Five players that could tame Oakmont’s greens

We take a look at five players that we think are the best equipped to deal with the lightning greens at the US Open this week.

Once you have dodged the ankle-high rough and avoided the plethora of bunkers, you might eventually find yourself on the green at Oakmont Country Club.

Once on the dance floor, you’ll find the greens slick, unforgiving and not for the faint-hearted. To this end, 83-time PGA Tour winner Sam Snead once famously remarked: “I tried to mark my ball on one of Oakmont’s greens but the coin slid off.”

For this reason, it is our belief that the US Open winner will be the man who holds his nerve best.

We delved into some statistics to figure out who could survive the stern test.

5 Rory McIlroy
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A wildcard entry into this list Rory McIlroy has struggled to find consistency in his putting in 2016, but his decision to revert to a standard putting grip ahead of the US Open may just see him repeat his win in the 2011 edition of the tournament.

The Northern Irishman won the Irish Open averaging 29 putts per round, hardly anything to write home about. This prompted him to move away from his switch grip.
The back-to-basics move could just pay off for McIlroy, who is striking the ball exceptionally well off the tee box, ranking at the very top for strokes gained off the tee.

4 Henrik Stenson

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Henrik Stenson finished as runner-up in the Shell Houston Open earlier this year, and has cracked the top 40 at every Major since the start of 2013.

The Swede is averaging a touch over 28 putts per round on the European Tour in 2016, his best in the last seven seasons. That number also puts him on par with the best in the business on the greens.

Added to that, Stenson shot a six-under 66 in the final round of the Nordea Masters to finish T4, meaning he is in fine touch.

3 Jordan Spieth

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The defending champion heads to Pennsylvania with his Masters meltdown hanging over him, but victory at the DEAN & DELUCA Championship at the end of May, will have calmed the nerves of the world number two.

Statistically, Spieth has the best-putting average from greens in regulation putts, and the best overall putting average of any player playing in the US Open.

Spieth looks to have put the putting woes of early 2016 behind him in the lead-up to the tournament, and has to be considered one of the favourites to tame the wild greens of Oakmont.

2 Phil Mickelson

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Phil Mickelson has finished second at the US Open an incredible six times, and will be hoping his experience and ability on the green will carry him to his first win in the major, and allow him to complete a career Grand Slam.

Mickelson has the best conversion rate of putts inside ten feet in 2016 – and of those in the field for the 116th US Open – only Jason Day has gained more strokes putting this year.

The three-time Masters champion could be the man that holds his nerve on the country club’s runaway greens, what is certain though is that few can match Mickelson for putting pedigree.

1 Jason Day
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World number one, Jason Day, will start the US Open as one of the favourites and with good reason.

No player on the PGA Tour has a better strokes gained putting record than Day and none of his opponents at the US Open have a better first putt percentage either.
The Australian knows how to close as well, as he has sunk all 59n efforts from four feet or less this season.

Day has been consistently excellent at putting in 2016 and appears to be the player in the best position to slay the fearsome greens this weekend.

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