Golfers to watch at US Open

AUSSIES AND LEADING OTHERS AT 2015 US OPEN GOLF CHAMPIONSHIP

ADAM SCOTT (Aus)

Age: 34

World Ranking: 12

Worldwide wins: 24

Best in a major: Won (2013 Masters)

US Opens played: 13

Best US Open: T9 (2014)

Odds: $19

Why he can win: While his recent form is not even close to his best, Scott is one of the game’s best drivers on his day and accuracy is critical at the US Open. With the difficult green complexes bringing the best putters back to the field, Scott’s bugbear may not hurt as much. Has super-caddie Steve Williams back on the bag.

Why he might not: Results this year have been well below average with a tie for 24th his best since mid-March and his ranking has dropped from world No.1 a year ago. Putting terribly, Scott is ranked 191st on tour.

JASON DAY (Aus)

Age: 27

World ranking: 10

Worldwide wins: 4

Best in a major: 2nd (2011 US Open), T2 (2011 Masters), T2 (2013 US Open)

US Opens played: 4

Best US Open: 2nd (2011), T2 (2013)

Odds: $21

Why he can win: Day seems destined to win a major and if past results are anything to go by this is the one he may break through at. In four starts he has two runner-up finishes and a tie for fourth. He is a world-class scrambler, going a record 45 holes without a bogey in the 2011 US Open.

Why he might not: Form coming in is a real concern as was a mystery illness that caused him lethargy and dizzy spells. Day won in February and was fourth in April in tour events but since went 0-3 in Match Play, shot 81 to miss the Players Championship cut, withdrew from the Byron Nelson and missed the cut at Memorial.

GEOFF OGILVY (Aus)

Age: 37

World ranking: 103

Worldwide wins: 10

Best in a Major: Won (2006 US Open)

US Opens played: 11

Best US Open: Won (2006)

Odds: $201

Why he can win: He’s done it before. Ogilvy won the battle at Winged Foot in 2006 surviving the final few holes while others fell apart. Chambers Bay sets up for someone who is ready for the grind.

Why he might not: While his ball striking is coming back, and has been producing some good scores his putter remains stone cold most days.

JOHN SENDEN (Aus)

Age: 44

World ranking: 60

Worldwide wins: 6

Best in a major: T4 (2007 PGA Championship)

US Opens played: 6

Best US Open: T10 (2012)

Odds: $176

Why he can win: Has contended in a few US Opens because anywhere the value of par is sacrosanct Senden will be in the mix. After some body issues the veteran is getting his famed ball striking back.

Why he might not: Major championship pressure is something Senden hasn’t conquered yet. While he put himself into the mix recently in the WGC Match Play and the Players Championship, he fell just short.

MARC LEISHMAN (Aus)

Age: 31

World ranking: 53

Worldwide wins: 1

Best in a major: T4 (2013 Masters)

US Opens played: 3

Best US Open: T51 (2011)

Odds: $126

Why he can win: Is lifting his game to new heights, especially in big events, and seems due for a win. Playing with a great perspective after nearly losing his wife through illness.

Why he might not: While he has top five finishes in recent Masters and British Opens, he has missed two of three cuts at US Opens and is not usually accurate enough off the tee to keep up with those at the top. Ranked 194th in driving accuracy.

MARCUS FRASER (Aus)

Age: 36

World ranking: 162

Worldwide wins: 2

Best in a major: T35 (2006 British Open)

US Opens played: 2

Best US Open: T45 (2007)

Odds: $501

Why he can win: Qualified through the European Tour qualifying site. The links-style Chambers Bay course may play into his hands. Recent third place finish in Indian Open.

Why he might not: Has never threatened at this level and is still feeling his way back after some injury struggles in recent times.

KURT BARNES (Aus)

Age: 34

World ranking: 590

Worldwide wins: 2

Best in a major: CUT (2010, 2011 British Open)

US Opens played: On debut

Best US Open: On debut

Odds: $1001

Why he can win: Getting a start via the Japanese Tour qualifier, Barnes is making his US Open debut and won’t be expected to threaten. But perhaps that will help him. Has a couple of top 10s in Japan this year.

Why he might not: Has never played a US Open and while he has twice fronted up at the British Open he’s missed the cut both times.

CAMERON SMITH (Aus)

Age: 21

World ranking: 165

Worldwide wins: 0

Best in a major: On debut

US Opens played: On debut

Best US Open: On debut

Odds: $1001

Why he can win: He has absolutely nothing to lose. Talented youngster Smith can go in with little expectation and see what happens. In through qualifying.

Why he might not: His major championship experience is zero and while he has shown glimpses of competitiveness on the US PGA Tour in limited starts this is a huge step up.

THE BEST OF THE REST

RORY McILROY (Northern Ireland)

Age: 26

World ranking: 1

Worldwide wins: 19

Best in a major: Win (2011 US Open, 2012, 2014 PGA Championship, 2015 Open Championship)

US Opens played: 6 Best US Open Result: Win (2011)

Odds: $6

Why he can win: Already a four-time major winner, McIlroy is the undisputed world No.1. Won the last two majors of 2014 and was fourth at the Masters earlier this year. Has won in Dubai and at the WGC Match Play and Wells Fargo Championship in recent months.

Why he might not: Detractors are pointing at McIlroy’s last two starts in Europe where he missed cuts at the European Tour’s flagship PGA Championship at Wentworth and then his home Irish Open where he shot an 80.

JORDAN SPIETH (USA)

Age: 21

World ranking: 2

Worldwide wins: 4

Best in a major: Won (2015 Masters)

US Opens played: 3

Best US Open: T17 (2014)

Odds: $9

Why he can win: America’s new wonder kid, Spieth comes in as the Masters champion and now world No.2. Also won in Texas, was tied third in his last event at the Memorial and is the reigning Australian Open champion for good measure.

Why he might not: All signs are pointing towards Spieth being a major player in this event as all aspects of his game are on song and he’s in form.

DUSTIN JOHNSON (USA)

Age: 30

World ranking: 7

Worldwide wins: 9

Best in a major: T2nd (2011 British Open)

US Opens played: 7

Best US Open: T4 (2014)

Odds: $17

Why he can win: A power hitter with enormous natural ability, Johnson is shaping up as one of the best players in the world without a major. Has won at least one event every year since 2008, including a WGC earlier this year.

Why he might not: Hard to find fault given he has a win and five other top 10s this season. His driving accuracy has been poor but, with his length and Chambers Bay being more forgiving off the tee than traditional US Opens, he’s in good shape.

PHIL MICKELSON (USA)

Age: 44

World ranking: 17

Worldwide wins: 46

Best in a major: WIN (Masters 2004, 2006, 2010; PGA Championship 2005; British Open 2013)

US Opens played: 24

Best US Open: 2nd (1999, 2002, 2004); T2 (2006, 2009, 2013)

Odds: $23

Why he can win: It’s his destiny. Mickelson is just a US Open title away from a career grand slam. Has finished second in this event six times, including two years ago at Merion. He was second in the last two majors. In 90 major starts has 37 top-10s, with five wins.

Why he might not: It’s his destiny. As stated above, Mickelson’s US Open appearances have always been about the near misses rather than the wins.

JUSTIN ROSE (England)

Age: 34

World ranking: 5

Worldwide wins: 14

Best in a major: Won (2013 US Open)

US Opens played: 9

Best US Open: Win (2013)

Odds: $19

Why he can win: Is a former champion and one of the game’s best ball strikers. Will be able to position himself around the unique layout better than most. Was second at the Masters, won recently in New Orleans and lost in a playoff in his last start at the Memorial.

Why he might not: For Rose it usually comes down to bringing his short game to match his accuracy and iron play.

RICKIE FOWLER (USA)

Age: 26

World ranking: 9

Worldwide wins: 3

Best in a major: T2nd (2014 US Open, 2014 British Open)

US Opens played: 6

Best US Open: T2 (2014)

Odds: $21

Why he can win: Was inside the top five of all 2014 majors and T12 at the Masters this year before winning the Players Championship. The win lifted a monkey off his back and has the young star loose and ready.

Why he might not: While the win at the Players was huge, especially in a week when he was voted overrated by his peers, Fowler has yet to get over the hurdle in majors.

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