The 119th edition of the US Open is currently ongoing in Pebble Beach Golf Links, California. The tournament began on June 13 and will extend through to June 16. The four-day event brings some of the best golfers ever, together. The participants will be competing for a purse worth $12.5 million. The winner of the competition will take $2.16 million home.
Brooks Koepka is the defending champion after emerging the winner at 2018 US Open in Shinnecock Hills. He returns to the tournament to seek a third straight win in one of Golf’s toughest tests.
Will Koepka manage to win a three-peat or will another player lift the trophy?
Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth, Patrick Cantlay and Rickie Fowler are among the top players who will be eyeing the top prize at the annual national championship. The tournament involves 156 players. We take a look at some of the favorites for the US Open 2019 contest to find out how the final day could turn out.
Brooks Koepka’s stats
Brooks Koepka is currently world No. 1 golfer with average points of 10.8114. The 29-year-old turned pro in 2012. Koepka has achieved six PGA Tour victories and seven international victories. He has played in a total of 119 events in his career.
The world No. 1 comes to this event with two successive US Open victories to his name after winning in 2017 and 2018. The feat made him the seventh player to win back-to-back titles in the U.S. Open. During last year’s event, Koepka closed with a two-under-par 68 to rise above Tommy Fleetwood in the leaderboard. He will be seeking to make yet another history at Pebble Beach. If he wins this year, Koepka will become the second player to achieve three consecutive wins in the tournament after Willie Anderson who did so in 1905.
Koepka won the 2019 PGA Championship to beat Dustin Johnson by two strokes at the Black Course in New York. The May 19 victory made him the first player to win the tournament for two years in a row, after Tiger Woods in 2006 and 2007. He has already made a good start after he shot a 2-under-par 69 in the opening round and he hopes to do better in the coming rounds.
Tiger Woods’ history
Tiger Woods made his professional debut in the Greater Milwaukee Open in 1996. He is currently ranked fifth in the World with average points of 7.4063. Woods has been part of 40 events this year. Woods has had 81 career wins and 12 international victories. The 43-year-old has played a total of 354 events in his career.
In March this year, Tiger Woods lost to Lucas Bjerregaard in the quarterfinals of the WGC Match Play Championship. Woods won the 2019 Masters Tournament at the Augusta National Golf Club to earn a fifth green jacket. The victory moved him above Arnold Palmer and put him one behind Jack Nicklaus for the greenest jackets in history.
Woods last won the US Open Major in 2008 after beating Rocco Mediate in a playoff at Torrey Pines in San Diego.
Dustin Johnson on the quest for the second US Open title
Dustin Johnson will be seeking his second US Open title this week. Johnson won the 116th edition of the US Open three years ago at Oakmont. The 34-year-old is currently the No. 2 player in the world with 10.5376 points. Johnson scooped the WGC- Mexico Championship 2019 tournament title after beating Rory Mcllroy by five strokes at Club de Golf Chapultepec on February.
He has bagged 20 PGA Tour victories in his career. Johnson finished second in the 2019 PGA Championship and has played in 253 events. He is among the favorites to win this year though he has to overcome some of the arguably greatest golfers of all time, Tiger Woods and Brooks Koepka, to keep his title dream alive.
The 30-year-old Northern Ireland’s national is currently in position three in the world with average points of 8.4671. Mcllroy has achieved 16 PGA Tour victories and nine international wins. He comes into this tournament having won the 2019 Players Championship at Sawgrass after defeating Jim Furyk by one shot.
Rickie Fowler has won five PGA Tour and nine international events. He has played 234 events in his career and achieved five Top 10 finishes. The 30-year-old is currently ranked 11th in the world with average points of 5.4735.
Fowler emerged the winner of the 2019 Waste Management Phoenix Open to become the Peoples Champion in February this year. Fowler increased his winning chance for the US Open title after he shot a five-under 66 in his opening match at Pebble Beach. Though he could possibly not reach the top five players, Fowler stands a chance to surprise fans at Pebble Beach.
Will it be Brooks Koepka or Dustin Johnson?
Judging from the above, this year’s US Open tournament appears to be a three horse race. With a number of great achievements, Brooks Koepka appears ready for the task. Dustin Johnson’s form makes him a force to reckon with and he is a player to beat in the tournament. Tiger Woods suffered a setback after a slow start in the tournament, but his skills and abilities should not be under-estimated as he has shown before what he is capable of.
Most golf pundits have put their weight behind Brooks Koepka’s win but I will choose to go with either Koepka or Johnson for a win since both players have been on top of their game. This year’s tournament appears tougher than ever. We should expect the skills of each competitor to be tested in every match they play.
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