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Golf Australia Express : GA Express 245
BRANDEN GRACE SHANE LOWRY AGE: 29 COUNTRY: South Africa WORLD RANKING: 29 WHY HE CAN WIN: BRANDEN Grace’s last two US Open results paint him as something of a US Open specialist, but they only tell some of the story. Last year Grace’s third-round 66 was the standout, although he never truly challenged Dustin Johnson on Sunday. But his T-4 in 2015 is what strengthens his bid as a potential victor at Erin Hills. With three holes to play at Chambers Bay Grace looked set to become the fourth South African to hoist the US Open trophy. But a poor tee shot on 16 led to a double-bogey and a final round 71, good enough for a tie for fourth. Grace’s form has been solid in 2017 – if not electrifying – but he’ll take confidence into this week with memories of how well he handled Chambers Bay in 2015. AGE: 30 COUNTRY: Ireland WORLD RANKING: 69 WHY HE CAN WIN: DESPITE a sliding world ranking, Shane Lowry has returned promising results of late. A T-6 at Wentworth was accompanied by a T-15 at The Memorial, both coming on long, tough courses. Lowry will hope for the wind to blow at Erin Hills, as he is among the best wind players in the world due to his solid play from tee-to-green. He rarely misses fairways and ranks in the top-20 for proximity to the hole on Tour, but the Irishman’s standout putting from 4-8 feet will be the difference at a major where putts of that distance are crucial. Lowry was in last year’s US Open up to his eyeballs until late bogeys halted his charge. His eventual tie for second was his second consecutive US Open top- 10 finish and if the lead is around even par, expect him to be in the thick of things again. KEY STAT: Strong past results in this event, including T-5 (2016) and T-4 (2015). KEY STAT: Ranked 1st in Putting from 4-8 feet on the PGA Tour.
GA Express 244
GA Express 246