U.S. Open Predictions
I love the U.S. Open. I believe it provides the best test and challenges for the greatest players in the world. Usually it requires long straight drives between tall trees to rock hard greens that are rolling at 13 or 14 on the Stimp meter. Wayward drives find deep rough that make it extremely difficult to even get close to the green in regulation and chip and pitch shots around the green that require a surgeon touch to get the ball close to the hole. This year’s U.S. Open will be different. I really don’t know what to expect. Chambers Bay is a links type golf course that requires different types of shots and strategies. In the U.S. Amateur a few years ago, I witnessed some bizarre bounces that defied logic. This golf course will have more of a British Open feel then a U.S. Open look. The players have praised and criticized the venue. One even said that all it is lacking is a windmill with a clowns face. Ouch! I just hope for an accomplished player to win and not have a mediocre journeyman professional win with a career week that is filled with fortunately breaks and lucky bounces. I like major winners to be deserving of the title and have a resume that shows multiple wins on their tour and the ability to win more majors. I fear we could have a fluke winner this week.
My predictions are going to be based on the type of golf course that the U.S.G.A. has presented for this year’s championship. I like players who have played well on links type courses, who scramble well, and have imaginative shotmaking. Chambers Bay requires good ball positioning in the fairway, but the fairways are expansive, so length is a definite plus.
My first choice is Phil Michelson. Maybe a sentimental choice, but he raises his game in major competition. He really wants a U.S. Open Championship to complete a career Grand Slam. Chambers Bay might fit his game at the moment. He will have to be at his shotmaking and scrambling best to win, but when he has a change to close a deal, he has succeeded. I like his chances.
Next, Rory McIlroy. Forget about the resent showings in Ireland. This is his type of course. He is the best long driver of the golf ball on tour now. He could over-power this course and cause a runaway.
Ricky Fowler. Could be peaking and be ready for a major victory. Has the length, short game and putting to breakthrough. His confidence should be sky-high after his great win at the Players Championship.
Graeme McDowell. A bit of a stretch right now, because he have been up and down this year. But he is a gritty competitor that knows the bump and run game. When his short game is right, he can win on any venue.
As I said before, I fear a “no name” winner, but this week’s event should be very interesting and exciting. It is, in my opinion, the number one major in the world and with that will be all the intensity and drama that is associated with this great championship. I picked the Master’s champion. Maybe I will go 2 for 2.