Ray Flanagan previews the US Open at Oakmont.
A few players who can give us a run for our money at Oakmont this week.
Rickie Fowler has been out of form in his last few events but he has taken a rest over the past few weeks and often a few weeks off can be the key to recovering from a spell of poor form. Fowler has often contended at the Majors posting a few top five finishes back in 2014 and is due a good week at a major having not quite performed as expected in the last three big events. Oakmont is a difficult course but the shot making ability of Fowler could be key and he poles very well on the green in regulation stats coming in third best. He showed how good he can be with a sparkling final round when he won the Players Championship last year and is well due a good week. Coming in somewhat under the radar he could surprise.
Dustin Johnson blew a great chance at the 2015 US Open three putting on the final ground when one shot ahead. His game can be very up and down with him equally likely to shoot a 64 as a 77.He has been showing some very capable form though in recent weeks without winning and could be easlly targeting this event with the carrot of a first major driving him on. He shot a 64 at the final round at the St Jude’s Classic last week and if maintaining that form and cutting out the one bad round that invariably ruins his prospects , his massive driving might propel him to victory.
Of the top three perhaps Jason Day holds the best claims. The best player in the World since July 2015, Day is conscious that he still has only won one Major title and has a bit of catching up to do yet before he can regarded as a truly outstanding player or even as good as Speith or Mcelroy. He is a very focused character though and has reportedly arrived in Oakmont earlier than anyone else trying to get as much practice in as possible. When he is on form he can spreadeagle a field and his ability on the greens should serve him well on this course along with his ability to bounce back from bad holes something which will happen every player this week. His weakness is inaccuracy with the driver but he overcame this problem at Sawgrass in the Players Championship by hitting almost 300 yard 2 Iron shots off the tee.
I think it will be an all or nothing week for him this time.
Justin Thomas is a big hitting up and coming player and likely future Major winner. I have had him in mind for this event although confidence is waining now with most commentators questioning his game management ability for this course. His big hitting should give him chances though and he is a capable of putting a good round together.
1 pt ew- Rickie Fowler-33-1 bet 365-6 places
1 pt ew-Dustin Johnson-16-1 P Power- 7 places
2 pts win-Jason Day-13-2 General
0.25 pts ew -Justin Thomas-150-1 General-6 places William Hill
0.5 pts win Dustin Johnson to be Ist Round Leader-20-1 General