The first major tournament of the 2020-21 season begins tomorrow, and we'll give you our picks for who we think has the best chance to win. New York's Winged Foot is the site this for this year's U.S. Open, and it will be won by the player who is best able to keep the ball in the fairway off the tee and gain strokes on and around the green. With deep roughs, cratered bunkers, and large, undulating greens, it probably won't take an ultra-low score to win this weekend.
1. Dustin Johnson
This is the obvious choice as DJ has been on fire recently, winning 3 times since the restart, including the Tour Championship a couple weeks ago. He already has a U.S. Open victory under his belt, and has finished in the top-five in four of his last six U.S. Open appearances. His confidence will surely be high enough to give him a good shot at overcoming the challenges that Winged Foot presents.
2. Jon Rahm
Another safe pick here, Rahm and Johnson have seemed to be at another level compared to everyone else in recent events. Rahm ranked high in driving accuracy last season, and his putter has been working for him on courses that resemble potential putting terrains he will encounter this weekend. His knack for putting the ball in the fairway will set up plenty of wedges or short irons that he can spin safely onto favorable parts of the greens.
3. Xander Schauffele
After the two premier favorites, I like Schauffele over everyone else. While he has no major victories and hasn't won a tournament so far in 2020, Xander has been a runner-up three times, including at the Tour Championship. It's worth noting that Schauffele has never finished worse than sixth at a U.S. Open, placing in a tie for third in his most recent appearance there. His consistency coupled with his recent performances leads me to think he will contend, and possibly even win, in his twelfth attempt at a major championship.
Written by Nick Swatson