HARTFORD, WI - JUNE 13: Jon Rahm of Spain plays his shot during a practice round prior to the 2017 U.S. Open at Erin Hills on June 13, 2017 in Hartford, Wisconsin. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

Hartsock: 5 players to watch at the U.S. Open

It’s a unique challenge for the sweetest swings in golf this week. The U.S. Open is being held at Erin Hills in Wisconsin, a public course that’s only been around since 2006 and has never hosted a major tournament.

Let’s take a swing at figuring out who might be in the hunt come Sunday on a golf course that could be set up at more than 7,600 yards, with rough that many pros claim is ridiculous even for USGA standards.

Here are five players to watch this week:

Jon Rahm: The Spaniard turned pro a year ago after finishing as low amateur at the U.S. Open at Oakmont. All he’s done since is rack up 10 top 10 finishes, including his first win back in January. This is a guy who will win multiple majors so it might as well start this week.

Dustin Johnson: They can’t build a golf course that’s too long for the defending champion. I’m still a bit shell-shocked after the best in the world missed the cut at the Memorial. Johnson hasn’t won since later March so he’s due.

Sergio Garcia: The Masters champion should be well rested since he hasn’t teed it up in three weeks. It’s not a stretch to think the guy who used to be the best player to never win a major could make it two in a row.

Jason Day: Here’s another player who is due. The former No. 1 player in the world is as good as there has been at the Open the last six years without winning it — five top-10 finishes in six starts. He was runner up in 2011 and 2013.

Jason Dufner: The Memorial champion has three top-10 finishes at the Open in the last five years. He’s a guy who already owns one major, the 2013 PGA Championship, the Cleveland native could easily find himself on the first page of the leaderboard when Sunday rolls around.

Thank you for reading the Springfield News-Sun and for supporting local journalism. Subscribers: log in for access to your daily ePaper and premium newsletters.

Thank you for supporting in-depth local journalism with your subscription to the Springfield News-Sun. Get more news when you want it with email newsletters just for subscribers. Sign up here.

X