Brooklyn, Massachusetts. – John Ram is the defending champion, Rory McIlroy is coming, and Scotty Scheffler, the number one FedExCup rider, has the season’s best, with four wins.
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It does not mean that there is no one behind him. Good friend Sam Burns has three.
The 122nd US Open is full of stories. Here are five:
1. Eight great
Eight different players won the last eight, which shows how difficult it is to stay on top. McIlroy, 33, who just won the RBC Canadian Open but hasn’t won a major title since the 2014 PGA Championship, will make his ninth straight with his win this week.
“I loved what I saw,” said McIlroy, who played against The Country Club on Monday.
Cameron Smith, who won the THE PLAYERS CHAMPIONSHIP in March, will extend his streak to nine. So do Sam Burns and Max Homma. The three players have won TOUR more than once this season, and each is striving for their first major championship.
On the other hand, the main winners most likely to do it again (and break the streak) are:
– Scotty Scheffler, who won his first PGA Tour at the WM Phoenix Open in February and claimed his first Masters title two months later. He also won the World Golf Championship – Dell Technologies Match Play and the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard. Oh, and he boasts two runner-up awards. It’s on top of the FedExCup and rankings, with Great lead in both.
Justin Thomas, who took the PGA Championship at the Southern Hills last month to claim his second major, went on to the RBC Canadian Open last week before finishing third. The winner of 15 events on the PGA Tour, he has already earned nine top ten spots this season, and has recently committed to playing in the weeks leading up to the major competitions. (It worked well in PGA.)
US Open champion John Ram won the Mexico Open in Vedanta last month and will be knocked out of the T10 in the Memorial Tournament presented by Workday.
“I played the ninth lead (Monday),” Ram said. “I think it’s a great course.”
2. It’s a family course
Matt Fitzpatrick won the American Amateur Award nine years ago at The Country Club and has since won seven times on the DP World Tour. He is one of 22 players at the US Open who played here in 2013.
Scotty Scheffler (Quarterfinalist), Patrick Rodgers (Quarterfinalist), Corey Conners (Semifinalist, lost to Fitzpatrick), and several who missed the cut—including Justin Thomas, Max Homa, Will Zalatores, Aaron Wise and Cameron Young—have also Country club experience.
Most others in this field do not.
“Yeah, I remember everything,” said Fitzpatrick, who has racked up seven top ten spots this season, including a T10 at the RBC Canadian Open. “I’ve been back a few times since then, and I’d love to come back here…in 2013 it was like – you had to hit the green and green lanes.”
Schaeffler had just won the American Rookie when he made it to the American Amateur at The Country Club, where Justin Leonard put the knockout punch to put the Americans over the top in the 1999 Ryder Cup. Randy Smith, who coached Leonard, had also coached Scheffler and was with him in the American Amateur competition. 2013, in which Scheffler collected a few of his classic shows.
“I remember being in pretty much all of my matches (which I won),” Scheffler said.