How will past U.S. Open Champions fare at Erin Hills?
We are now a mere two weeks away from the 117th U.S. Open Championship at Erin Hills, Wisconsin and everyone here at Hole19 can’t wait for it to start.
To help build the excitement for the second major of the year, we thought we would trawl through a list of previous U.S. Open Champions in the field and consider their glorious wins and possible chances of lifting the championship trophy again come 18th June.
Let’s see what we've come up with.
Dustin Johnson – World Number 1* (*as of 28 May 2017)
U.S. Open Champion at: Oakmont Country Club in 2016
Recovering from a gut-wrenching three-putt on the final hole at Chambers Bay in 2015, Dustin Johnson managed to get his hands on a first major trophy at last year’s event - despite the USGA’s calamitous rules intervention which threatened to overshadow what was an imperious overall performance.
Having topped off 2016 as the richly deserving PGA Tour Player of the Year, DJ went on to miss this year’s Masters after succumbing to a freak accident at his rental property in.
Chances at Erin Hills: In the mould of other multiple-winning U.S. Open Champions. DJ has a solid chance at each and every tournament and, given the premium on par-5 scoring and length off the tee, will be firmly in the mix.
Watch below as DJ birdies the final hole in style to pick up the 2016 title:
Jordan Spieth – World Number 6
U.S. Open Champion at: Chambers Bay in 2015
With a win at the 2015 event, Spieth became only the sixth player in the history of the game to go back-to-back in the first two majors of the golfing season – and the first since Tiger Woods in 2002.
There have been chances in majors since, most notably at the 2016 Masters when a quadruple-bogey 7 at the 13th put paid to his chances, and everything suggests that the young Texan will enjoy more major triumphs in the future.
Chances at Erin Hills: Returning to form at just the right time after a solid showing at the Dean & DeLuca Invitational. Rule him out at your peril.
Watch as Jordan goes back-to-back below:
Martin Kaymer – World Number 53
U.S. Open Champion at: Pinehurst Resort in 2014
Kaymer secured his second major win by demolishing the field at the 2014 U.S. Open at Pinehurst. A full eight shots separated the German and his nearest challengers (Rickie Fowler & Eric Compton, T-2) as he failed to put a foot wrong on his way to one of the most impressive major wins of the modern era.
Quiet since, but has recorded some decent performances this year so not completely out of it.
Chances at Erin Hills: It would still be a surprise if he were to come out on top. Likely to find too many players at the top of their game – stranger things have happened though.
Justin Rose – World Number 11
U.S. Open Champion at: Merion Golf Club in 2013
An eventful ten months for the Englishman has seen some stellar play and a crowning as the first Olympic golf champion since 1904. More recently, Rose narrowly missed out on a Green Jacket at the Masters after a ding-dong battle with Sergio Garcia – the Spaniard ultimately emerging victorious on the second play-off hole.
The 2013 win at Merion - by two strokes over Jason Day and Phil Mickleson - confirmed his arrival at the top table of the men’s game. Having placed in the top five in each of the four major championships, Rose is a man for the big occasion.
Chances at Erin Hills: Let Sergio back in at Augusta National and will be keen to make amends. His reliability screams top-10 and could grab a second major if the putter gets hot.
An emotional Justin Rose got up-and-down in style on the final hole to close out the 2013 U.S. Open. Check it out below:
Webb Simpson – World Number 61
U.S. Open Champion at: Olympic Club in 2012
Securing his sole major win to date in 2012 after a two-shot victory over 2010 champion Graeme McDowell and Michael Thompson helped American Webb Simpson achieve a career-high 5th place in the Official World Golf Rankings (OWGR).
Held the 54-hole lead at last week’s Dean & DeLuca Invitational before finishing in fifth place.
Chances at Erin Hills: Without a Tour win since 2013 and yet to finish in the top-10 of any major championship since the win at Olympic Club. Seems a long shot.
Have a look at Webb's clutch chip on the 72nd hole at Olympic Club below:
Rory McIlroy – World Number 2
U.S. Open Champion at: Congressional Country Club
A dominant eight-shot victory helped propel a young Rory McIlroy to the forefront of the global game. This was the first of four major championships to date, and a performance which will live long in the memory.
Seems settled after a recent marriage and a new long-term equipment deal signed with TaylorMade just last month. With that said, the troublesome rib injury which plagued him at the start of the year has flared up again and he will miss this week's Memorial Tournament in Dublin, Ohio.
Chances at Erin Hills: If he is tournament-ready, he will be right in the mix. Chances are that he will be ring-rusty for this recent layoff.
Catch Rory’s post-tournament interview from back in 2011 below:
Graeme McDowell – World Number 87
U.S. Open Champion at: Pebble Beach in 2010
Became the first European winner of the U.S. Open in forty years by finishing one stroke ahead of Frenchman Grégory Havret. Managed to prevail on what was a high-scoring final day for the players; a day which included Dustin Johnson throwing away a 3-shot overnight lead to close with an eye-popping 11-over-par 82.
Peaked at 8th in the world rankings in after his RBC Heritage win in 2013.
Chances at Erin Hills: Only three top 10s in majors since 2010 and is without a Tour win since 2015. G-Mac has his work cut out,
Fancy something a little bit different? See how the Northern Irishman handles his ‘Little Interview’:
Lucas Glover – World Number 99
U.S. Open Champion at: Bethpage Black in 2009
American Lucas Glover overturned a one-shot third round deficit to compatriot Ricky Barnes in claiming the 2009 U.S. Open. It remains his only major win to date and he is without a win on the PGA Tour since 2011, this all totting up to a position of 179 on OWGR at the end of 2016.
Green shoots of recovery can be seen in solid 2017 performances at the Shriners (3), Sanderson Farm Insurance (T5) and The Players (T6).
Chances at Erin Hills: Would be one of the more surprising double U.S. Open winners if he managed to come out on top.
Watch the closing stages of Glover’s 2009 win below:
We hope you enjoyed our trip down memory lane looking at the last eight U.S. Open champions. They have provided us with some truly memorable moments down the years.
Who do you think has the best chance? Or do you think we'll have a new US Open Champ at Erin Hills?