The 2020 U.S. Open tees off at Winged Foot on Thursday, but who will have their hands on the trophy come Sunday?

It has been 14 years since this notoriously tricky course last hosted the tournament, when Geoff Ogilvy was the surprise winner.

A score of five over got the job done for the Australian and the suggestion this year is that another over-par tally could clinch it.

With likely contender Brooks Koepka absent, we have taken a look at who should be in the mix...


PUT DUSTIN'S NAME ON THE TROPHY – Russell Greaves

I'm not going to win any awards for bravery with this choice, but world number one Dustin Johnson is impossible to ignore right now. He claimed his first FedExCup triumph this month following two wins in the Playoffs and is long overdue a second major success. The one to his name came at this event in 2016 and his game is in an even better place now than it was then, with his putter running red hot. This guy just needs to keep doing what he's been doing, and victory will be his.

RAHM HAS FORM TO TAKE MAIDEN MAJOR – Chris Myson

"I know I can do it," said Jon Rahm at his pre-tournament media conference and it is not difficult to see why he is rated as second favourite to triumph. While he is yet to claim major glory, the Spaniard recorded his best performance with a tie for third in this event last year. Thirteenth at the US PGA displayed further major form, while wins at the Memorial Tournament and BMW Championship since the PGA Tour's return came on difficult courses that should serve him well at Winged Foot, an infamously challenging venue. Rahm's time may have come.

IT'S RYDER CUP STAR FLEETWOOD'S TIME TO SHINE – Dominic Farrell

Eyebrows were raised when Tommy Fleetwood opted to play at the Portugal Masters rather than heading to the United States for his final preparations for the second major of the year. But as the Englishman birdied three of the last four holes for a final round 64 and an eventual share of third, it suddenly looked an inspired decision. Fleetwood loves the U.S. Open and, after a quiet year – even by the standards of 2020 – there were encouraging signs a game suited to the tournament's famously tough set-up is in good order. The Ryder Cup star came fourth at Erin Hills in 2017 and second at Shinnecock Hills a year later, underlining his pedigree.

SCHAUFFELE'S TIME HAS COME – John Skilbeck

This comes not from the heart but the head: Xander Schauffele is due a major. Two seconds and a third in the last seven majors point to that, and he would relish a dogfight at Winged Foot. As Schauffele said after racking up another top-10 finish at the US PGA: "I'm definitely a grinder type. I don't mind making good bogeys and stuff like that. The harder it is, the better it is for me." The winning score when the 2006 US Open came to Winged Foot was Geoff Ogilvy's five over par, yet Davis Love III took the 1997 US PGA on the same course with an 11-under total, so it is tricky to judge how low the winner must go this time. Schauffele's joint-second place at the Tour Championship confirmed his game is in an excellent place.

SIMPSON A STRONG BET FOR SECOND TITLE – Nicholas McGee

A winner of this tournament at Olympic Club in 2012, Webb Simpson enjoyed a stellar 2020 that has featured six top-10s including two wins and just a pair of missed cuts. The world number six also has a game that should see him rise to the stern challenge Winged Foot's narrow fairways and heavy rough are sure to provide. Simpson was 18th in driving accuracy during the 2020 season, hitting 67.31 per cent of fairways. His form has flown under the radar compared to that of Dustin Johnson, but don't be surprised if Simpson is a two-time champion come Sunday.

RORY'S THE DADDY – Peter Hanson

It's fair to say Rory McIlroy's form has not yet hit the same heights he reached prior to golf's hiatus as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. But there were encouraging signs with a tie for 12th at the BMW Championship, a tournament which preceded McIlroy becoming a father for the first time to Poppy Kennedy McIlroy. The Northern Irishman then proceeded to claim a first top-10 finish since golf's lockdown was lifted with a tie for seventh at the Tour Championship. A relaxed, if perhaps a little sleep-deprived, McIlroy is a danger for the rest of the field. It's not a particularly brave choice, but major number five is achievable for McIlroy this weekend.

Jim Herman secured his third PGA Tour victory with a one-stroke win at the Wyndham Championship on Sunday.

The American produced a brilliant seven-under 63 in the final round at the Sedgefield Country Club in North Carolina.

Herman finished at 21 under after weekend scores of 61 and 63, ending up a shot clear of Billy Horschel (65).

His weekend score of 124 tied the lowest closing 36-hole total by a winner.

The 42-year-old's triumph was his first of 2020, adding to his 2016 Houston Open success and last year's victory at the Barbasol Championship.

Kevin Kisner (64), Webb Simpson (65), Doc Redman (68) and Kim Si-woo (70) are tied for third at 18 under.

Patrick Reed, the 2018 Masters champion, fired a 64 to be among a group tied for ninth.

After making the cut, three-time major winner Jordan Spieth battled on the weekend, a one-over 71 in the final round seeing him finish back at two under and in a share of 72nd place.

Meanwhile, C.T. Pan produced one of the shots of the final round with a hole-in-one at the 16th hole.

It may not be quite what we are used to but major golf is finally back as Brooks Koepka defends his US PGA Championship at TPC Harding Park in California this week.

The global coronavirus pandemic completely wiped out The Open Championship for 2020, while each of the other three majors had to be rescheduled.

A three-month enforced break of the PGA Tour perhaps came at an opportune moment for some, while halting the momentum of others.

As golf gears up for its first major of 2020, behind closed doors of course, we take a look at the players we expect to be competing in California.


WEBB SIMPSON

It has been some return to form over the past couple of years for 2012 U.S. Open victor Webb Simpson, who slipped as low as 90th in the rankings following the 2016 Wells Fargo Championship before his triumph at the Players Championship a couple of years ago kick-started a career that looked in danger of stagnating. Even more promisingly, Simpson has wins either side of lockdown at the Phoenix Open and RBC Heritage. Throw in top-10s at the Sony Open and Rocket Mortgage Classic and he certainly has the form to contend.

JUSTIN THOMAS

Since winning the 2017 PGA Championship, it has not quite happened in the majors for Justin Thomas, whose only other top-10 in golf's big four since came at the same tournament a year later. But this guy is a serial contender on Tour and has four wins to his name in the past year, the most recent of course coming at the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational on Sunday. Thomas is now back at world number one thanks to his triumph in Memphis and has three other top-10s since golf's hiatus was lifted so do not be surprised to see him in contention come Sunday.

BRYSON DECHAMBEAU

He is a man who splits opinion but one thing that cannot be argued is how supremely talented Bryson DeChambeau is. After bulking up during lockdown, he now appears to have even more weapons to his arsenal. Prior to missing the cut at the Memorial, DeChambeau made eight top-10s in nine starts, which included a win at the Rocket Mortgage Classic. He has the game to win a major.

COLLIN MORIKAWA

A name perhaps not too familiar with the casual golf fan, but since turning pro in 2019 Collin Morikawa has climbed from 1039th in the world to 12th. After finishing second at the season-restarting Charles Schwab, he won the Workday Charity Open by beating Thomas in a play-off. His other results have admittedly been mixed but for those who like an outside bet the 23-year-old may take your fancy.

JON RAHM

Admittedly, tipping the man who was world number one until Thomas' win at the weekend to be a contender does not exactly scream imagination. But the talented Spaniard was not exactly in peak form prior to winning the Memorial last month, which crowned his ascension to the top of the rankings. Prior to that he had gone CUT, T33, T37, T27 at his four previous events post-lockdown. But surely Jon Rahm will eventually break his major duck and this weekend can be the time.

KOEPKA, RORY, WOODS AND THE USUAL SUSPECTS

Some players you just expect to see involved at the majors. Koepka is aiming to be the first man in 64 years to win the same major three years running and showed plenty of promise in Memphis over the weekend, where he finished runner-up to Thomas. Rory McIlroy has lost his number one status after struggling to rediscover his excellent form prior to golf's suspension but the Northern Irishman has previous at Harding Park, where he won the 2015 WGC-Cadillac Match Play. Tiger Woods really has not played enough golf in 2020 to judge where his form and fitness is at – he has played just once since the season restarted – but never, ever write off the 15-time major winner. Dustin Johnson's form has been a little erratic, though he did win the Travelers Championship at the end of June.

Bryson DeChambeau eclipsed Matthew Wolff to win the Rocket Mortgage Classic by three strokes and claim his sixth PGA Tour title.

Wolff was the player to beat in Sunday's final round, teeing off with a commanding three-shot lead at Detroit Golf Club in Michigan.

However, Wolff faltered and shot a 71 as fellow American DeChambeau rose to the top with a seven-under-par 65 to mark his fourth successive season with a victory.

DeChambeau was almost flawless on day four, holing eight birdies and just one bogey – finishing with an exclamation point after birdieing the last three holes to end on 23 under.

The 26-year-old, who had top-10 finishes in his past six starts heading into the tournament, signed off for four successive rounds in the 60s.

Wolff walked away with the runners-up cheque after mixing five bogeys and six birdies, two strokes ahead of countryman Kevin Kisner (66).

Danny Willett (66) – the 2016 Masters champion, Adam Hadwin (67), Tyrell Hatton (68) and Ryan Armour (72) finished tied for fourth, seven shots behind DeChambeau.

Meanwhile, American star Rickie Fowler climbed 28 places into a tie for 12th on 14 under thanks to his final-round 67.

Matthew Wolff carded a second successive eight-under-par 64 to move to the top of the leaderboard after the third round at the Rocket Mortgage Classic. 

Wolff surged to a three-stroke lead through 54 holes thanks to another low round at Detroit Golf Club in Michigan on Saturday. 

The 21-year-old is eyeing his second PGA Tour title after winning last year's 3M Open and the American is on track to add the Rocket Mortgage Classic trophy to his collection. 

A shot off the pace at the start of day three, Wolff posted six birdies and two bogeys on the front nine to make the turn in 32. 

After another bogey at the 10th, Wolff caught fire with two birdies and an eagle before another gain at the 17th moved him to 19 under overall – ahead of countrymen Ryan Armour (67) and Bryson DeChambeau (67). 

Troy Merritt (67), Mark Hubbard (69), Seamus Power and Chris Kirk (70) are five strokes behind Wolff heading into the final round. 

Kirk shared a one-shot lead with 2012 U.S. Open champion Webb Simpson following Friday's second round, but the former saw his advantage evaporate. 

Simpson is one stroke further back in a tie for eighth after signing for a one-under-par 71 – his first round in the 70s this week. 

Meanwhile, American star Rickie Fowler ended the day 10 strokes off the pace after shooting a third-round 69.

Webb Simpson believes he could be in career-best form after taking a share of the lead at the Rocket Mortgage Classic.

The American, who already has two wins this year, shares a one-stroke lead with Chris Kirk at the halfway mark of the PGA Tour event.

Alongside his victories at the Phoenix Open and RBC Heritage, Simpson – the 2012 U.S. Open champion – also finished third at the Sony Open in Hawaii.

Simpson believes he may be in the best form of his life, telling the Golf Channel: "I've been trying to become more well-rounded through the bag and I'm seeing results, having fun out there.

"Having Paul [Tesori, caddie] out there is great, we're not only having fun but we're really kind of in the same mindset, trying to get better both of us.

"We don't pause and stop and think and look around and see where we are enough I don't think, but I'm really happy to be playing well and have chances this weekend."

Simpson carded a bogey-free eight-under 64 in the second round to get to 12 under.

However, the 34-year-old sees room for improvement after managing to birdie just one of four par-fives.

"Normally par-fives are where I go get some birdies and these par-fives are gettable here," Simpson said.

"I didn't hit great shots into 14 or 17 after good drives so those are kind of a bummer to not get at least one of them.

"But at the same time I think it shows that I am making birdies, I'm capitalising on the par-fours and hopefully I can kind of turn that par-five performance around this weekend."

Webb Simpson continued his good form to grab a share of the lead at the halfway mark of the Rocket Mortgage Classic.

The American carded an under-eight 64 in the second round at Detroit Golf Club in Michigan on Friday to climb into 12 under at the PGA Tour event.

Simpson already has two wins in 2020 – including at the RBC Heritage in his last start – and shares a one-stroke lead with Chris Kirk (65).

The 2012 U.S. Open champion, Simpson produced a bogey-free second round that included eight birdies.

Kirk was on track to do likewise before a bogey at the par-four 18th.

It remains a packed leaderboard, with Seamus Power (66), Matthew Wolff (64), Bryson DeChambeau (67), Mark Hubbard (66), Ryan Armour (64) and Richy Werenski (66) a shot back.

The in-form DeChambeau has top-10 finishes in his past six starts and backed up his 66 with a 67.

Kevin Kisner (69) and Sepp Straka (66) are in a tie for ninth at 10 under.

Last year's runner-up, Doc Redman, shared the overnight lead but fell back into a tie for 11th after a two-under 70.

Despite a promising start, Rickie Fowler slipped down the leaderboard after a 71, now sitting at six under.

Jason Day's struggles since the PGA Tour resumed amid the coronavirus pandemic continued, with the Australian missing the cut for the third time in four events.

Brooks Koepka is one of five players to withdraw from the Travelers Championship, although the tournament will continue despite three positive coronavirus tests. 

PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan updated the media on Wednesday after Cameron Champ, Graeme McDowell's caddie Ken Comboy and Koepka's caddie Ricky Elliott returned positive tests for COVID-19. 

The Tour returned at the Charles Schwab Challenge earlier in June, but Nick Watney became the first confirmed case since the restart at the RBC Heritage last week. 

Monahan confirmed the news of the latest positive tests and a series of withdrawals, yet the Travelers will go ahead as planned. 

Champ, McDowell and Koepka were joined by Webb Simpson and Chase Koepka - Brooks' brother - in withdrawing. 

"We have been working since March to develop a comprehensive health and safety plan that would be considered a best practice among professional sports leagues," Monahan said. 

"While we've been thorough in building an implementing a programme that mitigates as much risk as possible, we knew it would be impossible to eliminate all risk, as evidenced by the three positive tests this week. 

"We need to use these developments as a stark reminder for everyone involved as we continue to learn from an operational standpoint." 

Four-time major champion Brooks Koepka said: "I haven't tested positive for COVID-19 but, as I've said all along, I'm taking this very seriously. 

"I don't want to do anything that might jeopardise the health of any player in the field or his ability to compete. 

"I was planning to take the next two weeks off anyway, so the right thing to do right now is get home, support Ricky and feel confident that I'm doing what I can do protecting my fellow Tour members, my PGA Tour friends and everyone associated with the Travelers Championship this week." 

Commissioner Monahan added: "Rest assured that the PGA Tour will always do the right thing as it relates to our players, our fans, our constituents and make sure that we create the safest environment possible. 

"We are looking forward to reintroducing fans the week of Memorial Tournament, but rest assured we're only going to do it if we think it's a health and safe environment for our players, caddies, our staff and also the fans that would be attending." 

Webb Simpson claimed his second PGA Tour victory of 2020 with a one-stroke win at the RBC Heritage on Sunday.

The American carded a seven-under 64 in the final round at Harbour Town Golf Links in South Carolina to add to his success at the Phoenix Open in February.

Simpson, the 2012 U.S. Open champion, has won multiple times in the same year for the first time since 2011.

The runner-up at the tournament in 2013, Simpson made five birdies in a six-hole stretch on the back nine, with the final round having been stopped for almost three hours due to weather.

Simpson broke Brian Gay's tournament-record score of 20 under set in 2009 with his 22-under 262.

"It was a crazy day. Honestly, I'm speechless right now," Simpson told CBS.

"It looked like we weren't going to finish, but we went back out, the Tour did a great job of getting us out there pretty quickly, we only had a 20-minute warm-up and it was a long day on the golf course as well.

"I didn't really get it going until 12 and then the putts started going in and I was getting confident and it's amazing to be standing here right now."

Simpson finished one shot clear of Abraham Ancer (65), while Daniel Berger (65) and Tyrrell Hatton (66) were tied for third at 20 under.

Sergio Garcia (65) and Joaquin Niemann (65) were tied for fifth at 19 under, a shot ahead of Brooks Koepka (65).

Justin Thomas and Dylan Frittelli surged with brilliant rounds of 63 and 62 respectively as they ended up in a six-way tie at 17 under.

World number one Rory McIlroy endured another difficult Sunday, posting a one-under 70 to finish tied for 41st.

Webb Simpson is one of four players in a tie for the lead at the RBC Heritage after the third round on Hilton Head Island.

Former U.S. Open champion Simpson is level at 15 under par through 54 holes alongside Tyrrell Hatton, Abraham Ancer and Ryan Palmer.

Simpson, the 2013 RBC Heritage runner-up, held the outright lead overnight but could only manage a three-under 68 in a round that contained four birdies and one bogey.

His fellow American Palmer shot 66, while Mexican Ancer posted a third-round 65 to join Simpson at the front of the PGA Tour event.

Englishman Hatton also surged into contention and shares the lead after following up a disappointing opening round of 71 with scores of 64 and 63.

His eight-under effort on Saturday was tied for the best of the day along with five other players.

Similarly to last week's Charles Schwab Challenge, the top of the leaderboard is hugely congested going into the final day.

There are 17 players sitting within three strokes of the four leaders.

Daniel Berger (63) – the winner at Colonial – matched Hatton's total and is one of three men one shot behind on 14 under along with Joel Dahmen (63) and Carlos Ortiz (63).

Ian Poulter (67) – who held a share of the lead after round one – is two strokes off the pace along with Sergio Garcia (65) and a further six competitors.

Four-time major champion Brooks Koepka (68) and former world number one Dustin Johnson (67) remain in contention at 12 under, as does Bryson DeChambeau despite struggling in a third round of 70.

Despite a five-under-par 66, world number one Rory McIlroy has work to do at 10 under heading into the final round.

McIlroy sits five shots behind Simpson, Hatton, Ancer and Palmer in a tie for 28th after holing six birdies and a bogey – eight strokes better off than Jordan Spieth, who struggled in a four-over-par 75.

Meanwhile, the field was a combined 223-under par, the most of any round in this tournament's history, surpassing 178 under in 2015.

Webb Simpson fired another six-under 65 to lead the RBC Heritage, while Brooks Koepka continued his strong start on Friday.

Simpson, the 2013 runner-up at the PGA Tour event, managed nine birdies and three bogeys, shooting a second straight 65 to get to 12 under.

The American holds a one-stroke lead over Bryson DeChambeau (64) and Corey Conners (63) after the second round, which was suspended for two hours due to dangerous weather.

Conners' bogey-free 63 was the equal best second round, alongside Jhonattan Vegas and Tyler Duncan.

DeChambeau, meanwhile, produced a stunning finish to his round, making six birdies on his final nine holes.

Ryan Palmer (67) and Matt Fitzpatrick (66) are at 10 under, sharing fourth spot on the leaderboard.

Koepka followed up his opening-round 67 with a 66 to be at nine under and in a tie for sixth alongside Abraham Ancer (64), Vegas, Matthew NeSmith (67) and Ian Poulter (69).

Dustin Johnson managed a five-under 66 to be at eight under, two shots better off than Jordan Spieth (70).

World number one Rory McIlroy got going with a six-under 65 that saw the Northern Irishman climb into a tie for 45th at five under.

Rickie Fowler and Jason Day were among the players to miss the cut on a day which saw Nick Watney withdraw after testing positive for coronavirus.

Webb Simpson birdied the first play-off hole to beat Tony Finau at the Phoenix Open and end his title drought.

Simpson had not won a PGA Tour trophy since capturing his fifth piece of silverware via The Players Championship in 2018.

However, Simpson returned to winning ways after sealing a play-off victory over fellow American Finau in Scottsdale, Arizona on Sunday.

Simpson forced a play-off thanks to his final-round 69, which saw him join overnight leader Finau (70) atop the leaderboard after 72 holes at TPC Scottsdale.

Finau entered the final day leading by a stroke but his first round in the 70s, coupled with Simpson's back-to-back birdies to close out regulation, saw the pair level on 17 under.

In the play-off, Finau could only manage par at the 18th as Simpson rolled in a birdie for the victory in the Phoenix sun.

Former world number one Justin Thomas (65), two-time Masters champion Bubba Watson (66) and Nate Lashley (68) finished tied for third, three shots behind Simpson and Finau.

Rickie Fowler's title defence ended in a tie for 37th – the American star 10 strokes off the pace at the close of play.

Fowler carded a two-under-par 69 to be level alongside Kevin Tway (70) and J.T. Poston (68).

Tony Finau and Webb Simpson lit up the Phoenix Open with a gripping tussle at the top of the leaderboard on moving day.

Both Finau, who played the 16th hole again wearing a Kobe Bryant jersey, and Simpson executed some stunning shots to thrill a raucous Saturday crowd.

It was Finau - enjoying a strong start to the 2020 season - who headed into the final round with a one-shot lead, though, courtesy of his blistering nine-under 62.

The world number 13 was matched stride for stride by Simpson, playing one hole back, until the latter's poor tee shot at the 17th led to a bogey that belatedly opened up a narrow gap.

Up to that point, the pair had delighted the assembled spectators, Finau's most outstanding stretch seeing three birdies and an eagle across five holes from the 12th.

Finau, who turned in 31 and went bogey-free throughout, might have had his second eagle of the day and second in three holes at the 15th, yet an eight-foot putt drifted agonisingly to the right.

"That was probably the most enjoyable round I've ever had on a golf course," he told Sky Sports. "I had so much fun out there."

Simpson bogeyed the seventh as well as the 17th, but he supplied the shot of the day with a hole in one at 12.

Overnight leader JB Holmes was a stroke further back - tied with Hudson Swafford - in third on 14 under, consecutive birdies on the back nine rescuing a title tilt.

Holmes tumbled down the leaderboard at last week's Farmers Insurance Open after a solid first two rounds, and another miserable Saturday appeared to be in store until the recovery to 70.

He fared better than his playing partners at least, Billy Horschel and Wyndham Clark back level in 16th, signing for 73 and 74 respectively.

The duo lay a shot behind Jon Rahm, who lost momentum over the final three holes for the second day running to sit at 10 under.

Rahm can become world number one for the first time with victory this week, but he has plenty of work to do if he is to make up the six-shot deficit to Finau.

Meanwhile, Rickie Fowler's hopes of defending his title are all but over after a two-under 69 - hampered by consecutive bogeys at the 10th and 11th - left him back on five under.

Cameron Smith claimed his second PGA Tour title with a play-off victory at the Sony Open in Hawaii on Sunday.

The Australian overcame Brendan Steele in a play-off at the Waialae Country Club in Honolulu for his first individual win on Tour.

Smith won the Zurich Classic of New Orleans alongside Jonas Blixt in 2017, but added a second title to his collection.

He two-putted for par at the 10th hole as Steele battled to a bogey to fall short in the play-off.

Smith carded a two-under 68 in the final round, making birdie at the last to get into the play-off as Steele struggled late.

The American – forced into a long wait at the last as players battled – had been two shots clear of Smith with two holes to play, but bogeyed the 17th on his way to a final-round 71.

Smith took his chance and recovered from a poor tee shot at the play-off hole to clinch his victory.

"I just had to hang in there. No one was playing good golf today it seemed like," he told the Golf Channel.

"The conditions got a lot easier at the end there, but just hung in there and what do you know?"

Smith added: "That's been one that I've wanted to tick off for a long time. I've been out here for four, five years now and to finally say that I've won an event by myself is quite good."

Webb Simpson (67) finished outright third at 10 under, a shot clear of Graeme McDowell (64), Ryan Palmer (68) and Kevin Kisner (69).

American golfer Brendan Steele earned a three-stroke advantage after the third round of the Sony Open in Hawaii.

Steele carded a six-under-par 64 to claim the outright lead at the Waialae Country Club in Honolulu on Saturday.

Three-time PGA Tour champion Steele and Australian Cameron Davis shared a one-shot cushion atop the leaderboard at the start of the penultimate round.

But a flawless back nine, which was capped by three consecutive birdies to close out the day, saw Steele surge ahead after Davis could only manage a third-round 71.

Steele is 12 under through 54 holes and three clear strokes of second-placed Australian Cameron Smith (66) heading into the final day.

Kevin Kisner (64) is a shot further back at eight under, while Webb Simpson (66), Collin Morikawa (68) and Ryan Palmer (68) are seven under.

Davis slumped to five under overall and a tie for 11th following a forgettable front nine that featured four bogeys in six holes.

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