The Australians' chances at Merion
BY Bruce Young | US PGA Tour | 2013 US Open | Preview | 10 Jun 2013
The US Open gets underway at Merion Golf Club in the outskirts of Philadelphia on Thursday and iseekgolf’s Bruce Young takes a look at the nine Australians who have made the field and assesses the chances of an Australian follow up victory to the one David Graham produced the last time a US Open was played at this venue.
Scott just keeps getting better in major championships. Scott had missed six of ten cuts at the US open until a much improved effort at Olympic last year which was followed soon after by his near miss at Royal Lytham, an 11th place finish at the PGA Championship and his breakthrough win at Augusta National. He now knows he can win a major championship and in his two starts since the Masters he has been solid enough. No reason why he can’t contend and /or win and keep his Grand Slam hopes alive.
Day has not missed a cut all year on the PGA Tour and appears to be peaking for this event. His runner-up finish to Rory McIlroy in this event in 2011 was a very impressive effort albeit on a golf course softened by rain but he also made the cut at Olympic last year on a very different golf course. He is genuinely a big event player as his previous runner-up finishes in this event and the Masters would suggest and he did also finish 3rd at Augusta National this year. If he was to contend it would be no surprise.
Leishman has been in a great vein of form since his amazing 4th place finish at Augusta National. That finish alone highlights that he has no real fear of major championship golf and since then has gone on to produce top ten finishes at great layouts such as Muirfield Village and Harbor Town. Leishman has had two starts at the US Open making the cut but finishing well back in 2011 and missing the cut on debut in 2010. A good chance to be the leading Australian if Scott and Day do not perform
Senden is perhaps not playing as well in 2013 as he was last year when he finished a very impressive 10th at the Olympic Club. He had also made the cut at Congressional twelve months previously but in two earlier starts he had missed the weekend. In many respects Senden has a game built around US Open type setups although his putting has not always been his friend. Hard to imagine given his current form that he can repeat his effort of last year.
Ogilvy is in a real slump at present and despite being a former winner of this event it is hard to imagine this being the perfect event for a form turnaround. To succeed or even contend at this level every department of a players game needs to be in great shape and give that he has struggled over the last three months then it is hard to imagine that is the case with the 2006 winner.
Fraser earned his right to play via Sectional Qualifying in Europe and will get to play just his second US Open. He made the cut on debut in 2007 but while he has put together the occasional good tournament this season (2nd in Korea) he has missed the cut in his last two starts and appears to be struggling a little. This will be just Fraser’s tenth event of the year and frankly it is hard to see him doing well.
Baddeley’s great US Open moment came in 2007 when he led into the final round before finishing 13th. There has not been a lot to get excited about in his other appearances in this most demanding of championships and his recent form suggest things aren’t going to get a lot better having missed his last four cuts in succession. Baddeley gained his start via Sectional Qualifying.
Presnell surprised many with his very impressive US Open debut last year. There he flirted with the lead through the second round before finishing 29th. That he has been able to make it back through Sectional Qualifying gives him another opportunity to shine on a big stage once again although having missed six of his last seven cuts in his rookie PGA Tour season it is hard to believe that he has the confidence in his own game currently to do so
Goggin is the final Australian in the field having gained a start via Sectional Qualifying a week ago. Goggin is having a good season on the Web.Com Tour and is on track to return to the PGA Tour in 2014 but with just three US Opens to his name and a best of 36th in the only cut he made he faces a big task to feature. His current form will assist however and he is capable of making the cut.
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