US Open Golf

St. Simons Island pro Zach Johnson drives off the 12th tee during a practice round Wednesday for the U.S. Open in Southampton, N.Y.

The U.S. Open is often considered the toughest contest in golf. Low numbers are usually hard to come by, though that wasn’t the case in 2017.

Last year’s winner, Brooks Koepka, carded a 16-under par to win the 2017 U.S. Open at Erin Hills in Wisconsin. This year’s U.S. Open is expected to get back to its roots with a return to Shinnecock Hills Golf Club in New York. The last time the U.S. Open was at Shinnecock was in 2004 when Retief Goosen won by two shots over Phil Mickelson with a 4-under par total.

When this year’s U.S. Open tees off today, the Isles will be well-represented with four of our local PGA Tour pros competing for one of golf’s biggest prizes. Here’s a look at how the four have done this season and in past majors.

Zach Johnson

World and FedEx Cup ranking: 60th/72nd

Major history: Johnson has two majors in his trophy collection. He bursts onto the golf scene with a 2007 victory at the Masters and solidified his place in golf history with a 2015 win at the British Open. Johnson also has a tied for third at the 2010 PGA Championship.

U.S. Open history: Johnson’s first U.S. Open was in 2004, which was also the last time the event was at Shinnecock Hills. He tied for 48th that year, and Johnson has qualified for the U.S. Open every year since. His best result was a tie for eighth in 2016.

2017-18 results: In 16 starts this season, Johnson has made the cut in 15 events. The Iowa native has two top-10 and eight top-25 finishes with his best result a tied for fifth at the Valero Texas Open in April.

Tee time: Johnson will tee off along with fellow former Masters champ Charl Schwartzel and the 2018 Masters winner Patrick Reed at 7:51 a.m. Thursday and 1:36 p.m. Friday.

Matt Kuchar

Major history: The Georgia Tech alum is still searching for his first major, but came so close to achieving that goal last year with a solo second finish at the British Open. The 2017 season saw Kuchar place in the top 10 in three of the four majors with a tied for fourth at the Masters and a tied for ninth at the PGA Tour. He’s coming off a tied for 28th at Augusta in the 2018 Masters.

U.S. Open history: This will be Kuchar’s 16th U.S. Open, which includes two starts as an amateur back in the late 1990s. He’s qualified for the Open every year since 2008 with his best finish a tied for sixth in 2010. Kuchar tied for 16th in the 2017 Open.

2017-18 results: Kuchar has made the cut in all but one of his 17 tournaments this season, compiling three top-10 finishes and six in the top 25. His best finish is a tied for fifth at the Waste Management Phoenix Open back in February.

Tee time: Kuchar will be paired with Bryson DeChambeau and Matthew Fitzpatrick for the first two rounds with the group teeing off at 8:13 a.m. Thursday and 1:58 p.m. Friday.

Brian Harman

World and FedEx Cup ranking: 28th/24th

Major history: Harman’s major history isn’t as well-versed as Kuchar or Johnson. In 11 major tournaments, he’s made the cut in five of them. His best result outside of the U.S. Open is a tied for 13th at the 2017 PGA Tour championship.

U.S. Open history: Last year’s U.S. Open was the scene of Harman’s best result in a major. The Georgia alum finished tied for second with Hideki Matsuyama at 12 under, four shots behind the winner Koepka. He missed the cut in his only appearances at the U.S. Open in 2015 and 2012

2017-18 results: Like Johnson and Kuchar, Harman has been around a lot of weekends this season. He’s made the cut in 14 of 16 events this season with seven top-10 and 10 top-25 finishes. Harman’s best result was a solo third at the Tournament of Champions in January.

Tee time: Harman will tee off at 7:29 a.m. Thursday and 1:14 p.m. Friday with Patrick Cantlay and Alexander Levy.

Trey Mullinax

World and FedEx Cup ranking: 164th/74th

Major/U.S. Open history: The youngest of the Isles’ four pros in the U.S. Open, Mullinax has just one major to his credit. It’s also how he made it into the U.S. Open field this year. The Alabama alum finished tied for ninth at last year’s U.S. Open to qualify for this year’s event.

2017-18 results: Mullinax has made 10 cuts in 16 events this season with three top-10 and five top-25 finishes. His best result so far was finishing tied for second at the Texas Valero Open in April. Statistically, Mullinax leads the PGA Tour in driving distance, averaging 318.4 yards off the tee.

Tee time: Mullinax will be on the tee box before most people have had their coffee Thursday morning with a 6:56 a.m. tee time, followed by a 12:41 p.m. tee time on Friday. Mullinax is paired with Matt Parziale and Jason Scrivener.

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