The 117th U.S. Open kicks off on Thursday morning at Erin Hills in Hartford, Wisconsin. 156 players have earned their way to the first-time Open venue via status or qualification, but the number of players who can actually contend and win a major championship is much fewer.
While golf’s professional tournament fields are better and deeper than ever before, the game, mental makeup and good fortune it takes to win one of the four major championships each season results in a 156-man field being widdled down to a fraction of that number.
In honor of the multiple drafts, pools and fantasy lineups being filled out across the globe for the U.S. Open, here is our list of the 9* guys who can win this year’s U.S. Open trophy.
*Honorable Mention: Phil Mickelson
Until he retires, Phil Mickelson will be one of the main storylines heading into each and every U.S. Open he qualifies for. However, as we all know, Phil will need some help from Mother Nature, the USGA or both to make his 2:20 tee time on Thursday. Planning to skip the U.S. Open to attend the high school graduation of his eldest daughter, Mickelson likely won’t get a chance to tee it up at Erin Hills.
Without having seen or practiced on the course, and given the likelihood that he won’t even make it to Wisconsin, to have Mickelson show up, play and win sight unseen would be one of the most Phil Mickelson things ever, so we have to include him on the list.
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