The 2018 U.S. Open will be staged at Shinnecock Hills between June 14-17 with the historic New York course playing host to the event for a fifth time in its rich history. Who are the contenders?
James Foulis (1896), Raymond Floyd (1986), Corey Pavin (1995) and Retief Goosen (2004) won the previous four U.S. Opens staged at Shinnecock Hills on Long Island, but who will join them on the roll of honour?
Brooks Koepka will be the defending champion having won the 2017 U.S. Open at Erin Hills, while former winners Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth, Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose and Tiger Woods will be gunning for victory in this year’s second major event.
We take a look at some of the leading 2018 U.S. Open contenders and assess their chances of victory at Shinnecock Hills.
Koepka emerged as a leading name in the game when winning the U.S. Open 12 months ago, but things haven’t quite gone to plan this year. A wrist injury kept him off the course until the back end of April, forcing him to miss the Masters Tournament at Augusta National. Koepka has rediscovered his form of late, finishing 11th and runner-up in his last two events. His record in The Open Championship with 10th and 6th placed finishes suggest the links at Shinnecock will hold no trouble for him. Koepka is definitely on our list of the 2018 U.S. Open contenders.
Johnson won his solitary major in the 2016 U.S. Open and simply has to be in the reckoning, with a major record that reads 14 top-ten finishes in the four events across the last decade. The world number one won the Tournament of Champions in January and has been the model of consistency all season, finishing inside the top 17 in every event he has played this year.
Spieth won the U.S. Open at Chambers Bay during his breakthrough season in 2015, pushing Johnson into second place in the process. That victory is now the second of three major successes—he’ll be looking for a fourth one at Shinnecock Hills. Spieth has struggled for form during recent months since finishing third in the Masters, but he is one never to be discounted in the big events. This is why he is in our list of the 2018 U.S. Open contenders.
Former world number one McIlroy has looked like he was regaining his very best form in recent weeks. He will be hoping for a successful U.S. Open, the tournament he won at Congressional in 2011 to claim the first of three major wins. He was in the final group of the Masters in April, only to fail to fire on the final day at Augusta. Will Shinnecock Hills be different?
Rose couldn’t be coming into the 2018 U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills in any better form, after having won the Fort Worth Invitational and then finishing sixth in the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide. Few can forget the poignant glance to the skies in 2013 when Rose won the U.S. Open at Merion on Father’s Day. Could he repeat it at Shinnecock Hills five years on?
There wouldn’t be a more popular winner than Woods, should he manage to add to his 14 major victories and three U.S. Open successes at Shinnecock Hills over the next few days. A U.S. Open champion in 2000, 2002 and 2008, the latter remains his most recent major victory. Ten years on, could we see the return of the Tiger? His comeback season has been better than most expected and his form is holding up well. But can he get across the line against at the highest level and prove to be one of the 2018 U.S. Open contenders?
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