Course will suit Woods and McIlroy but I can’t look beyond Kuchar at US Open

Sam Torrance
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THE FIRST round draw at the US Open pits the first, second and third favourites for the tournament together – in Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Adam Scott – but I can’t look past Matt Kuchar to pick up his first Major this week.

He’s in excellent form having won at Muirfield Village two weeks ago, his second win on the PGA Tour this year, and plays the game very straight, which makes him a strong contender when it comes to playing on a typical US Open course.

I always found this to be the fairest Major, with the organisers regimented in setting the courses up to play the same year on year.

So that means we should see rough of the same length, fast greens and, perhaps most significantly, tight fairways at Merrion Golf Club.

That should aid McIlroy who is not on top of his game at the moment, but will find the Pennsylvania course to be of similar severity to the Congressional Country Club in Maryland, where he won so emphatically in 2011.

He shot 16-under-par, finishing eight shots clear of the field and set multiple tournament records in the process, so I’m hoping for a good performance again from the Northern Irishman.

Woods is one of the best long iron players off the tee and he will treat his rounds like chess matches, picking each shot meticulously. He will, of course, be a strong contender.

Scott is a beautiful striker of the ball, but has not played much golf since he won the Masters at Augusta in April. I don’t fancy his chances.

Phil Mickelson was second to Harris English in the St Jude Classic at the weekend, finishing two shots behind, but this is not his type of course. It does not favour the big hitters.

He would need to have an extremely good week, though he is certainly capable.

I was back playing competitively at the ISPS Handa Seniors Championship in Cheshire last week and finished joint 10th.

It was my first tournament in seven months and on a difficult course, so I was quite pleased with my week.

Sam Torrance OBE is a multiple Ryder Cup-winning golfer and media commentator. Follow him on Twitter @torrancesam