2017 US Open: How the British and Irish players fared at Erin Hills


Tommy Fleetwood led the British and Irish scoring at Erin Hills on Sunday, finishing in fourth place at 11-under-par - five shots behind US Open champion Brooks Koepka

A total number of 22 GB&I players teed up in Wisconsin last Thursday for the second major of the year, including three previous US Open Champions Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose and Graeme McDowell.

The scoring throughout the tournament was record breaking, and the course was criticised prior to the championship for both it's tough grass and wide fairways. What was evident throughout the first two days was that if you kept it in the fairway you could expect a low score, and if you were struggling off the tee you were in for a tough time.

For more than half of the golfers from GB&I competing this week, the outcome was the latter. And as the fescue got more than the better of many, just eight players of the 22 made it through to the weekend.

Fleetwood was by far the most impressive throughout the entirety of the week. By Friday evening he was one of four players with a share of the lead, and lay just one back of Brian Harman heading in to Sunday thanks to rounds of 67, 70 and 68. 

Although he was disappointed to have only managed an even-par 72 during the final-round, it was Fleetwood's first experience of being in contention in a major and he was keen to learn from it. Incidentally, he now moves to a career high of World No. 21 as a result of his performance. 

"The way I felt Saturday and Sunday, you never quite know how you will react and it was all new and I felt really comfortable."

"Today I didn't play how I wanted to but it was a great week. I finished fourth in the US Open, I can't be too snotty about that."

And while Fleetwood had already shown his ability with his win in Abu Dhabi and his performances at the WGC's earlier this year, it was a pleasant surprise to see Eddie Pepperell next in line on the list of best Brits.

The World No. 337 (from 458 last week) was cut from the only previous US Open he had played in in 2013, and this time found himself at five-under-par in a share for 16th place. 

Three shots adrift of Pepperell was Paul Casey, who had held a share of lead with Fleetwood on Friday before a tumultuous weekend ruined his chances of ending the week with his first major title. 


In round two Casey had rallied to a one-under 71 despite a triple bogey, but when another triple came the next day he wasn't able to recover and slipped down the leaderboard with a three-over 75 to four over. Two more shots went during the final round to end up in 26th place by himself. 

Martin Laird was a further two shots back of Casey, tied for 32nd at level-par and lying 16 shots behind Brooks Koepka. Laird had several chances but 72, 71, 72, 73 meant he wasn't ever able to challenge the leaders. 

At one-over-par for the tournament was Matt Fitzpatrick, who played nicely but had three double-bogeys during the week which hurt his chances. Rounds of 70,73,70,76 saw out Matt's third US Open, finishing T35 (19 places better than last year)

The ever-popular Andrew 'Beef' Johnston was off to a flier with a three-under par 69 on Thursday, but despite the willing of the crowds his momentum subsided throughout the next three days and he was unable to card another round under par. He finished +2 for the tournament and T42.

Shane Lowry, who had blown his four-shot lead last year and made way for  Dustin Johnson's major break-through in this event, was back with a point to prove and had started well. A one-under 71 was a good start, but he only recorded three birdies in his remaining three rounds, leaving him tied for 46th at +3. 

Brining up the rear of those that made the cut was stalwart Lee Westwood, who had put himself firmly in to contention early on in the tournament with an opening 69 but let it slip over the next few days with two 75s and a final-round 76.

Rory McIlroy returned to action for just his eighth tournament of the year due to two spells on back injury-induced absence, and it was clear he was rusty as he slipped from World No.2 to No.3.

The 2011 champion did the bulk of the damage during round one, carding a six-over 78 (one better than playing partner and World No.3 Jason Day). He did birdie four of his final six holes at Erin Hills, yet still missed the cut by four shots at five-over-par. 

Rory McIlroy grimaces after hitting a wayward tee shot

The 28-year-old remained upbeat despite disappointment, putting it down to a lack of competitive golf this season.

"It was much better today but I think it's game time, it's prep, it's competitive rounds and I've been very light on those this year," McIlroy had said on Friday.

"I've no real concerns. I felt this was a golf course that would really suit my game down to the ground but I shot myself in the foot yesterday and gave myself too much to do"

And he wasn't the only former US Open champion to miss out on the weekend. Much to the surprise of most, Olympic champion and Masters runner-up Justin Rose was one of the 12 to bow out early, missing the cut by a solitary shot.

Ross Fisher, Bradley Dredge and Richie Ramsay joined Rose in that feat - narrowly missing out (by a single shot) on making it to play Saturday and Sunday at Erin Hills.

It wasn't to be for Chris Wood, who was on track to make the cut with a string of three birdies on the back-nine on Friday, but was undone by double-bogeys on two of his last four holes which left him two shots off the cut line at +3.

The 2010 US Open winner Graeme McDowell left Erin Hills at four-over-par, and he admitted on twitter after Thursday's round that he "Felt uncomfortable on the track today and just didn't play well. Not a good combo!"

Graeme McDowell

Also missing out at four-over-par was Tyrrell Hatton, Paul Dunne and amateur Scott Gregory, while Russell Knox struggled to a 73, 76 at +5.

And it was a baptism of fire for both US Open rookies Matt Wallace and Aaron Rai, who came through qualifying for the second major of the year. 

Wallace failed to card a single birdie during his opening round of 76, and despite two birdies and an eagle on day two he was still left to rue five bogeys and a double for a 75 - leaving the tournament on +7.

Rai began his US Open campaign with a birdie, but it would be the only time he would stay the favourable side of par. He salvaged a one-over 73 in round one, but couldn't do better than an eight-over-par 80 on day two to finish nine-over-par.

Propping up the field was 2016 Masters Champion Danny Willett, who has struggled this year. He shot a nine-over 81 in round one before becoming the only player in the field to WD. 

He tweeted: “Well another disappointing week comes to an end .. working hard to get back but the body and swing not allowing it… sorry guys .. WD”