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

Mandatory Credit: Ray Carlin-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Ray Carlin-USA TODAY Sports /
8 of 11
U.S. Open
Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports /

Graeme McDowell — No. 87

Another former winner of this event, McDowell’s major moment came in the summer of 2010, when he was the beneficiary of a vintage Sunday collapse from Dustin Johnson. He may not be the player he used to be, but the Ulsterman has still exhibited a number of positive signs this year, so he should be capable of turning back the clock for a comeback win.

Like several players on this list, McDowell has yet to find the top 10 in any event this year, but that’s just a technicality — he’s shown solid form on numerous occasions. In 12 starts across the PGA and European Tours, the 37-year-old has picked up four top 20 finishes, including a tie for 18th at last month’s Wells Fargo Championship. That bodes well for his chances at Erin Hills, as does his impressive short game; at eighth on the PGA Tour in strokes gained: putting, you wouldn’t want to challenge McDowell to a contest on the greens. With five career top 20s at the U.S. Open, he’s familiar with the USGA’s tricks.

McDowell’s career may be in a state of decline on the whole, but he’s still got the potential to make a surprise run at a major. He could become the first European to win multiple U.S. Open titles since Scotland’s Alex Smith did it back in 1910.