US Open 2014: The Players Rundown
The 2014 US Open has arrived! We’ve selected 11 players who we think might have a good chance of success this year. Let us know who you think will win the US Open by commenting about the major via our official OnlineGolf Facebook page.
Rory McIlroy is going to be heading a lot of these ‘players with the best chance of winning’ lists, and he sits comfortably atop ours as well. Not that we necessarily think the Northern Irishman will win, but his 2011 Open success gives him a nice platform to play from. A terrible second round in the Memorial Tournament in Ohio followed a rousing display at the PGA Tournament at Wentworth last month, so it’s anybody’s guess which McIlroy we’ll get this weekend.
Six times ‘Lefty’ has been runner-up at a US Open, including his showing at Pinehurst in 1999. Some would say Mickelson is nothing if not consistent – but his form in 2014 has been far from spectacular. His recent move to playing with a claw grip could come into play at the US Open and that might be enough for the American to finally win the event.
Second favourite with the bookies, Scott has a far from stellar record at this event. He has never seen his name in the top ten, despite playing 12 times at the US Open, missing six cuts. Scott is outstanding on his day and should pose a decent threat to the leading pack. The world number one will be hoping to add to his 2013 Masters title and achieve another milestone in his career.
Last year’s winner Justin Rose has a mountainous challenge ahead of him if he hopes to be leaving Pinehurst still champion. No golfer has won back-to-back US Open’s since Curtis Strange in 1988 and 1989. But if Rose can keep his cool and get his putting under control, there’s no reason why he can’t do what many claim is nigh-on impossible.
Bubba won the US Masters for the second time in three years earlier this year as well as finishing third in the recent Memorial Tournament in Ohio. Winning back-to-back majors is a big ask, but then again Bubba is a big man and he’s most certainly proved that he’s a big game player. However, like Mickelson, Bubba must contend with the fact that no left-handed golfer has ever won the US Open.
Spieth is making waves in the golfing arena. He tied for second in the Masters having been two shots clear at one point in the final round – a surprising and brilliant performance from the 20-year-old everyone still calls a rookie. However, no player under the age of 21 has ever finished top of the US Open leaderboard since Gene Sarazen in 1922, and older, wiser heads could prevail when the going gets tough.
The excellent Matt Kuchar is flying right now. The 35-year-old is in great form and although he hasn’t won a major, the US Open is a good opportunity for him to try and end that barren run. Pinehurst has been tipped as the ideal hunting ground for Kuchar, who may well feel the same heading into the weekend.
Stenson finished 21st last time out – the same position Justin Rose occupied in 2012 before winning the event in 2013. The Swede has made the cut for the past four years and had two top three finishes in majors last year. He is consistent in his game and looks a fair bet if you’ve got a few quid to spare and fancy a flutter on a dark horse.
Runner-up in 2011 and 2013, surely it’s more a matter of when as opposed to if the talented Aussie wins the US Open. He’s been in fair form this year and given his record in Majors over the past three years - six top-eight finishes in his last 14 tournaments and four top three finishes in his last 13 – looks set to shine once more this time around.
Former world number one, Kaymer enters the event having won the 2014 Players Tournament in Florida last month. His US Open record isn’t spectacular, but he has made the cut in the last four years, so bearing in mind his current form there’s a good chance that at the very least he’ll still be in contention come the final rounds. Fans of his will be keeping their fingers (and toes) crossed.
With three top 20 finishes in the US Open in the last six years, Sergio Garcia should give his long-suffering supporters something to get excited about. He was tied for third in the last US Open at Pinehurst so big things will be expected of the Spaniard.
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