It’s been 16 years since a South African last triumphed in the US Open, and this week seven of the country’s finest will be giving it their best shot at Winged Foot.
Christiaan Bezuidenhout, Shaun Norris, JC Ritchie, Erik van Rooyen, Justin Harding, Branden Grace and Louis Oosthuizen are in the field for only the second Major of 2020, and one where the course is already a talking point.
“I think it’s right up there next to Oakmont and I think Carnoustie as far as just sheer difficulty without even doing anything to it,” Tiger Woods told the media this week.
“I think this place tests every single aspect of your game, so I don’t think I could single out the toughest thing that you need to do or the hardest thing you’re going to have to do this week. It’s all pretty tough,” added Rory McIlroy.
Retief Goosen is the last South African winner of the US Open in 2004. Oosthuizen came close when he finished second behind Jordan Spieth in 2015.
Of the other South Africans in the field, Grace had top US Open finishes of tied fourth and tied fifth in 2015 and 2016, while Erik van Rooyen’s best and only US Open finish to date is tied 43rd in 2019. (Photo Credit: European Tour).