The US Open kicks off tonight and several Aussies are vying for one of golf’s most lucrative prize pools.
A highly anticipated US Open kicks off tonight, with several big winners and Aussies vying on an extremely challenging golf course.
The US Golf Association has allowed players from the Saudi rebel-backed LIV Golf Series to compete, instead of banning them as the US PGA Tour has done.
As a result, the likes of Dustin Johnson, Phil Mickelson, Patrick Reed and Bryson DeChambeau will be among the LIV stars who will embark on a quest for a major title in the first LIV-PGA showdown.
Watch every round of the US Open 2022 live and on demand June 17-20 with FOX SPORTS on Kayo. New to Kayo? Try free for 14 days >
The US Open is held at the Country Club in Brookline, Massachusetts – a course with shorter holes but dense, smaller greens.
“The golf course requires a really boring golfer and someone who hits it really straight and a really good iron game,” said the Fox Sports golf expert and host of Your Golf Show Paul Gow told news.com.au.
“The golf course is not for someone who hits long. It’s for someone who can make their way around the golf course.
“My choice (to win) is Patrick Cantlay. He was pretty much in the majors, he won golf tournaments on the American circuit. He’s one of those methodical players and that’s what this golf course demands.
“My next best is Matt Fitzpatrick, who is world No. 17, a 28-year-old Englishman.
“He’s just one of those guys who gets better every year.”
Australian competitors who can win
The short game of the players will be decisive on the shorter holes, which favors the Australian Cameron Smith, who is among the favorites.
“The short game is everything,” Gow said.
“That’s why Cam Smith is in the thick of it, because he has the best short game in the world.
“Cam Smith loves this stage. He’s had a bunch of top fives in majors, second at the Masters this year, fourth at the US Open in 2015 at Chambers Bay – that’s where he really came into his own, that’s where we started to find out who Cam Smith was.
“And he’s a serious type of player. He put a new driver in the bag this week and if he puts the ball on the fairway we know how good his iron game is and his short game is now recognized as the best in the world.
“His chipping, putting and pitching will come to the fore and it showed in the Players Championship when he brought that one up and down last, which was pretty sensational.”
Gow also thinks fellow Aussie Marc Leishman could be a crapshoot to pick up a major victory this weekend.
“He drives the ball well, his iron game is excellent,” he said.
“Contrary to what people think, his golf this year has been really solid without being fantastic. “It comes down to a few putts here and there and if he can land a few putts, watch out. And at 125-1, that’s probably a good bet.
Stars seek to break major drought
PGA Championship winner Justin Thomas is one of the favorites, as is four-time major winner Rory McIlroy.
The 33-year-old hasn’t won a major tournament since 2014, but recently found his best form winning at the Canadian Open last week.
“That will be the interesting part. How much confidence he will get from it, how much energy it took him this week because a US Open week takes a lot of energy,” said Gow, who has played two US Opens.
“You have to be patient and reserve your energy for day four, so it will be interesting to see how he handles that and to see how much pressure he has put on himself to win another major tournament.
“He’s been there a long time. In 2014, it looked like he was unstoppable and was going to win 10 major tournaments. I expect him to play well. I don’t know if he will win. »
Meanwhile, Jordan Spieth left pre-tournament training early due to illness, but the American is shaping up to be a dangerous contender.
“We thought his game was gone two years ago, but he’s back,” Gow said.
“He wins events, he fights every week and his putt is back.
“I wouldn’t count it. Always beware of the sick golfer or the injured golfer as their expectations are lower. If he starts putting putts, we know he can win majors.
“Ridiculous” course to challenge the best in the world
Gow describes the Brookline Country Club as a typical US Open course “that borders on ridiculous”.
“It’s extremely difficult,” he said.
“It’s long, the greens are firm, it’s upside down and it’s tough. Over Par wins the golf tournament. This is how they differentiate themselves from the Masters, the Open Championship and the PGA Championship.
“It’s a shorter golf course, the rough is still in place, the greens are much smaller but they don’t have as many undulations. There’s a lot of blind shooting. It is a type of hilly golf course.
“I expect players who are good with their irons, straight hitters, they will be in contention.
“The color contrast we’ll see from rough to fairways to bunkers to greens will look great on Fox Sports.”
How to watch the US Open
The US Open is live and exclusive in HD on Fox Sports and Kayo, the only place to see all four golf majors live.
All the action is being shown on a dedicated pop-up channel, Fox Sports 503. The channel will air 60 hours of live coverage from the US Open, including all four rounds and livestreamed feature groups.
The channel also broadcasts the classic final stages of the US Open.
What is the prize money?
A record purse of AU$25 million is up for grabs at the US Open, with the winner taking home AU$5 million.
Australian Round 1 Tee Times
9:29 p.m. – Adam Scott, Jordan Spieth, Max Homa
10:02 p.m. – Marc Leishman, Keegan Bradley, Aaron Wise
02:30 – Jed Morgan, Taylor Montgomery, Sean Crocker
3:25 – Min Woo Lee, Seamus Power, Joohyung Kim
03:25 – Cameron Smith, Brooks Koepka, Scottie Scheffler
04:09 – Lucas Herbert, English Harris, Jason Kokrak
04:21 – Todd Sinnott, Jonas Blixt, Bo Hoag