Sarah Stirk: DJ primed to land back-to-back US Opens

Dustin Johnson is suited for this week's test
Dustin Johnson is suited for this week's test

Erin Hills is the stage for the 117th US Open and Sky Sports' golf presenter Sarah Stirk is in Wisconsin getting all the pre-tournament talk from the world's best golfers. You can get her insight on the year's second Major here...

"It's true that it's a monster of a course - which is described as 'heartland' - but it does have links characteristics. I would definitely favour a big-hitter but the shorter types aren't without a hope."

All the pre-tournament talk at Erin Hills has been about the rough but I think Rory McIlroy summed it up perfectly yesterday when telling the world's press: "We have 60 yards from the left line (of the fairway) to the right. If we can't hit within that avenue, you might as well pack your bags and go home."

The rough for me is irrelevant when the fairways are the widest we have probably ever seen in this tournament. Yes, the fescue is brutal, but if you can't find these fairways then...

They have cut back on the rough, too. That is more to do with the weather than players' complaints, however. We have already had some massive storms with further rain forecast before the weekend, and the fescue was beginning to lie down as it was so heavy and that would have made playing shots nearly impossible.

I spoke with Lee Westwood and he is another player who has no issue with the course condition - tough but fair was his assessment. The Englishman has enjoyed this tournament many times in years gone by, and I don't think he is without a chance this week.

I think most players are happy with Erin Hills so far. The general feeling is that it will be a fairer test than we are used to with this tournament. The USGA are under a lot of pressure this year following that rules howler with Dustin Johnson last year and the controversy of Chambers Bay in 2015.

The USGA have had two bad US Opens and all the talk from CEO Mike Davis is that they need a good one this year. That suggests we won't see the brutal tests of US Opens past and that has been reflected in conversations I've had with leading pros - they all agree the winning score will be under par.

Some players did not strike me as being that keen on the course. BMW PGA champ Alex Noren almost appeared psyched-out by Erin Hills when I interviewed him earlier this week.

It's true that it's a monster of a course - which is described as 'heartland' - but it does have links characteristics. I would definitely favour a big-hitter but the shorter types aren't without a hope.

They will have to be creative though. It's a course with plenty of blind shots and lots of uneven ground.

One thing is for sure - we are defintiely set for a dramatic four days of golf.

Sarah’s Selections - US Open

Back Dustin Johnson to win @ 9.28/1

Butch Harmon says this course is tailor made for DJ and who am I to disagree?! Yes, the form has gone a bit wobbly since the Masters but if ever a course was going to suit it's this one. Dustin became a father for the second time this week, and I think it's a positive, it only adds to the serene place he is in at the moment.


Back Adam Scott each-way @ 30/1

After upping his schedule Scott has started to play well and this could be a major when it all ticks for this long driver. Scott has gone well at US Opens and Opens and has the game for this. There is a frustration about him at present, as he really wants to bag another major and I sense this could be a big week for him.


Back Justin Rose each-way @ 25/1

Rose came out and played a practice round with one of the course designers and that can give him an edge. Rose has won this Major, and last year's Olympics and looks primed for another run at a big one.


Back Brooks Koepka each-way @ 40/1

If you want a long driver then look no further than Brooks, who ranks fifth for driving distance on the PGA Tour this year. Has already finished fourth in a US Open (2014) and followed that up with successive top 20s.

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