asset for him.
He started the season strong with a big win, but then has fallen off a little bit. This guy has a hot game though, and with the chances of birdies out there, he could well get on a little streak and find himself up there on the leaderboard. The kind of fearless player that might thrive at Erin Hills. Long odds make him a decent outsider.
Like all Majors before, I have organised a great golfing prize for you to play for. This time round, the fine people at Puma have put up something rather unique.
Rickie Fowler's 3rd round outfit for this week!
To win this great prize, click here.
Tags: us open, us open golf, us open 2017, rickie fowler, us open picks, us open betting