Deputy Editor Oscar Frost picks out his pre-tournament favourites for the U.S. Open at Pinehurst No.2 this June

Written by Oscar Frost
Hi! I'm Oscar, and I'm one of your deputy editors for the coming year. I was also a sports editor for two years, and a writer for a year before that.

The US Open is the penultimate major of the year and is a weekend that all golf fans have earmarked since the start of the season. Hosted at Pinehurst this year, an iconic course in North Carolina, here are our picks for who will perform well and perhaps raise the championship trophy.

Scottie Scheffler

For the past seven weeks, Scottie Scheffler has either won a tournament, produced a child, or been arrested. 

He is the supreme name in golf at the moment, and it would be an oversight not to think that he could bag his first US Open title in his career. He has three top 10 finishes in his as many starts at the major and is coming off of a win at the prestigious Memorial tournament. 

He goes into the weekend as the absolute favourite for the competition, and is the largest favourite in the tournament since Tiger Woods in 2009. Scheffler is arguably the most dominant player since Woods, and he will be hungry to add more majors to his trophy cabinet. 

Xander Schauffele

Schauffle is the second-ranked player on the PGA tour in terms of driving the golf ball, and that is a key to success at Pinehurst. With long holes, narrow fairways and terrifying rough, any victor will have to be supreme off the tee.

The American also has six top 10 finishes at the tournament in his last seven, showing that he is able to perform in the challenging conditions of a US Open. 

you cannot rule him out as a favourite

Going into this season, critics of Schauffle would have said that he struggles to get the job done on the last day of play, however his victory at the PGA Championship silenced these doubters. 

It would be somewhat of a turnup for the books if he was able to secure two majors in a row, but you cannot rule him out as a favourite. 

Tommy Fleetwood

This is probably the most personal of these speculations, but Tommy Fleetwood has been up there a lot recently, and is due to win a major championship. 

Fleetwood is far too good to go through his whole career without a major, and probably the best golfer to have never won in the US. 

In a similar vein to Schauffle, Fleetwood is supremely accurate off the tee, which will put him is great stead around the tricky fairways at Pinehurst. He is also 17th on the PGA tour in strokes gained around the green, which will be essential to save pars after difficult approach shots. 

It might be that he took the time to take a photo with my mum at the BMW Pro-Am last year, but I believe that Fleetwood is due a big break that could come in the form of a win at Pinehurst.

Matt Fitzpatrick

Another Brit, but another golfer with a fantastic chance of topping the table in Pinehurst. 

Fitzpatrick has been a popular figure, but his appearance on Netflix’s Full Swing only boosted his profile. Portrayed as a somewhat nerdy Brit living the American dream, his habitual tracking of shots and goofy smile were enough to win over neutrals new to the game. 

He certainly has the game to back up his quirks, though

He certainly has the game to back up his quirks, though. A previous US Open victory two years ago is still fresh in the mind of analysts, and he was tied for fifth at the Memorial tournament last weekend. 

His form, combined with previous positive results at US Opens means that Fitzpatrick is hard to ignore as a potential pick that is less favoured than the likes of Scheffler and Schauffele. 

Ludvig Aberg

Only turning professional in June 2023, Aberg has burst onto the professional scene as one of the most explosive and skilful players on the PGA Tour.

The six-foot-three Swede has four professional wins, and has been ranked sixth on the world rankings recently.

This will be his maiden appearance in a US Open, but do not let that deter you in backing the debutant. With a second-place finish in the Masters earlier this year, he has shown some form in majors already in his budding career.

It is true that he did not make the cut at the PGA Championship, however the Swede should still be ready to perform on the big stage.

He certainly hits the ball far enough to navigate the long holes at Pinehurst, however the one reservation about his game is a potential for some errant iron shots that could leave the Swede needing some tough up-and-downs.

Nonetheless, I still believe Aberg is an unknown quantity at the major tournaments, and that he will learn from the poor result at the PGA Championship to make a run at Pinehurst.