With the curtain falling on the 2019/20 PGA Tour season just last week at East Lake Country Club, attention now turns to the season's second major championship as the 2020 U.S. Open gets set to take place at Winged Foot G.C. in Mamaroneck, New York.
After Collin Morikawa's heroics at TPC Harding Park during last month's PGA Championship, and Gary Woodland's win at last year's tournament, here at Hole19 HQ we've been discussing who the next maiden major champion in golf will be - and whether it could come at next week's U.S. Open.
Here are a half-dozen golfers who we like the chances of most as possible first-time major champions.
Right at the head of any list of possible maiden major champions has to be the former world number one Jon Rahm. He has the game to be in the mix heading into Sunday's final round, and we've seen time and again that he has the stomach for a fight when the chips are down.
So determined is the young Spaniard to grab his first major that he stopped off on the way to East Lake for an early peek at Winged Foot immediately after his BMW Championship playoff win. “It’s just a difficult course,” said Rahm, whose best U.S. Open result came at Pebble Beach last year (T-3). “It’s long. It’s narrow. It’s undulating. You just need to play really good golf.”
If he can hole a few monster putts, like the one below, he'll be hard to stop at Winged Foot.
Schauffele would have another PGA Tour title to his name if not for the new format and staggered start at the Tour Championship last week. He has been a model of consistency both before and after the lockdown-enforced hiatus, and we can only see another impressive display during the four days in New York.
Whether it comes next week or not, we expect to see the current world number 7 in the major-winning circle before too long.
Check out the highlights of his final round at East Lake Country Club below.
After reeling off four top-10 finishes immediately post-lockdown, including a victory at the Rocket Mortgage Classic in July, Bryson DeChambeau's form has tailed off a little of late. That won't change the fact that he'll arrive in New York next week as one of the pre-tournament favourites.
A T-4 in August at TPC Harding Park was by far his best major finish to date, and if he can find a few more fairways when he's hitting those bombs, a first major championship title could be just around the corner.
When he gets it right off the tee, the drive is such a weapon. Catch one of his crushed drives below.
When the PGA Tour restarted after a 3-month hiatus, Young Floridian Daniel Berger picked up his third PGA Tour victory in the Charles Schwab Challenge at Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas, after a playoff with Collin Morikawa.
Now up to no.13 in the Official Golf Rankings, he'll be keen to improve upon his best U.S. Open finish (T-6), this coming back in 2018 at Shinnecock Hills.
Catch his final round highlights from the Charles Schwab Challenge below.
For quite a few years, it looked only a matter of time before Hideki Matsuyama became the second Asian major champion in golf. Now it seems that Sungjae Im has leapfrogged the Japanese superstar and is the man most likely to add to Y.E. Yang's single major title.
With four missed cuts in five starts, the South Korean does have a pretty poor major record to overcome if he's to make his mark in New York next week. With such a fundamentally sound golf swing (check it out below), he'll be in contention for many big tournament wins in the future.
In his short PGA Tour career so far, Scottie Scheffler has already made significant waves. Surviving all way to the Tour Championship finale and posting a second-placed finish (72 hole score) is no mean feat for any golfer in their first season on Tour, and we believe it's just a taste of what's to come for the 24-year-old.
At last month's PGA Championship, the New Jersey native managed a T-4 in only his second major appearance. And then there's the little matter of joining the 59-club at The Northern Trust. Can we rule him out next week with any degree of certainty? Nope. He simply demands attention.
Scottie talks about his historic round (just one short of Jim Fuyrk's Tour record) below.
Who do you think we've missed on our list of players who look set to become major champions. Let us know in the comments.