2018 U.S. Open: Ones to Watch

The 2018 US Open is being hosted at Shinnecock Hills this year. The 7400-yard course has the ability to be played at both a par 70 or 72, with either of the two being very difficult. The links style course lacks bailouts and rewards the accurate long ball. The long wispy fescue will grab the clubs of even the hardest swing, not allowing any sort of solid contact on what will definitely be a recovery shot. These are our picks of players that have the ability to concur the US open this year:

(Photo courtesy of sportingnews.com)

1. Rickie Fowler

Fowler has many parts of his game that make him a viable candidate to win. He is known to play well in a links setting. He’s won the Scottish Open on the European tour and has traditionally played himself to the top of the leaderboard in these conditions. Fowler also has a very well rounded game, being ranked in the top 100 in all major tour stats that affect scoring. The one thing he does outstandingly is his play out of the bunkers. He’s not known for getting into trouble off the tee, but he has a great ability to recover when he does. Fowler also has a very his quality of combined scrambling. This means he has a strong ability to save par. Lastly, he is known for getting red hot during tournaments and scoring very low – if he can put a solid four rounds together, he is likely in the mix come Sunday.

2. Brooks Koepka

Brooks broke through last year winning his first major tournament as last year’s US Open champion. After getting injured just after his win last year he was not heard from during the last half of the golf season. Since he has come back, however, it has been clear he is a man on a mission. He hasn’t put together a solid four rounds of golf together until last week’s (May 24-27) Fort Worth Invitational. He also showed signs of greatness at the Players Championship a few weeks back as he tied the course record at TPC Sawgrass, and shot right up the leaderboard finishing T11. What Koepka has the ability to do, is hit long, accurate drives. This means he has the ability to set himself up for a lot of birdies and eagles. With his long drives, he will have a shorter iron in his hand where he will be able to control his distance and spin to a higher degree. With the explosive rounds he’s thrown out this year and the fact that he has won this tournament before, he has a good chance at repeating.

3. Phil Mickelson

Mickelson in the US Open is a story that will surely make you scratch your head. He has been a runner up six times and needs just this tournament to win the career grand slam. Phil finished runner up at Shinnecock 14 years ago after a shocking three putt-on to seal the deal for Retief Goosen. What this tells me is Phil has played very well here before. He understands the golf course and has the most creative short game ever. He can manufacture scores in the worst of situations, which is what Shinnecock can place you in. With all this being said, it’s time for Phil to get the career grand slam. He turns 48 on the Saturday of the US Open, and will realistically not have many chances after the next few years. Hopefully, this year acts as motivation to redeem himself and cement his name in the history books.

4. Charley Hoffman

Hoffman is a very well-rounded golfer that usually flies well below the radar. He is known for playing well, but also consistent. He has a proven track record at the Masters where he seems to always find himself near the top of the leaderboard. He had a good year in 2017 and finished 20th in the FedEx Cup standings. He has the ability to score low, and is never seen with a blow-up hole on the scorecard. His consistency could prove to be a game changer as we enter the US Open. Can you say wild card?