Winged Foot will be brutally tough this week and those who have passed the test in previous US Opens should be preferred. One such candidate is Hideki Matsuyama, 10th in his first appearance in the event at Merion and second in 2017.
The Japanese star is unquestionably good enough to become a major champion and there have been positives in his short-game lately. From tee-to-green he’s as good as anyone at his best and third place at the BMW Championship, the most demanding test so far this summer, is eye-catching form.
Prior to last week it would’ve been a little hard to be confident about Tommy Fleetwood, but his surprise preparation in Portugal may prove to be a masterstroke. Conditions out there were more difficult than usual and Fleetwood quite simply produced one of the best ball-striking weeks of his career.
Anything like a decent week with the putter and he’d have won, and that sets him up nicely for a return to New York. He spent summer practising at nearby Shinnecock and has placed in two of the last three US Opens.
When par is a good score, Tony Finau should always be considered. He’s been inside the top 10 in seven of his 16 major starts including when contending for this one at nearby Shinnecock two years ago.
More recently he was the halfway leader at a fiendishly difficult Muirfield Village, hit the frame at the PGA, and again contended in the BMW Championship where four-under was the winning score. His power off the tee is going to be important and so too should the improvement he’s shown in his short-game. A huge each-way player.
There are risks attached to Jason Day, whose last two performances have been poor. However, before them he produced four top-10 finishes in succession, including a top-five at the PGA Championship where he might have won but for the putter.
Typically one of the best in the sport on and around the greens, he’ll love the challenge Winged Foot presents in that department and his form at similar courses is strong. So too is his US Open record and providing he’s back at it this looks an ideal place for a second major championship.
US Open tips in summary
- Drive over to Paddy Power News for all your golf betting tips
- Shane Lowry: I’ve made one key change ahead of the US Open, and playing with Tiger Woods doesn’t worry me
- US Open Betting: 5 factors in finding a winner at Winged Foot