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The Australians at Erin Hills

Five Australians have made it into the field for the 117th US Open at Erin Hills Golf Course to the north of Milwaukee in Wisconsin this week and two would appear to be a good chance of adding to Australia’s two wins and seven runner-up finishes in the event.

Australians have, therefore, had reasonable success at the US Open, winning it twice (1981 David Graham and 2006 Geoff Ogilvy) and recording runner-up finishes by Greg Norman and Jason Day (twice each), Kel Nagle, Bruce Crampton and Stephen Leaney. 

With Jason Day and Adam Scott appearing to be peaking at the right time and with both having good records in the event in recent years then there is genuine reason for optimism amongst Australian golf fans.

Let’s take a look at how the Australians stack up.

Jason Day

Day will play his 7th US Open this week, looking to add to an exceptional record in the championship which began when he finished runner-up, albeit 8 shots behind Rory McIlory, in 2011. Since that impressive debut at the Congressional Country Club, Day has added four further top ten finishes in five starts highlighting what appears to be a genuine liking for the USGA style of set-up.

Day’s runner-up finish in Dallas behind Billy Horschel three weeks ago followed by a good weekend at the Memorial suggests he is peaking at the right time following what had been a slow start to the year, much of that caused by the distractions of family health issues rather than his own form.

Day has become a very much big game player with 13 top tens in twenty-five completed major events and there appears no reason there will not be a continuation of that trend this week.

Jason Day finishing runner-up at his US Open debut in 2011 - photo Bruce Young

Adam Scott

In keeping with his overall improvement in major championships over the last six years or so, Scott’s record at the US Open has shown marked improvement on that of earlier years with two top tens amongst four top twenties in his last five starts. He has a best of 4th at Chambers Bay two years ago but importantly for Scott he appears to be peaking at the right time with a good finish to last week’s St Jude Classic and other good finishes at the Masters and the Players Championship in 2017.

There is, therefore, a lot to like about the way Scott’s game is coming together at the right time and his chances to improve on his previous best finish in the event and perhaps challenge for the title are good.

Adam Scott and caddie Steve Williams - photo Bruce Young

Marc Leishman

Leishman has struggled at the US Open recording a best of 18th in five starts at the Oakmont Country Club last year. Leishman has shown a capacity to play the big events well having finished runner-up and 5th at previous Open Championships and 4th at the 2013 Masters.

Leishman is playing solidly in 2017, winning at Bay Hill and recording two twenties in Dallas and at the Memorial. He could conceivably better his previous best of 18th but it is hard to see him contending for the title.

Marc Leishman - photo Bruce Young

Wade Ormsby

Ormsby managed to survive a playoff at Sectional Qualifying near London and in doing so has opened the door for his first start in a major championship. That alone will be a big hurdle for the South Australian to overcome but he has shown some encouraging improvement of late. A cut made would be a big week for Ormsby and perhaps the best he can hope for but he has done incredibly well just to make the field.

Wade Ormsby - photo Bruce Young

Nick Flanagan

Flanagan survived the rigours and numbers game that is Sectional Qualifying with an impressive effort in Dallas last week. For Flanagan it will be his second US Open to go with two Open Championships and one Masters having played this event in 2004 as a result of his US Amateur Championship win the previous year. It is remarkable that he even made it into the field given his lack of competitive play of late and for that alone he deserves a lot of accolades. He is unlikely to get many during the event itself but like Ormsby just to make the field is an exceptional effort.  

Nick Flanagan courtesy of USGA Darren  Carroll     


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