The US Open – Who Will Win “The Toughest Test in Golf”?
The second major golf championship of year, the US Open, takes place this week at Erin Hills, with the tournament proper starting tomorrow. The competition’s organisers have faced criticism following controversies in recent years, however. Will the 2017 event be a success and which players are amongst the favourites to win the famous golf trophy?
The US Open – Is This Renowned Major Just Too Tough?
The USGA has come under fire in the last few years due to the way in which the US Open has been run – and, as the 2017 tournament drew closer, it became clear that people weren’t going to let them forget that.
One common complaint is that the organisation has taken the idea of pushing the US Open as the sport’s “toughest test” too far. Some players believe the courses used are too challenging and, whilst the USGA insists that there isn’t a target winning score at the event, some competitors claim that there is an “even-par” target.
Adam Scott hit the headlines earlier this month when he spoke about the issue:
“They’re going to have to try to run a really good event,” he told Golfweek.com. “Hopefully they get it right this time, just from a playability standpoint. Let’s just have something that’s a challenge and interesting, not just playing brutal.”
Erin Hills, which is hosting the US Open for the first time in the tournament’s history, certainly isn’t a simple course. According to Golf.com’s Jeff Ritter, it features steep slopes and difficult terrain, while the bunkers are “uniquely diabolical.”
Dustin Johnson, the World Number 1, however, told Sky Sports that he relished playing on tough courses and for pars. “I tend to focus more and play better,” he said.
“I like knowing par is a good score for some reason. I don’t know why. I play better when I’m playing for pars,” he added.
Johnson was the focus of one of the controversial incidents cited by the USGA’s critics, when he was forced to play seven holes of last year’s tournament with the prospect of a contentious one-shot penalty hanging over him on his way to claim the coveted golf trophy.
Which Players are in the Hunt for the US Open Trophy?
Johnson has been cited by the bookies as the favourite to triumph in 2017 event. However, he was forced to withdraw from the US Masters in April after injuring his back by falling down some stairs. Since then, he has struggled to regain his form.
Rory McIlroy has also been suffering from an ongoing rib injury, although he recently told the press that he was fit to play. Jordan Spieth and Jason Day could prove to be threats, although neither have had as impressive starts to 2017 as they would have liked.
It’s doubtful that Phil Mickelson will be competing in the tournament as, although he is still officially listed as an entrant, he’ll be attending his daughter’s high school graduation ceremony tomorrow, so is unlikely to be able to get to the course in time.
The competition is looking relatively open, therefore, and with players like Jon Rahm, Justin Rose, Rickie Fowler, Hideki Matsuyama and Sergio Garcia making it into the bookies’ top picks, it’s set to be an intriguing event.
Who’s your favourite to win the 2017 US Open? Do you think the tournament is too tough? Tell us in the comments section, or let us know on Facebook or Twitter.