Tiger looks to tie record, Koepka out to replicate Strange feat - The U.S. Open in Opta facts
The second major of the year will be contested this week as the U.S. Open returns to Shinnecock Hills for the first time since 2004.
Dustin Johnson heads to the traditionally challenging Long Island course as the world number one and seeking a second major title, but predictably much of the attention will be on Tiger Woods.
Woods' last major triumph came at the U.S. Open a decade ago, and some consistent performances on the PGA Tour have hinted he could contend to end that drought.
Here, with the help of Opta, we look at some of the best facts surrounding the 118th U.S. Open.
MICKELSON THE MAN FOR SHINNECOCK CHALLENGE?
- Retief Goosen won the U.S. Open the last time it was held at Shinnecock Hills, back in 2004. He was one of only two players to finish under par (-4) alongside Phil Mickelson (-2).
- In fact, in the three U.S. Opens played at Shinnecock in the modern era, only three players have finished under par at the end of the four days: Ray Floyd in 1986 (-1) before Goosen and Mickelson.
- Mickelson has finished second in the U.S. Open on six occasions, an all-time record. The U.S. Open is the only major he has not won, in 26 attempts (24 as a professional, 2 as an amateur).
- In his two U.S. Open appearances at Shinnecock, Mickelson finished tied-fourth (1995) and second (2004).
WOODS LOOKING TO TIE RECORD
- Willie Anderson, Ben Hogan, Bobby Jones and Jack Nicklaus hold the record for most wins at the U.S. Open (4). Tiger Woods is one behind on three wins, alongside Hale Irwin.
- None of the last nine U.S. Opens have been decided by a play-off, the last one dating back to 2008 when Tiger Woods famously saw off Rocco Mediate. It is currently the longest run without a play-off in the four golf majors.
- That victory was Woods' last at a major. His last top 10 at a major was the 2013 Open Championship.
- Woods' first U.S. Open was in 1995 at Shinnecock as a 19-year-old amateur. He withdrew in the second round after spraining his wrist.
KOEPKA EYEING STRANGE FEAT
Here today at Shinnecock, and grateful every day to the men & women who sacrificed their lives to give us our freedom and allow us to do what we love. pic.twitter.com/Kmkar1zDAj— Tiger Woods (@TigerWoods) May 29, 2018
- Brooks Koepka will attempt to become the first player since Curtis Strange in 1989 to successfully defend his U.S. Open crown.
- Koepka has made the top 25 in each of his last 10 major appearances, including five top 10s and his win at last year's U.S. Open.
- Patrick Reed will look to become only the sixth player since the Second World War to win the first two majors of the year (Masters, U.S. Open). The previous players to accomplish that feat: Ben Hogan (1951, 1953), Arnold Palmer (1960), Jack Nicklaus (1972), Tiger Woods (2002) and Jordan Spieth (2015).
MCILROY'S MISERY, FRENETIC FOWLER
Excited for Shinnecock Hills and @usopengolf! An outstanding course which will be a great championship test! Like my #USOpen custom-made @TaylorMadeGolf bag? RT for a chance to win it. pic.twitter.com/H7MOAbN3Vu— Rory McIlroy (@McIlroyRory) June 5, 2018
- Rory McIlroy holds the record for lowest 72-hole score at the U.S. Open: 268 (-16) in 2011 at Congressional. Since then, he's never finished higher than tied-ninth in the year's second major, missing the cut in his last two appearances.
- Jordan Spieth only has one top-10 finish in six appearances at the U.S. Open (five as a professional, one as an amateur), his victory at Chambers Bay in 2015.
- Justin Thomas has only had one top five in his 11 major appearances so far, his win at last year's USPGA Championship.
- Jason Day has five top 10s in seven U.S. Open appearances (71 per cent), his best ratio at any major.
- Rickie Fowler has either finished in the top 10 (three times) or missed the cut (twice) in his last five U.S. Open appearances. It will be his 34th major appearance – he has yet to win one.
- Johnson has three top-five finishes in the last four U.S. Opens, more than any other player over that period. However, he missed the cut last year.