US Open ante post tip preview: Collin Morikawa has the iron play to master LA Country Club course

Tipstrr golf expert Brendan Skilling is looking forward to the US Open in June, when he thinks the demands of the Los Angeles Country Club course will suit those who can strike long accurate irons.

The US Open returns to California and the west coast of America for only the fourth time this century as Los Angeles Country Club hosts for the first time this July.

A unique venue and exclusive enough to be able to turn down membership requests made by the rich and famous from the nearby Hollywood Hills, this has all the makings of an intriguing and memorable championship, the first in Los Angeles for 75 years.

As always, the USPGA will set the course up to provide the toughest test in golf, aiming for a winning score of no more than six under par. Designed by George Thomas and recently renovated by renowned 'course doctor' Gil Hanse, this impressive example of strategic architecture features rugged bunkering and dramatic land movement with elevation changes of up to 70 feet.

The Bermuda grass fairways and Bentgrass greens are likely to be super firm and almost concrete-like after baking in the Californian summer sun, meaning accuracy from the tee and on approach will be the key to avoiding the thick rough.

The course has not held a professional tournament since the 1940's, but did host the amateur Walker Cup in 2017, when a star-studded USA team hammered the Great Britain and Ireland side.

With little course form to consider, we're fortunate that neighbouring Riviera, the annual host of the prestigious Genesis Invitational on the PGA Tour, makes a very handy comparison cours,e having also been designed by Thomas.

With the reliance on long irons and ball striking here, the first name that springs to mind is Colin Morikawa. Throw in his runner-up finish at Riviera last year and an unbeaten 4-0 record in that 2017 Walker Cup triumph, he will no doubt find plenty of backers closer to the tournament.

Dustin Johnson's current price is too big for someone who already has a US Open and two wins at Riviera under his belt. While there will be question marks over the golfers who have joined the breakaway LIV Tour, the shortened schedule seems to suit the laid-back Carolinian and I expect him to go well here on a course that suits.

Finally, further down the market is local lad Max Homa, who plays his best golf in his home state and has elevated his game from journeyman status to world number 16 with four wins in the last two years, including a victory at Riviera. He'll have plenty of support, both on course and in the markets.

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