The 32nd event of the wraparound season is upon us, as the PGA Tour heads to Washington for the U.S. Open. A field of 156 will tackle Chambers Bay, which is hosting a professional event for the first time.
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Martin Kaymer won this event a year ago by eight shots over Rickie Fowler and Erik Compton. Here are 10 players to watch outside Seattle:
1. Jordan Spieth: The rankings begin with the reigning Masters champ, who has shown this year that he can contend on seemingly any type of layout. Spieth appears to be in control of all facets of his game and has an extra boost of confidence that comes with winning a green jacket.
2. Hideki Matsuyama: Matsuyama checks off all the boxes: length off the tee, iron precision, strong short game and overall consistency. He hasn't finished outside the top 25 since Torrey Pines, finished T-10 two years ago at Merion and will win again sooner rather than later.
3. Jason Day: The Aussie has hit a rough patch in recent weeks, but his overall game and U.S. Open track record can't be ignored. Three top-five finishes in the past four years, including a pair of runner-up finishes, and Day leads the Tour this season in birdie average.
4. Rory McIlroy: McIlroy is back in action after a rough fortnight in Europe, and he should rebound on a course that more resembles an Open Championship layout. McIlroy won twice just last month and has a pair of top-25 finishes in this event to go along with his runaway victory in 2011.
5. Justin Rose: Rose won this event two years ago, and he probably should have won the Memorial two weeks ago. The Englishman has turned a corner since a slow start to the season, with a win and a pair of runner-up finishes among his last five PGA Tour starts.
6. Rickie Fowler: Fowler has shown this year that his contender status last year in the majors was no fluke. After a breakthrough win at TPC Sawgrass, he played well in Ireland and should feel quite comfortable on the links-style layout in play this week.
7. Bubba Watson: If a course calls for imagination, Watson has to be among the pre-tournament favorites. Few can get more creative with shot shapes than the two-time Masters champ, and he certainly has the length off the tee to take on the course with an aggressive approach.
8. Phil Mickelson: Still in search of the last leg of the career Grand Slam, Mickelson enters with momentum from a T-3 finish in Memphis and will have plenty of options at his disposal around the greens. His game has been inconsistent for a year and a half, but he has finished second in each of the last two majors.
9. Dustin Johnson: Johnson was a surprise withdrawal last week in Memphis, but the bomber will still be a threat this week in Washington. Johnson won earlier this year at Doral, a layout that rewards length off the tee, and has cracked the top 25 three times in the last five years at this event.
10. Brooks Koepka: Koepka appeared on the verge of another win last week at TPC Southwind, but he faded over the weekend. After a T-4 finish last year at Pinehurst, he has the length off the tee and high ball flight to contend once again this time around.