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Monday, 10 December, 2018

Beef can battle his way through to the weekend

Steve Palmer's lowdown on the players

Andrew Johnston is popular with the galleries
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Shota Akiyoshi
The 27-year-old qualifier won on the Japan Tour at the end of last month. Started last season outside the world's top 1,000, but has burst inside the top 200. This is his first start outside of Asia and a missed cut seems likely.

Byeong Hun An
The Korean's world ranking was enough to earn a spot on Monday. Has missed the cut in ten of his 15 Majors, but has played well for most of this year.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat
The chunky Thai has played in 11 Majors, with a best finish of 15th (2016 Masters). Missed the cut in only previous US Open. In great form, but difficult to fancy.

Eric Axley
The 44-year-old journeyman qualifier won on the Tour in April. Has missed the cut in four of his six US Opens, including at Shinnecock in 2004, but was ninth in 2008.

Christopher Babcock
The 24-year-old qualifier, like many in the field for the second Major of the season, is massively inexperienced and way out of his depth.

Aaron Baddeley
The Australian, a four-time US Tour champion, has never bettered 13th place in nine previous US Opens starts. Has missed the cut six times, including at Shinnecock in 2004.

Shintaro Ban
The promising San Jose boy came through a sectional qualifier for a Major debut. One of 20 amateurs in the field.

Philip Barbaree
Another amateur. A star junior, still only 19, who has qualified for a Major debut.

Daniel Berger
The two-time St Jude Classic champion has US Open form figures of 28-37-MC. The Floridian, in solid but unspectacular nick, has an ugly swing and may spend his entire career just outside of the elite.

Jacob Bergeron
Another amateur qualifier. Louisiana State University lad, 20, making Major debut. An amateur has not won the US Open since 1933.

Michael Block
The 41-year-old qualifier has played in one previous US Open, missing the cut in 2007. Another weekend off seems likely.

Keegan Bradley
The 2011 USPGA champion retains plenty of long-game ability, but putting woes mean he has not triumphed since the 2012 Bridgestone Invitational. Hitting his ball well enough to threaten a top-20 finish.

David Bransdon
The 44-year-old Australian journeyman came through the Japan qualifier. Major debutant with precious little hope of success.

Dean Burmester
The power-packed South African came through the Walton Heath qualifier. Major debutant with no experience of Stateside golf.

Sam Burns
The big-hitting Louisiana lad is a rising star of Stateside golf, having won on the Tour in April. Missed the cut in his only previous US Open, but much more confident two years later.

Rafa Cabrera-Bello
The amiable Spaniard has been playing nicely on the European Tour, on which he has won three times, but he has never succeeded on the US Tour and has never bettered 17th place in 13 Stateside Majors.

Patrick Cantlay
The former world number one amateur was low amateur (21st place) on his US Open debut in 2011, then 41st as a pro 12 months later. He is full of long-game class, but flopped from the front in the Memorial last time out and his snail-like pace of play is coming under greater scrutiny, increasing pressure.

Paul Casey
The former world number three has enjoyed a great season at the age of 40, winning the Valspar Championship in March. He has endured some injury problems since, though, and his US Open record is poor.

Roberto Castro
The Texan starred in the 2016 FedEx Cup playoffs, but lost his US Tour card the following year. Came through a qualifier for Shinnecock after finding some excellent form on the Tour. Has missed the cut in nine of his 11 Major starts, including all four in the US Open.

Kevin Chappell
The Californian started this year brightly, before losing fitness, then form. He has been in terrible nick since withdrawing from the WGC-Match Play with back problems at the end of March and his strong US Open record will probably count for nothing.

Jason Day
The Aussie has been resurgent this term, winning the Farmers Insurance Open and Wells Fargo Championship, and his US Open record is superb, with five top-tens in seven starts. Has to be on the shortlist.

Bryson DeChambeau
The Californian firebrand won his second US Tour title in the Memorial at the start of this month. Strong character with US Open form figures of MC-15-MC. Capable of battling his way to glory.

Mickey DeMorat
The qualifier turns 23 on Thursday. US Open debut after decent college career.

Jason Dufner
The 2013 USPGA champion showed flashes of his old class in the spring, impressing in the Zurich Classic and Players Championship, but the form disappeared as quickly as it arrived and he is difficult to fancy for Shinnecock.

Tyler Duncan
The qualifier missed the cut in his only previous US Open (2015) and another weekend off seems on the cards for the 28-year-old this week.

Harry Ellis
The Southampton-born 22-year-old amateur attended Florida State University. Missed the cut in the Open last season and the Masters in April, and seems unlikely to qualify for round three at Shinnecock.

Ernie Els
The four-times Major champion is a fading force at the age of 48. Looks set to soon slip outside the top 700 of the world rankings.

Ryan Evans
The world number 301 won on the Challenge Tour last season, but is yet to make a mark at the highest level. The Kettering-born swinger finished 58th in the 2016 Open, his only previous Major appearance.

Tony Finau
The powerhouse has finished runner-up twice this season and is enjoying the most lucrative campaign of his career, but he missed the cut in the St Jude Classic last week. He has quickly registered a top-20 finish in every Major, and another one is possible at Shinnecock.

Ross Fisher
The Ascot man was fifth in the 2009 US Open, but missed the cut in his three other appearances. Other Europeans look better equipped to make a Shinnecock impression.

Matthew Fitzpatrick
The Sheffield boy has steady US Open form figures of 48-54-35, the first effort of which was as an amateur. Playing well enough to finish mid-division of the weekend qualifiers again.

Tommy Fleetwood
The Race to Dubai champion finished 27th on his US Open debut in 2015 and fourth last year in his only subsequent appearance. Shinnecock should suit him and he looks one of Europe's leading title hopes.

Rickie Fowler
The Majors nearly-man a top-three finisher in each of the Majors without lifting a trophy should love the Shinnecock challenge and has another good opportunity to break his duck. He was runner-up in the Masters in April and eighth in the Memorial last time out. Could be set for another each-way place, but others preferred for victory.

Ryan Fox
The 31-year-old New Zealander came through the competitive Walton Heath qualifier to book a US Open debut. Major form of 49-MC-54. Playing nicely and well suited to the links-like Shinnecock, so could give a decent account of himself.

Dylan Frittelli
The South African played college golf in Texas and is comfortable in a breeze, but his form has dipped in the last few months.

Jim Furyk
The American Ryder Cup captain is not a formidable force as a 48-year-old player. Tied for 48th at Shinnecock in 2004. The length of the modern layout probably means a missed cut for the veteran plodder.

More US Open

Steve Palmer's tips


Jeremy Chapman's verdict

Lessons from Shinnecock Hills

Player guide part 2

Course guide

Luis Gagne
The Costa Rican amateur is making his Major debut at the age of 20.

Sergio Garcia
The 2017 Masters champion has played poorly since becoming a father in March, missing three cuts, including at Augusta, where he carded an embarrassing 13 at the 15th hole in round one. Tied for 20th at Shinnecock in 2004 and suited to the track, but probably not playing well enough to be a factor.

Brian Gay
The accurate plodder will be disappointed with the extensions at Shinnecock. The 46-year-old has made the cut only seven times in 21 Major starts.

David Gazzolo
The limited 25-year-old qualifier seems likely to be packing his bags on Friday night.

Doug Ghim
One of the best amateurs in the field. The 22-year-old finished 50th in the Masters in April. Attended the University of Texas, so experienced in the wind.

Lucas Glover
The 2009 US Open champion made headlines for the wrong reasons last month, having been allegedly attacked by his wife after a poor round at Sawgrass. Has missed six consecutive US Open cuts.

Noah Goodwin
The 17-year-old Texan won the US Junior Amateur to earn a US Open spot and a Major debut.

Branden Grace
The South African can boast US Open form figures of 4-5-50 from the last three years and is hitting his ball well enough to be a contender again this week.

Scott Gregory
The 23-year-old Portsmouth boy is making his first Major start as a professional, having come through the Walton Heath qualifier. Missed the cut in all three Majors as an amateur.

Lanto Griffi
The 29-year-old Californian won on the Tour last summer. The inconsistent qualifier is making his Major debut.

Emiliano Grillo
The Argentinian greens-in-regulation machine has been playing well all year, finishing eighth in the Honda Classic, sixth in the Indian Open, third in Houston, ninth at Quail Hollow and third at Colonial, but lacks killer instinct. US Open form of 54-MC.

Will Grimmer
Another amateur making up the numbers. The 21-year-old missed the cut in the 2014 US Open and has qualified for another crack.

Bill Haas
The mild-mannered Carolinian has appeared to be going through the motions this season, a lacklustre campaign not helped by being involved in a car accident in February in which his friend died. Tied fifth in the US Open last year, the best Major finish of his career.

Chesson Hadley
The 2017 Tour Player of the Year has been in tidy form this term, posting ten top-20 finishes. US Open debut.

Adam Hadwin
The 30-year-old Canadian has played in seven Majors without posting a top-20 finish. There is nothing in his recent form to suggest that streak will change at Shinnecock.

Stewart Hagestad
The 27-year-old amateur has qualified for a second consecutive US Open. A second missed cut is likely.

Brian Harman
The little left-hander finished runner-up to Brooks Koepka last year and has posted eight top-tens on the US Tour since. The length of Shinnecock is a handicap, but Erin Hills, venue last year, was even longer.

Tyrrell Hatton
The temperamental Englishman missed the cut on his US Open debut last year. Has won three times on the European Tour but is winless Stateside and has suffered a form slump in the last few weeks.

Michael Hebert
The 27-year-old qualifier plies his trade on the Tour and is outside of the world's top 700.

Russell Henley
The flat-stick wizard has played poorly in his last four starts, adjusting to life as a father, and may not be at full throttle for Shinnecock. Has played in 21 Majors without posting a top-ten finish.

Lucas Herbert
The hugely promising Australian youngster came through a Stateside qualifier for a Major debut. He finished third in the Sicilian Open on the European Tour a month ago.

Calum Hill
The 23-year-old Scot has been playing on Stateside mini-tours. Earned a US Open debut through the New Jersey qualifier.

Charley Hoffman
The Californian finished eighth in the US Open last year, his best Major effort in 27 starts, but patchy recent form makes the 41-year-old difficult to fancy for Shinnecock.

Rikuyu Hoshino
The Japan Tour youngster is winless in his homeland and a no-hoper on his Major debut.

Charles Howell
The US Tour underachiever has been doing his usual this season generally impressing without doing enough to take titles. Tied for 36th spot in the 2004 US Open at Shinnecock, but has not made a US Open cut since 2007, having last qualified in 2012.

Franklin Huang
The 22-year-old American amateur competes for Stanford University. Came through qualifying for a Major debut.

Mackenzie Hughes
The limited Canadian has played in three previous Majors and missed the cut in all of them. A fourth failure seems more likely than not.

Theo Humphrey
The 22-year-old American amateur is full of promise and set to join the pro ranks after Shinnecock. Major debut.

Sungjae Im
The 20-year-old Korean starlet came through the Ohio qualifier for a US Open debut. Won on the Tour at the first attempt and is surging up the world rankings.

Dustin Johnson
The 2016 champion has found some confidence on the greens again and is looking menacing, winning the St Jude Classic by six shots on Sunday to reclaim world-number-one status. The giant Carolinian is competing at Shinnecock Hills for the first time, but the layout suits him well. Obviously a huge runner.

Zach Johnson
The former Masters and Open champion has a poor record in his national Open for a player of his stature, having missed the cut five times, never bettering eighth place. Tied for 48th at Shinnecock in 2004. His form has dipped in the last month and he is difficult to fancy.

Andrew Johnston
The man known as Beef came through the Walton Heath qualifier. US Open form figures of 54-42. Can battle his way through to the weekend again, but unlikely to feature in the shake-up on Sunday.

Matt Jones
The Aussie came through qualifying and gets a chance to build on miserable US Open form figures of WD-MC. He is comfortable in a breeze and should enjoy the Shinnecock assignment, so could threaten a top-20.

Martin Kaymer
The German, 2014 US Open champ, has endured an injury-ruined spring, but eighth place in Italy last time out was encouraging. Others much preferred.

Si Woo Kim
The Korean, a two-time US Tour champion at the age of 22, threw away the Heritage title with putting woe in April. This high-class ball-striker is good enough to win Majors, though, and finished 13th on his US Open debut last year. Can he conquer the notoriously fast Shinnecock greens with flat-stick confidence so low? Probably not.

Kevin Kisner
The accurate operator finished seventh in the USPGA last year, his best Major effort. He was runner-up to Bubba Watson in the WGC-Match Play in March, but has been short of sparkle since.

Russell Knox
The precise Scot, a qualifier, has played in 12 Majors without registering a top-20 finish, missing the cut in his last four.

Satoshi Kodaira
The 28-year-old beat Si Woo Kim in a Heritage playoff for a US Tour breakthrough. Tied 46th on his US Open debut last year and 28th on his Masters debut in April. Has moved inside the top 40 of the world rankings and become Japan's second-best player.

Brooks Koepka
The defending champion had to miss four months of the year with wrist problems, but has returned in fine fettle, finishing runner-up at Colonial at the end of last month. Nobody can safely rule out back-to-back triumphs.

Matt Kuchar
The cheerful plodder has finished in the top 50 in the last eight US Opens, with a best finish of sixth in 2010. He is making his Shinnecock debut and should be outgunned by more powerful operators.

Marc Leishman
The Australian, runner-up in the AT&T Byron Nelson last month, should enjoy the Shinnecock challenge and his last four Major spins have yielded form figures of 27-6-13-9. Dangerous, particularly if the breeze gets up.

Alexander Levy
The flashy Frenchman won the Hassan Trophy in fine style at the end of April and is gunning for a Ryder Cup spot in Paris. Major venues typically overwhelm him, though, and he has missed the cut in five of his seven Major appearances.

Tom Lewis
The underachieving Englishman came through the Walton Heath qualifier. Missed the cut in only previous US Open start.

Haotong Li
China's number one finished 68th on his US Open debut last year, before claiming third spot on his Open debut. Maturing and improving, but surely still too raw for US Open glory.

Wenchong Liang
The 39-year-old, former top dog of Chinese golf, came through the Japan qualifier. Has missed the cut in both previous US Open starts.

Luke List
The big-hitting Seattle man has been seriously threatening a US Tour breakthrough over the last three years, but he has missed the cut in his previous three US Opens, so it is unlikely to come at Shinnecock.

Shane Lowry
The misfiring Irishman had to qualify for a tournament he threatened to win two years ago. US Open form figures of 9-2-46 for the last three years deserve respect, and he could take a shine to Shinnecock, but confidence is low.

Ryan Lumsden
The 21-year-old Scottish amateur came through Stateside qualifying. Major debut.

Hideki Matsuyama
The Japanese star blew a golden chance to win the USPGA last year and seems to feel immense pressure to become his country's first Major champion. Injury problems have hampered progress this season and Shinnecock does not look an ideal track for a Major breakthrough.

Graeme McDowell
The 2010 US Open champion was appointed as a European Ryder Cup vice-captain last month, underlining his fall from grace as a player. He is winless for almost three years and has missed three of the last five US Open cuts.

Rory McIlroy
The former world number one and four-times Major champion has been inconsistent since returning from a three-month sabbatical at the end of January. Near-misses in Abu Dhabi and Dubai were followed by a slump, then a masterclass at Bay Hill for spectacular three-shot triumph. Two further near-misses have followed at Augusta and Wentworth and a US Open peak is entirely possible. The 2011 US Open champ has missed the cut in this event the last two years. Must be respected.

Dylan Meyer
The 22-year-old University of Illinois graduate qualified for a Major debut. Another amateur set to struggle.

Phil Mickelson
The US Open nearly-man gets another crack at completing the career Grand Slam of Majors. Turns 48 on Saturday, so time is running out. He skipped the event last year to attend his daughter's graduation ceremony. Lefty has finished runner-up six times, including at Shinnecock in 2004. He won the WGC-Mexico Championship in March to prove he could still hack it at elite level, but this looks like another US Open week where he will come close, without lighting a cigar.

Michael Miller
The 26-year-old qualifier is playing in his second US Open, having missed the cut in 2016. Another weekend off is likely.

Cole Miller
The 22-year-old qualifier has just turned professional, so will be looking to bank his first big cheque. Will probably be disappointed.

Francesco Molinari
The precise Italian produced the performance of his life to see off Rory McIlroy and win the BMW PGA Championship last month, then finished runner-up in his national Open. Full of long-game confidence, but Shinnecock, a long, open layout with fast greens, does not set up well for him.

James Morrison
The Surrey man qualified close to home, through Walton Heath, but the short-hitter will feel far less comfortable at Shinnecock. Missed the cut in his only previous US Open and history looks set to repeat itself.

Trey Mullinax
The Alabama slammer will appreciate the dimensions of Shinnecock, but the youngster is difficult to trust after he threw away a fantastic chance of victory in the Texas Open at the end of April, playing poorly since.

Sebastian Munoz
The 25-year-old Colombian qualifier missed the cut in the Open last year, his only previous Major appearance.

World Cup quizzes

Groups A & B

Groups C & D

Groups E & F

Groups G & H

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2011 US Open champ Rory McIlroy has missed the cut in this event the last two years
E.W. Terms
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