Merion Golf Course, at 6,996 yards, will be the shortest course used for a major championship in the past nine years.
Recent winners of the US Open more or less support the well-worn theory that shorter, accurate hitters will triumph.
Defending champion Webb Simpson is currently outside the top-100 on the PGA Tour for driving distance. In fact, excluding Simpson, three of the past seven winners are not currently in the top-100 either: Graeme McDowell, Geoff Ogilvy and Retief Goosen.
Where distance is not necessary, accuracy is vital. The 2010 champion Graeme McDowell is first in driving accuracy on the PGA Tour in 2013.
Surprisingly, for a player whose demons with the longer clubs are well known, Sweden’s Henrik Stenson is second in that category and he’s proved he can win on difficult tracks with his 2009 Players triumph.
It’s worth keeping an eye on other competitors who rarely veer off line from the tee and have success on tough courses, such as Tim Clark and 2003 US Open champion Jim Furyk, third and seventh respectively in driving accuracy.
With Merion likely to play short, proximity to the hole with wedges and short irons will be of paramount importance. Again McDowell and Furyk feature highly, but Phil Mickelson lurks in 11th place in approaches from 125-150 yards, averaging 21’1″.
Matt Kuchar is currently playing the golf of his life and has won three big events in the past year, including the Memorial earlier this month. He’s 17th on tour in the 125-150 department and 13th overall for all approach shots from inside 200 yards.
The rough is so thick around the greens at the US Open that often the intricacy and skill required to scramble well are lost in a mass of four-inch deep, densely-packed blades of grass.
Again Graeme McDowell is top of the scrambling stats, but I’m not convinced this is such an important part of a US Open champion’s make-up.
More pertinent is sand save percentage, and no one is better than Justin Rose, who gets up-and-down nearly 70% of the time.
A stellar long-game and robot-like consistency with his swing, combined with skill from the sand, should stand Rose in good stead.
Strokes gained putting is arguably the most important statistic and the big names performing there are Sergio Garcia and Tiger Woods, placed second and fifth respectively.
Of course, probably the most important statistics at a US Open are the ones that can’t be measured: Patience, mental toughness and confidence.