Nine Australians Qualify for 2018 U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills

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On the eve of golf’s second Major, the U.S. Open, we found it necessary to clear up an easily made erroneous assumption.

The tournament is being played in New York at Shinnecock Hills.

Shinnecock is not the thing we use when we want to engage in a spirited game of badminton. That game requires a shuttlecock and some with a yearning for language simplicity simply call it a “birdie,” which ironically, is something the golfers in the U.S. Open will be pursuing at every opportunity.

The Aussies have nine players in the field via one route or another; with the top choice obviously being world number eight Jason Day. He would be the best hope to break the Aussie duck that extends back to 2006, when Geoff Ogilvy was triumphant at another New York course, Winged Foot Golf Club.

Nine sounds like a lot, but as recently as 2014, eleven from Down Under made it into the field.

Day has had some good days in the U.S. Open, with two runner-up and three other top-10 finishes.

Day told reporters, in remarks picked up by the AAP, “It (U.S. Open) tests every part of your game; I enjoy tough conditions because I thrive playing a tough tournament in front of a lot of people,” said Day, who has two US PGA Tour wins this year.

Most U.S. professional golf tournaments are run under the auspices of the PGA, but the U.S. Open is overseen by the Unites States Golf Association.

A mainly semantic distinction, perhaps, but the U.S.G.A. is known for setting up courses where errant tee shots typically spell doom and lightning-quick greens require total concentration from players who want to gain strokes by putting well.

Day elaborated on that reality.

“Usually (at US Opens), you hear guys moaning about the setup; you can kind of write people off straight away if they’re complaining.”

Day was also beating the drum for his fellow Aussies.

“There are a lot of young Aussie players coming out right now,” he said. “We’ve got a good group of guys (this week), from an older guy in David Bransdon to Lucas (Herbert), who is playing some pretty good golf.”