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Jun
09
2014

2014 U.S Open Preview: The Top 5 Contenders.

Scott

Did the U.S. Open sneak up on us or what? The U.S. Open will be headed to Pinehurst, North Carolina this week in what should be an intriguing tournament.  The U.S. Open is normally about hitting fairways staying out of the rough and getting pars. There will no rough at Pinehurst #2 this week, but that doesn’t mean it will be easy. Sandy waste areas will be all over the course just off the fairway, so you’ll still need to hit those fairways.

Pinehurst #2 will also feature turtleback greens where missed greens could leave you with some very difficult chip shots.

Who looks like a contender this year?

1. Adam Scott

Adam Scott has a complete game, and is having another great season. The number one ranked player in the world has 5 top 10’s including a win at Colonial and a T4 in his most recent tournament at the Memorial. He’s never seriously contended at U.S. Open, but since this won’t play like a normal U.S. Open like we said, I really like Scott’s chances to contend.

2. Matt Kuchar

I think Matt Kuchar has replaced Lee Westwood and Sergio Garcia as the best player in the world to not have won a major. He has 9 Top 10’s in 15 starts this years, with a win at the RBC Heritage. The Heritage is known as tight driving tree lined course, and Kuchar is in the top 25 in driving accuracy. You still don’t want to miss many fairways in this U.S. Open, even if it’s a little less penal than usual. He had a top 10 U.S. Open finish in 2010.

3. Rory Mcilory

Rory Mcilory’s game is coming to together at the right time. He has 5 straight top 15 finishes on the PGA Tour, and won the BMW PGA Championship on the European Tour in late May. Oh and he’s already won a U.S. Open back in 2011, to go along with a PGA Championship. His last 2 majors were top 10 finishes. There isn’t any reason to think Mcilory won’t be on the leaderboard come Sunday.

4. Phil Mickelson

We know Mickelson is the 2nd best golfer of this generation. We know he is one U.S. Open short of the career grandslam, and we know he nearly won at Pinehurst in 1999 when the late Payne Stewart won the title. What I don’t like is that Mickelson just hasn’t played all that well recently. He doesn’t have a top 10 finish the entire year, but if anyone can come out of no where to win it’s Mickelson especially at a course where the short game will be critical.

5. Bubba Watson

Bubba Watson? Why not Bubba Watson? The guy hits it a mile, and this will be a course that will play over 7400 yards, and will have 4 par 4’s that are over 500 yards long. There is also a 600 yard+ par 5.  He’s ranked 3rd in the world, and he’s a won couple of times this season including this year’s Masters. He’s not the most accurate driver, but as we’ve discussed this year won’t be as critical in that regard. If Watson is going to win a U.S. Open, this might be one of his best chances.

Darkorses

Miguel Angel Jimenez – He’s 50, but who’s going to bet against this guy. He just finds ways to get on the leaderboard.

Lee Westwood – Westwood has such a great majors record, that he could contend this week, but I don’t think his short game is good enough to win it.

Sergio Garcia – If he’s patient, he’s talented enough to contend.

Jason Dufner – Dufner will definitely be patient, and I think a U.S. Open is his best opportunity at a 2nd major.

Jordan Spieth – He’s only 20, but he has unreal talent. He nearly won the Masters, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he makes a run here.


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