US Open trophy on grassy field against golf course backdrop

The 2015 U.S. Open kicks off today with 156 of the world’s best golfers all gathered together in University Place, Washington — the home of Chambers Bay, the British links-style course. The course first opened in 2007, built on a former sand-and-gravel quarry, with the intention of designing a similar course, layout, and feel of a British Open tournament. With howling winds and soggy weather the likes of which you’d find in England, the course definitely has the feel of an Open Championship. In addition to the weather issues, the course is purposely designed with sloped terrains and uneven lies all over the course, even on some tee boxes. This should make this tournament even more interesting as the best players in the world look to strategically attack this course.

With the weather conditions and difficulty of the layout, on top of the length  of the course (7,900 yards), we should expect the winning score to be much lower than it was at the Master’s in April (Spieth -18). I would be surprised if more than a handful of the participants finished at under par.

With a course featuring these kinds of conditions, which of the 156 hopefuls has their game tailored to give the course a run for its money? With uneven fairways and greens, accuracy will be particularly important to be successful at Chambers Bay. However, accuracy alone will not win you the 2015 U.S. Open. Other factors, such as distance, putting average, and greens in regulation will be crucial for this year’s winner.

Let’s take a look at who has the right game to come out victorious this week at Chambers Bay.

Henrik Stenson

  • World Ranking: No. 6
  • Top 10 (in 2015): Driving Accuracy Percentage, Greens in Regulation Percentage, Chipping and Scrambling Percentage, and Scoring Average

Stenson has the tools to be successful at Chambers Bay. He’ll need to show that he can handle the pressures during the championship rounds, but he should be in contention come Sunday.

Hideki Matsuyama

  • World Ranking: No. 14
  • Top 10 (in 2015): Longest Drive, Greens in Regulation Percentage, and Scoring Average

Matsuyama has a chance to continue his steady play this week. Matsuyama has been playing well as of late, and is due for a big win. He has a chance to stake his claim as one of the top golfers in the world.

Jim Furyk

  • World Ranking: No. 3
  • Top 10 (in 2015): Driving Accuracy Percentage, Greens in Regulation Percentage, Chipping and Scrambling Percentage, and Scoring Average

Furyk is the veteran that I expect to be in contention when all is said and done. He’s been striking the ball with consistency in 2015, and he’s proven to have what it takes, with 3 Top-5 finishes in the last 6 tournaments.

Already acknowledged in the golf world as an up-and-comer, Hideki Matsuyama cements his place in the Top 10 World Rankings with a victory this week at the 115th U.S. Open. Who do you think will come out on top? Will it be a veteran like Phil Mickelson or Matt Kuchar, or another young gun like Jordan Speith or Patrick Reed?