Australian David Graham, the last man to win the US Open at Merion Golf Club, says US Masters champion Adam Scott can win this week’s Open at the layout.
Graham, who won there in 1981, has named Scott and Tiger Woods as the two favourites this week.
"Just like Nicklaus was for 20 years, I think Tiger Woods is the favourite every time he tees it up because when he plays Tiger Woods golf, nobody out there can beat him – nobody," said Graham.
"That’s clearly proven by his track record. But I think the current crop of Australians is there to get it done. We are in the midst of another good era, which is exciting.
"You’ve got a few younger players like Adam Scott, Jason Day and Marc Leishman and you can’t forget Geoff Ogilvy. Although he (Ogilvy) is not in the limelight right now, you have to remember he’s a US Open champion. He is a brilliant player."
Graham says not only can Scott win at Merion, he can win a clutch of grand slam tournaments.
"I think Adam Scott is more than capable of winning four or five or six majors," Graham said. "He is a big chance to win at Merion but I think the second one is harder to win than the first."
Meanwhile, Aaron Baddeley, Alistair Presnell and Mathew Goggin have fought their way into the US Open through qualifying.
They will join Scott, Day, Ogilvy, John Senden, Leishman and Marcus Fraser in Pennsylvania.
Baddeley battled through an 11-way playoff for seven spots with a birdie on the first extra hole in Columbus, Ohio to line up in his eighth US Open.
"I really played solid today and I am really excited,” said Baddeley, who played in the final group at the 2007 US Open. “I love US Open-type golf where pars mean something so I am now really looking forward to getting to Merion.”
Rod Pampling, who qualified last year, missed out by one shot in Ohio at seven-under-par while Scott Gardiner, at five-under, was also unlucky.
Goggin finished early at six-under in Rockville, Maryland, and had to face a lengthy wait before being confirmed as a starter at Merion, finishing tied for fifth with nine spots available.
"I’m excited about going to Merion,” Goggin said. “I have heard so many things about it. It’s an awesome golf course with so much history, so to play any round there is going to be great, let alone a US Open.
"I haven’t played a major for a while and I’m looking forward to seeing if I’ve improved mentally. As you get older, you appreciate the opportunities a little more and I just can’t wait to get out there.”
Presnell, who made his US Open debut in 2012 at Olympic Club following a similar successful qualifying run, was forced into a playoff for the second year running.
"To come out here and qualify for Merion is a dream come true,” Presnell said. "`I’m pumped. It’s been a rough last couple of months but having a few weeks off and stressing less has obviously helped.
"Last year tying for 29th at the Open was a good way to start my major career and it can only get better from there, I hope.”
By: Robert Grant