U.S. Open: Top 10 sleepers for Erin Hills

Mandatory Credit: Ray Carlin-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Ray Carlin-USA TODAY Sports /
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Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports /

Andrew Johnston — No. 117

Like many European Tour members, Johnston hasn’t found the PGA TOUR to be as easy to navigate as his home circuit. Buried in the reshuffle, he doesn’t qualify for many tournaments and plays mostly indifferent golf when he does, picking up just one top 10 in nine starts. That being said, the 28-year-old saw immediate success upon returning to his native England, gaining some important momentum as the U.S. Open nears.

Johnston’s tie for 21st at last week’s BMW PGA Championship, highlighted by a second round 68, represented a crucial return to form for the one-time European Tour winner. It should restore his competitive juices and kickstart his confidence ahead of Erin Hills. In addition, at 16th on the PGA Tour in strokes gained: off-the-tee, he shouldn’t be intimidated by the course’s length. This year will mark just his second start at the U.S. Open, but he established himself as a potential force in the majors last season, making three out of three cuts and notching a solo eighth at The Open Championship.

Since last year, Johnston’s fan support has certainly overshadowed his career success, but a major title would change all that. It will be hard to do, but we’ve seen bigger upsets in the past.