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5 To Watch

The men to keep an eye on at the US Open

Posted Jun 16, 2011 by Chris White

Discount Mickelson at your peril

This week’s 111th US Open should be a cracker with so many of the world’s top players in great form going into the tournament. The bookmakers here have the top two in the world as the favourites for the win, unsurprisingly, but there are plenty waiting in the wings to spring a surprise on Westwood and Donald.

Here, I take a look at five to keep an eye on over the next week in Maryland.

LUKE DONALD. Currently the world number one, and the top money earner so far this year. The Englishman living in the States has really found his form this year and is a great shout to win at the Congressional. He’s finished in the top ten in his last eight PGA Tour events and fifteen out of sixteen. His style of play suits this tight course and he’ll certainly be looking for a career best US Open finish, having been tied 12th in 2006.

LEE WESTWOOD. Still yet to win a major but has been world number one for more weeks in 2011 than he hasn’t. In the last two years, Westwood has dominated the European Tour and has won three events in recent months. It seems only a matter of time until he does win a major and this could be the one.

GRAEME McDOWELL. Last year’s winner surprised everyone by clinching his first major victory, and will be one to watch again in 2011. His form has been good and his composure in clinching the Ryder Cup for Europe shows that he can deal with the pressure and expectation. Always difficult to retain a title but if anyone can, G-Mac can.

STEVE STRICKER. World number four Stricker is in the form of his life at present, and as the highest ranked American at the Congressional this week, the pressure will be on him to win – especially with Tiger missing through injury – but the form he’s in so far shows that he can do it.

PHIL MICKELSON. You can’t discount Mickelson in a major competition. No matter how well he’s played up to the tournament, you just know that he’s always got something up his sleeve and he can turn it on like a tap. Having finished runner up in the US Open on no less than five occasions, it’s about time he won it, and you can guarantee he’ll agree!

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