Rory McIlroy is chasing a second US Open. Image courtesy of europeantour.com
There might be no 'Tiger in the Woods' at the 2014 US Open, but still the field assembled at Pinehurst Resort in North Carolina is full of quality.
From rising superstar Jordan Spieth to popular Northern Irishman Rory McIlroy to six time US Open runner-up Phil Mickelson to deadly Aussie duo, Adam Scott and Jason Day , there will be class all over the course this weekend.
Winless since September of 2012, McIllroy is the favourite. And if he can erase that one careless round that’s been killing him lately, there’s no reason why the 2011 US Open winner can’t win a third major title. McIlroy ranks eighth on tour in driving distance, but 147th in accuracy. If the 25-year-old can find the fairways on this wide open golf course, and get his putting going, he’ll be hard to beat.
Though he hasn’t had a top ten finish at the US Open before, Scott is the number 1 ranked golfer in the world and must come into calculations. Fellow Aussie Jason Day has great form in this tournament – two top 2s in the past three years. The Queenslander has been battling a wrist injury all year and has had only five outings since January, winning the WGC Match Play. However, the 26-year-old loves the big stage and enjoyed a T20 finish at the Masters.
Jason Dufner is one of two golfers to have top five finishes at two of the last three US Opens. His recent form includes second at the Colonial. Graeme McDowell deserves a mention on his US Open form over the last four years. After winning in 2010, he was T14 in 2011 and T2 in 2012, before missing the cut last season. Englishman Lee Westwood is always around the mark. He’s had three top 10s in his last six outings at this tournament and is a frequent contender at the majors.
Finishing in the top 15 in three of his last four PGA Tour events, Charl Schwartzel might just be over the odds. The same could be said of Hideki Matsuyama . When he’s hot, he absolutely smokes up courses.