Nick Bonfield looks at the seven players in the US Open field who have previous played Erin Hills in an official competition
But, as we all know, there’s a big difference between playing a course in practice mode and competing during a serious tournament.
The USGA has a habit of taking the US Amateur to new courses a couple of years before US Opens head there, as it did with Chambers Bay in 2015.
The same thing happened with Erin Hills, which staged the 2011 US Amateur.
Then, Kelly Kraft defeated number-one-ranked amateur Patrick Cantlay 2up in the 36-hole final. Kraft won’t be at Erin Hills to compete in the 2017 US Open, but number of other competitors from the 2011 US Amateur will be. But who are they?
The two players in the US Open field who enjoyed the most success back in 2011 were Peter Uihlein and Jordan Spieth, who both reached the quarter-final stage.
Spieth lost 3&2 to Englishman Jack Senior, while Uihlein suffered a 19th-hole defeat to Texan Jordan Russell.
The other five players competing in the year’s second Major who took part in the 2011 US Amateur were all knocked out in the second round: Justin Thomas, Bryson DeChambeau, Stephan Jaeger, Harris English and Russell Henley, who won his first match 3&1 before running into a rampant Cantlay.
So, which of these players do I think will make the biggest impression at Erin Hills this time around?
Related: Jordan Spieth swing sequence
The obvious answer in Spieth, the 2015 US Open champion. His putting isn’t statistically anywhere near as strong as it was then, but we all know how capable he is on the greens. Plus, he currently ranks 1st on the PGA Tour in Strokes Gained: Approach-The-Green.
I also like Thomas’ chances. The World No. 13 has won three times this season and his game should suit Erin Hills. So far this season, he ranks 4th on the PGA Tour in Strokes Gained: Approach-The-Green, 6th in Strokes Gained: Total and 9th in Strokes Gained: Tee-To-Green.
In you’re looking for a US Open outsider to back, I’d suggest taking a look at Henley. He’s solid from tee to green, he’s a quality putter, he’s won on the PGA Tour already this season and he finished 11th at The Masters.