Wednesday, June 13, 2012

U.S. Open Preview

Well folks, it's the second week in June so that can only mean one thing: the Twea Open swings up to New Hampshire this weekend.  Wait, what?  That's not right.  I meant to say it is U.S. Open weekend!  America's major championship returns to the Olympic Club in San Francisco for the first time in 14 years, and promises to challenge golfers after Rory McIlroy's romp at Congressional last year.  At over 7,100 yards and with a par of 70, the Olympic Club is going to be difficult for even the longest hitters.  Giddy Up.

Since the 1998 Open, won by major bozo Lee Janzen, the Olympic Club has undergone major changes.  Basically any knowledge about the greens gained by players in '98 is useless now, so don't be surprised to see an upstart with a hot putter contend and the grizzled veterans seem confounded.  Tantamount among the changes though is the added distance to the course.  Olympic now boasts a par-five that measures over 650 yards and is probably not reachable in two by any player.  Not even Bubbs.  There are also two par-fours over 500 yards.  Yikes.  Tack on to that the usual lightning fast greens and super tall rough of your standard U.S. Open, and you are looking at payback for last year's record low scores at Congressional.  All of these factors would seem to favor a bomber, but as we have seen with unheralded Open winners of Olympic past (Jack Fleck, Scott Simpson, Lee Janzen), anything can happen.  That said, let's try and piece together who might win this thing.

El Tigre- Obvious choice.  Playing his best golf since the greatest U.S. Open performance ever in 2008.  He is driving the ball immaculately, striping his irons, and that spark seems to have returned to his short game.  Tiger wants this one, especially because it is in California. 

Rory McIlroy- Nobody has gone back-to-back at the Open since Curtis Strange, but if Rory is on he could do it.  It's been a few weeks since he has had his A-game, but he showed signs of it last week in Memphis.

Strick Daddy- Stricker hasn't been playing great lately, but he has the kind of game for this.  Accurate drives for the treacherous fairways that seem to let everything run into the rough, good approach and good putting.  He also finished top-five here in '98, not that that means anything.

Matt Kuchar- Hoochie Kuchar has been playing well this year, and he says this course suits his game.  Time to win the big one, buddy.

Dustin Johnson- I don't know if he has the balls to win a major, but DJ won last week and obviously has the distance to attack some of the longer holes at Olympic.


Colt Knost- Dis dude won the 2007 Amateur at Olympic so you know he can play the course.  He could also disappear from the course if he hears the jingle of an ice cream truck though.

Robert Rock- Great driver of the golf ball.  Great hair.  This guy has squared off against Tiger before and won, and someone managed to retain my respect.  That says a lot.

There you have it.  Those are a few guys I think could win the damn thing in San Francisco this weekend.  I can honestly say I'm not super confident about any of them though.  Let's get some feedback from you, the reader.

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