5 Players to Follow at the 2017 US Open
Unless Spieth gets his driving sorted out he has no chance, but if he can find a way to keep the ball in play then he is going to take some beating. Everybody knows what a fantastic putter he is, but the thing that helps him to make so many birdies is that he is one of the best in the business when it comes to hitting greens in regulation. Nobody knows what a good score at Erin Hills is going to be, but the winner will be the guy who can find a way to make pars easily - and Spieth does that, week after week.
The Spaniard has taken the PGA Tour by storm and is a certain major winner. There will be those who say this is too soon for him but that is nonsense. His chances of victory will depend almost entirely on him being able to decide when to hit his driver. Rahm is a big, big hitter and he is also a very strong young man, but you cannot outmuscle the sort of rough he is going to find at Erin Hills. Nobody can.
Must have a terrific chance. Kisner plays difficult courses really well and is in a rich vein of form. He has a victory and six top-10 finishes to his credit in 2017. When it comes to strokes gained against the field, there are only four players who are better than Kisner. He is one of the straightest drivers in the game, hits plenty of greens in regulation and perhaps his greatest strength is his ability to hole out. He hardly ever three-putts and is a star when it comes to holing putts inside 10 feet, something he will have to do a lot of at Erin Hills.
Ignore his missed cut at the Memorial and focus instead on this: he leads the FedEx Cup standings, he leads in driving distance (averaging 312 yards), he leads in greens hit in regulation, only four players hole more putts from 10 feet, and he is fourth in scrambling from 30 yards from the green. Naturally enough, he is also right up there when it comes to birdies per round and average scoring. Critics will point to the fact that he only manages to hit 55.5% of fairways but what that statistic fails to reveal is that most of his misses are only feet from the fairway. If he stays out of the really thick stuff, he wins.
Only Steve Stricker hits more fairways than the Italian, whose confidence is buzzing after a brilliant week at Wentworth. He is a fabulous iron player, and a much better putter than people give him credit for. Sure, he doesn't hole masses of birdie putts but he doesn't put himself under pressure to make pars either. The Italian also has a wonderful temperament. He is incredibly patient, and nobody wins a US Open without being able to take the rough with the smooth.
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