When the cat’s away the mice will playPost by: Reece Lightning
// June 2nd, 2011 // Johnnie Walker Golf Club News
The US Open returns Congressional Golf Club in a fortnight, and, as is with the post Tiger era, there’s a stack of players who have a sniff. The top 50 players in the Official World Golf Rankings two weeks prior to the event (and in the week during) are exempt – here’s a run down of where they’re all at…
(A mrbojumbles piece as seen on Johnnie Walker Golf Club)
(Official World Rankings as of the 29th May 2011)
1 Luke Donald, Eng
In the form of his life; a major is the only thing missing from the newly crowned World Number One’s growing resume.
2 Lee Westwood, Eng
It’s simply a matter of time for Lee to shake the ‘best player to have never won a major’ tag.
3 Martin Kaymer, Deu
Has gone a little cold of late but the German-Machine’s due and knows how to win big these days.
4 Phil Mickelson, USA
Own a record five 2nd places in the US Open, and once again carries the hopes of his home nation.
5 Graeme McDowell, Nir
The defending champ will be there or thereabouts – top 5 finish is a safe punt.
6 Rory McIlroy, Nir
Labeled the most talented player on the planet by his peers, but questions remain from Sunday at Augusta.
7 Matt Kuchar, USA
T6 last year in what was a stella season; will have the patrons in his corner.
8 Steve Stricker, USA
Time’s ticking for Strick to deliver in the Majors, but like a good wine he gets better with age.
9 Paul Casey, Eng
Often goes missing in action in the big events, can’t see the Englishman contending.
10 Charl Schwartzel, Zaf
If a Green Jacket doesn’t give you confidence to win on the biggest stage you should retire immediately.
11 Bubba Watson, USA
On fire in twenty-eleven, winning just gets easier for the monster lefty.
12 Ian Poulter, Eng
Loud and brash – America personified. A US Open would explode the matchplay specialist’s ego.
13 Tiger Woods, USA
14 career Major’s; four US Open titles – one with a broken knee; but can he pull it off with a personal life in tatters.
14 Dustin Johnson, USA
Nothing sexual, but Dustin loves it long and hard – the US Open in a nutshell.
15 Nick Watney, USA
“The most talented young American on Tour” – but the fruit is in the pudding.
16 K.J. Choi, Kor
The Player’s Champion is my pick this week; don’t mess with his eagle-eyed stare!
17 Jim Furyk, USA
A past champion with a swing that looks like an octopus falling out of a tree. Like he cares though.
18 Hunter Mahan, USA
Loves Congressional but may harbour deep scars from Celtic Manor,
19 Jason Day, Aus
Won plenty of fans with his Masters’ heroics and would love to match Ogilvy’s triumph in ’06.
20 Francesco Molinari, Ita
The talented Italian has the game to win and would be a popular champion.
21 Ernie Els, Zaf
The two-time champ feels he has ‘one big run’ left in him.
22 Adam Scott, Aus
No one’s ever won a Major with a broomstick putter but there’s a first for everything.
23 Robert Karlsson, Swe
The 2010 Dubai World Champion is streaky, as too is Michael Campbell.
24 Alvaro Quiros, Esp
Being silly long is a huge advantage but the US Open requires extreme touch to match.
25 Martin Laird, Sco
Claimed the Arnold Palmer Invitational title this season, would be massive news in Scotland if he pulled it off.
26 Miguel A. Jimenez, Esp
Snatching the US Open would ensure cult status for the Spanish Mechanic.
27 David Toms, USA
His Indian summer could become a dream one at Congressional.
28 Retief Goosen, Zaf
If Goose was to win three US Opens he’d enter a very rare and special club.
29 Justin Rose, Eng
Will still be bitter after being over-looked for the Ryder Cup after two PGA Tour wins last season.
30 Matteo Manassero, Ita
The ‘next big thing’ will take only confidence from the BMW PGA Championship disappointment.
31 Geoff Ogilvy, Aus
Owning the best poker face on Tour should be an advantage for the 2006 champion.
32 Tim Clark, Zaf
A nasty injury never stopped Tiger in 2008.
33 Edoardo Molinari, Ita
Was impressive last year in Europe but is yet to win on US soil.
34 Zach Johnson, USA
Owns a Green Jacket but never delivers in his National Open.
35 Louis Oosthuizen, Zaf
The smooth-swinging Saffa has made the cut in only two Majors: 1st in last’s year’s Open Championship, and 73rd in the ’08 PGA – weird.
36 Kyung-tae Kim, Kor
Even as a golf tragic I had no idea who this was; never won in Europe or America.
37 Robert Allenby, Aus
Hasn’t won in The States since 2001 but rides the wave of Aussie confidence from Augusta.
38 Anders Hansen, Dnk
The Dane has consistency but the US Open is a daunting Everest.
39 Ben Crane, USA
A US Open title would see his YouTube clips go uber-viral.
40 Y.E. Yang, Kor
The ‘09 PGA Championship winner has never played the weekend at the US Open.
41 Jonathan Byrd, USA
The Hogan-esque-2011-winner has a steady game and a head to match.
42 Ryan Moore, USA
You can count on Ryan looking good if he was posing with the US Open trophy.
43 Bill Haas, USA
2010 was a breakout year but son-ofJay is a rank outsider.
44 Bo Van Pelt, USA
Not such a household name outside of America – T8 at April’s Masters.
45 Rickie Fowler, USA
Crash, bang, wallop – America’s poster boy has the goods to be an overnight superstar but lacks consistency.
46 Rory Sabbatini, Zaf
Skull and crossbones belt buckles and cowboy hats raise serious questions.
47 Brandt Snedeker, USA
Beat the Luke Donald in a playoff to win his second Tour event this year – confidence much?
48 Ryan Palmer, USA
A three-time PGA Tour winner brimming with confidence after his near miss at the Byron Nelson.
49 Peter Hanson, Swe
Europe’s silent achiever. Few Americans would know his name.
50 Padraig Harrington, Irl
His last three victories are Majors but the last was in 2008 – slipped to 50th in the world.