2017 U.S. Open: Top 20 Golfers to Watch

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2017 U.S. Open: Top 20 Golfers to Watch

2017 U.S. Open at Erin Hills

The 117th 2017 U.S. Open Golf Championship will be held at Erin Hills, in Wisconsin for the first time ever.  The U.S. Open has been played at some of the most iconic golf courses in the country, totaling 51 golf courses.  However, only six public golf courses have held the U.S. Open with Erin Hills being the 6th public course behind Pebble Beach, Bethpage, Torrey Pines, Pinehurst, and Chambers Bay.  You can’t play Erin Hills until May 7th, 2018, due to the 2017 hosting of U.S. Open Championship, however if you do want to play the championship course you can walk 18 holes for $295.  With over 35,000 people expected to attend each day, the 2nd golf major tournament of the year will certainly be as spectacular as it is every year.  The first tee time begins at 6:45am on Thursday, June 15th, 2017 and will conclude Sunday, June 18th, 2017.

2017 U.S. Open

The U.S. Open has historically been known for insanely high roughs as well as playing very long and this year will be no different.  Normally at 7,000 yards, Erin Hills is playing closer to 8,000 for the U.S. Open.  With little protection from trees, if the winds pick up, this course can  be exponentially harder, even for the best players.  It could almost play like a links course, which makes it more similar to the course conditions of the British Open and requires quite a different skill set than playing at Augusta National in the Master’s Tournament or in the PGA Championship at Quail Hollow.  The winner will need to be an extremely good ball striker.  Hitting it long and straight will be extremely important to stay out of the high rough and fescue.  Although the fairways are wider at Erin Hills than previous U.S. Open golf courses, if you do miss the penalizing high rough almost certainly means a bogey or worse.  Whoever emerges as the victor will need to hit fairways and greens…a lot of them.

Who Is Most Likely to Win the 2017 U.S. Open

Below are players to watch during the 2017 U.S. Open.  These 20 golfers are at the top of list of who you’ll want to keep your eyes on.  Although Vegas Odds are usually quite accurate in sports, golf is a different story, as one hole can change the entire tournament.  Take a look at our list and let’s see Sunday night how close these 2017 U.S. Open predictions end up.

1. Dustin Johnson

This one is sort of obvious but for good reason.  He’s the best player in the world right now, not to mention he won the U.S. Open in 2016 and was the runner-up in 2015.  With 3 straight top 5 finishes in the last 3 U.S. Opens, there isn’t another golfer out there that could sit at number one.  After having to withdraw from the Master’s in Augusta, Dustin Johnson is itching to get another major under his belt.

2. Jordan Spieth

In 2015 at Chambers Bay Jordan Spieth beat out Dustin Johnson to win the U.S. Open and recently tied for 13th at the Memorial Tournament and tied for 2nd at the Dean & Deluca Invitational.  He also is one of the few players to play competitively at Erin Hills in the 2011 U.S. Amateur quarterfinals.  Jordan Spieth’s mental game is about as good as gets.  Pair that along with his exceptional all-around golf game and you have a very likely choice for him to take home the championship.

3. Jason Day

Jason has five top 10 finishes at the U.S. Open over the last 6 years.  He is an amazing ball-striker which is not important at any U.S. Open but more so at Erin Hills.  He hits it long and straight which could be the key to success at Erin Hills.  Even though he only has 2 top 10 finishes in 2017, he did just finish 2nd at the AT&T Byron Nelson Tournament  a few weeks ago.  He also has a scary 70.71 career scoring average in the U.S. Open so don’t take Jason Day lightly.

4. Rory McIlroy

Even though Rory has been battling a rib injury, he just got married, went on his honeymoon, has a new bag of TaylorMade golf clubs.  So why is in our top 5?  Well he can flat out play, the wider fairways and wet conditions will play to his advantage.  He steps in up in major tournaments, finishing tied for 7th at the Master’s this year.  We might just see another repeat of his 2011 U.S. Open at Congressional.

5. Jon Rahm

Even though this is Jon Rahm’s first U.S. Open as a professional he did tie for 23rd in last year’s open and was the low amateur.  Since that tie for 23rd at Oakmont last year, Rahm has ten top 10 finishes on the PGA Tour.  He already has a win under his belt at the Farms Insurance open that was held at Torrey Pines.  He has the skills and shot required to go low at Erin Hills and could be a surprising new young golfer to take home the championship.

6. Justin Rose

Justin Rose’s golf game fits this course perfectly.  He is fantastic on approach shots from 225 to 250 yards which will be extremely important this week on an almost 8,000 yard course.  He also finished 2nd in this year’s Master’s Tournament at Augusta as well as 4 top 10’s this year.  As the 11th ranked golfer in the world we could very easily see Justin Rose come home with a win this year.

7. Rickie Fowler

You can’t always look at a player’s past U.S. Open history.  Even though he has missed the last 2 cuts in the U.S. Open, he , he has truly improved his golf game within the last year or two.  He also finished tied for 2nd in the 2014 U.S. Open so we can’t rule him out.  He recently tied for 2nd at the Memorial Tournament, he won the Honda Classic this year in February, and has 5 top 10 finishes this year.

8. Sergio Garcia

Every year golf fans are anxious to see if a golfer will win all four majors within the same year for a grand slam.  Jordan Spieth almost did it in 2015, will Sergio be next?  With his recent Master’s win under his belt and an explosion of confidence Sergio could get it done this year.  He was in top 5 last year at Oakmont in the U.S. Open and has made the cut in the last 5 U.S. Opens.  It will very interesting if he pulls off another major win after getting his first major at Augusta this year.

9. Adam Scott

Adam Scott tied for 4th in the 2015 U.S. Open and has 2 top-10 finishes in the last 3 years.  He has also finished in the top 10 in his last 2 of 3 tournaments leading up to this week.  With 4 top 10 finishes this year and 7 finishes in the top 25 he is still playing great golf.  He also has the 10th best scoring average this year at 69.9.  You can’t just write off the 12th ranked golfer in the world.

10. Hideki Matsuyama

Hideki has 2 wins, 4 top 10 finishes this year and is the 4th ranked golfer in the world.  He can flat out play and he hits a ton of greens in regulation.  Although his game doesn’t fit Erin Hills as well as some of the other golfers on this list you simply can not rule him out.  Once again, the 4th best golfer in the world.

11. Brooks Koepka

With three straight finishes in the top 20 at U.S. Open we have to have Brooks in our top 20 rankings.  He is very long, ranked 5th on the PGA Tour.  This length off the tee will certainly come to his advantage at Erin Hills.  Have you ever played an 8,000 yard course before?  Length off the tee is needed and if Brooks hits greens and putts well he could very easily take home the championship.

12. Henrik Stenson

Henrik Stenson won the British Open last year and Erin Hills could play similar to those conditions if the winds pick up.  Even though he historically hasn’t played well in U.S. Opens, this one may be different.  With wider fairways, this year could be his chance to bring home the championship.  Even though he only has 2 top 10 finishes this year, major tournaments can be a different story.  He is also coming off a tied for 16th finish in his last tournament at The Players Championship.

13. Thomas Pieters

This will be Pieters first U.S. Open, however he did tie for 4th at the Master’s in Augusta this year.  He also has 3 top 10 finishes.  We know he is a gamer and gears up in major tournaments.  We also saw the same at the Ryder Cup at Hazeltine.  No one has ever won the U.S. Open the first time playing in the tournament since Francis Ouimet in 1913.  Thomas might just be the one to break that century old record.

14. Justin Thomas

Justin Thomas is one of the best ball-strikers on the PGA Tour.  He is ranked 11th in driving distance and 12th in greens in regulation.  The perfect recipe for success at Erin Hills.  He has the 4th best scoring average on tour this year at 69.7.  He also has 3 wins and 7 top 10 finishes.  Not to mention he also shot a 59 this year.  What is not to like?

15. Jason Dufner

Coming off a win a couple weeks at the Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village you have to like Dufner.  He has three top 10 finishes in the U.S. Open over the last five years, has 2 top 10 finishes this year, and 10 top 25 finishes this year.  If Dufner hits a lot of greens and regulation and his putter gets hot watch out!

16. Billy Horschel

Billy is coming off a tied for 4th finish at last week’s Fedex St. Jude Classic.  He has 4 top 10 finishes and 6 top 25 finishes, including a win this year at the AT&T Byron Nelson tournament.  Billy is another golfer that hits a ton of greens in regulation, currently tied for 9th, so just like Dufner, Billy Horschel could sneak up the leaderboard if he starts draining putts left and right.

17. Branden Grace

Brandon Grace tied for 4th in the 2015 U.S. Open and although he only has 1 top 10 finish this year, he might be quite a sleeper pick.  He strikes the ball well, it will just depend on how hot he can get to take home the championship at Erin Hills this year.

18. Paul Casey

In his last tournament at the Dean & Deluca Invitational he finished tied for 10th.  He also has 4 top 10 finishes and 10 top 25 finishes this year.  Currently ranked 7th in greens hit in regulation, Paul Casey could pull this one off by putting well for 4 straight days.  You can’t rule out the 14th ranked golfer in the world.

19. Shane Lowry

Shane Lowry finished 2nd in last year’s U.S. Open and has 2 top 10 finishes in the last two U.S. Opens he has played in.  The Irishman has 5 finishes this year in the top 25 and the guy knows how to make birdies.  He is currently ranked 13th on the PGA Tour this year for birdies and anyone who can make a lot of birdies can fare well at the U.S. Open which also forces a lot of bogies.  Par golf could make for a win if it’s windy at Erin Hills.

20. Daniel Berger

Daniel Berger is coming straight from a win last week at the Fedex St. Jude Classic.  With a lot of confidence going into the U.S. Open, that make the difference between a win and a missed cut.  He also has 4 top 10 finishes this year.  He’s been playing well and his recent victory could push him on to two in a row.

Source: https://www.pgatour.com/stats.html


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