The Irish Challenge at The 2015 US Open


The US Masters remains the only Major that an Irish golfer has not yet won and with 2 Irish winners of The US Open since 2010 there might be the possibility that one may contend this week at Chambers Bay. Only 4 Irish golfers tee it up this week (Shane Lowry, Rory McIlroy, Graeme McDowell & Darren Clarke), with the notable absentee of Padraig Harrington it is quite a strong challenging contingent teeing it up. I take a look at the Irish challengers this week, here’s hoping for a winner from the Emerald Isle!

More from Golf News

Rory McIlroy

Feb 19, 2014; Marana, AZ, USA; Rory McIlroy reacts after hitting his shot from the desert during the Accenture Match Play Championship. McIlroy returns to the Honda Classic Thursday after withdrawing last year. Mandatory Credit: Allan Henry-USA TODAY Sports

The World No.1 has been resting since his double missed cuts at The BMW PGA Championship and also The Irish Open, which he hosted at Royal County Down. Chambers Bay very much looks like a course that will suit a long and straight striker of the golf ball and “Rors” is very much a golfer of that ilk. Rory is very much a Jekkyl and Hyde type of golfers at times, you are never quite sure what McIlroy will turn up on the 1st tee! He goes in and out of form but when he is on his game there is nobody in the golfing world that can touch him. The bookmakers have McIlroy as pre-tournament favourite at 8/1 best price and I expect the lad from Holywood, Co Down, to be right up near the top of the leaderboard come Sunday evening in Washington State.

Shane Lowry

The man from Clara, Co Offaly, continues his progress up into the upper echelons of professional golf with another appearance at The US Open. Shane became only the 3rd amateur to win on the European Tour with his wonderful win at The Irish Open in 2009 and he is no stranger to playing a style of golf best suited to links course – Chambers Bay definitely plays like a links course whilst not exactly being a true links course. When in contention, Lowry has show his aptitude in terms of finishing well and while he does not have the glut of tour wins that Rory does he is a quality performer. Odds of 150/1 are generous, especially for somebody with as good a short game as Shane’s. The majority of the field will undoubtedly miss many greens during the course of this week so they will need a lot of creativity, touch and feel to avoid dropping shots.

Graeme McDowell

G-Mac” hasn’t had the best of seasons but as a former US Open Championship, having won in 2010 at Pebble Beach, he must still be highly respected. One of the finest clutch putters in the game, if he can battle through the first couple of rounds he is very well capable of staying there. He would not be my pick to do overly well this week, odds of 150/1 reflect that, but that’s not to say I wouldn’t be raising a glass (or 10!) if he claimed his second US Open title!

Darren Clarke

The 2011 Open Champion has been putting in some more encouraging performances of late but apart from his amazing victory at Royal St George’s 4 years ago that gets him to Chambers Bay this week I don’t think he would have qualified for the tournament itself in another manner. Of course, that’s neither here nor there but it does point to a poor level of overall form. The 2016 Ryder Cup captaincy is of course taking some of his time at the moment as well and as the months go by his on-course attendances will probably become fewer and far between apart from checking out some potential Ryder Cup players at certain tournaments. Odds as high as 1000/1 point to “Big D” being a very unlikely winner, of course his odds in 2011 weren’t a million miles away from that either……..Murphy’s Law and all that!

So that’s the Irish challenge this week at Chambers Bay for The 2015 US Open. I think Rory McIlroy will definitely contend, while some think he won’t, with Shane Lowry very much a dark horse for me. Messrs McDowell and Clarke would probably not get my vote but they have undoubted class should they get into contention. G’wan Ireland!!

Next: Top 5 Asian Golfers in the U.S. Open