Jason Day has enjoyed a good record at the US Open since his debut in 2011 (pictured)
The US Open is now just a week away and with nine Australians and two New Zealanders having played their way into the field there is much interest in the event from this part of the world.
In order of world ranking, Adam Scott, Marc Leishman, Jason Day, Cameron Smith, Lucas Herbert, Matt Jones, Danny Lee, Ryan Fox, Scott Hend, Curtis Luck and Lukas Michel, will tackle the demanding Winged Foot beginning on September 17th, that group attempting to become the first Australasian since Geoff Ogilvy’s win at the same venue in 2006 to take the title.
Adam Scott will play his 19th US Open having recorded a best of 4th when a last round of 64 at Chambers Bay in Washington State saw him tied for that pace with fellow Australian Cameron Smith.
Scott has made the cut in each of his starts since returning to tournament golf at the PGA Championship in August with a best of 22nd at the PGA Championship at Harding Park. He was 25th in his last appearance at the BMW Championship in Chicago two weeks ago.
Marc Leishman will play his 9th US Open with a best finish of 18th at Oakmont in 2016. Leishman has struggled with his form in recent weeks and will need a significant form reversal if he is to better his Oakmont effort.
Jason Day enjoys an impressive record at the US Open with five top tens in his nine appearances to date, two of those when runner-up including when on debut in the event in 2011.
Day has displayed some encouraging form of late with four top tens in seven starts since the PGA Tour’s return to competition in July. His game is perfect for the demands of major championship golf over demanding layouts and, if injury free, then he stands a chance of contending.
Cameron Smith debuted at the US Open in 2015 when he produced a remarkable 4th place finish at Chambers Bay. He has not fared as well since, his best in three starts since that amazing first appearance being 59th.
Smith’s most recent form, however, has been solid enough, making it all the way to the Tour Championship where he finished 22nd in the 30-man field. He recorded two top twenties in the two other FedEx Cup Playoffs.
Lucas Herbert will play his second US Open after a disastrous debut at Shinnecock Hills in 2018. He is a far more credentialed player now, however, and gets his place in this field courtesy of his impressive improvement in world ranking due mainly to his win at the Dubai Desert Classic in February.
The current Australian Open Champion, Matt Jones, has yet to make the weekend in his four appearances to date at the US Open, having missed the cut in three and being forced to withdraw when on debut at Bethpage Black in 2009.
Jones, who is also in the field courtesy of his world ranking, has hardly set the world on fire of late and faces a big task if he is to better his record in the event.
The first of the two New Zealanders in the field is Danny Lee, who plays the US Open for the third time although he was also eligible to play in 2009 as the 2008 US Amateur champion but turned professional and relinquished his exemption.
Lee gets his place in the field as a result of his standing amongst those on the FedEx Cup points table and not already exempt for the event.
Lee missed the cut at Chambers Bay and finished 57th at Oakmont in 2016 so this will be his first appearance since then. His most recent form has been encouraging but it is hard to imagine him contending for a potential second New Zealand victory in the event following that of Michael Campbell’s win in 2005.
Michael Campbell’s win in 2005
Ryan Fox will compete in his third US Open having performed well when 41st at Chambers Bay on debut and then he missed the cut at Pebble Beach last year.
Fox, who is in the field as a result of his efforts on the Australasian Tour in 2019, has played well in European Tour events in the last couple of months but this is clearly another level.
Scott Hend played his first US Open in 2004 and his last in 2011 but the only time he made the cut in his three starts in the event was when 32nd at the 2006 edition at this year’s venue, Winged Foot.
The Queenslander, who gains his start in 2020 as a result of his fine efforts on the Asian Tour in 2019, has not played well since his return to tournament golf in events in Europe so his chances of a good week appear slim.
Curtis Luck gained his start in this year’s event courtesy of his performances in recent Korn Ferry Tour events, more especially his win Ohio three weeks ago.
This will be his US Open debut although he was eligible to play in 2017 after winning the US Amateur the year before but turned professional beforehand.
Victorian amateur, Lukas Michel, is in the final Australasian in the field his inclusion as a result of his impressive win at the 2019 US Mid-Amateur Championship in Colorado.
This will be an amazing experience for the now Victorian based but Perth raised 26 year old.
One of only two Australians to win the event, Geoff Ogilvy at Winged Foot in 2006.