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US Open Golf Preview & Leading Contenders

Brad King
by Brad King
US Open Golf

The eyes of the sporting world will be back on the PGA Tour action this weekend, as the third major of the season takes place at The Country Club in Massachusetts. It has been a busy couple of weeks in the world of golf, with the controversial Saudi-backed LIV events threatening to overshadow the U.S. Open. However, nothing will take away the excitement of the major ahead of this weekend’s competition, with all of the world’s leading players expected to be involved. online sports bettors can find out all they need to know about the competition below

When & Where Is The 2023 U.S. Open?

The U.S. Open is the third golf major of the season, and one that both players from the European and PGA Tours can be involved at. The event, which will be staged at The Country Club, has a par 70, as players compete over a total length of 7,264 yards. As well as competing for the prestigious honour of being named U.S. Open champion, players will also be competing for their share of the $12.5 million prize fund.

It will be a historic weekend for The Country Club in Massachusetts, as it will host the U.S. Open for just the fourth time. It will also be the first time that it has held the major since 1988’s edition, which was won by Curtis Strange after a dramatic playoff against Nick Faldo. The action at the U.S. Open gets underway on Thursday, June 16th, with the final round of play taking place on Sunday, June 19th.

Will LIV Golfers Be Involved?

One of the big talking points in the world of golf over the past year or so has ramped up over the past seven days, as the first Saudi-backed LIV event was staged in London. The decisions of some of the best golfers to play in the controversial event has led to backlash, with Ian Poulter among those questioned about whether the golfers took into consideration the poor human rights records by their new sponsors.

The PGA Tour threatened huge ramifications for the players opting to partake in the LIV golf series, which led to the suspensions of Ian Poulter, Dustin Johnson, Sergio Garcia, Lee Westwood, and Phil Mickelson. However, organisers at the U.S. Open have revealed that players that took part in the inaugural LIV event will still be able to participate at the event this weekend.

U.S. Open Records

The U.S. Open is one of the most prestigious events on the golfing calendar, and has been staged annually since 1895. The best tournament score was recorded in 2011, as Rory McIlroy finished with an aggregate score of 268 and 016. That par score was also matched in 2017 by Brooks Koepka. Willie Anderson, Jack Nicklaus and Ben Hogan are the most successful players in the history of the major, as all players have won four championships.

Last year’s winner of the U.S. Open was Jon Rahm, who finished a shot clear of Louis Oosthuizen at Torrey Pines in California. Other former champions that will be involved this weekend include Bryson DeChambeau, Dustin Johnson, and Jordan Spieth.

Leading Contenders

The U.S. Open is always one of the most interesting majors of the season with a number of leading contenders likely to make a charge towards the major. Matt Fitzpatrick could certainly be a star that attracts attention for the major this year, as he already holds a victory at the course having won the U.S. Amateur back in 2013. The English player finished in a tie for tenth at the Canadian Open last weekend, and performed very well at both The Masters and PGA Championship earlier in the season. In the latter, he finished in a tie for fifth, while he was also second at the Wells Fargo Championship earlier in the year too.

Defending champion Jon Rahm hasn’t enjoyed the best of calendar years to this point. The Spanish star started 2023 as the top-ranked golfer in the world, but he has finished in the top ten on just two occasions in his previous eight appearances. However, he could be getting back to somewhere near his best after claiming victory at the Mexico Open in May.

Justin Thomas and Scottie Scheffler will both be looking for second major victories of the season after they won the PGA Championship and Masters, respectively this year. Thomas could be the better chance of the two this week after finishing third at the Canadian Open last weekend.

Who Will Win The U.S. Open?

I am very keen on the chances of Fitzpatrick this weekend, as he has some excellent form at the course. However, we see Rory McIlroy as the outstanding chance to end his long wait for a major success. McIlroy was excellent in both the PGA Championship and Masters earlier this year, but his bids for success in both came very late in the day. A strong start could give him an excellent chance this weekend, as he looks to build on his success at the Canadian Open last weekend. The 33-year-old won the U.S. Open back in 2011, but is without a major success since his victory at The Open in 2014.

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