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U.S. Open 2020: Our Six Picks & R1 Tee-Times

Ready for another slice of major championship action? Winged Foot Golf Club's sixth tilt at hosting the U.S. Open was originally set for June this year, but thanks to the pandemic whose name shall not be spoken, it was pushed to September.

To help build up to events in New York we've been trying to select our front-runners for 2020's second major title, however, choosing a champion this week at Winged Foot, given the carnage that awaits, is about as difficult as it gets.

We're not ones to shy away from nailing our colours to the mast so check out our 2020 U.S. Open predictions below.

The 3 Front-Runners

Dustin Johnson

As the most in-form golfer on the planet right now, Dustin Johnson seems ready to break out of the plethora of golfers stuck on one major championship win - and many golfing experts are all over DJ this week, in particular. The FedEx Cup champion has posted third place or better in his last four competitive tournaments and this is made up of three Playoff events and a PGA Championship.

If he isn't on your shortlist, you've got the wrong shortlist.

Jon Rahm

Is there a better golfer right now without a major championship than Jon Rahm? We think not. The talented Spaniard has the complete package to be joining golf's elite club of major winners, and it's quite conceivable that he could be in the mix heading into Sunday's final round.

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. What he found was a demanding track where being out of position can be mercilessly punished.

“It’s just a difficult course. It’s long. It’s narrow. It’s undulating. You just need to play really good golf.” Jon Rahm

If he can hole a few monster putts, like the one below, he'll be hard to stop at Winged Foot.

Justin Thomas

Buoyed by his selection as the 2019/20 PGA Player of the Year, Justin Thomas arrives at Winged Foot looking to add to his solitary major championship win - that coming at the 2017 PGA Championship at Quail Hollow.

Wins at the CJ Cup, Sentry Tournament of Champions and WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational helped Thomas secure the end of season award, and the T-3 at East Lake's Tour Championship (72-hole score) shows he's in good form. If he can get the short-stick to behave, the young Kentuckian could be in for a good week in New York.

The 3 Lively Outsiders

Tommy Fleetwood

Perhaps a left-field suggestion this one, given Tommy Fleetwood's struggles throughout the majority of 2020, but after taking a pre-U.S. Open detour to the Portugal Masters - and playing so well - it's worth keeping an eye on the Englishman's progress in New York this week.

He's been knocking at the door in majors before, particularly at last year's Open Championship when he settled for a runner-up spot behind Shane Lowry, and in this event back in 2018 when he finished a single shot shy of Brooks Koepka's total.

Tommy talks about some of the key changes to his iron play below.

Jason Day

Since mid-July Jason Day has managed four top-10 finishes in six events, and he seems rested and ready for a shot at securing a second major title - the first coming back in 2015 at Whistling Straits' hosting of the PGA Championship.

Winged Foot's penal greens will mean the champions come Sunday will have needed to bring their scrambling A-game - this is where Day could excel. He is notoriously solid when it comes to the short game, and ranked second for sand save percentage during the 19/20 PGA Tour season.

Tony Finau

When will it be Tony Finau's time to shine? He's been a major championship nearly man for as long as we can remember, but he possesses all the talent and athletic ability to rise to the top of the men's game.

He's looked every inch a major champion for years now, although our decision to tip Finau this week comes more out of desire and plenty of wood touching on our part, rather than any degree of expectation. His near misses in majors remind us of this beauty from Sam Harrop.

Round 1 tee-times

Hole No.1

6:50 a.m. -- Brandon Wu, Curtis Luck, Ryan Fox
7:01 a.m. -- Joel Dahmen, Rasmus Hojgaard, J.T. Poston
7:12 a.m. -- Chez Reavie, Sung Kang, Kevin Streelman
7:23 a.m. -- Jazz Janewattananond, Kevin Na, Matt Wallace
7:34 a.m. -- Brendon Todd, Harris English, Davis Thompson
7:45 a.m. -- Paul Waring, Victor Perez, Christiaan Bezuidenhout
7:56 a.m. -- Hideki Matsuyama, Patrick Reed, Jordan Spieth
8:07 a.m. -- Collin Morikawa, Justin Thomas, Tiger Woods
8:18 a.m. -- Matt Kuchar, Lucas Glover, Graeme McDowell
8:29 a.m. -- Charles Howell III, Ryo Ishikawa, Max Homa
8:40 a.m. -- Kurt Kitayama, Robert MacIntyre, Sandy Scott
8:51 a.m. -- Eddie Pepperell, Troy Merritt, Sami Valimaki

12:10 p.m. -- Shaun Norris, Rory Sabbatini, Chan Kim
12:21 p.m. -- Adam Long, Eduard Rousaud, Mike Lorenzo-Vera
12:32 p.m. -- Lukas Michel, Lucas Herbert, Matt Jones
12:43 p.m. -- Ryan Palmer, Si Woo Kim, Rafa Cabrera Bello
12:54 p.m. -- Joaquin Niemann, Sungjae Im, Cameron Champ
1:05 p.m. -- Gary Woodland, Andy Ogletree, Shane Lowry
1:16 p.m. -- Bryson DeChambeau, Dustin Johnson, Tony Finau
1:27 p.m. -- Phil Mickelson, Paul Casey, Jon Rahm
1:38 p.m. -- Rickie Fowler, Matthew Wolff, Viktor Hovland
1:49 p.m. -- Romain Langasque, Davis Riley, Will Zalatoris
2:00 p.m. -- Matthias Schwab, Cole Hammer, Alex Noren
2:11 p.m. -- Connor Syme, Paul Barjon, Marty Jertson

Hole No. 10

6:50 a.m. -- Danny Balin, Greyson Sigg, J.C. Ritchie
7:01 a.m. -- Ricky Castillo, Brian Harman, Andy Sullivan
7:12 a.m. -- Tom Lewis, Preston Summerhays, Jason Kokrak
7:23 a.m. -- Martin Kaymer, Jimmy Walker, John Augenstein
7:34 a.m. -- Tyler Duncan, Thomas Detry, Erik van Rooyen
7:45 a.m. -- Tyrrell Hatton, Henrik Stenson, Danny Willett
7:56 a.m. -- Webb Simpson, Sergio Garcia, Jason Day
8:07 a.m. -- Rory McIlroy, Adam Scott, Justin Rose
8:18 a.m. -- Ian Poulter, Patrick Cantlay, Steve Stricker
8:29 a.m. -- Adam Hadwin, Mackenzie Hughes, Corey Conners
8:40 a.m. -- Sebastian Munoz, Chun An Yu, Justin Harding
8:51 a.m. -- Scott Hend, Dan McCarthy, Ryan Vermeer

12:10 p.m. -- Richy Werenski, Taylor Pendrith, Renato Paratore
12:21 p.m. -- Jim Herman, John Pak, Thomas Pieters
12:32 p.m. -- Michael Thompson, Andrew Putnam, Chesson Hadley
12:43 p.m. -- Bernd Wiesberger, Marc Leishman, Cameron Smith
12:54 p.m. -- Lee Westwood, James Sugrue, Bubba Watson
1:05 p.m. -- Matt Fitzpatrick, Daniel Berger, Branden Grace
1:16 p.m. -- Tommy Fleetwood, Kevin Kisner, Abraham Ancer
1:27 p.m. -- Louis Oosthuizen, Zach Johnson, Keegan Bradley
1:38 p.m. -- Billy Horschel, Xander Schauffele, Brandt Snedeker
1:49 p.m. -- Shugo Imahira, Ben An, Takumi Kanaya
2:00 p.m. -- Danny Lee, Mark Hubbard, Lanto Griffin
2:11 p.m. -- Stephen Jaeger, Lee Hodges, Adrian Otaegui

Let us know who you're rooting for in the comments below.


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