Photo courtesy of USGA

This week’s US Open Championship at the Country Club, Brookline in Massachusetts, will see nine Australians taking to the fairways of the 123 year old layout which will host its 4th US Open, the last of which was played in 1988 and won by Curtis Strange.

In world ranking order, Cameron Smith, Adam Scott, Lucas Herbert, Marc Leishman, Ryan Fox, Min Woo Lee, Danny Lee, Jed Morgan and Todd Sinnott will tee it up with Min Woo Lee, Sinnott and Morgan playing their very first US Open Championships.

Smith will play his 7th US Open but despite his rapid rise in the game’s standings in that time, his best finish and only top ten in the event came in 2015 at Chambers Bay where he essentially earned the right to play the US PGA Tour.

Smith has never finished better than 38th at his other five starts but he is in the middle of his best year on the PGA Tour and is expected to be some sort of factor despite his most recent form falling away a little.

Since his impressive 3rd place finish at Augusta National Smith has been twice 13th, missed the cut on one occasion and at last week’s Canadian Open he finished in 48th place.

Smith has however shown that he can mix it with the game’s best when he is at his best and his performance this week will again be under the watchful eye of Australian golf fans.

Cameron Smith practising this week – photo USGA Kathryn Riley

Adam Scott will play his 21st US Open and his 84th consecutive major (a remarkable record). Like Smith, however, his US Open record does leave a little to be desired despite the many attempts he has had to contend, having finished inside the top ten on only three occasions in those 20 previous starts.

His best effort came when he tied with Smith for 4th at Chambers Bay but his combined record and immediate form suggests that he will again battle to contend.

Scott has played well in patches in 2022, improving just a few places in the world ranking but with only one top ten in his last seven starts on the PGA Tour there is cause for concern.

Lucas Herbert is a rapid riser amongst the Australasians in over the last eighteen months or so, winning on the PGA Tour and in Ireland in 2021.

Herbert’s best in two attempts at the US Open was when 31st at Winged Foot in 2020 and his most recent form, like Scott’s, has been below that of earlier in the season.

Lucas Herbert signing autographs at The Country Club Brookline – photo USGA Kathryn Riley

Marc Leishman gets to play his 11th US Open but with only one top 20 finish in his previous ten it is hard to get excited about his chances this week.

Leishman’s form over the last three months has been well below his capabilities, also, having slipped from 36th in the world ranking to just outside the top 50.

There has been not one top twenty finish in his last eight PGA Tour events so it is hard to imagine, given his record in the event and his current form, that things are going to get a lot better.

New Zealand’s Ryan Fox is another to have made big improvement in 2022 having improved from 213th at the beginning of the year to his current standing in the world ranking of 62nd.

There has been a series of fine performances on the DP World Tour during that time including a win and two runner up finishes, so, in many respects, he is perhaps the in form golf amongst the Australasians.

Fox played well at the USPGA Championship before eventually finishing 54th following a final round slump but he showed early in that event that he can at least foot it with many higher ranked players.

Fox will play his 4th US Open having missed the cut in two and finished 41st on debut in 2018.

Min Woo Lee has focused nearly all of his attention on the PGA Tour in 2022 but having missed seven of nine cuts in the US he is struggling to find his feet, despite a very impressive 14th place at Augusta National on debut in April.

He is on his US Open debut at The Country Club so there is not much expectation of him doing well although that could also have been said re his Masters appearance but he proved us wrong.

Danny Lee played his way into the US Open via Sectional Qualifying and, as if boosted by that effort, he followed up with his first top ten finish in nearly seven months when 10th at last week’s Canadian Open.

The former US Amateur Champion might have found something in his game that could lead to a better finish than the only time he made the weekend in three attempts at this historic championship.

Jed Morgan earned his way into the event courtesy of his Australasian Tour money list title and will play his first ever major championship ahead of another start at the Open Championship in July.

Morgan has played only three events as a professional outside the US, missing the cut in both and finishing well back at the LIV Golf event last week. He will be better for the run as they say.

Todd Sinnott picked up one of the last places in the field by earning his way into the championship via Final Qualifying in Japan.

Sinnott has two professional wins to his name, the first in Myanmar five years ago and the most recent being earlier this year in a PGA Tour of Australasia TPS event in Victoria. He has begun to play well in events in Asia in recent months and has done well to make the field for his first major championship.

Sinnott is a very talented player and the exposure and experience he gains in playing an event of this level this week will prove invaluable as his career progresses.

It is once again hard to past Cameron Smith as the logical choice to do best amongst the Australasians given his capacity to play the big events well and, despite a recent drop off in the brilliant form he showed earlier in the year, logic suggests he is the man to beat amongst the ‘down under brigade’ at least.

Round 1 Tee times