US Open preview: Aussie big names among Major marquee groups


Australia’s two most recent male major champions will be among elite company while a triumvirate of countrymen have been drawn together following the release of the tee times for the opening two rounds of the US Open.

To be played at New York’s notoriously difficult West Course at Winged Foot Golf Club, West Australian Curtis Luck and reigning ISPS HANDA PGA Tour Australasia Order of Merit winner Ryan Fox will have the honour of leading out the field alongside American Brandon Wu.

For Luck and the other eight Australians in the field it represents the chance to follow in the footsteps of Victorian Geoff Ogilvy who triumphed at Winged Foot 14 years ago with predictions already that Ogilvy’s 5-over score might be close to the winning total yet again.

Playing in his 76th consecutive major championship and the highest-ranked Australian in the field, Adam Scott has been drawn to play with former US Open champions Rory McIlroy (2011) and Justin Rose (2013) while 2015 US PGA Championship winner Jason Day is also joined by fellow Major winners for the opening two rounds in Webb Simpson (2012 US Open) and Sergio Garcia (2017 Masters).

But while close friends Marc Leishman and Cameron Smith will enjoy the chance the spend more quality time together – albeit under stressful circumstances – the most Aussie group for the first two rounds features the trio of Lucas Herbert, Matt Jones and Victorian amateur Lukas Michel.

Herbert and Jones both qualified for the US Open via their respective positions on the Official World Golf Ranking but for Michel it signifies an extraordinary elevation a year since his historic US Mid-Amateur victory at Colorado Golf Club.

Michel wasted no time in tapping into an Aussie major winner to acclimatise to his new surroundings, joining Scott and Luck for a practise round on Monday.

Australasians in the field

Adam Scott
Round 1 tee time (AEST): 10.07pm* Thursday Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose
Round 2 tee time: 3.27am Saturday
World ranking: 12
Last start: T25, BMW Championship
Best finish in 2020: 1st, Genesis Invitational (PGA Tour)
Best finish in US Open: T4 at Chambers Bay (2015)
Previous US Opens: 18
Past appearances at Winged Foot: 2006 US Open (T21)

Marc Leishman
Round 1 tee time (AEST): 2.43am* Friday Cameron Smith, Bernd Wiesberger
Round 2 tee time: 9.23pm Friday
World ranking: 22
Last start: T28, Tour Championship
Best finish in 2020: 1st, Farmers Insurance Open (PGA Tour)
Best finish in US Open: T18 at Oakmont Country Club (2016)
Previous US Opens: 8
Past appearances at Winged Foot: Nil

Jason Day
Round 1 tee time (AEST): 9.56pm* Thursday Webb Simpson, Sergio Garcia
Round 2 tee time: 3.16am Saturday
World ranking: 37
Last start: 64th, BMW Championship
Best finish in 2020: 4th, AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am
Best finish in US Open: 2nd at Congressional Country Club (2011)
Previous US Opens: 9
Past appearances at Winged Foot: Nil

Cameron Smith
Round 1 tee time (AEST): 2.43am* Friday Marc Leishman, Bernd Wiesberger
Round 2 tee time: 9.23pm Friday
World ranking: 50
Last start: T22, Tour Championship
Best finish in 2020: 1st, Sony Open (PGA Tour)
Best finish in US Open: T4 at Chambers Bay (2015)
Previous US Opens: 4
Past appearances at Winged Foot: Nil

Lucas Herbert
Round 1 tee time (AEST): 2.32am Friday Lukas Michel (a), Matt Jones
Round 2 tee time: 9.12pm* Friday
World ranking: 78
Last start: MC, US PGA Championship
Best finish in 2020: 1st, Omega Dubai Desert Classic (European Tour)
Best finish in US Open: MC at Shinnecock Hills (2018)
Previous US Opens: 1
Past appearances at Winged Foot: Nil

Matt Jones
Round 1 tee time (AEST): 2.32am Friday Lukas Michel (a), Lucas Herbert
Round 2 tee time: 9.12pm* Friday
World ranking: 101
Last start: 69th, The Northern Trust
Best finish in 2020: T5, AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am
Best finish in US Open: MC (2014, 2018 and 2019)
Previous US Opens: 4
Past appearances at Winged Foot: Nil

Danny Lee
Round 1 tee time (AEST): 4am* Friday Mark Hubbard, Lanto Griffin
Round 2 tee time: 10.40pm Friday
World ranking: 108
Last start: T33, BMW Championship (PGA TOUR)
Best finish in 2020: T5, Arnold Palmer Invitational (PGA TOUR)
Best finish in US Open: T57 at Oakmont Country Club
Previous US Opens: 2

Ryan Fox
Round 1 tee time (AEST): 8.50pm Thursday Curtis Luck, Brandon Wu
Round 2 tee time: 2.10am* Saturday
World ranking: 168
Last start: T32, Portugal Masters (European Tour)
Best finish in 2020: 2nd, ISPS HANDA Vic Open (European Tour)
Best finish in US Open: T41 at Shinnecock Hills (2018)
Previous US Opens: 2
Past appearances at Winged Foot: Nil

Scott Hend
Round 1 tee time (AEST): 10:51pm* Thursday Dan McCarthy, Ryan Vermeer
Round 2 tee time: 4.11am Saturday
World ranking: 340
Last start: MC, ISPS HANDA UK Championship (European Tour)
Best finish in 2020: T17, Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship (European Tour)
Best finish in US Open: T32 at Winged Foot (2006)
Previous US Opens: 3
Past appearances at Winged Foot: 2006 US Open (T32)

Curtis Luck
Round 1 tee time (AEST): 8.50pm Thursday Ryan Fox, Brandon Wu
Round 2 tee time: 2.10am* Saturday
World ranking: 375
Last start: MC, Evans Scholars Invitational
Best finish in 2020: 1st, Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship (Korn Ferry Tour)
Previous US Opens: 0
Past appearances at Winged Foot: Nil

Lukas Michel (a)
Round 1 tee time (AEST): 2.32am Friday Lucas Herbert, Matt Jones
Round 2 tee time: 9.12pm* Friday
World ranking: 1,407
Last start: 116th, US Amateur Championship
Best finish in 2020: 13th, Riversdale Cup
Previous US Opens: Nil
Past appearances at Winged Foot: Nil

Defending champion: Gary Woodland
Past Australian winners: David Graham (1981), Geoff Ogilvy (2006)
TV schedule: Live 2am-9am Friday, Saturday, Sunday; 2am-8am Monday on Fox Sports 503
Top Aussie prediction: Adam Scott


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