U.S. Open
Billy Horschel hits from the fairway on the 17th hole during a practice round for the U.S. Open Championship golf tournament at The Los Angeles Country Club on Wednesday, June 14, 2023, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio J. Sanchez)

U.S. Open Begins Thursday

The U.S Open starts Thursday where the best golfers around the world head to Los Angeles Country Club. There will be 128 players in the tournament, but there’s have a couple to keep an eye on.

Matt Patrick

To start with, England’s Matt Patrick is hoping to defend the title he won last June. Patrick became England’s first major champion since Danny Willett won the 2016 Masters. Before earning his first major victory last summer, he had won seven times on the DP World Tour and represented England in the Walker Cup and the Ryder Cup.

Scottie Scheffler

Scottie Scheffler heads into a Major championship as the betting go-to, and it’s no surprise why. Scheffler is on an incredible run of form and would have won almost everything this year had it not been for a cold putter. Scheffler ranks No. 148 in Strokes Gained: Putting on the PGA Tour this year, but incredibly is No. 1 in SG: Total, Off the tee, Tee to green and Approach.

Rory Mcllroy

The four-time Major champion Rory Mcllroy was T7th at the PGA Championship last month, T7th at the Memorial Tournament and then T9th at last week’s RBC Canadian Open. McIlroy is also on an impressive run after a tough March and April where he missed the cut at TPC Sawgrass and Augusta National. Mcllory will be focusing on his golf game a lot this week and pushing to get his fifth major title.

Tommy Fleetwood

It has been a week in Canada for Tommy Fleetwood who lost out on the fourth playoff hole to Nick Taylor after he holed a 72-footer for eagle. Fleetwood loves the U.S. Open too, as he shot a record-equaling 63 in 2018 at Shinnecock Hills to push Brooks Koepka all the way. He was also second at the 2019 Open Championship at Royal Portrush, so he is certainly a man for the big occasions, could he win this week and make it back-to-back English U.S. Open champions? Absolutely.

Other U.S. Open Contenders

There are many other big names to look out for. Collin Morikawa, Rickie Fowler, Michael Brennan, and the common favorites such as Jordan Spieth, Sam Burns and Justin Thomas. Gator Nation also has a well known name on the course this week.

Gator Alumni Billy Horschel will be playing in his 11th U.S. Open this week in Los Angeles. Horschel was a three-time first-team All American at the University of Florida. The former Gator owns seven PGA Tour victories, the latest coming in the 2022 Memorial Tournament. His previous win had come in the 2021 WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play where he defeated 2013 U.S. Junior Amateur champion and future Masters champion Scottie Scheffler, 2 and 1, in the 18-hole final, Horschel will be teeing off at 4:43.

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