We’re just days away from the start of the 117th U.S. Open Championship and excitement is definitely building for the year’s second major golf tournament. All eyes will definitely be on reigning champion Dustin Johnson as he attempts to win back-to-back U.S. Open titles at Erin Hills. Read on below as we breakdown Johnson’s chances of lifting the coveted U.S. Open Trophy. While you’re at it, you can check out our complete U.S. Open preview here as well as the experts’ picks for the year’s second golf major.
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Why Dustin Johnson is the Favorite to Win the 2017 U.S. Open
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He’s Playing Some Excellent Golf
There’s just no stopping the great Dustin Johnson (+700). The world no. 1 has been on fire to start the year, posting top-six finishes in seven of his first 11 starts. Johnson won three events in a row heading into the Masters (Genesis Open, WGC-Mexico and WGC Match Play tournaments), the PGA Tour’s longest winning streak since Rory McIlroy won three consecutive titles in 2014. Ever since Johnson won the U.S. Open last year, the South Carolina native has nabbed five more victories on the PGA Tour. Talk about momentum.
Johnson Loves Playing in Major Tournaments
There was once a time when Dustin Johnson was known as a choker in major tournaments. Johnson came close to winning the 2010 PGA Championship at Whistling Straits but his one-shot lead evaporated on the final hole after he was assessed a two-shot penalty because of a grounded club in the bunker. The golf gods frowned once again on Johnson in the 2014 U.S. Open as he three-putted from 12 feet in the final hole to hand Jordan Spieth the title.
That all changed, though, with his terrific performance in last year’s U.S. Open. Not even a rules controversy can derail Johnson from capturing his first major title. With the field and USGA officials against him, Johnson held his composure down the stretch to finally lift the coveted U.S. Open Trophy in a frenetic Sunday finish. In his career, the 32-year-old has recorded 13 top-10s in 31 major starts.
Johnson’s Game is Built for Erin Hills
Plenty of experts have been weighing in on Johnson’s chances this week and they are unanimous in saying that the American’s golf game fits Erin Hills to a tee. The par-72 course is 7,823 yards long, which is perfect for a bomber like Dustin Johnson. He leads the PGA Tour in driving distance this season, averaging 312.1 yards per drive. He is also tops in the PGA Tour in greens in regulation percentage with an incredible 72.53 percent clip. That will be a major weapon for Johnson when navigating the tough Erin Hills course this week.
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