U.S. Open 2022 Preview
The Country Club, Brookline, Massachusetts, Par 70 7,264 Yards
2013 U.S. Amateur
1999 Ryder Cup
1988 U.S. Open etc.
Despite The Country Club not hosting the U.S. Open since 1988, the course fits the U.S. Open formula with long rough, tight fairways and small greens that require accuracy. A unique aspect of The Country Club is the golfers will be facing a lot of blind shots either from the fairway or tee this week. The property also has three nine-hole courses to be used this week. This course will demand all aspects of your game to be on point if you want to hoist the U.S. Open trophy on Sunday.
LIV Golf is here and alive after their first event in London last week, now going against the PGA Tour. As the league starts with the likes of Bryson DeChambeau, Dustin Johnson, Patrick Reed, and Phil Mickelson, there is golf competition for the first time in a while. It’s only going to get more intense from here as the PGA Tour suspended those who compete in LIV events, and if a member of LIV Golf wins come Sunday or contends, it will only add to the drama.
No Tiger Woods:
To rest and prepare for the Open Championship, Woods has decided to skip the U.S. Open this week to continue strengthening his leg.
Phil is back in the spotlight:
After returning last week for his first event since February, a lot of the attention will be on Mickelson this week after joining LIV Golf.
Being near Boston, The Country Club crowds could be rocky this week, especially with the added element of those who signed with LIV Golf.
Coming off his great win at the RBC Candian Open, McIlroy is one of the favorites this week to snap his major drought going back to 2014. He also has stepped up to become one of the prominent spokespeople for the PGA Tour in its rivalry with LIV Golf.
The winner of the 2013 U.S. Amateur at The Country Club may give Fitzpatrick an advantage this week. Playing in the final group at the PGA Championship may have also given Fitzpatrick a taste of how to contend in a major in the final holes. As for his golf game outside of the Memorial, he’s played good golf and his ball striking is the strength of his game.
The PGA Championship was a shocking missed cut for Conners, but being one of the best ball strikers in the world he can rebound this week at a course that demands it.
Riley is one of the young stars on the PGA Tour who could soon pick up his first PGA Tour win. He finished T13 at the PGA Championship. Despite two missed cuts in two U.S. Open appearances Riley’s play coming in a T4 and T13 means he should be a popular sleeper this week.
A heartbreaking double bogey on the 18th hole cost him a PGA Championship but he’s responded well and is still playing good golf. The experience of the PGA Championship may benefit Pereira rather than hurt him in his young career.
Young is the leading golfer right now to win rookie of the year. Most around the golf world may know him for his T3 at the PGA Championshp but Young has the tools to replicate that performance at a course that fits his game with his fantastic ball striking.
Gooch shocked the golf world by heading to LIV Golf. However, doing that doesn’t take away the great golf he has been playing and it should continue this week.
Finau, comes in with two straight top-fives and may finally be turning the corner after a rough start to 2022. If there is one major you expect Finau to contend in it’s the U.S. Open with how long he hits it.
Fleetwood has played solid golf recently with four top 25s. In the past, Fleetwood has been known for his great ball striking and he may have unlocked that once again. He has also had great success at the U.S. Open in the past. So, while he may not win this week contending should not shock anyone.
Golfers I do not like this week
Mickelson contending with the state of his game and the distractions off the course means a possible missed cut this week for Mickelson.
He’s not on this list because of LIV Golf whatsoever. He’s on this list because he has not played good golf. I do not expect this week to change that trend either.
Billy Horschel and Max Homa
Both have won big tournaments but both do not have the best track record at major championships.
Long courses do not suit his game despite his good putting skills.
Another golfer who departed for LIV Golf but his game is still not where it needs to be to contend in a major championship. One reason for that is he is still working his way back from injuries.
Cantlay has the game to win a major championship and is on a list of golfers who is looking to pick up their first one. However, his play this season has been lackluster. But, his game does fit the U.S. Open style and he could play well this week but i’m not expecting it.
It’s really simple with Morikawa, he’s either hot with his putter or ice cold and it’s been the latter lately. He even brought out a new putter at the Memorial to try and get a spark but it didn’t happen with a missed cut. His game has risen to the occasion at majors in his young career but if his putter doesn’t show up he won’t contend.
11 Jordan Spieth
Despite a stomach bug making him sick one figures to not count out Spieth at a major championship. But the U.S. Open has always tested his game being a shaky driver himself. However, he’s done better in that department and could be a factor come Sunday if he can find fairways to give himself chances.
10 Cameron Smith
After a hot spring Smith has cooled off a bit but still is an elite putter and has a good short game. But, the U.S. Open requires great driving and Smith will need to provide that to contend this week.
9 Shane Lowry
The entire season it’s felt like Lowry has been a factor in every tournament despite not having a win. That is how good of golf he has been playing particularly with his irons. If he can find the fairway and avoid trouble he will shine this week like he has done all season.
8 Brooks Koepka
Koepka’s track record alone at the U.S. Open puts him as one of the favorites despite poor play coming. It’s been a shock to see Koepka miss the cut at the Masters and not contend the PGA Championship but the U.S. Open was always the best major for his game and this week as a husband now could be the week to return to form.
7 Xander Schauffele
Five top 10’s in five starts is the stat for Schauffele at the U.S. Open. That alone should have the gold medalist as one of your favorties to pick this week. Last year Jon Rahm picked up his first ever major championship at Torrey Pines. What really can determine if this will finally be the week Schauffele to get his first major championship is putting. If that putter gets hot the rest of the field will be in trouble trying to out play him.
6 Will Zalatoris
Zalatoris was so close to not only getting his first win and his first major championship at the PGA Championship. He continue to impress especially at majors making people believe that first major championship will come. For this week He comes in playing great golf and figures to once again be in the mix this week.
5 Jon Rahm
The defending champion from last year and the best driver of the golf ball in the world according to the stats figures to be a popular pick this week. An important aspect like many on this list if the putting. If Rahm putts like he did at Memorial and his hot stretch last year then he will be hard to beat this week to repeat.
4 Sam Burns
Burns is a name nobody talks about but they should. Coming into this week Burns has three wins on the season only putting him beind Scottie Scheffler. Burns did beat Scheffler in a playoff to win at Colonial in tough conditions. But in his young career his best finish at a major is a T20 at the PGA Championship back in May. Burns however, has proven he can handle the pressure outside of majors and this week could be his chance to make a statement to the golf world.
3 Justin Thomas
The PGA Champion finally figured out his struggles in major championships. His duel with McIlroy at the RBC Canadian Open shows that he is still one of the hottest golfers in the world. The Country Club will be a test for his game but being one of the best ball strikers in the world and having a hot putter should mean another Sunday in contention for Thomas.
2 Scottie Scheffler
Scheffler’s play was so absurd in the spring that not winning since the Masters means he has cooled off. But by no means does that mean he isn’t playing good golf with a playoff loss to Burns at Colonial. Scheffler has already proven what it takes to win a major championship. With his ability to hit clutch putts and play with confidence should result a chance for his second major come Sunday afternoon.
1 Rory McIlroy
One of the faces of the PGA Tour delivered a winning performance at the RBC Canadian Open that included a 62 in the final round when the Tour needed it. Now, McIlroy firing on all cylinders has his best chance since 2019 at Royal Portrush to snap his long major drought. In order for McIlroy to do that his wedges and irons needs to show up to give himself scoring looks. If there is one thing not to worry about it’s the driver with his ability to hit it long on a 7,264 Yard course should be entertaining to watch.
Holes to watch:
The closing stretch 15-18
Hole 15 is a 513 yard par four to start out the tough four hole stretch. If golfers miss the fairway bogey or worse will come into play. Hole 16 is a tricky par three playing over 200 yards and has tricky green to read as well. Hole 17 plays at under 400 yards meaning strategy comes into play potentially being the hole that could decide the tournament. Hole 18 certainly isn’t an easy finishing hole either if you miss the fairway.
Winning score: -6
Pars win U.S. Open and sometimes bogeys but that always depends on the set up of the course to test that philosophy. The rough will be thick and the fairways will be hard to hit and with a par 70 makes scoring chances tough.