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U.S. Open 2018: Players To Watch

Next week sees the 118th U.S. Open take place upon the fairways of Shinnecock Hills in Long Island, New York. To help build up to what promises to be an impressive championship at a similarly impressive venue, let's see who we fancy to perform well.

Here's our very own 'Super Six' to watch at the second major championship of 2018:

First you can catch a preview of the course each of the golfers will face this year in New York below:

The 'Likely Lads'

These are the three golfers we expect to be right in the mix next week:

Justin Thomas

He's the current world number one and is thoroughly deserving of his place atop the men's game so 'JT' must, for that reason and more, make the shortlist of possible winners of this year's U.S. Open.

On any given day the young Kentuckian can rip a golf course to shreds and, although he hasn't played the track in competition, alongside Rickie Fowler he breezed to a 65 in practice back a few months ago. He could easily go well this week and we expect big things.

Catch highlights of Thomas' historic third round 63 at last year's U.S. Open:

Justin Rose

Arguably the most in-form golfer on the circuit, Justin Rose seems well equipped to build a real challenge next week in New York in his quest for a second major championship and second U.S. Open title.

The Englishman took the recent Fort Worth Invitational tidying up his iron play and strokes gained approaching the green along the way. He then followed it up with a solid showing at the Memorial Tournament just passed.

Here's a reminder of Justin's emotional win back in 2013:

Rory McIlroy

The chances are that, rather than the Masters, Rory will win one of the other three major championships again before he eventually closes out the career grand slam - it could easily be the 118th U.S. Open.

After missing the cut at The Players, Rory finished runner-up at Wentworth and showed impressive form over the weekend at the Memorial Tournament which included a stunning 8-under-par 64. Rory could either tear the field apart or flatter to deceive - we are expecting something closer to the former.

Fancy some highlights from his 64 at the weekend? We hear ya..!!

The 3 from 'back in the pack'

Here's a trio of players we think have a great chance of featuring while flying rather more under the radar this week:

Francesco Molinari

OK, so if the form horse in next week's field isn't Justin Rose, then it could well be Francesco Molinari.

Fresh from a near miss at his native Italian Open the current world number 20 will be keen to go one better than his career-low major performance - a T-2 at the 2017 PGA Championship.

He also won the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth little over a week ago:

Paul Casey

We keep putting him up there for a big win and after his victory at the Valspar Championship in March it's no doubt the case that the sweet taste of victory is something he would like to experience again - this time at Shinnecock Hills. When he gets into a rhythm anything could happen.

Having declared his availability for selection for this year's Ryder Cup in Paris, a first-ever major title might build the foundations of a truly epic year for Casey.

Catch highlights of the Valspar win below:

Tony Finau

Pretty much the longest hitter on Tour and given that the course has been lengthened by 449 yards it is very likely that those who crush the ball (accurately) will be ahead of the field.

He's been close to a win on a couple of occasions this season already and finished T-10 at Augusta National back in April.

If you're not too squeamish, here's a reminder of Finau's hole-in-one celebration on 'Masters Eve':

Who's your tip for this year's second major? Can Rory pick up another? Could Brooks Koepka defend? Let us know below:

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