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U.S. Open 2022: The top 100 golfers competing at The Country Club, ranked

June 12, 2022

A week after the elite level of the men’s game split into two, the world’s best golfers reunite outside Boston for the year’s third major championship. Ahead of the U.S. Open at The Country Club, we ranked the top 100 players in the field—PGA Tour guys, LIV guys, Korn Ferry guys, DP World Tour guys, amateurs and everyone in between—to help you win wagers, fill out your DFS roster or simply be a more informed viewer. Happy reading, and happy major week.

100: Stewart Hagestad (a)

Age: 31 World Ranking: N/A U.S. Open appearances: 3
Best U.S. Open finish: MC, 2018, 2019, 2020
The world’s best mid-amateur won the U.S. Mid Amateur—funny how that happens—for the second time last summer at Sankaty Head Golf Club on Nantucket. This will mark his fourth U.S. Open, as he qualified his way into both the 2018 and 2019 editions.

99: Guido Migliozzi

Age: 25 World Ranking: 169 U.S. Open appearances: 1
Best U.S. Open finish: T-4, 2021
Delighted fans with his extremely Italian name and his strong play last year at Torrey Pines, where he finished T-4. Has missed the cut in nine of 14 starts on the DP World Tour this year.

98: Michael Thorbjornsen (a)

Age: 20 World Ranking: N/A U.S. Open appearances: 1
Best U.S. Open finish: 79, 2019
Earned second-team All-American honors during his sophomore year at Stanford. If the name sounds familiar, it’s because it is—he qualified for the 2019 U.S. Open by winning the 2018 U.S. Junior Amateur and made the cut at Pebble Beach. Grew up in Wellesley, Mass., roughly 10 miles from Brookline. Got into the field via the final qualifying in New York.

97: Kalle Samooja

Age: 34 World Ranking: 134 U.S. Open appearances: First
Missed three cuts in a row before shooting a course-record 64 to win his first DP World Tour title at the Porsche European Open last month. That was the last tournament he played, and we have a long-standing policy that anyone who wins their last event before a major gets a spot in the highly prestigious Top 100.

96: Brandon Matthews

Age: 27 World Ranking: 285 U.S. Open appearances: First
Easy guy to root for—you might remember him as the player who lost a playoff in a PGA Tour Latinoamerica event a few years back after a fan with Down’s Syndrome yelled during a putt. He handled it as well as one possibly can and received an invite into the Arnold Palmer Invitational for his kindness. He’s also one of the longest players in professional golf—he played two consecutive events without a driver because, and I kid you not, he simply hits it too far—and you’ll almost certainly see him on the PGA Tour next year after he won on the KFT in April. Got through an eight-for-three playoff in his Final Qualifying spot to get into his first major.

95: Chan Kim

Age: 32 World Ranking: 107 U.S. Open appearances: 4
Best U.S. Open finish: MC, 2019, 2020, 2021
Born in South Korea, grew up in Hawaii, went to Arizona State and plays most of his golf in Japan (where he has seven tour wins). Shot 83 in the final round of the Memorial then, golf being golf, shot 62 in the opening round of his Final Qualifying site to breeze into his fourth consecutive U.S. Open start. The prior three have ended on Friday afternoon.

94: Shaun Norris

Age: 40 World Ranking: 68 U.S. Open appearances: 1
Best U.S. Open finish: MC, 2020
Been the dominant force on the Sunshine Tour, based in his native South Africa, which explains the World Ranking and his appearing in nine majors since 2017. Played with Tiger Woods on Saturday of the PGA Championship, right before Woods withdrew, and finished middle of the pack in last week’s LIV event. Smokes like a chimney.

93: Brian Stuard

Age: 39 World Ranking: 263 U.S. Open appearances: 6
Best U.S. Open finish: T-65, 2019
The man loves himself some Springfield Country Club. He’s now made it through Final Qualifying there seven times, though he’s made the cut in the U.S. Open only once.

92: Troy Merritt

Age: 36 World Ranking: 98 U.S. Open appearances: 3
Best U.S. Open finish: 58, 2020
Steady if unexplosive player has made nine consecutive cuts coming into this week but has yet to finish in the top 40 in 11 career major championship starts.

91: Sam Bennett (a)

Age: 22 World Ranking: N/A U.S. Open appearances: First
Texas A&M star breezed through qualifying in a field full of PGA Tour pros at the Columbus site. He’s the real deal, and he’s coming back to College Station for a fifth year—an especially interesting choice given he was second in the PGA Tour U standings, which would have resulted in full Korn Ferry status. Finished the year as Golfstat’s fourth-ranked college player.

90: Hayden Buckley

Age: 26 World Ranking: 250 U.S. Open appearances: 1
Best U.S. Open finish: MC, 2021
For this Mizzou grad, golf’s longest day became golf’s longest two days, as he had to come back Tuesday morning to win a playoff for the last qualifying spot from the Columbus site.

89: Christopher Gotterup

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Justin Tafoya

Age: 22 World Ranking: N/A U.S. Open appearances: First
Was the best player in college golf this past season, starring on an Oklahoma team he transferred to for a fifth season that made it to match play at the NCAAs. He then played his way through the New York Final Qualifying site and made his professional debut at the RBC Canadian Open, where he missed the cut. His tomahawk-like steep swing produces very long and very high shots. Took T-7 at the Puerto Rico Open this year—granted, not a strong field, but a top-10 in a PGA Tour event for a college kid still pops off the page.

88: Keita Nakajima (a)

Age: 22 World Ranking: 238 U.S. Open appearances: First
The world’s top ranked amateur has had significant success already on the Japan Tour—that’s how he’s inside the top 250 of the World Ranking before he ever turns professional. Made the cut in his first two PGA Tour starts of the year, a T-28 at the Zozo Championship and a T-41 at the Sony Open—but missed the weekend at the Masters.

87: Adam Schenk

Age: 30 World Ranking: 172 U.S. Open appearances: First
Purdue grad has three top-10s on the PGA Tour this season and got through the Columbus qualifying site to earn his first crack at a U.S. Open. Played his first major at the PGA Championship and made the cut. It has been a fun spring for him.

86: Wyndham Clark

Age: 28 World Ranking: 293 U.S. Open appearances: 1
Best U.S. Open finish: MC, 2021
Certainly doesn’t swing it like the 293rd best player in the world, and when he’s on—as he was at last week’s RBC Canadian Open, where he held the 36-hole lead—he can overpower courses with his length. Ranks fourth on tour in driving distance.

85: Thorbjorn Olesen

Age: 32 World Ranking: 182 U.S. Open appearances: 3
Best U.S. Open finish: CUT, 2019
Played on the victorious European Ryder Cup team in 2018 before his career was upended by an incident on an airplane that resulted in him being charged with sexual assault. (He was eventually cleared of all charges by a court in London). Ensured his return to major championship golf after a three-year hiatus in spectacular fashion, holing a 30-foot birdie putt then a 35-foot eagle putt on his last two holes to win the British Masters by a shot.

84: Sebastian Soderberg

Age: 31 World Ranking: 195 U.S. Open appearances: 1
Best U.S. Open finish: MC, 2016
Posted two top-fives on the DP World Tour to grab one of the 10 spots as part of the European Qualifying Series. This will be just the second major-championship start of his career, the first a missed cut at Oakmont five years ago.

83: Victor Perez

Age: 29 World Ranking: 93 U.S. Open appearances: 2
Best U.S. Open finish: MC, 2020, 2021
Strong play in Europe pushed him into the top 50 of the world, so he played a bunch of events in the U.S. in 2020 and 2021 without much success. He’s returned to Europe and is back to his old ways—his last two starts are a win at the Dutch Open and a T-3 in the Porsche European Open.

82: Richard Bland

Age: 49 World Ranking: 67 U.S. Open appearances: 2
Best U.S. Open finish: T-50
Emerged as a feel-good story at last year’s Open at Torrey Pines, becoming the oldest man to hold a piece of the 36-hole lead. He wound up finishing 50th, a reminder of how long 72 holes is, but managed four top-four finishes in Europe since. He’s parlayed this late-career relevance into an offer from LIV Golf, which he accepted with admirable honesty: “Most of my career is behind me now as regards to playing at the very highest level,” he told the BBC. “I’m nearly 50 years old in six months.”

81: Beau Hossler

Age: 27 World Ranking: 160 U.S. Open appearances: 3
Best U.S. Open finish: T-29, 2012
Briefly held the U.S. Open second-round lead a decade ago at Olympic Club as an amateur. He’s played in five majors since but hasn’t been able to better the T-29 he posted as a 17-year-old. Has two top-five finishes on tour this year.

80: Patrick Rodgers

Age: 29 World Ranking: 223 U.S. Open appearances: 3
Best U.S. Open finish: T-31, 2021
Wasn’t too long ago that he was the can’t-miss kid out of Stanford who tied Tiger’s wins record with 11 (though it took him four years, not two). Humbling, then, for him to have to go to Korn Ferry Tour finals last fall to rescue his card. But rescue it he did, and with three top-10s on the season he’s in much better shape to make the playoffs and avoid any of that stress.

79: Matthys Daffue

Age: 33 World Ranking: 290 U.S. Open appearances: First
Better known as MJ, you’ll be familiar with him if you follow the Monday qualifying scene, for he’s been a menace. On track to get his PGA Tour card as he’s third on the Korn Ferry Tour points list.

78: Phil Mickelson

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Matthew Lewis

Age: 52 World Ranking: 72 U.S. Open appearances: 30
Best U.S. Open finish: 2/T-2, six times
Where to begin?! His shock win at last year’s PGA Championship made him the oldest major champion in history and looked to be the crowning achievement of an all-time career. But instead of riding into the sunset as an iconic elder statesman of the game, Lefty has become a magnet for controversy, railing on the PGA Tour for its “obnoxious greed” and, according to him, working with “scary motherf***ers” to create LIV Golf to stick it to Ponte Vedra. Skipped his favorite tournament in the world, the Masters, and skipped his title defense at the PGA Championship only to return in distinctly mediocre form at the inaugural LIV event in London. Now he returns to the tournament that has tortured him more than any other. Need a win to complete the career Grand Slam, his six runner-ups are a record, though the last one came in 2013. He has little chance to contend—he shot 10 over par and finished T-33 in a 48-man field at the LIV event—but he’ll draw the biggest crowds of the week. Such is life for Phil Mickelson in 2022. If he were to somehow pull off a most unlikely victory (he turns 52 during Thursday’s opening round), even more unlikely than his triumph at Kiawah, the internet might explode from a content overload.

77: Erik van Rooyen

Age: 32 World Ranking: 76 U.S. Open appearances: 3
Best U.S. Open finish: T-23, 2020
Got to the Tour Championship last year but has struggled in 2022, both with his game and with a nagging back injury. Made the cut in his first six major championship starts but has missed the weekend in his last five. Yikes.

76: Harry Hall

Age: 24 World Ranking: 235 U.S. Open appearances: First
Young Brit is enjoying the best stretch of his golf life. Won on the Korn Ferry Tour in the last week in May, finished fifth in his start directly after that then shared co-medalist honors at the Final Qualifying site in Georgia. His Hogan-stylee hat is sure to be a hit with the Boston fans.

75: Taylor Montgomery

Age: 27 World Ranking: 211 U.S. Open appearances: 1
Best U.S. Open finish: T-57, 2021
He’s done everything but win on the Korn Ferry Tour this year, with five top-10s in 12 starts. His one start on the PGA Tour, at Torrey Pines, yielded an impressive T-11 finish. The best players on the Korn Ferry Tour are good enough to win on the PGA Tour right now—look at Zalatoris, or Scheffler, or Riley—and he’s one of the best players on the Korn Ferry Tour.

74: Thomas Pieters

Age: 30 World Ranking: 37 U.S. Open appearances: 3
Best U.S. Open finish: T-23, 2020
Among the most thoughtful players in world golf, he’s surely contemplating his future given the changes coming to the World Ranking system. He’s inside the top 50 thanks entirely to his finishes in Europe, but those won’t bring nearly as many points going forward, and he’s not open to the possibility of living and playing the U.S. full-time. Has all the talent one could ask for and has had a really solid career, but you get the sense he’s capable of much more.

73: Stewart Cink

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Sam Greenwood

Age: 49 World Ranking: 87 U.S. Open appearances: 21
Best U.S. Open finish: 3, 2001
Shot 71 on Saturday at Southern Hills on his 49th birthday, a testament to his incredible longevity. Faded a bit the following day, though, and has missed the cut in his two starts since. He can contend on the right type of course, but beefy U.S. Open layouts typically favor the kids.

72: Lanto Griffin

Age: 33 World Ranking: 104 U.S. Open appearances: 3
Best U.S. Open finish: T-35, 2021
With four top-10 finishes on the wraparound season, this late bloomer is set to keep his card comfortably for a fourth consecutive year. He’s the type of player who could benefit from a mass LIV exodus; a roughly average PGA Tour player who would thus become an above-average PGA Tour player.

71: Min Woo Lee

Age: 23 World Ranking: 61 U.S. Open appearances: First
Two weeks ago his sister, Minjee, won the U.S. Women’s Open at Pine Needles for her second major championship. Min Woo’s victory at last year’s Scottish Open moved him up nearly 200 spots in the World Ranking and, despite not being a member, his last nine starts have come in PGA Tour events. He’s missed the cut in seven of them. In his own words, on Instagram: “Another weekend missed…course are tough out here.”

70: Rikuya Hoshino

Age: 26 World Ranking: 63 U.S. Open appearances: 2
Best U.S. Open finish: T-26, 2021
The best player on the Japan Tour at present, he has seven straight finishes of seventh or better on his home circuit. Was delighted to make the cut at Southern Hills and put up a very respectable finish at Torrey Pines. He’s got the game to hang.

69: Francesco Molinari

Age: 39 World Ranking: 174 U.S. Open appearances: 11
Best U.S. Open finish: T-13, 2021
He’s made three straight cuts on the PGA Tour, which counts as a success at this stage in his career. Simply has not been the same player he was in the 2017-19 range and, with his slump now extending into its fourth year, you wonder if he’ll ever return to that level. His T-13 at Torrey Pines last year was actually his best finish in the U.S. Open.

68: Adri Arnaus

Age: 27 World Ranking: 51 U.S. Open appearances: 1
Best U.S. Open finish: T-58, 2019
Young Spaniard played collegiately at Texas A&M and has found some serious form in Europe over the past six or so months, winning in his home country in May and peeking his head into the World top 50 for a hot second. Showed very solidly in the PGA Championship, finishing T-30, which will give him plenty of confidence that he can contend against the world’s best on the biggest stages.

67: Harris English

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Drew Hallowell

Age: 32 World Ranking: 29 U.S. Open appearances: 6
Best U.S. Open finish: 3, 2021
A long-standing hip injury—he’d been dealing with it since his days at the University of Georgia—deteriorated to the point of requiring surgery, and it couldn’t have come at a worse time. He’d been playing the best golf of his life, posting a solo third at last year’s U.S. Open and playing his way onto the Ryder Cup team, until having the procedure to repair a torn labrum on Valentine’s Day. Returned to competition at the Memorial and was not close to making the cut. He and Louis Oosthuizen are the only two players with top-five finishes in each of the past two U.S. Opens, but he’s very much still playing his way back into form.

66: Si Woo Kim

Age: 26 World Ranking: 53 U.S. Open appearances: 5
Best U.S. Open finish: T-13, 2017
Hard to believe he’s still just 26. Doesn’t have a top-10 on the calendar year but does have five finishes between T-10 and T-20. (Stats can be misleading!) Can ball-strike with the best of them.

65: Alex Noren

Age: 39 World Ranking: 60 U.S. Open appearances: 8
Best U.S. Open finish: T-17, 2020
He’s relatively one-dimensional, playing almost exclusively fades, but it’s been dependable enough to sustain a really nice career. Peaked around 2017-18, when he got as high as No. 9 in the world, but he dropped outside the top 100 as he tried to add more variety to his game. Back to his bread and butter cut he’s steadily climbing his way back but missed the cut at the PGA Championship, the Memorial and did nothing of note against a very weak field at last week’s Scandinavian Mixed.

64: Cameron Tringale

Age: 34 World Ranking: 54 U.S. Open appearances: 2
Best U.S. Open finish: T-54, 2015
He’s a veteran’s veteran, and no one has made more money on the PGA Tour without a victory. That said, he has played just two U.S. Opens and none since 2015. No top-10s since a T-3 at the Farmers Insurance Open in January.

63: Branden Grace

Age: 34 World Ranking: 123 U.S. Open appearances: 9
Best U.S. Open finish: T-4, 2015
Did not post a single top-30 finish in his last 14 starts on the PGA Tour. In related news, he’s part of the South African contingent that made the jump to LIV Golf. Was a common name on major leaderboards between 2015-17 (and made history with his major record 62 at Royal Birkdale) but has dropped a level since. He did, however, finish T-7 a year ago at Torrey Pines.

62: Adam Hadwin

Age: 34 World Ranking: 108 U.S. Open appearances: 6
Best U.S. Open finish: T-40, 2021
A T-9 against a world-class field at the Players was the first of three straight top-10 finishes for the Canadian. He does his best work on shorter, tight layouts and, as such, does not have a single top-20 finish in 19 career major starts.

61: Kevin Kisner

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Jared C. Tilton

Age: 38 World Ranking: 32 U.S. Open appearances: 8
Best U.S. Open finish: T-12, 2015
Even in the best of times, he’d tell you Brookline is too beefy for him to have a legitimate chance … and he’s coming in off four consecutive missed cuts. He’s lost ground to the field putting in three of his last four starts, a backbreaker for a player of his length.

60: Gary Woodland

Age: 38 World Ranking: 114 U.S. Open appearances: 11
Best U.S. Open finish: Win, 2019
Fell into a slump after his U.S. Open victory at Pebble Beach—he looked to be making some solid strides in recent months but still opted to part with swing instructor Mark Blackburn. That Pebble win is his only top-20 finish in 11 career U.S. Open starts.

59: Matt NeSmith

Age: 28 World Ranking: 163 U.S. Open appearances: 1
Best U.S. Open finish: MC, 2015
Far from a household name but he’s established himself on the PGA Tour over the past couple years. South Carolina grad got through the loaded Dallas sectional site thanks to a 62 in the morning and now gets his first crack at a major championship as a professional. Strength of his game is his iron play—he ranks 28th on tour in strokes gained/approach.

58: Luke List

Age: 37 World Ranking: 59 U.S. Open appearances: 5
Best U.S. Open finish: CUT, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2018, 2019
Picked up his first PGA Tour win by beating Will Zalatoris in a playoff at Torrey Pines in January. He’s gained ground tee-to-green in 12 of his last 13 starts and ranks fifth on tour tee-to-green over his last 50 rounds—he’s sixth over the entire wraparound season—but he’s statistically one of the worst putters out there. As such, he continues to miss way more cuts than you’d expect with how well he drives it. Yet to see the weekend in five career U.S. Open starts.

57: Bryson DeChambeau

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Darren Carroll

Age: 28 World Ranking: 28 U.S. Open appearances: 7
Best U.S. Open finish: Win, 2020
His uneasy marriage with the PGA Tour finally appears over, as he joined the group of players jumping for LIV Golf and will make his debut on the new circuit at the Portland event later this month. On course, he has been tumbling down the World Ranking after missing two months with a wrist injury and missing the cut in his both his starts before the operation and his only one after, at the Memorial. His seminal U.S. Open victory at Winged Foot, where he bludgeoned that classic layout into submission, teased a period of dominance that has not materialized. At the Memorial, where he shot nine over, he talked about the better headspace he’s in and how his time away made him appreciate life on tour. Last week’s news about Saudi has thrust him back into the spotlight, and there would seem to be potential for fireworks this week.

56: Sepp Straka

Age: 29 World Ranking: 50 U.S. Open appearances: 1
Best U.S. Open finish: T-28, 2019
Won his first PGA Tour event at the Honda Classic and finished T-3 at the RBC Heritage, which has him flying high in the FedEx Cup race. Has made the cut in each of his four major championship appearances.

55: Ryan Fox

Age: 35 World Ranking: 62 U.S. Open appearances: 3
Best U.S. Open finish: T-41, 2018
Long-hitting Kiwi has been on a tear on the DP World Tour with a win, two runner-ups and three other top-15 finishes in his last six starts. Does not play in the United States often but did make the cut at Southern Hills, finishing 54th. Can get a bit loose with the driver; he gets away with that on the DPWT, but it’ll be a different story at Brookline.

54: Mackenzie Hughes

Age: 31 World Ranking: 77 U.S. Open appearances: 4
Best U.S. Open finish: T-15, 2021
Played in the final pairing on Sunday of last year’s U.S. Open and hung around until his ball bounced off a cart path on the par-3 11th, ricocheted into a tree … and never came down. Banked some serious FedEx Cup lucre with two top-four finishes in the fall season but hasn’t done much of note since.

53: K.H. Lee

Age: 30 World Ranking: 42 U.S. Open appearances: 3
Best U.S. Open finish: MC, 2014, 2019, 2021
The South Korean loves himself some TPC Craig Ranch. Successfully defended his AT&T Byron Nelson title last month by chasing down Jordan Spieth with a final-round 63. That’s his only top-10 of the season, and yet he’s still in solid position to push for a spot on this year’s Presidents Cup team. Missed the cut in all three U.S. Open appearances.

52: Kevin Na

Age: 38 World Ranking: 34 U.S. Open appearances: 10
Best U.S. Open finish: 7, 2016
Finished seventh at Colonial in what could well be his last-ever start in a “normal” PGA Tour event. He, too, made the jump to LIV, ending an 18-year stretch on tour that produced five wins and more than $37 million in earnings. Has top-25 finishes in each of the first two majors of the year but has missed the cut in his last three U.S. Open appearances.

51: Tom Hoge

Age: 33 World Ranking: 39 U.S. Open appearances: 4
Best U.S. Open finish: T-43, 2019
Has three top-10s in 2022, all of which are impressive: a solo second at The American Express, his first win at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am and a T-9 at the PGA Championship, his first top-10 finish in a major. Ranks eight for the season in strokes gained/approach. North Dakota’s own.

50: Justin Rose

Age: 41 World Ranking: 58 U.S. Open appearances: 16
Best U.S. Open finish: Win, 2013
Had missed four of five cuts coming into the RBC Canadian Open, and while he’s still capable of having some really strong showings—like a T-13 at the PGA Championship—he is not the consistent contender he was five years ago. Ranks outside the top 100 in strokes gained/approach, has just one top-10 in 12 PGA Tour starts this season and missed the cut at the last two U.S. Opens.

49: Joel Dahmen

Age: 34 World Ranking: 128 U.S. Open appearances: 2
Best U.S. Open finish: MC, 2019, 2020
Told the Athletic that he wasn’t sure he’d even tee it up in his Final Qualifier because, in his own words, “I know I’ll never win a major,” and he feels he might be better suited focusing on opposite-field or weaker-field events. That’s Dahmen for you—a true straight-shooter. Straight-hitter, too, and he did indeed make it through his qualifier in Ohio. Ranks inside the top 70 on tour in strokes gained/off the tee and approach but outside the top 100 in both short-game categories.

48: Webb Simpson

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Age: 36 World Ranking: 55 U.S. Open appearances: 11
Best U.S. Open finish: Win, 2012
He was 12th in the World Rankings at this time last year, so it’s especially strange to see him drop outside the top 50. But the algorithms don’t lie, and he has just one top-10 finish in his last 16 starts. Crazy to think it’s been a decade since he won while wearing that cardigan at The Olympic Club.

47: Denny McCarthy

Age: 29 World Ranking: 121 U.S. Open appearances: 2
Best U.S. Open finish: T-42, 2015
He’s long been known as perhaps the best putter on the PGA Tour and it’s the same story this year—he’s gained an average of 4.9 shots on the greens over his last five starts. The best news: his ball-striking isn’t quite the hindrance it has traditionally been. His T-5 at the Memorial was his ninth top-25 finish on the wraparound season, and he’s the highest he’s ever been in the World Ranking.

46: Sebastian Munoz

Age: 29 World Ranking: 56 U.S. Open appearances: 3
Best U.S. Open finish: T-59, 200
The Colombian has one helluva go-low gear—he’s shot 60 twice on the PGA Tour this season. Once in the fall, at the RSM Classic, and once in the spring, at the AT&T Byron Nelson. A bold prediction: he will not shoot 60 this week.

45: Patrick Reed

Age: 31 World Ranking: 36 U.S. Open appearances: 8
Best U.S. Open finish: 4, 2018
His T-7 at the Charles Schwab Challenge was his first top-10 on the PGA Tour in 16 events—and it’ll be his last for quite a while, as he officially joined LIV Golf on Saturday. He is a major champion and proven winner in his physical prime, but he has been mired in the swing-change wilderness for the better part of two years now and “Captain America” found himself well outside the picture to make this year’s Presidents Cup before his choice made him ineligible.

44: Sergio Garcia

Age: 42 World Ranking: 57 U.S. Open appearances: 22
Best U.S. Open finish: T-3, 2005
For him, the jump to LIV was a no-brainer—he’s past his prime, focusing more on his family and gladly took the payday he was offered—and he let the PGA Tour know he couldn’t wait to leave in a very public manner. Does not have a top-10 in a major championship since his Masters victory in 2017, though he’s still a far better than average ball-striker and has finished in the top 25 in more than half his U.S. Open starts.

43: Lucas Herbert

Age: 26 World Ranking: 46 U.S. Open appearances: 2
Best U.S. Open finish: T-31, 2020
Young Aussie has a win already in his rookie season on the PGA Tour and posted an impressive T-13 at the PGA Championship. Ranks second on tour in SG/short game—a combination of strokes gained/around the green and putting, a useful stat courtesy of Fantasy National—so he’ll be up for the inevitable scrambling that Brookline’s small green complexes will demand.

42: Adam Scott

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Richard Heathcote

Age: 41 World Ranking: 43 U.S. Open appearances: 20
Best U.S. Open finish: T-4, 2015
Started the year with three top-10s in four starts but has cooled considerably since. Was a non-factor in finishing T-48 at the Masters and missed the cut at the PGA Championship. His swing still aces the eye test and he’s hitting it longer than ever—at 311 yards, he’s 17th on tour in driving distance at age 41. Has said he’s intrigued by the idea of playing fewer events and having more time at home, which explains why he’s been linked with LIV.

41: Sam Horsfield

Age: 25 World Ranking: 74 U.S. Open appearances: 3
Best U.S. Open finish: MC, 2015, 2016, 2019
This Manchester-turned-Florida boy established himself as one of the best young players on the DP World Tour, winning his third event in May, before making the jump to LIV Golf. Swing scratches the aesthetic itch but aesthetics mean little in this game, and he’s missed the cut in four of his six major championship starts.

40: Marc Leishman

Age: 38 World Ranking: 52 U.S. Open appearances: 11
Best U.S. Open finish: T-18, 2016
Sliding down the World Ranking, it’s fair to say 2022 has been something of a lost year thus far. Hasn’t had much success in U.S. Opens, which reward long and straight more than variety and guile. That’s not his game. It’s no coincidence that all six of his top-10s in majors have come at either the Masters or the Open Championship.

39: Tommy Fleetwood

Age: 31 World Ranking: 40 U.S. Open appearances: 6
Best U.S. Open finish: 2, 2018
The dependable ball-striking that propelled him in the late 2010s might be making a comeback. Has top-25 finishes in four of his last six starts and held steady at tricky Southern Hills for a T-5 finish. Owns two top-five finishes in U.S. Opens and his final-round 63 at fiery Shinnecock should go down as one of the better rounds in major championship history. Comes in off two weeks of rest after he went back overseas and took T-10 at the European Open.

38: Jason Kokrak

Age: 37 World Ranking: 33 U.S. Open appearances: 5
Best U.S. Open finish: T-17, 2020
Given his Golf Saudi sponsorship and his openness about viewing golf as a means to provide, he’s widely expected to make the jump to LIV eventually. A bit of a throwback in that he’s played his best golf in his mid-30s, winning for the first time in more than 200 PGA Tour starts in September 2020 and adding two since. His T-14 at this year’s Masters is his best career finish in a major.

37: Harold Varner III

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Oisin Keniry

Age: 31 World Ranking: 38 U.S. Open appearances: 2
Best U.S. Open finish: MC, 2013, 2018
This has been a breakout season. Still looking for his first win on the PGA Tour but he did win the Saudi International with a 91-foot eagle on the 72nd hole back in February. He’s reached the promised land of top 50 in the OWGR, which allows you to pick and choose your schedule, and as a result he’s back in the U.S. Open for the first time since 2018.

36: Russell Henley

Age: 33 World Ranking: 48 U.S. Open appearances: 8
Best U.S. Open finish: T-13, 2021
Year after year he’s one of the best iron players on tour, and this season is no different—the Georgia alum ranks second in strokes gained/approach for the season. Held a share of the first-, second- and third-round leads at last year’s U.S. Open at Torrey Pines but struggled down the stretch on Sunday. That’s been a theme in his career. He blew a five-shot lead on the back nine of the Sony Open to lose to Hideki Matsuyama and, despite all that world-class ball-striking, hasn’t won a PGA Tour title in more than five years and does not have a major top-10 to his name.

35: Aaron Wise

Age: 25 World Ranking: 44 U.S. Open appearances: 3
Best U.S. Open finish: T-35, 2019
It’s not often you see a 25-year-old switch to the broomstick putter, particularly when you’re not allowed to anchor it. Hard to argue with the results, though—Wise has looked much more solid on shorties with the long putter and has picked up 4.6 and 4.9 shots on the greens in his last two starts, a T-23 at the PGA Championship and a solo second at the Memorial. That runner-up moved him up 42 spots in the World Ranking.

34: Abraham Ancer

Age: 31 World Ranking: 19 U.S. Open appearances: 3
Best U.S. Open finish: T-49, 2019
Really couldn’t get much going through the first half of 2022, which made his T-9 at Southern Hills particularly encouraging. Hasn’t been able to sustain that momentum, however, as he followed that strong PGA performance with a missed cut at Colonial and a T-32 at the Memorial. Chipping and putting have been of particular concern, which is difficult to come when you’re as relatively short off the tee as he is.

33: Brian Harman

Age: 35 World Ranking: 49 U.S. Open appearances: 6
Best U.S. Open finish: T-2, 2017
Finished runner-up to Brooks Koepka in the 2017 U.S. Open at Erin Hills, which played about as gentle as an Open setup possibly could. Not the most physically gifted player out there but he manages his game with the best of them and has made the cut in four straight U.S. Open starts.

32: Louis Oosthuizen

Age: 39 World Ranking: 21 U.S. Open appearances: 12
Best U.S. Open finish: 2, 2021
Put together one of the better major championship seasons without a victory last year, finishing runner-up at the PGA Championship and U.S. Open, and T-3 at the Open Championship. His results this year—a WD from the Masters after an opening-round 76 and a T-60 at the PGA Championship—haven’t been anywhere near that standard, and he said in his LIV Golf press conference that he looks forward to more time away from the game. Hard to fault a guy’s mentality when he has an Open Championship and six runners-up in majors in his career, but it’s entirely possible that his heart is not 100 percent in it.

31: Daniel Berger

Age: 29 World Ranking: 26 U.S. Open appearances: 7
Best U.S. Open finish: T-6, 2018
Had his teeth kicked in by the year’s first two majors, shooting 15 over over four rounds at the Masters and 13 over to miss the cut at the PGA Championship. Bounced back with two solid outings, a T-23 at Colonial and a T-5 at the Memorial, and does have two top-10 finishes in his last four U.S. Open starts. He’s had some shockingly bad putting weeks this year, so gaining more than six shots on the field at the Memorial must’ve felt nice.

30: Tyrrell Hatton

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Andrew Redington

Age: 30 World Ranking: 23 U.S. Open appearances: 5
Best U.S. Open finish: T-6, 2018
Not an easy man to please as far as golf courses go—he slammed Augusta as an unfair test and likened the greens at Southern Hills to those you might see in a “monthly medal.” Moaning aside, he’s made the cut in 13 consecutive starts, and his T-2 at Bay Hill this year, where he won his first PGA Tour title in 2020, shows he can content on a punishing setup. That said, he’s made the cut in just two of his five U.S. Open starts, and you wonder if he has the comportment to roll with the punches, an absolutely necessity at tournaments as tough as these.

29: Seamus Power

Age: 35 World Ranking: 41 U.S. Open appearances: First
Was on the Monday qualifying grind until catching a heater last summer, winning the opposite-field Barbasol event and backing it up with a number of really solid finishes. Took T-27 at the Masters in his first career major championship start and was T-9 at Southern Hills. Has morphed from journeyman to Ryder Cup hopeful rather quickly.

28: Corey Conners

Age: 30 World Ranking: 31 U.S. Open appearances: 3
Best U.S. Open finish: MC, 2017, 2020, 2021
The Canadian will come into Brookline feeling refreshed after he got to play in front of home fans for the first time since 2019. A terrific ball-striker who has been held back by his putter, he has an excellent record at the Masters but a pretty mediocre one at the other three majors … particularly the U.S. Open, where he’s missed the cut in all three of his appearances. Lost to eventual champion Matt Fitzpatrick in the semifinals of the 2013 U.S. Amateur at The Country Club.

27: Keegan Bradley

Age: 36 World Ranking: 47 U.S. Open appearances: 9
Best U.S. Open finish: T-4, 2014
Enjoying a resurgent season that has him back inside the top 50 of the World Ranking. Great timing, too, for this Vermont native and massive Boston sports fan would’ve hated to miss a major in his neck of the woods. Posted three top-10 finishes in a five-event stretch in the spring, including a runner-up at the Wells Fargo Championship, and has been energized by his work with putting guru Phil Kenyon, which is paying massive dividends.

26: Mito Pereira

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Christian Petersen

Age: 27 World Ranking: 45 U.S. Open appearances: 1
Best U.S. Open finish: MC, 2019
Died by a thousand paper cuts at the PGA Championship, where he led the entirety of Sunday until double bogeying the 18th to blow his advantage and miss a playoff by a shot. Impressively bounced back with a T-7 at Colonial and a T-13 at the Memorial, so he’s clearly processed what happened and moved on. Won three times on the Korn Ferry Tour last year for the ultra-rare mid-season promotion, and he’s going to win a bunch of tournaments on the PGA Tour. Elite, elite ball-striker—over his last 24 rounds he is second on tour in SG/tee-to-green.

25: Cameron Young

Age: 25 World Ranking: 30 U.S. Open appearances: 2
Best U.S. Open finish: MC, 2019, 2021
Was a Korn Ferry Tour player when he qualified for last year’s U.S. Open at Torrey Pines; he’ll turn up to Brookline as a top-30 player and, with five top-three finishes on the wraparound season, he’s the favorite to win PGA Tour rookie of the year. Ranks second on tour in SG/off the tee and absolutely pumps the ball. Feels he could’ve easily won the PGA Championship—he finished T-3—and knows he’ll finish the job one of these days.

24: Davis Riley

Age: 25 World Ranking: 86 U.S. Open appearances: 2
Best U.S. Open finish: MC, 2015, 2020
The opportunity to buy super-low has already come and gone, as he’s proven over the past few months that he is next in the Korn Ferry Tour assembly line of young and fearless Americans, but there’s still room on the bandwagon before he becomes a full-fledged star. Lost in a playoff to Sam Burns at the Valspar and comes in off five consecutive finishes of T-13 or better. Watch him make one golf swing and you’ll understand why so many are excited about the Alabama grad’s potential. Ignore his World Ranking; it’s not crazy to think he’s already a top 25 player in the world.

23: Brooks Koepka

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Ben Jared

Age: 32 World Ranking: 20 U.S. Open appearances: 8
Best U.S. Open finish: Win, 2017, 2018
He’s been the best major championship player over the past decade—has the back-to-back U.S. Open victories and has finished in the top 25 in seven of his eight career starts in golf’s toughest event. Had a semi-chance to win last year at Torrey Pines before finishing T-4. Has been a virtual no-show in the first two majors of 2022, however, with a missed cut at the Masters and a T-55 at the PGA Championship. Has not played since Southern Hills but had one helluva wedding in Turks & Caicos. Ludacris performed. Not bad.

22: Viktor Hovland

Age: 24 World Ranking: 7 U.S. Open appearances: 3
Best U.S. Open finish: T-12, 2019
Withdrew from last year’s U.S. Open at Torrey Pines after a divot flew into his eye on the driving range. Broke Jack Nicklaus’ amateur scoring record in a breakout performance at the 2019 U.S. Open and won the prior year’s U.S. Amateur, so he’s clearly comfortable on USGA setups. Started the year hot and got as high as World No. 3, but his chipping continues to be a massive Achilles heel. Over his last five starts he’s losing an average of 2.5 shots around the green alone, which is simply too much to overcome. His ball-striking is ready to win a major, but his short game doesn’t seem to be.

21: Dustin Johnson

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Chris Trotman/LIV Golf

Age: 37 World Ranking: 15 U.S. Open appearances: 14
Best U.S. Open finish: Win, 2016
The PGA Tour’s third highest career money-earner (on course) headlined the initial list of LIV defectors and has since been joined by a number of other high-profile players. He’s reportedly signed on for four years, which means his days on the PGA Tour are all but assuredly over. His best golf is likely behind him but he’s far from finished, which is why he was such an important get for Greg Norman and Co. Has four top-five finishes in U.S. Opens and won on the most U.S. Open of all U.S. Open courses, at Oakmont in 2016. Missed the cut at Southern Hills and you’d assume he’d have something extra to prove this week given the controversy of the last fortnight, but DJ has always seemed impervious to such narratives.

20: Talor Gooch

Age: 30 World Ranking: 35 U.S. Open appearances: 1
Best U.S. Open finish: 66, 2017
Was perhaps the most surprising name to appear on the initial LIV list. At 30, he’s in the prime of his career. And he’s been a late bloomer, which means he was just beginning to enjoy the spoils of life inside the top 50 of the World Ranking … and then, without much of a warning, he bolted. Now faces a suspension from the PGA Tour and will need LIV to offer World Ranking points, and fast, if he’s to continue getting into major championships. Won his first PGA Tour event in the fall and has posted top-20 finishes in both of the year’s first two majors.

19: Cameron Smith

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David Cannon

Age: 28 World Ranking: 4 U.S. Open appearances: 6
Best U.S. Open finish: T-4, 2015
He’s been on our radar for a half-decade but it’s in the last 12 months that he’s propelled him into the hyper-elite tier. It started in the first event of the year, when he shot 34 under par to hold off then-World No. 1 Jon Rahm at the Sentry TOC, and he cemented it with a breathtaking short-game display to win the Players. A note of caution, however: his weakness, if you can call it that, is his driver, and he’s losing an average of 1.5 shots off the tee over his last five starts. That’ll be difficult to overcome with the rough as long as it will be.

18: Hideki Matsuyama

Age: 30 World Ranking: 13 U.S. Open appearances: 9
Best U.S. Open finish: T-2, 2017
Was DQ’d in his last start, at the Memorial, for having a white out-like substance painted around the sweet spot of a fairway wood. Has struggled a bit with a neck issue this year but gutted out a T-14 in his title defense at the Masters and tied for third at the AT&T Byron Nelson. Remains one of the most dependable ball-strikers on tour—he’s sixth in SG/approach—and has made the cut in eight straight major championship starts.

17: Collin Morikawa

Age: 25 World Ranking: 5 U.S. Open appearances: 3
Best U.S. Open finish: T-4, 2021
Stuck in neutral a bit recently. He’s gone four events without a top-25 finish and missed the cut at the Memorial, where he finished solo second a year ago. It’s the same story it’s been through his three years as a professional; he gets mirred in some absolutely brutal putting weeks, which offset his generationally good iron play. Debuted a new flatstick at the Memorial to try and spice things up but didn’t see much improvement at all. That, and his normally dependable cut has been stubbornly uncooperative in recent weeks. He prefers to do most of his nitty-gritty work on “off” weeks, so rest assured he’s been hard at work back home in Vegas. That said, he still has five top-10 finishes in his first 10 career major starts—including, of course, the two victories. A victory at Brookline would bring him three-quarters of the way to the career Grand Slam.

16: Joaquin Niemann

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Michael Owens

Age: 23 World Ranking: 16 U.S. Open appearances: 3
Best U.S. Open finish: T-23, 2020
This has been the best season of his young career, highlighted by a wire-to-wire victory over a loaded field at Riviera, and he comes in off a T-3 at the Memorial. Long been touted as one of the more exciting young prospects and has rounded out his game nicely over the past few years, improving significantly on/around the greens. Still looking for his first top-20 finish in a major. He hits one of (if not the) lowest ball among any of the top 50 players, which might explain the relative struggles he’s had in the majors.

15: Billy Horschel

Age: 35 World Ranking: 11 U.S. Open appearances: 9
Best U.S. Open finish: T-4, 2013
Won his last start in commanding fashion with a four-shot victory at the Memorial, which brought him to a career-high No. 11 in the World Ranking. Finished T-4 at the 2013 U.S. Open, his first major championship as a professional, but doesn’t have a top-15 in a major since. He hits a ton of fairways (10th on tour) and ranks inside the top 15 in SG/around the green and putting. That’s a good U.S. Open combination. Few play the game with more passion.

14: Patrick Cantlay

Age: 30 World Ranking: 3 U.S. Open appearances: 6
Best U.S. Open finish: T-15, 2021
His last two starts in non-majors: solo second, T-3. His last two starts in majors: T-39, missed cut. He seems to enter every major as a trendy dark-horse pick, which makes a ton of sense—he’s the world’s No. 3 player—but after a strong major season in 2019 he has been a total non-factor in them since. He’ll want to wash away his 11-over missed-cut performance at Southern Hills, and on paper, he’s an ideal U.S. Open player: a proper ball-striker with a stoic personality, perfect for weathering the chaos of golf’s toughest test. It’s bound to happen one of these times.

13: Sungjae Im

Age: 24 World Ranking: 22 U.S. Open appearances: 3
Best U.S. Open finish: 22, 2020
File this under no good deed goes unpunished … he went back to South Korea to play his first event on home soil in three years only to test positive for COVID-19 and be forced to withdraw from the PGA Championship. Has shown zero ill-effects in his two starts since, a T-15 at Colonial and a T-10 at the Memorial. Ranks 12th on tour in SG/off the tee and seventh in greens in regulation. Flying well under the radar.

12: Jordan Spieth

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Maddie Meyer/PGA of America

Age: 28 World Ranking: 10 U.S. Open appearances: 10
Best U.S. Open finish: Win, 2015
This is somehow his 11th U.S. Open, and it’s been a full decade since he took low amateur honors as an 18-year-old at Olympic. Bounced back from a disappointing MC Hammer at the Masters by winning his very next start, at the RBC Heritage, and taking solo second at the AT&T Byron Nelson. He then looked as annoyed as he ever has in finishing T-34 at the PGA Championship. The casual fan might consider Spieth a shaky ball-striker who makes up for it with his scrambling, but the numbers tell a different story—over his last 24 rounds he leads the PGA Tour in SG/tee to green, and he’s been particularly impressive with the driver this season.

11: Tony Finau

Age: 32 World Ranking: 18 U.S. Open appearances: 6
Best U.S. Open finish: 5, 2018
Really struggled, particularly with the putter, through the West Coast swing and in Florida but has shown some signs of life since Augusta. Finished runner-up to Jon Rahm in Mexico, played fine (T-30) at the PGA Championship, then posted consecutive top-five finishes at Colonial and the RBC Canadian Open. Simply too talented to struggle for any prolonged period, and the fact he has gained ground with his putter in three straight tournaments bodes very well moving forward. He hasn’t been much of a presence on marquee leaderboards this year and so he’s faded a bit from the betting public’s mind. Sleeper.

10: Max Homa

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David Cannon

Age: 31 World Ranking: 23 U.S. Open appearances: 3
Best U.S. Open finish: MC, 2013, 2020, 2021
Steadily climbing the World Ranking and continues to blossom into a world-class player. Has been one of the best on tougher non-major layouts in recent years—he’s got wins at Quail Hollow, Riviera and TPC Potomac, all much harder than the average PGA Tour track—which makes his early-career major struggles a bit of a head-scratcher. The T-13 he put together at Southern Hills was by far his best career finish in a major, and he comes in off a T-5 at the Memorial. He now believes not only that he can, but that he should contend in these types of events. That is a crucial distinction. The first step: making the cut. It’d be the first time he’s done so at a U.S. Open.

9: Xander Schauffele

Age: 28 World Ranking: 12 U.S. Open appearances: 5
Best U.S. Open finish: T-3, 2019
How’s this for a stat: Schauffele’s played in five U.S. Opens and has finished in the top-10 five times. He’s lower in the World Ranking than he’s been in recent years because he didn’t get any points for his victory with Patrick Cantlay in the Zurich Classic, but he’s been T-5/T-13/T-18 in his last three starts and obviously knows what it takes to get it done on USGA setups. He’s gained at least four shots with his approach play in his last four measured starts; if the putter gets hot he has a fantastic chance to win his first major championship.

8: Matt Fitzpatrick

Age: 27 World Ranking: 17 U.S. Open appearances: 7
Best U.S. Open finish: T-12, 2018
Sure to be a popular pick this week given his excellent play this year and his victory the last time The Country Club hosted a big-time event, the 2013 Amateur. He won that as a wiry-thin 18-year-old with his little brother, Alex, on the bag. Has since blossomed into one of the finest (and hardest working) players in the world, adding significant distance over the past couple years and contending on this side of the pond far more often. Already has six top-10 finishes on the PGA Tour in 2021, including a T-5 at the PGA Championship. Played his way into the final group at Southern Hills but simply didn’t have it on Sunday, and yet he still had a chance to win the tournament as he stood on the 17th tee. He’s improved in every category from last season but most drastically so in his approach play, which had been a weakness in the past. Even gained more than five shots on the field tee-to-green when he missed the cut at the Memorial. Filled with confidence and returning to the course that jumpstarted his golfing life. Hard to ask for much more.

7: Scottie Scheffler

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Gregory Shamus

Age: 25 World Ranking: 1 U.S. Open appearances: 4
Best U.S. Open finish: T-7, 2021
Golf’s leading man has four PGA Tour wins, including the Masters, and the summer’s just getting started. Ran into his first hiccup in quite a while when he missed the cut at the PGA Championship, which was purely a function of golf’s chaotic nature. Case in point: He played his way into a playoff in his start directly after that, eventually losing to fellow prolific-winner Sam Burns, and looked solid at the RBC Canadian Open last week. He plays the game with quiet confidence and does not appear to be the least bit affected by his newfound success and celebrity. The stats are predictably impressive: he ranks 30th or better in all the main strokes-gained categories. All systems are a go heading into the year’s third major, and a victory would elevate an already fantastic season into one of the all-time greats.

6: Shane Lowry

Age: 35 World Ranking: 25 U.S. Open appearances: 11
Best U.S. Open finish: T-2, 2016
He’s still in the mid-20s in the OWGR but he’s played at a top-10 level this year. Was runner-up at the Honda Classic, third at the Masters and third at the RBC Heritage, and he’s been T-35 in each of his last 12 starts. The iron play has been particularly impressive—he ranks eighth on tour in SG/approach for the year and sixth over his last 50 rounds. Held a three-shot lead after 54 holes at the 2016 U.S. Open at Oakmont but squandered that chance to Dustin Johnson. It’ll come down to how well he drives the ball; if he’s finding fairways, he’s got every chance to add a U.S. Open to his magical Open Championship victory from 2019.

5: Will Zalatoris

Age: 25 World Ranking: 14 U.S. Open appearances: 3
Best U.S. Open finish: T-6, 2020
There are a few names these days that seem to appear on every major-championship leaderboard: Koepka, Thomas, Schauffele … and Zalatoris. His runner-up at the PGA Championship was his fifth finish of T-8 or better in eight career major starts. He’s as good a ball-striker as there is on tour—he ranks first in SG/tee-to-green—and that prowess is rewarded sweetly on highly demanding golf courses and setups. His short putting, which can be downright difficult to watch, needs to be sorted if he’s to blossom into the player he can be.

4: Jon Rahm

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Sean M. Haffey

Age: 27 World Ranking: 2 U.S. Open appearances: 6
Best U.S. Open finish: Win, 2021
The way he won last year’s U.S. Open doesn’t get enough credit—he birdied 17 and 18 to win by a single shot, and it just doesn’t get any better than that. He was the clear-cut best player in the world in 2021 and has been striking the ball similarly well this year, but short-game struggles have kept him from being the constant top-five presence that he was a year ago. His victory at the Mexico Open surely brought some catharsis with it, even if it came against a weak field. He’ll be disgusted with his first two major performances of 2022—a T-27 at the Masters and a T-48 at the PGA—but did build some momentum with a T-10 at the Memorial … and that came despite losing shots off the tee, a rare occurrence for the best driver of the ball in the world (statistically). He gained more than five shots putting at Muirfield Village, which is precisely what he needed to see before Brookline.

3: Sam Burns

Age: 25 World Ranking: 9 U.S. Open appearances: 3
Best U.S. Open finish: T-41, 2018
Has been a menace in non-majors over the past 13 months and, with three wins already this season, would likely finish second behind Scottie Scheffler if the player of the year voting happened today. Won his last start by beating Scheffler in a playoff at Colonial and played his way into contention through 54 holes at the RBC Heritage. Statistically, he’s in the positive in every key strokes-gained category on the season. Seems to hole pressure putts at an uncanny rate, and he rolls it as well as anyone on tour. He has yet to carry the world-class form into majors, however—his T-20 at the PGA was his best career finish in one of the big four. He couldn’t have asked for better preparation, so confidence should not be the issue.

2: Justin Thomas

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Ezra Shaw

Age: 29 World Ranking: 5 U.S. Open appearances: 7
Best U.S. Open finish: T-8, 2020
Was eight shots back with 10 to play at Southern Hills, but he wouldn’t know as he didn’t look at a leaderboard once on Sunday. That strategy paid off in a massive way, as he steadily climbed with a three-under 67 on a day when no one else seemed particularly keen to take their chances. Played a perfect playoff to beat Will Zalatoris and add a second major to his trophy mantle and re-assert himself in the Best in the World conversation. To his credit, he honored his commitment to play the following week at Colonial and, in no surprise at all, missed the cut. Recharged the batteries then turned up at the RBC Canadian Open refreshed, shooting 63-64 on the weekend in a duel with Rory McIlroy and Tony Finau. Has two top-10 finishes in U.S. Opens to his name and had a legitimate chance to win in 2017 at Erin Hills. He’s among the favorites in any tournament he tees it up in.

1: Rory McIlroy

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Oisin Keniry

Age: 33 World Ranking: 8 U.S. Open appearances: 13
Best U.S. Open finish:
Win, 2011
He has emerged as the face of the PGA Tour establishment in these hectic times, and he seems to be spending as much time playing politics as he does golf. Which isn’t to say his golf hasn’t been fantastic, because it has been—he played his heart out in shooting a final-round 64 at the Masters and left Southern Hills as upset as he’s been after a golf tournament, for he squandered yet another opportunity to end an eight-year major drought. Earned his 21st PGA Tour victory last week by defending his title three years later at the RBC Canadian Open, where he was showered with adoration all week. If Jay Monahan could hand select a U.S. Open winner, he’d be the guy. Driving the ball at his usual world-best rate and has been hard at work with the putter, and it’s showing. Call me naive, and there’s a good chance this leads to more heartbreak, but Rory is the pick this week.