Nine Australians will tee it up in golf’s toughest test when the US Open gets underway at The Olympic Club in San Francisco this week.
Headlining the Australian contingent is the last Aussie to claim a US Open; Geoff Ogilvy. Joining nine other former champions in the field at the Olympic Club, Ogilvy is looking to draw on form that helped him claim his 2006 victory. Ogilvy has had a consistent year on the PGA TOUR making 12 cuts and six top 25’s, but is yet to make his presence felt this season.
Jason Day made his US Open debut last year where he finished second behind Rory McIlroy. Day’s 2012 season had been limited due to an ankle injury that forced him to withdraw from The Masters. Since returning from injury, Day has posted his best finishes for the season with two tied ninths at the Wells Fargo Championship and HP Byron Nelson Championship. However, he has also failed to make the cut twice in the last four tournaments. In 2011 Day proved that he can contend in the Majors and, given he missed the first of the year, he will have extra motivation at the US Open this week.
Of all the Majors, the US Open seems to be the thorn in Adam Scott’s side. Since 2002 he has made the cut just four times with his best finish being a tied 21st in 2006. However this Australian relishes competing amongst the world’s best and finished the top Australian at The Masters earlier this year with a tied eighth. Scott has been playing a reduced schedule this season which seems to be paying dividends with five top 20 finishes from eight tournaments.
John Senden will be looking for a strong performance at the US Open after missing the cut at The Masters in April. Senden finished in a tie for 30th at the US Open last year, but will be expecting a better finish this year. Already in 2012 Senden has recorded three top 10 places, the same number as his 2011 season. Senden is currently the highest ranked Australian in the FedEx Cup standings, a testament to his solid start to the season.
Brendan Jones goes quietly about his business on the Japan Golf Tour, but has amassed an impressive 11 victories on the Tour, the most recent in April this year at the Token Homemate Cup. Ranked inside the top 100 of the Official World Golf Rankings, Jones earned his way into just his second US Open thanks to sectional qualifying in Japan. A dominant force on the Japan Golf Tour, he has placed inside the top 10 in four of his first seven events. Jones is looking forward to seeing how he fares against the best in the world.
Historically Aaron Baddeley, has not performed well at the US Open having missed the cut the past two years. His best performance came back in 2007 when he finished in a tie for 13th place. Baddeley will head into the US Open fresh from a week’s break and a tied ninth in his last start at the Memorial Tournament.
Enduring golf’s longest day, Rod Pampling booked a spot in the US Open after claiming one of the 16 places available at the Scioto Country Club sectional qualifier. Pampling has had a mixed season on the PGA TOUR making eight cuts from 14 events and placing in the top 25 just three times. Pampling’s best tournament to date was Farmers Insurance Open in January where he finished in a tie for ninth.
Nationwide Tour regular Alistair Presnell has qualified for his first Major; the US Open thanks to his playoff triumph at the Lakeside Country Club sectional qualifier. Presnell has had a hot and cold season on the Nationwide Tour having made just four cuts but finishing inside the top 20 on three occasions, he currently sits at 25 on the all important top 25 money leaders list.
New South Welshman Anthony Summers has qualified for his first Major at the age of 43 after blitzing the field in the Glen Ellyn sectional qualifier. Summers headed to the tournament after a slow start to his season in which a missed cut at the European Tour and OneAsia co-sanctioned Volvo China Open almost deterred him from heading to the US. Finding form in his practice round, Summers went on to shoot an opening round 6-under 66 backing up with a 5-under 67 to win the event and ensure his place in the US Open field. Summers will blog for www.pga.org.au, giving his first time perspective into the US Open. Read Summers' blog here.
With nine Australians and the world’s best vying to be the 2012 US Open Champion, the quality of golf coming from The Olympic Club should not be missed.
The US Open can be watched live on:
Round 1: Friday 15th June 6am -12pm live on Fox Sports 3.
Round 2: Saturday 16th June 6am – 12pm live on Fox Sports 3 and Sunday 17th June 3am – 6am replay on Fox Sports 3.
Round 3: Sunday 17th June 6am – 12pm live on Fox Sports 3, Sunday 17th June 7.30pm – 11.30pm replayed on Fox Sports 2 and Monday 18th June 2am – 6am replay on Fox Sports 3.
Round 4: Monday 18th June 6am – 12pm live on Fox Sports 3 and Monday 18th June 7.30pm – 11pm replay on Fox Sports 3.
Round One Tee Times (San Francisco USA time, AEST)
7.48am 12.45am 1st Brendan Jones, George Coetzee, Gregory Bourdy
8.32am 1.32am 1st Adam Scott, Keegan Bradley, Webb Simpson
8.43am 1.43am 1st Tim Clark, Toru Taniguchi, Rod Pampling
9.01am 2.01am 9th Marc Warren, Anthony Summers, Michael Allen
9.16am 2.16am 1st Edward Loar, Paul Claxton, Alistair Presnell
1.18pm 6.18am 1st Alvaro Quiros, Gary Woodland, John Senden
1.47pm 6.47am 9th Jason Day, Louis Oosthuizen, Jason Dufner
2.02pm 7.02am 1st Ernie Els, Geoff Ogilvy, Angel Cabrera
2.24pm 7.24am 1st Matteo Manassero, Aaron Baddeley, Miguel Angel Jimenez