The US Open 2018 stats: Ten year trends point to DeChambeau

American golfer Bryson DeChambeau
Bryson DeChambeau ticks all the right boxes ahead of this year's US Open
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Dave Tindall looks at the make-up of the last 10 US Open champions to try and find this year's winner...

"DeChambeau is 24, world ranked 22nd, was T15 in the 2016 US Open at Oakmont, has played in three US Opens, made the cut at Augusta, is over 20/1, won the Memorial on his last start, hasn’t won a major and didn’t play last week."

Unlike the Masters, the US Open moves around from venue to venue each year but strong trends emerge when analysing past champions.

For each of the last 10 winners, I've listed the following categories that were correct at the time of their victory - age, world ranking, how many US Opens they'd played, best finish in the event and best result they'd recorded that season.

2017 - Brooks Koepka (Age: 27, WR: 22nd, Played: 4, US Open Best: 4th, 2017 Best: 2nd)

2016 - Dustin Johnson (Age: 31, WR: 6th, Played: 8, US Open Best: 2nd, 2016 Best: 3rd)

2015 - Jordan Spieth (Age: 21, WR: 2nd, Played: 3, US Open Best: 17th, 2015 Best: Win)

2014 - Martin Kaymer (Age: 29, WR: 28th, Played: 6, US Open Best: 8th, 2014 Best: Win)

2013 - Justin Rose (Age: 32, WR: 5th, Played: 7, US Open Best: 5th, 2013 Best: 2nd)

2012 - Webb Simpson (Age: 26, WR: 13th, Played: 1, US Open Best: 14th, 2012 Best: 3rd)

2011 - Rory McIlroy (Age: 22, WR: 7th, Played: 2, US Open Best: 10th, 2011 Best: 2nd)

2010 - Graeme McDowell (Age: 30, WR: 36th, Played: 4, US Open Best: 18th, 2010 Best: Win)

2009 - Lucas Glover (Age: 29, WR: 72nd, Played: 3, US Open Best: MC, 2009 Best: 2nd)

2008 - Tiger Woods (Age: 32, WR: 1st, Played: 13, US Open Best: 1st, 2008 Best: Win)

Winners trends

- 6 of last 10 were in their 20s
- 10 of last 10 were aged 32 or under

- 6 of last 10 were ranked in world's top 20
- 8 of last 10 were ranked in world's top 30

- 8 of last 10 had played in 3 or more US Opens
- 10 of last 10 had played in at least 1 US Open

- 1 of last 10 had won it before
- 6 of last 10 had posted a top 10 in a US Open
- 9 of last 10 had posted a top 20 in a US Open

- 4 of last 10 had already won earlier that season
- 10 of last 10 had posted a top 3 earlier that season

- 10 of last 10 winners were not the defending champion

Most powerful qualification criteria

- Aged 32 or under
- Ranked in world's top 30
- Played in at least three US Opens
- Has had a top 20 in a US Open
- Posted a top 3 earlier that season
- Not the defending champion

Current form

History says you don't go into the US Open searching for your 'A' game. In fact, there is strong evidence that you almost always have to be in very good recent nick to meet the demands of a testing US Open track. Here's the next stat:

- Seven of the last 10 US Open winners had posted a top 12 in their previous start

A second stat:

- Eight of the last 10 winners had made the cut at Augusta National

You'd probably expect that but going all four rounds at the Masters certainly helped most get their boots muddied for the US Open.

Odds

Although we've seen some top names win in recent years, a few of the big guns weren't really flavour of the month at the time. It meant they went into the event with the torch of expectation not really shining on them and perhaps, as a result, allowed them to play with more freedom.

Rory McIlroy was 22/1 to win at Congressional in 2011 - a price which reflected the fact that he hadn't teed it up since his Masters meltdown two months earlier.

Dustin Johnson was 16/1 at Oakmont as bookies and the betting public wondered if he'd ever win a major.

Only Jordan Spieth was a single-figure price.

- Seven of the last 10 major winners were over 20/1

New major winners

We're in an era where the majors are being shared around. The standard is so high that it's hard for anyone to win a bunch of them. That can be turned into a stat:

- Nine of the last 10 major winners were winning their first

The 10 were: Patrick Reed, Justin Thomas, Jordan Spieth, Brooks Koepka, Sergio Garcia, Jimmy Walker, Henrik Stenson, Dustin Johnson, Danny Willett, Jason Day.

Of that 10, only Spieth had won a major before.

Mental freshness

It's a commonly held view that the US Open is the most attritional of the four majors and a cool head is required to get through the mental pounding. It sounds like a good idea to have taken it easy the week before and not played in the build-up event. The stats confirm that view:

- Eight of the last 10 US Open winners didn't play the week before

So, time to sum up the full list of requirements:

- Aged 32 or under
- Ranked in world's top 30
- Played in at least three US Opens
- Has had a top 20 in a US Open
- Posted a top 3 earlier that season
- Not the defending champion
- Finished top 12 in their previous start
- Made the cut at the Masters
- Over 20/1 in the betting
- Hasn't won a major
- Didn't play last week

Conclusion

Just one player comes through all those checks - Bryson DeChambeau

DeChambeau is 24, world ranked 22nd, was T15 in the 2016 US Open at Oakmont, has played in three US Opens, made the cut at Augusta, is over 20/1, won the Memorial on his last start, hasn't won a major and didn't play last week.

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