US Open predictions: McIlroy leads European charge

James Mason
LiveScore
Rory McIlroy heads to the US Open in fine form
Rory McIlroy heads to the US Open in fine form

The 122nd US Open swings into action at The Country Club in Brookline, Massachusetts, today and there are plenty of European contenders aiming to challenge the American contingent for glory.

Spanish ace Jon Rahm is the defending champion and there is every chance he could put on a strong defence but he will need to improve his putting, which has him ranked 76th in strokes gained.

World No1 Scottie Scheffler is aiming for his fifth victory of the year and second Major title, having broken his duck at the Masters in April. 

Meanwhile, recently crowned US PGA champion Justin Thomas is another hoping to have a big say on matters. 

It promises to be an enthralling contest at The Country Club, which is hosting the US Open for the first time since 1988 and is well remembered for the Ryder Cup clash between the USA and Europe dubbed the Battle of Brookline in 1999. 

Rahm's victory 12 months ago was the first time a non-American had lifted the trophy since German Martin Kaymer in 2014.

And with all the talent coming across the pond to Massachusetts, will there be another European champion? 

Read on as we take a look at some of the leading hopes that could conquer the US this week. 

Rory McIlroy

All the furore surrounding the controversial LIV Golf Series seemed to spark something in Northern Irishman Rory McIlroy last week and he produced a brilliant performance to successfully defend his RBC Canadian Open title. 

The world No3 held off the advances of Tony Finau and Thomas in the final group last Sunday, with the trio putting on a show for the Toronto crowd. 

The four-time Major champion then even got a dig in at Greg Norman after moving past the Australian onto 21 PGA Tour titles. 

McIlroy's last five results read 2-5-8-T18-1, showcasing just where his game is right now and he leads the PGA Tour field for scoring average this season, as well as multiple strokes gained metrics.

The 33-year-old already knows what it feels like to win this event, having triumphed at Congressional Country Club in 2011 and there is every chance he will be in the mix come Sunday evening. 

Matthew Fitzpatrick

Matthew Fitzpatrick will hope to impress at Brookline
Matthew Fitzpatrick will hope to impress at Brookline

England's Matthew Fitzpatrick has quietly been going about his business this season and he recorded a T10 finish at the Canadian Open last Sunday, his third top 10 result from his last four outings. 

The world No18 has yet to win in the States since turning professional but he does have previous at The Country Club. 

He won the US Amateur Championship here in 2013 and that experience and course knowledge could prove invaluable. 

Fitzpatrick was T5 at the PGA Championship last month — the best Major finish of his career — and his game appears to be trending in the right direction and that could see him challenge this week. 

Tommy Fleetwood

It has been a tough few years for Tommy Fleetwood, who has not tasted success since the 2019 Nedbank Golf Challenge. 

But three top 10 finishes in his last five starts, including at the PGA Championship, suggests his game is getting back to its best. 

The Englishman was fourth and second respectively at the 2017 and 2018 US Opens and is a player that thrives when playing conditions become tougher and the wind starts to pick up.

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