Dustin Johnson, Justin Rose and other players to watch at the US Open

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Ahead of the US Open that starts on Thursday, we look at six star players set to shine.

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DUSTIN JOHNSON
Age:
33

Major wins:
US Open 2016
Last five results: T10-T16-T17-T8-1

The 33-year-old reclaimed the world number one spot after winning the St. Jude Classic in dominant fashion on Sunday. The Jupiter resident has the most complete game in the sport and can prosper on a tough course like Shinnecock. DJ has 13 top-20 finishes in his last 14 tournaments, including two wins and two second place finishes. May not have scaled the same heights as 2017, but is still as influential as ever.

RORY MCILROY
Age: 29
Majors:
US Open 2011, PGA Championship 2012 and 2014, The Open Championship 2014
Last five results: T5-T16-MC-2-T8

It’s hard to believe it’s been seven years since his maiden major win at the Congressional. And after a rib injury ruled him out of action last season, the Northern Irishman looks back to his best in 2018 with a win, two runners-up and one third-place finish in 13 events since January. The former world No1 will be bidding to show that he still has tricks in his armoury after finishing T5 at the Masters in April.

JUSTIN THOMAS
Age:
25
Majors:
PGA Championship 2017
Last five results: 4-T17-T21-T11-T8

The world No2 may not be a household name like Jordan Spieth and Dustin Johnson, but has proven to be equally as impressive over the past two years. The 25-year-old has 12 top-25 finishes and five top-10 finishes this season, including a win at the Honda Classic. Shinnecock will be harder and faster than some of the courses he has played this year, but the Kentucky native has proven his consistency at the US Open in the past with a top-10 finish in 2017.

JUSTIN ROSE
Age:
37
Majors:
US Open 2013
Last five results: T52-T12-T23-1-T6

The rock-solid Englishman had one of his most successful seasons in 2017 with 10 consecutive top-10 finishes and three tournament victories. Has started this year brightly with a dominant victory at the Fort Invitational last month and looks every bit as threatening from the tee and further up the green. The 2013 champion is consistent, resilient and should be within a shout of a second major on Sunday.

JORDAN SPIETH
Age:
24
Majors:
US Open and Masters Tournament 2015, The Open 2017
Last five results: 3-T41-T21-T32-MC

Without a doubt, the most talented player in golf. Results may have not gone his way over the past 12 months but the 24-year-old is still a three-time major winner. If he can improve his putting – his biggest strength in previous years – then expect the 2015 US Open winner to add to his 11 career Tour wins at Shinnecock. The Texan boasts an impeccable record of 1-1-4-2-2 in majors since 2015.

BROOKS KOEPKA
Age:
28
Majors:
US Open 2017
Last five results: 34-T42-T11-2-T30

Koepka may have only played five tournaments this year due to a wrist injury, but the 28-year-old showed solid form finishing second behind Justin Rose at Fort Invitational earlier this month. The Florida man was playing the best golf of his career this time 12 months ago and went on to clinch a first major at the US Open. Injuries may have restricted his progress since January, but he is slowly getting back to his competitive best.

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Mikko Korhonen eases to inaugural Shot Clock Masters title

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Finland’s Mikko Korhonen shrugged off two weather delays to cruise to his first European Tour title at the inaugural Shot Clock Masters.

Korhonen took a five-shot lead into the final round at Diamond Country Club and carded a closing 69 to finish 16 under par, six shots ahead of Scotland’s Connor Syme.

Syme, 22, who only turned professional last September and was ranked 836th in the world at the start of the week, holed from 60 feet for a birdie on the 18th to finish outright second, a shot ahead of Steve Webster, Nicolas Colsaerts, Justin Walters and Raphael Jacquelin.

Jacquelin reduced Korhonen’s overnight advantage to three shots after four birdies in the first seven holes but the Finn birdied the third before play was suspended for 75 minutes due to the threat of lightning.

The 37-year-old, who needed eight attempts to earn his European Tour card via the qualifying school, picked up further shots on the fifth and sixth when play resumed before carding his first bogey of the week on the ninth.

A birdie on the next quickly settled any nerves and despite another bogey on the 12th following the second stoppage in play, Korhonen was never in danger of being caught.

“It feels great, beautiful,” Korhonen said. “It’s been a long wait so it feels so good. I’ve been up there a couple of times and couldn’t do it at those times, but now I’m so happy and relieved that I have done it.

“It’s not easy to win, especially not the first win, so I’m really happy to have done it. I have no words, it’s so good.”

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Dubai-based Adrian Otaegui sets sights on Ryder Cup debut after Belgian Knockout success

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Dubai-based Adrian Otaegui has his sights set on a Ryder Cup debut after claiming his second European Tour title with victory over France’s Benjamin Hebert in the final of the inaugural Belgian Knockout in Antwerp.

The Spaniard, who won the Paul Lawrie Match Play event last year, birdied four of the last six holes to beat Hebert by two shots at Rinkven International Golf Club.

The 25-year-old picked up 195,830 Race to Dubai points for his victory and moves from 20th to 14th in the Race to Dubai Rankings on 715,505 points leaving him on the cusp of qualification for the DP World Tour Championship taking place at Jumeirah Golf Estates from November 15-18.

“I’m very happy, very relaxed now after those last nine holes against Ben that were very tight,” Otaegui said. “I think we both played very good golf and I’m just very proud about my week.

“It’s not exactly the same format as last year [Paul Lawrie’s event] so I just tried to play against myself. Obviously your opponent is just next to you but I tried to focus on my game, it’s still stroke play and I did very well at the end.”

Asked about his chances of qualifying for the European Ryder Cup team, which will be captained by Thomas Bjorn in Paris, Otaegui said: “Thomas, if you’re looking at me, I like match play!

“There’s still a lot of season to go, obviously the good events coming now with the Rolex Series and lots of points. The season is still very long but yeah, I’m looking for Ryder Cup in a few months.”

Masters champion Patrick Reed of America currently leads the Race to Dubai rankings with 2,216,000 points whilst Shubhankar Sharma of India sits in second on 1,079,898 points.

Defending Race to Dubai champion Tommy Fleetwood completes the top three on 1,023,670 points.

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