Past Champions Playing in the US Open


We have thirteen past US Open champions in the field this year and they have a total of seventeen titles between them. They cover a span of 21 years with Ernie Els’ win in 1994 at Oakmont being the oldest.

“The idea of coming in and playing two practice rounds and having your caddie just walk it and using your yardage book, that person’s done,” Davis said. “Will not win the U.S. Open.”

This makes me start to wonder about how they will fare at

Chambers Bay

and will the eventual winner come from this group?

Winning a US Open is more like winning the Open than the Masters or the PGA Championship. It is an endurance contest that tests a player’s ability to deal with adversity and luck more than anything else. These thirteen have proven they can do that.

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All of them will fall into one of three categories:

In the Mix

Maybe Playing the Weekend

Probably Finished on Friday

The real wild card here is Tiger Woods.

He has won it three times, which is more than any of the others, and he had a solid showing at the Masters. His recent play would definitely indicate he won’t be around for the weekend, but he is Tiger Woods and it is a major.

Probably Finished on Friday in no particular order:

Aug 7, 2014; Louisville, KY, USA; PGA golfer Tiger Woods lets go of his club after an errant drive during the first round of the 2014 PGA Championship golf tournament at Valhalla Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports

Lee Janzen is in this group because he is ranked 222 in the world. Ernie Els is here also. Even though he has won it twice his time has passed and he is now 172nd. Retief Goosen is also a two time winner, but too long ago. He is still playing a lot but he is 232nd. I am also including Lucas Glove because his win was on Bethpage Black and I don’t think he can handle Chambers Bay. The two that are in this group, but are wild cards are Angel Cabrera and, for reasons stated, Tiger Woods.

May be playing on the weekend is a group that includes Geoff Ogilvy, Webb Simpson, Martin Kaymer, and Graeme McDowell. The one player in this group with the most potential to be in the mix is Graeme McDowell. His experience on links courses is a huge plus for him.

February 14, 2015; Pebble Beach, CA, USA; Jim Furyk hits from the eighteenth course fairway during the third round at Pebble Beach Golf Links. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Potentially in the mix for the weekend are Justin Rose, Jim Furyk, and Rory McIlroy. Justin Rose has a lot of links golf experience and I put Jim Furyk in just because he is Jim Furyk and I think he will be hanging around the leader board. I put Rory McIlroy in because he is the odds on favorite to win-duh. He may, however, regret his cynical question about Mike Davis’ handicap.

Chambers Bay has the potential to be the real winner this week. The USGA considers Chambers Bay the perfect canvas to paint a U. S. Open on. Depending on what Mike Davis and the boys at the USGA do this week, we have the potential of seeing a truly great event or a complete farce.

Let’s keep our fingers crossed and hope for the best. The one thing that is certain is that few of the players will be neutral about it. The ones that play great will extoll the virtues and the ones that play poorly will complain loudly and keep social media hopping.

I think the guys in this group will be mostly those that didn’t take Mike Davis’ advice and come early to learn the course. In any event you will see things that you will marvel at and things that will make you wonder. Looking forward to who and what shows up, but I don’t think it will be some unknown catching lightning in a bottle for four days.

Next: 16 Amateurs Playing in the US Open