U.S. Open field 2022: Ranking top 25 golfers as Justin Thomas, Rory McIlroy lead the pack at The Country Club

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The 2022 U.S. Open is nearly here, and per usual, the tournament has put together a star-studded field.

Of the world’s top 30 golfers, 29 are participating in this year’s American championship. The only one who isn’t — England’s Paul Casey, who ranks 27th — is sitting out the event due to a back issue.

Suffice to say, the competition in the U.S. Open will be stiff, and some may find it difficult to figure out who will be the top golfers in this year’s field. That said, the set-up of the course at The Country Club in Brookline, Mass., will help to identify which golfers should find the most success in this year’s tournament.

Who are the top golfers in this year’s U.S. Open? Below is a look at the 25 best projected performers at this year’s event and the Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) of each player in the field.

MORE: Breaking down the best bets to win the U.S. Open 2022

Ranking the top 25 players in the U.S. Open field 2022

The Country Club is a mid-length championship course that will test each golfer’s combination of power and precision. It will require players to make accurate shots both off the tee and on approach to hit some of the PGA Tour’s smallest greens (4,200 square feet on average) while also looking to avoid 5 1/2-inch thick rough.

As such, when evaluating the U.S. Open field, it is important to look at the ball striking stats of each golfer, such as strokes gained off the tee (SG:OTT) and strokes gained on approach (SG:APP). It will also be crucial to know which players are the best scramblers, as they will be able to work themselves out of trouble if they find the rough.

Finally, it’s also important to see which players hit greens in regulation (GIR) the most frequently and which players are good around the green. That will make strokes gained around the green (SG:ARG) and strokes gained putting (SG:P) two other key areas to watch.

Below is a breakdown of The Sporting News’ top 25-ranked golfers for the U.S. Open in 2022. All odds to win the event are courtesy of Sports Interaction.

1. Justin Thomas

Thomas is fresh off a third-place finish at the Canadian Open — which had unforgiving rough, much like The Country Club does — and won the PGA Championship in May. He is playing well and his combination of a top-20 game off the tee, on approach and scrambling should make him a safe bet to stay near the top of the leaderboard during this tournament.

2. Rory McIlroy

McIlroy is fresh off a win at the Canadian Open where he was red-hot with the putter and shot a final-round 62 to finish 19 under for the tournament. The last time McIlroy won an event the week before a major was in 2014 when he won the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational. He followed that up with a PGA Championship win and could do the same at the 2022 U.S. Open.

3. Matt Fitzpatrick

Fitzpatrick is playing some of the best golf of his career of late and has logged a top-10 finish in 11 of his 14 events this year. That includes a top-five finish at the PGA Championship.

Fitzpatrick is a top-five scrambler on the PGA Tour and ranks 10th in strokes gained off the tee (SG:OTT). He seems close to putting it all together and he won the U.S. Amateur at The Country Club in 2013. This is as good a place as any for him to earn his first PGA Tour victory.

4. Shane Lowry

It’s hard to find a golfer with a more consistent game than Shane Lowry. He has made all 10 of his cuts since January and has finished no lower than 32nd during that span. During that span, he has three top-three finishes.

Lowry is the second-best scrambler on the PGA Tour and ranks ninth in strokes gained on approach (SG:APP). The Irishman’s top-five scoring average will make him a threat to win his second career major.

5. Sam Burns

Burns has been hot since May of 2021, as he has earned all four of his PGA Tour victories during that span. He has won two events since March and logged another top-five finish at the Canadian Open last week. Burns’ combination of accuracy on approach and putting prowess makes him an intriguing golfer to watch, even if his SG:OTT and scrambling numbers rank outside of the top 50 on tour. 

MORE: Tee times, groups, pairings for the first two days of the U.S. Open

6. Xander Schauffele

Schauffele always seems to be in contention at the U.S. Open. He has finished top 10 in each of his five appearances in the event and his solid tee-to-green game makes him an ideal fit for courses that demand a combination of accuracy and power. His putter can hold him back at times — he ranks 62nd in SG:P — but if he has a good week on the greens, he could finally win his first U.S. Open.

7. Scottie Scheffler

Is No. 7 too low for the world’s No. 1 golfer? Perhaps, but this course could be a tough challenge for Scheffler. He ranks 129th in scrambling among 204 qualified players on the PGA Tour, so he could have trouble navigating the 5 1/2-inch rough at The Country Club.

Scheffler still has a high ceiling, as his greens in regulation (GIR) percentage ranks second-best on the tour. That said, this course suits a handful of other golfers better than the reigning Masters champion.

8. Sungjae Im

Looking for an intriguing value pick in this week’s U.S. Open? Look no further than Im. He is one of the PGA Tour’s best players in GIR percentage, scrambling and strokes gained around the green (SG:ARG), ranking top-10 in all categories.

The greens at The Country Club are among the smallest on tour. In fact, Pebble Beach is the only course used for majors that has smaller greens in terms of average size. Im is one of the few players who shouldn’t have trouble hitting onto them or around them with success. That could allow him to card a low score during the tournament.

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9. Patrick Cantlay

Cantlay doesn’t have a great track record in major tournaments, as he has missed the cut in three of his last six and has just two top-10 finishes in the 18 he has competed in as a pro. Still, Cantlay is a good putter and scrambler, and has a solid tee-to-green game that could put him in contention. He just needs to shake the yips he has gotten in recent majors.

10. Jordan Spieth

The good with Spieth: he ranks top 30 in SG:OTT, SG:APP and SG:ARG while supplementing that with a top-10 mark scrambling. The bad: he ranks 153 in SG:P and that often negates his success getting to the green.

Spieth can get hot with the putter, but often, we’ve seen it falter in the final round. That makes him a bit of a risk, but he has three major wins and eight other top-five finishes in majors.

11. Joaquin Niemann

Niemann is seeking to become the first major winner from Chile, and his game suits The Country Club course well. He is one of the best tee-to-green players in the game, posting top-20 marks in SG:OTT and SG:ARG while having a good approach game. That should give him a chance to get to the green with relatively little trouble, a big advantage considering the state of the rough.

In his most recent action, Niemann carded a 7 under at The Memorial Tournament. That put him in a tie for third place. He made the cut at 2022’s two other majors and if he can do so at The Country Club, he will shoot for a top-10 finish.

12. Mito Pereira

If Niemann isn’t the first Chilean to win a major, Pereira could be. In fact, he nearly became that at the PGA Championship, but a double-bogey on 18 eliminated his one-stroke advantage in the most brutal way possible.

Pereira is a steady, consistent sleeper option because of his ability to hit the green. He ranks top-10 in SG:APP and GIR percentage, so he should be able to avoid the rough in Brookline. Pereira is also a top-10 scrambler, so even if he doesn’t, he should save par frequently.

MORE: How Mito Pereira left 2022 PGA Championship a big winner despite a bigger collapse

13. Cameron Smith

Smith is coming off a tough week at the Canadian Open where he struggled with his driver accuracy and couldn’t get things going with his best club, the putter. The No. 6-ranked player in the world has the skill set needed to do well in the U.S. Open, but his recent form and his below-average off-the-tee performance drop him out of the top-10 golfers in this week’s tournament.

14. Billy Horschel

In his last action, Horschel put together an easy victory at Muirfield Village, one of the toughest courses on the PGA Tour. He shot a 70-68-65-72 at the Par-72 course to finish 13 under for the tournament and was steady throughout the action.

Horschel is one of the best players on and around the green at this week’s event, as he is a top-10 putter who also ranks top-12 in SG:AGR, meaning that he will get the ball close to the hole frequently. His approach is the weakest part of his game, as it’s just below average, but as long as he avoids the rough, he should do just fine in Brookline.

15. Hideki Matsuyama

Matsuyama will be looking to make up for an unfortunate disqualification at the Memorial Tournament, but The Country Club could be difficult for him. His tee-to-green game is strong and he ranks top 10 in GIR percentage. However, his putting is well below average this season, so that could hold him back on the tough greens at The Country Club.

Still, Matsuyama has potential so he can’t be counted out. It’s just a matter of whether he’ll perform closer to the T14 he logged at the Masters or the T60 he carded at the PGA Championship.

16. Jon Rahm

Rahm may be the defending U.S. Open champion, but it’s hard to like him too much on this course. Why? Rahm ranks 140th in scrambling out of 204 qualified PGA Tour players and is 154th in SG:APP. That could cause him to have trouble if he struggles off the tee, as we saw at the Memorial Tournament, where his driver accuracy was just 50 percent.

That said, Rahm is still No. 1 in SG:OTT and in GIR percentage, so his ball-striking should keep him in the tournament. Still, it’s hard to be overly excited about him on this course, as he figures to have a lot of trouble if he lands in the thick rough. 

17. Viktor Hovland

Hovland is very good off the tee and also has a solid approach game. However, he has one major weakness that will hold him back. He ranks dead last in SG:ARG, so he will struggle to get the ball close if he doesn’t land it on the green in regulation. More often than not, he has done the latter, but The Country Club’s small greens give him little room for error. 

18. Will Zalatoris

Zalatoris ranks top 10 in both SG:OTT and SG:APP, so that should make him a quality choice this week, right? Not necessarily. His putter is extremely hot and cold and he ranks 160th among qualified players in SG:P. Zalatoris has gotten hot with the putter, but between that and his middling scrambling game, there are better options than him in this week’s field.

MORE: Why Will Zalatoris has been compared to caddie from “Happy Gilmore” & Owen Wilson

19. Collin Morikawa

Morikawa finished fifth at the Masters, but his form has declined in the two months since then. He has finished no better than T40 in his last three events and missed the cut at the Memorial Tournament.

Given his recent form and his struggles on and around the green this season, Morikawa shouldn’t be trusted to win this week. Still, the No. 7-ranked golfer in the world should make the cut and could be a top-20 finisher because of his upside.

20. Aaron Wise

If you’re looking for another sleeper-type, Wise looks like a good one. He finished in second place at the Memorial Tournament after carding a 9 under in that difficult tournament. He has shot at least 8 under in four of his last five events and has finished no lower than 23rd in those tournaments.

Wise’s top-20 approach game is his biggest strength, but he also ranks top 50 in SG:OTT and in scrambling. The big question is whether his average putter will allow him to climb up the leaderboard this week.

21. Daniel Berger

Since missing the cut at the Phoenix Open in February, Berger has performed well. He has two top-five finishes in six events and has finished top 23 in three of the other four. He has only missed the cut once over the last four months.

Berger’s good approach game, scrambling ability and play around the green makes him an ideal fit for this year’s U.S. Open course. He is another solid sleeper and betting on him to earn a top-10 finish seems like a wise investment.

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22. Corey Conners

Conners has been underrated this season. Since March, he has missed the cut just once — it came at the PGA Championship — and he has finished top 15 in five of his nine events played. That includes his sixth-place finish (12 under) at last week’s Canadian Open.

Conners’ unique skill set should help him out on this course. Like Rahm, he ranks top 10 in both SG:OTT (eighth) and GIR percentage (fourth) but he is a better scrambler than the world’s No. 2 golfer. That could put Conners in contention at The Country Club but at the very least, he has a great chance to be a top-20 finisher.

23. Tommy Fleetwood

Fleetwood checks three boxes that will be important to having success at The Country Club. He ranks top-15 on tour around the green, is a top-20 putter and ranks 26th in scrambling this season. His game off the tee isn’t great, and he doesn’t always hit greens in regulation, but so long as he gets the ball near the green, he should have a quality week.

24. Tony Finau

Finau played some of his best golf of late at the Canadian Open and finished alone in second place behind McIlroy and ahead of Thomas. Finau is one of the better players on tour from tee to green but has had trouble with his putter at times this season. If he can play as he did at the Canadian Open, however, the putter will be a non-issue. As such, he has a high ceiling in this week’s tournament.

25. Talor Gooch

Gooch is the lone LIV Golf member to crack our top 25 for the U.S. Open. His game is all about accuracy, as he ranks top 21 in SG:APP and GIR percentage while also being the third-best player on tour in SG:ARG. His driver isn’t anything special, but it doesn’t need to be for him to find success in Brookline. He just needs to be accurate with it.

MORE: Best sleepers, value picks to trust, fades to avoid at the 2022 U.S. Open

Full U.S. Open field 2022

Below is the full U.S. Open field for 2022 listed alphabetically by last name. Also included is each player’s Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR). The top-ranked player in the field is the World No. 1 Scottie Scheffler while numerous amateurs participating in the tournament rank last at 1,763rd overall.

Several other players are unranked and will be marked with a “UR” designation.

Player OWGR
Abraham Ancer 20
Adri Arnaus 53
Erik Barnes 325
Andrew Beckler UR
Sam Bennett 1763
Daniel Berger 25
Wil Besseling 255
Fred Biondi UR
Richard Bland 70
Jonas Blixt 1028
Keegan Bradley 47
Joseph Bramlett 256
Hayden Buckley 259
Sam Burns 9
Brady Calkins UR
Patrick Cantlay 4
Kevin Chappell 559
Stewart Cink 87
Wyndham Clark 239
Corey Conners 30
Sean Crocker 222
MJ Daffue 296
Joel Dahmen 130
Bryson DeChambeau 29
Adrien Dumont De Chassart UR
Nick Dunlap 1763
Harris English 28
Tony Finau 15
Matt Fitzpatrick 18
Tommy Fleetwood 40
Ryan Fox 63
Jim Furyk 969
Luke Gannon 1763
Sergio Garcia 55
Ryan Gerard UR
Talor Gooch 36
Chris Gotterup 1042
Branden Grace 123
Austin Greaser 1763
Keith Greene 1763
Lanto Griffin 106
Adam Hadwin 105
Stewart Hagestad 1763
Harry Hall 245
Nick Hardy 371
Brian Harman 50
Tyrrell Hatton 26
Russell Henley 49
Lucas Herbert 46
Bo Hoag 494
Tom Hoge 39
Max Homa 23
Billy Horschel 11
Sam Horsfield 75
Rikuya Hoshino 64
Beau Hossler 162
Viktor Hovland 8
Mackenzie Hughes 73
Sungjae Im 21
Sean Jacklin 1763
Dustin Johnson 16
Martin Kaymer 221
Chan Kim 109
Joohyung Kim 66
Kevin Kisner 32
Kurt Kitayama 143
Satoshi Kodaira 326
Brooks Koepka 19
Jason Kokrak 34
Jinichiro Kozuma 107
Danny Lee 243
Kyoung-Hoon Lee 42
Marc Leishman 52
David Lingmerth 592
Luke List 61
Ben Lorenz UR
Shane Lowry 24
Richard Mansell 282
Caleb Manuel 1763
Hideki Matsuyama 13
Brandon Matthews 280
Denny McCarthy 121
Matthew McCarty UR
Rory McIlroy 3
Troy Merritt 98
Phil Mickelson 77
Guido Migliozzi 171
Maxwell Moldovan UR
Francesco Molinari 175
Taylor Montgomery 213
Jediah Morgan 247
Collin Morikawa 7
William Mouw UR
Jesse Mueller 1763
Sebastián Muñoz 54
Grayson Murray 544
Kevin Na 33
Chirs Naegel 1763
Keita Nakajima 249
Matthew NeSmith 166
Joaquin Niemann 17
Alex Noren 60
Shaun Norris 69
Andrew Novak 362
Thorbjorn Olesen 182
Louis Oosthuizen 22
Yannik Paul 200
Mito Pereira 45
Victor Perez 90
Thomas Pieters 37
James Piot 1763
Seamus Power 41
Andrew Putnam 153
Fran Quinn UR
Jon Rahm 2
Patrick Reed 38
Charles Reiter UR
Davis Riley 85
Patrick Rodgers 216
Justin Rose 48
Isaiah Salinda 1663
Kalle Samooja 136
Xander Schauffele 12
Scottie Scheffler 1
Adam Schenk 172
Marcel Schneider 192
Adam Scott 43
Chase Seiffert 428
Laird Shepherd 1763
Davis Shore 1388
Ben Silverman 1214
Webb Simpson 56
Todd Sinnott 439
Roger Sloan 327
Cameron Smith 6
Sebastian Soderberg 203
Jordan Spieth 10
Scott Stallings 149
Sam Stevens UR
Sepp Straka 51
Brian Stuard 277
Tomoyasu Sugiyama 313
Callum Tarren 445
Nick Taylor 234
Justin Thomas 5
Curtis Thompson 524
Michael Thorbjornsen UR
Cameron Tringale 58
Erik van Rooyen 76
Harold Varner III 35
Travis Vick UR
Aaron Wise 44
Si Woo Kim 57
Min Woo Lee 64
Gary Woodland 113
Cameron Young 31
Will Zalatoris 14

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