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5 Golfers Who Struggled at Shinnecock But Could Contend at the Open

By: | Thu 21 Jun 2018

The dust has finally settled on what was a truly gruesome week for the pros playing in the US Open at Shinnecock Hills. Brooks Koepka put in a brilliant performance over the weekend to become the first man to win back-to-back US Opens since Curtis Strange, back in 1988 and 1989. Many in the golf world were less than impressed with the course setup and this led to fairly ugly scores from a few of the game’s biggest names. But I couldn’t help feeling that several of the guys who failed to make the cut still have a really good chance in the season’s next major, the Open Championship. So, here are five guys who I believe could contend next month at Carnoustie after their missed cut last week.

Jordan Spieth

Where better to start than with the current Champion Golfer, Jordan Spieth. Having shown his true quality in his final round at Royal Birkdale last July, the American was hopeful of picking up his first major of 2018 heading into the US Open last week. However, it was not to be and the tough course layout meant that Spieth struggled to keep control over his ball and subsequently, he was not around for the weekend. However, as we all know, the course was playing exceptionally hard and the world number five’s under performance can, in a way, be overlooked.

As defending champion, Spieth will return to the UK determined to keep hold of the Claret Jug for another twelve months. His sheer will to succeed, undoubtedly boosted further by his disappointment at Shinnecock Hills may see him challenge, again. Aside from the Masters, the Open has been the 24-year-old’s strongest major and despite not having won on tour since this tournament last year, there is no reason why Spieth can’t up his game at Carnoustie.

Jon Rahm

The 23-year-old Spaniard, was fancied by many golf fans to go well in this year’s US Open, but he wasn’t able to tame Shinnecock Hills and disappointingly missed the cut. Having played some of the best golf of his career in the past year or so, Rahm has quite rightly found himself in the golfing spotlight and is now one of the favourites going into every major championship. But, the reason that Rahm makes this list is because I genuinely think that the testing conditions in Scotland will suit his game. Last season, the world number six claimed his maiden victory on the European Tour, just a short way away in Ireland as he battled the elements to come out on top in the Irish Open. That tournament was played on a links style course and saw plenty of rain, which is always a possibility at the Open. Only time will tell, but as one of the most consistent golfers on tour, Rahm has a solid chance, next month and knows what it takes to win on the links.

Rory McIlroy

Another of the former Open champions to miss the cut at Shinnecock Hills was 2014 winner, Rory McIlroy. The Masters is the only major championship missing from McIlroy’s collection and will be for another 12 months, at least. However, having won at Royal Liverpool in 2014, the Northern Irishman knows that he certainly has what it takes to take home the Claret Jug. Although his performances have been somewhat hit and miss this season, on the whole, he has shown promise that his game is moving back towards the standard of a few years ago. This leads me to believe that he has every chance of turning it on at Carnoustie and may show the golfing world once more, just why he is one of the most well respected and highly rated golfers of recent times.

Thorbjorn Olesen

One that may be more surprising is Danish ace, Thorbjorn Olessen. The 28-year-old has had one of his most consistent seasons, this year and has a valuable win on the board which came just a few weeks ago at the Italian Open. Although he hasn’t had any outstanding major results in the last couple of years, Olesen did finish tied for 9th at the 2012 Open at Royal Lytham and St. Anne’s. This experience, coupled with his strong performances in the regular tour events this year could work in his favour and if he is able to get off to a quick start in the championship, then he could be a genuine contender come Sunday afternoon.

Kevin Kisner

Kevin Kisner has become a household name on the PGA Tour in the past few years, and is in with a shout of representing USA in the Ryder Cup later in September if he is able to put together a few more strong performances in the coming months. Although, the months of May and June have been tough for the world number 32, his form in April, including the Masters was very consistent. He achieved more than reasonable finish of tied 28th at Augusta, this year and made the cut at all four major championships, last season. So, there is no doubt that when it comes to the big weeks, he can deal with the occasion enough to at least be around for the weekend. I would encourage you to look further than his recent results and acknowledge that his performances haven’t really been overly poor and I believe that Kisner has more than enough quality to be in contention at Carnoustie, next month.

Do you agree? Would you add anyone else to the list? Let us know!

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Tags: PGA Tour european tour

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