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Monday, 10 December, 2018

In-form Oosthuizen has never won Stateside

Steve Palmer's lowdown on the players

Louis Oosthuizen is aiming to be king of the swingers
1 of 1

Chris Naegel
The 35-year-old qualifier, a mini-tours journeyman, will probably be making plans for a Shinnecock departure on Friday.

Alex Noren
The Swedish dude started 2015 ranked 653rd in the world rankings, but has smashed into the top 20 after winning six times on the European Tour. Came close to a Stateside breakthrough at Torrey Pines in January, but lost a playoff to Jason Day. US Open form figures of 51-MC-MC-MC-MC are off-putting.

Thorbjorn Olesen
The Dane did his usual trick of following a spell of dismal form with a title-winning performance, seeing off Molinari to win the Italian Open. The five-times European Tour champ missed the cut in his only previous US Open.

Louis Oosthuizen
The 2010 Open champion tied for second in the 2015 US Open at Chambers Bay. The South African has found some form and Shinnecock should suit, but he has never won a Stateside event.

Sung Joon Park
The 32-year-old, ranked outside the world's top 1,500, struggles to make cuts on the Tour, but fluked his way through qualifying for a US Open debut.

Matt Parziale
The 31-year-old, a full-time fireman and part-time golfer, won the US Mid-Amateur Championship in October. Missed the cut at the Masters in April and will not be hosing up at Shinnecock.

Matthieu Pavon
The 25-year-old Frenchman came through the Walton Heath qualifier. Missed the cut in the Open last year, his only previous Major.

Pat Perez
The feisty Phoenix man has lost his way over the last five months and is without a top-ten finish since the 34-runner Sentry Tournament of Champions in Hawaii. A poor US Open record seems set to get worse.

Kenny Perry
The US Senior Open champion gets a spot in the main competition. The 57-year-old's best US Open finish came in 2003 (third place), but he missed the cut at Shinnecock the following season.

Scott Piercy
The big-hitting Las Vegas man won the Zurich Classic pairs event alongside Billy Horschel in April, but has generally been playing poorly. Has missed four cuts from six US Open starts, but finished second in 2016. He withdrew during round two of the St Jude Classic last week when five over par.

Ted Potter
The little and limited left-hander performed a giantkilling when defeating Dustin Johnson in a Pebble Beach Pro-Am duel in February. Has missed the cut in five of his six Majors.

Ian Poulter
The spiky Englishman stabilised his career with victory in the Houston Open on April Fools' Day. Has played nicely since, but will surely be overpowered and outclassed at Shinnecock, where he missed the cut in 2004. Has played in 12 US Opens without finishing in the top ten.

Michael Putnam
The 35-year-old has won three times on the Tour and played in five US Opens with a best finish of 35th. He has been in dire form and should not be confused with his in-form little brother, Andrew, who played in the final group of the St Jude Classic on Sunday.

Jon Rahm
The Spanish beefcake finished fifth at Colonial last time out, taking a fortnight off to prepare thoroughly for the US Open. In the last seven months, he has won twice in Europe and once on the US Tour, and the 23-year-old has to be on the Shinnecock shortlist. He was low amateur in the 2016 US Open, but missed the cut 12 months ago. He was fourth in the Masters in April.

Richie Ramsay
The accurate Scot came through the Walton Heath qualifier. Has missed the cut in nine of his 12 Majors, including both his US Opens.

Garrett Rank
The 30-year-old Canadian amateur is the dictionary definition of a rank outsider. The full-time National Hockey League referee, who has overcome testicular cancer, battled through the Roswell qualifier for a US Open debut.

Rhett Rasmussen
The amateur qualifier turns 20 on Sunday. The Major debutant should have plenty of time to celebrate his birthday and get over his missed cut.

Sulman Raza
The 24-year-old amateur qualifier was born in Lithuania but adopted by American parents. Has never met his biological parents. Impressed as a junior and at the University of Oregon, but lost enthusiasm with golf and has been working in a warehouse since the start of this year. Major debut for a notoriously gutsy youngster.

More US Open

Steve Palmer's tips


Jeremy Chapman's verdict

Lessons from Shinnecock Hills

Player guide part 1

Course guide

Chez Reavie
The accurate Kansas man finds fairways and greens for fun, banking healthy cheques on tight tracks. He tied for 62nd at Shinnecock in 2004 and will not have liked the lengthening and widening of the fairways for the 2018 return. Likely to be outgunned.

Patrick Reed
The Masters champion attempts to complete the second leg of the Grand Slam. Has finished second and first in the last two Majors. US Open form of 35-14-MC-13. Has played nicely since his Major glory and should give a decent account of himself.

Kristoffer Reitan
The 20-year-old Norwegian amateur sneaked through the Walton Heath qualifier. Hugely inexperienced lamb to the slaughter.

Patrick Rodgers
The US Tour underachiever has qualified for a second US Open. He was a superstar at the University of Stanford, but is yet to make his top-flight breakthrough. The 25-year-old tied for 46th in his only previous US Open (2016) and is a good enough ball-striker to do better this time. The powerhouse was eighth at Memorial last time out and could emerge as a shock title contender at a massive price.

Justin Rose
The steady Englishman secured a ninth US Tour title with a comfortable Colonial success at the end of last month and he has become arguably the most consistent performer on the planet. The 2013 US Open is his lone Major success. He missed the cut at Shinnecock in 2004. Seems likely to be in the shake-up this time.

Xander Schauffele
The Tour Championship winner finished fifth on his US Open debut last year, but he has been hugely inconsistent in the last two months, playing terribly either side of second place at Sawgrass.

Ollie Schniederjans
The Texan tied for 42nd place in his only previous US Open. Comfortable in a breeze and could take a shine to Shinnecock, but lacking form and confidence.

Charl Schwartzel
The South African was tailed off over the weekend in Memphis at the St Jude Classic, finishing last of the weekend qualifiers. The 2011 Masters champion has had putting and temperament issues in the last few years and is difficult to fancy after such a miserable warm-up event.

Adam Scott
The Australian seems unable to find an answer to continued putting woes, making him difficult to trust in elite company. Has missed seven US Open cuts in 16 starts, including at Shinnecock in 2004.

Jason Scrivener
The Aussie came through the Walton Heath qualifier for a US Open debut. Tidy player, but should be well outclassed.

Shubhankar Sharma
The Indian youngster has enjoyed a wonderful season, winning twice on the European Tour and also impressing at times on the US Tour. A US Open debut is a steep learning curve, though, and he seems more likely to miss the cut than contend.

Webb Simpson
The 2012 US Open champion is full of confidence, having led the field a merry dance in the Players Championship at Sawgrass last month. Shinnecock is not a good fit, though, and he seems unlikely to be a factor on Sunday.

Cameron Smith
The Aussie youngster is full of potential and has started tasting silverware, winning the Zurich Classic pairs event last year, then the Australian PGA Championship. In seven Major starts, he has already made the places twice, including at Augusta in April. Sadly, a sharp form dip since the Masters ends the outright interest.

Brandt Snedeker
The Nashville man has been generally poor since returning from injury in November, but he was among the birdies in Memphis last week. He has five US Open top-tens to his name, but the suspicion remains that he is probably not technically or mentally strong enough to become a Major champion.

Matthew Southgate
The affable Englishman qualified through Walton Heath for a Stateside Major debut. Has finished 12th and sixth in the last two Opens, but making the cut would be a great achievement this week.

Jordan Spieth
The former world number one is enduring a crisis of confidence on the greens. The 2015 US Open champion quickly got three Major titles under his belt, putting like God, but the magic has disappeared from his fingers. Tied 32nd at Colonial, one of his favourite tracks, then missed the cut at Muirfield Village. Unappealing option.

Scott Stallings
The 33-year-old has missed the cut in six of his nine Major starts. A qualifier with little to offer.

Kyle Stanley
The greens in regulation machine lost a playoff for the Memorial last time out. Has an appalling Majors record, with eight missed cuts from 12 starts and a best finish of 39th, so seems to get stage fright in the most prestigious arenas.

Brendan Steele
The three-time US Tour champion is a big-hitter who can handle a breeze, so has all the tools to tame Shinnecock, and his last two US Opens have resulted in creditable finishes of 15th and 13th. Good value, but a form dip since the Phoenix Open lessens belief.

Henrik Stenson
The 2016 Open champion has found some long-game form, but is being frustrated on the greens. Seven of his US Open spins have resulted in a top-30 finish the other four were missed cuts. Can be fancied to appear on the Shinnecock leaderboard, but will probably not have enough flat-stick sparkle to triumph.

Tyler Strafaci
The 19-year-old amateur came through a six-man playoff at The Bear's Club qualifier. Promising youngster lacking experience.

Steve Stricker
The flat-stick master can still cut the mustard at the age of 51, but long courses like Shinnecock are not ideal. Shinnecock, 2004, was the last US Open in which he missed the cut.

Brian Stuard
The 35-year-old plodder has played in three previous US Opens and missed the cut in all of them. More woe on the cards.

Justin Thomas
The USPGA champion became world number one at Sawgrass, but Dustin Johnson reclaimed the position less than a month later. Thomas finished ninth in the US Open last year, firing a sensational third-round 63, and Shinnecock should be right up his alley. The king of Kentucky is one of many strong title candidates for a demanding punting puzzle.

Braden Thornberry
The 21-year-old amateur qualifier impressed again in the St Jude Classic last week and looks like a potential superstar. Pick of the amateurs.

Peter Uihlein
The former US Amateur champion and world number one amateur won on the Tour last year and is finally threatening to realise his potential. Has found some excellent form on the US Tour over the last few weeks. His Major record is poor, but he has never been more confident.

Harold Varner
The 27-year-old Ohio man missed the cut in his only previous US Open (2013) and seven missed cuts this year suggest another weekend off is coming.

Sebastian Vazquez
The Mexican qualifier, 27, is making his Major debut. Could not even make the cut in the Mexico Championship on the Tour last month.

Jhonattan Vegas
The lanky Venezuelan is a three-time US Tour champion, but he has missed five cuts in eight Major starts, with a best finish of 22nd place.

Jimmy Walker
The 2016 USPGA champion suffered with Lyme disease, losing form and confidence, but the old Walker has emerged since spring, with second place at Sawgrass one of five bright performances. Tied for 20th in the Masters and could register something similar at Shinnecock.

Matt Wallace
The Londoner won his maiden European Tour title last year and followed up with Indian Open glory in March. Missed the cut in the US Open 12 months ago, his only previous Major appearance. Came through the Walton Heath qualifier for another crack. Making the Shinnecock weekend would be a feather in his cap.

Paul Waring
The Birkenhead boy battled through a playoff at Walton Heath to claim a US Open debut. The 33-year-old is winless as a professional.

Bubba Watson
The mercurial left-hander has enjoyed a renaissance this year, winning at Riviera, then again in the WGC-Match Play. He missed the cut on his US Open debut at Shinnecock in 2004, one of six weekends off he has had in the second Major of the season. A top-20 finish seems entirely feasible this time.

Richy Werenski
The Massachusetts man qualified for a US Open debut, then finished fourth in the St Jude Classic on Sunday. Encouraging signs, but should be outclassed at Shinnecock.

Timothy Wilkinson
The 39-year-old left-handed New Zealander has qualified for a second US Open, having finished 61st in 2016. Likely to miss the cut.

Danny Willett
The 2016 Masters champion has plummeted down the world rankings from ninth to outside the top 400 and US Open form figures of 45-MC-37-MC seem set to get only worse.

Cameron Wilson
The 25-year-old qualifier is a left-hander who graduated from Stanford University. This is his third US Open start after missed cuts in 2012 and 2014. He failed to retain playing rights on the Tour and his career is at a standstill.

Aaron Wise
The 21-year-old is bursting with potential and won the AT&T Byron Nelson in fine style last month. Missed the cut in his only previous Major (2016 US Open), but seems likely to become a Major champion within the next decade.

Timothy Wiseman
The 21-year-old amateur is making his Major debut. The shock qualifier should finish much nearer last than first.

Gary Woodland
The musclebound slugger has played in 25 Majors without posting a top-ten finish. He won the Phoenix Open in February, but has been quiet since.

Tiger Woods
The former king of golf has made a remarkable comeback from his latest back surgery, with seven top-25 finishes in ten starts, including second place in the Valspar Championship in March. Tiger is dangerous again and a Major threat, but he managed only 17th place at Shinnecock in 2004 and he will need to use his troublesome driver a lot this week.

Chun An Yu
A 19-year-old amateur qualifier from Chinese Taipei. Promising but inexperienced, making US Open debut.

William Zalatoris
The 2014 US Junior Amateur champion earned a US Open debut through the Ohio qualifier. Appears to have a bright future at the age of 21, but has plenty to learn.

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