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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U.S. Open
Mandatory Credit: Steve Flynn-USA TODAY Sports /

Paul Dunne — No. 162

This Irishman is best known for his performance as an amateur at the 2015 Open Championship, where he held a piece of the lead after three rounds but came home with a 78 to tumble out of the top 10. Now, with a full year as a touring pro under his belt and some good momentum working in his favor, Dunne appears to be much better-equipped for one of the game’s brightest spotlight.

In just 10 starts this year, Dunne has already notched a pair of top 10 finishes, including a playoff loss to Edoardo Molinari at the Trophee Hassan II. At 27th in the Race to Dubai, he’s already hanging in there with the biggest names on the European Tour, his relatively tender age of 24 notwithstanding. This year will mark his first-ever start at the U.S. Open, but with his average driving distance of 298 yards, he shouldn’t have much trouble with the imposing length of Erin Hills. As long as he can stay out of the rough and putt competently, he’ll be poised to at least survive to the weekend.

Dunne might not fit the profile of a typical U.S. Open winner, but he already has some crucial major experience to his name. He could shock the world in a couple of weeks.

Next: Tiger, DJ, and a decade of U.S. Open champions

Who’s your dark horse pick to win the U.S. Open? Let us know in the comments, and keep it here at Pro Golf Now for more updates as the big event approaches.