There's Gold in Them There Hills

Last year’s U.S. Open at Erin Hills was very much a celebration of American golf, with all but two of the top 12 places filled by players wearing the Stars & Stripes on their sleeves. But as Mike Wilson writes, with five overseas players occupying the top-10 players on the Official World Golf Ranking, this year’s event at Shinnecock Hills could be much more of an international affair

Koepka started his 2017/18 campaign where he left off, tied-second at the HSBC Champions in Shanghai behind Justin Rose. But his form in this calendar year has tailed-off, only one missed cut but currently languishing outside the top-100 on the FedEx Cup rankings, recently dropping out of the top-10 on the OWGR.

The form might suggest that the winner of the 2018 U.S. Open will come from the top-10 of the OWGR. With world number one Dustin Johnson and his closest rival Justin Thomas amongst the favourites, DJ at 10/1, ahead of Thomas at 14/1, Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth squeezed in between at 12/1. Rickie Fowler, fresh from his runner-up finish at the Masters good value at 18/1. 

Thomas has two wins under his belt already this term. But a lacklustre T-17 at The Masters will do his confidence no good. However, with eight PGA TOUR wins to his name, including a maiden ‘Major’ at last year’s U.S. PGA Championship means he goes into his ‘Home’ open as a reigning ‘Major’ champion.

It’s hard to believe that McIlroy, winner at the recent Arnold Palmer Invitational, hadn’t won at all since 2016 and hasn’t won a ‘Major’ for four years. His U.S. Open triumph all of seven-years-ago. But if he can keep the ball in play and get his putter working, the Irishman is capable of anything.


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