Here we take a look at the Europeans who could make a challenge at Shinnecock Hills this weekend. By Cameron Hazzard
US Open 2018 European Contenders
With the US Open coming up later this week, we look at the European players in contention.
Justin Rose and Rory McIlroy will hope to win back the trophy that gave them their first major, whilst Francesco Molinari comes to Shinnecock Hills in fine form.
The Ryder Cup is just round the corner too, so Thomas Bjorn will be hoping for some strong performances from the Europeans.
US Open 2018 European Contenders:
England’s Justin Rose, who is currently ranked third in the world, is deservedly one of the favourites heading to Shinnecock Hills.
He won his first and only major at the US Open back in 2013, and his current form would suggest that a second is not too far away.
Currently sitting third in the FedEx Cup rankings for the 2018 season, Rose will be hoping to continue his good form going into this weekend and contend for the title.
Rory McIlroy will always be a contender in a Major Championship, regardless of his form at the time.
This season has been an up and down one for the four time major winner, with three top-10’s, but also three missed cuts – he has also missed the last two cuts at the US Open.
His current form may not be the best but with Rory, anything can happen.
Spaniard Jon Rahm is a sensational young talent, and his long hitting will help him at an extended Shinnecock Hills.
Ranked 5th in the world after less than two years as a pro with five wins to his name already, Rahm is definitely going to be an interesting watch at this tough course.
He will be hoping to at least add another top-10 at a major following on from his 4th place finish at Augusta in April.
With a win and four top-10’s this season, Tommy Fleetwood is another player whose ballstriking will suit Shinnecock Hills.
Fleetwood, who led last year’s competition at the half way stage but ultimately finished outright fourth, will be looking to contend once again.
Currently ranked 12th in the world, there is no reason why the Englishman can’t compete for this years US Open title.
The Ice Man has gone under the radar a bit this season, despite having four top-10 finishes earlier on this season.
However he hasn’t been in the best of form recently, with no top-10s since the Masters in early April.
Stenson didn’t perform particularly well at last year’s US Open, missing the cut by one shot, so he will be hoping to make amends by putting a good performance in at Shinnecock Hills this week.
Sergio hasn’t quite been the same since breaking his duck of not winning a major championship at the 2017 Masters.
Current form would suggest that he is unlikely to be a big contender this week at the US Open, with more missed cuts than top-10 finishes.
However, at a course that doesn’t take form into consideration, don’t be surprised if the Spaniard is challenging come Sunday.
With a first and second place finish at the BMW PGA Championship and Italian Open respectively, Francesco Molinari is one of the form players going into the US Open this week.
His best finish at the US Open is a T23 finish in 2014, so he will be hoping that his excellent form will leave him in good stead to improve on that this year.
The Italian isn’t the longest of hitters so might find it difficult at a long, tough Shinnecock Hills.
The highly rated Swede has been in reasonably consistent form this season, with three top-10s in 11 starts, including a 3rd place finish at the BMW PGA Championship last month.
Noren has never been able to perform at the US Open, only making one cut of the five he has played in, and that was back in 2011.
He will be hoping that his above average driving accuracy will be able to help him play to the best of his ability this week, on a course with narrow fairways.
Ranked just outside the world’s top 10, Paul Casey will be searching for his first major victory this week at Shinnecock Hills, having already secured nine top-10 finishes at major championships.
The US Open hasn’t been Casey’s best friend over the 14 times he’s played in the competition, only recording one top-10 finish and missing five cuts.
However, the Englishman has been in good form coming to Shinnecock Hills, with four top-10s and a win already to his name this season.
Tyrrell Hatton hasn’t quite reached the heights that he did last year, despite already recording two third place’s already this season.
Hatton has only ever played in one US Open before, missing the cut last year, which will give him extra motivation this week.
His best finish at a major is a tied for fifth finish at last years Open, so the Englishman will be hoping that he can get another good result at a major.
Rafa Cabrera Bello
Rafa Cabrera Bello has never performed as well as he’d want at a major, with only one top-10 in a major before, which was a T4 at last year’s Open.
He does come to the US Open in good form though, despite not winning in nearly a year.
One issue that the Spaniard might have at Shinnecock Hills is that his driving isn’t the longest, which could leave him in danger on some holes.
Ian Poulter has had a topsy turvy season to say the least.
Winning the Houston Open to secure his place in the Masters has been the highlight so far, but before that he missed consecutive cuts.
The majors is where Poulter comes into his own, and although he has never won one, he is usually near the top of the leaderboard.
However, he is another player who has never recorded a top-10 at the US Open, so he will be hoping for a good performance on a course that he missed the cut at back in 2004.
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