US Open - Golf: Top Five European Hopes

15 June 2022 21:35:01 GMTPlus10
Can Rory McIlroy finally win his fifth major title?

Jon Rahm became the sixth European winner of the US Open since 1925 when he triumphed at Torrey Pines in 2021.

The Spaniard will be among the cream of the continental crop looking to boost that record at this year's tournament at the Country Club,  Brookline, which starts on Thursday.

Here, we take a look at the best five European hopes for the third Major of the golfing year.

What: US Open

Where: The Country Club, Brookline, Massachusetts, USA

When: Tournament starts 11:45am, Thursday 16th June, 2022

How to watch: Sky Sports Main Event, Sky Sports Golf and bet365's Live Golf Tracker

Odds: (For European players) Rory McIlroy 10/1, Jon Rahm 12/1, Shane Lowry 28/1, Matthew Fitzpatrick 28/1, Viktor Hovland 30/1

Rory McIlroy

Rory McIlroy has already got his hands on the US Open trophy and looks primed to make a bold bid to capture it again this week in Massachusetts.

The Northern Irishman collected his first Major when he won the tournament by an eight-shot margin at Congressional in Maryland in 2011, but while three top prizes have followed, the last of those came eight years ago, so he will see success as long overdue.

And it would be no surprise if he struck at Brookline because McIlroy heads into the tournament in excellent form.

He was second behind Scottie Scheffler at the Masters and will also feel he allowed another opportunity to slip by when he subsequently finished eighth at the PGA after finding himself as the first round leader.

McIlroy claimed his 21st PGA Tour title on Sunday when he finished two shots ahead of the field at the Canadian Open and everything points to a strong challenge, especially as his approach play has improved markedly in the last few months.

Rory has finished in the top 10 in seven of the last 10 Stateside Majors, including the last three US Opens and it would be no surprise if he went close again, with him 10/1 in the outright market.

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Jon Rahm

Defending champion Jon Rahm has seen Scottie Scheffler take his world number one spot this year.

Despite gaining a victory in the low-grade Mexico Open at the beginning of May, the Spaniard has struggled with his short game all year.

That was his first victory since his triumph at Torrey Pines when he won by a shot after closing with an excellent 67. He was also third when Gary Woodland won at Pebble Beach two years earlier.

He became the first Spanish player to win the title and while his 48th spot at the PGA was a disappointment, he was 10th last time out at the Memorial when expectations were high for a strong show at Muirfield Village and it would be a big surprise if he didn't make a bold defence at 12/1.

Shane Lowry

Ireland's Shane Lowry has been one of the most consistent performers in 2022 and it is not a shock to see him prominent in the European market.

The 2019 Open champion has played his way into the world's top 25 and has not finished lower than 32nd in any of the 11 strokeplay tournaments in which he has competed since the turn of the year.

Lowry, who was third at the Masters, has a highly adaptable game that means he can deal with a variety of layouts and weather conditions and that makes him a strong contender on a course where finding fairways and greens is vital.

His best US Open performance came in 2016 when he finished second, three shots behind Dustin Johnson at Oakmont, and he has realistic hopes of going one better this time at 28/1.

Last Five European US Open Winners

YearPlayerCountryVenue
2010Graeme McDowellNorthern Ireland

Pebble Beach Golf Links, California

2011Rory McIlroyNorthern Ireland

Congressional Country Club, Maryland

2013Justin RoseEngland

Merion Golf Club, Pennsylvania

2014Martin KaymerGermany

Pinehurst, North Carolina

2021Jon RahmSpainTorrey Pines, California

Matt Fitzpatrick

Matt Fitzpatrick has yet to taste success on the PGA tour but Brookline will hold special memories for the Sheffield lad as it was at the Massachusetts course that he won the US Amateur Championship in 2013.

This is the first prominent tournament the course has hosted since and while many of Fitzpatrick's contemporaries have gone on to forge decent professional careers, that previous show is likely to have given him a lift.

He has been knocking at the door all season, finishing in the top 20 in 10 of his last 13 tournaments and he has posted creditable performances in the 2022 Majors, finishing 14th at the Masters and fifth at last month's PGA.

A course where accuracy is a must should provide him with a great chance at 28/1.

Viktor Hovland

Three-time PGA Tour winner Viktor Hovland was forced to withdraw from last year's tournament with an eye injury, but previous US Open finishes of 12th and 13th were impressive and he is 30/1 outright.

The Norwegian's recent form has not been great since he was ninth at the Players Championship in March.

A 51st spot at Memorial was his latest ordinary finish but there is little doubt the 24-year-old has the talent to challenge if he can perform at the top of his game.

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