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Jun
14
2015

2015 U.S. Open Preview: The Top 10 Contenders.

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The U.S. Open heads out west this year. This season’s second major will held at links style Chambers Bay up in the Pacific Northwest.

1. Rory Mcilory

Rory Mcilory has a gear no other golfer in the world has right now. If he’ gets rolling he could blow away the field. He’s the world’s number 1 ranked player, with 2 PGA Tour wins on the season. Yes he missed the cut at the Irish Open, but I wouldn’t let that stop anyone from making him the prohibitive favorite.

2. Jordan Spieth

You can mark this down… Jordan Spieth will win a U.S. Open before his career is over, and I think he’ll win multiple U.S. Opens. He already has a Green Jacket, and leads the Fed Ex Cup standings so far this year. He had a top 20 U.S. Open finish last year. Oh yea he’s only 21 too, and his caddie Michael Greller knows Chambers Bay as well as any caddie in the field.

3. Justin Rose

Justin Rose is a former U.S. Open winner and one I think can make a run at Chambers Bay. He won earlier this year at the Zurich Classic in New Orleans, and finished 2nd at the Memorial just a couple of weeks. ago. He’s not the most accurate player off the tee, but I think he’s playing well enough to contend.

4. Dustin Johnson

I think length is going to huge at Chambers. There will four par 4’s that will be over 500 yards. Do you know who’s really long off the tee? Dustin Johnson is one of the biggest hitters on tour. He won the WGC-Cadillac earlier this year, and since February has 6 other top 15 finishes. He has two top 10s in U.S. Opens, and a couple of top 10s at the British Open. He can play the tight U.S. Open layouts and the links courses. If Johnson is recovered from the illness that forced with his withdrawl from the St. Jude Classis this week, I like his chances.

5. Henrik Stenson

Henrik Stenson has been knocking on the door of winning his first major for several years now. It’s a U.S. Open, and even if it resembles a British Open you better be able to drive it straight. Stenson is ranked in the top 15 in driving accuracy. He’s also a top 15 putter. The world’s 5th ranked golfer could certainly be on the leaderboard this week.

6. Rickie Fowler

Is it time for Rickie Fowler to break through and win a major? He hasn’t finished outside the top 15 of a major since 2013, and is coming off the biggest win of his career – the 2015 Players Championship. Like his mentor Phil Mickelson, Fowlers’ game will probably always be a bit erratic, but always with the possibility of brilliant play.

7. Phil Mickelson

When Mickelson is on his game, he’s still one of the very best players in the world. The 5-time major winner, has two consecutive top 5 major finishes. He’s looking for a U.S. Open to complete the career grandslam. He’s had a T4 at the Wells Fargo just last month, and a top 5 at this week’s St. Jude Classic. Mickelson has a British Open to his credit, so don’t suggest he can’t play a links style course. I think Mickelson will be in the mix on Sunday.

8. Jimmie Walker

Jimmie Walker may be the most underrated golf on the planet. He’s ranked 11th in the world, and is the top 5 in scoring. He’s won 5 times over the last two years including twice this year. In 2014 he had 3 top 10s in majors, so we know he has the ability to be a contender this week. Chamber’s Bay is going to be a test on this greens, and Walker is one of the best putters on tour.

9. Sergio Garcia

Is Sergio Garcia ever going to get that elusive major? He’s contended at every major in his career multiple times, and is known as one of the world’s best ball strikers. His game is good enough to win a major, but is the mental makeup there to win one? Chambers Bay will be a course that is not well known by most players. It isn’t a usual U.S. Open style course. Garcia will have to stay patient, which he has not always been able to do at the majors.

10. Jim Furyk

Can the veteran Jim Furyk contend at such a daunting course? Furyk won earlier this year at the Heritage, and he’s currently ranked in the top 10 in the world. His lack of length could be his undoing, but Furyk’s experience may make him more equipped to handle the oddities of this course. He’s one of the most accurate drivers in golf, and he is a former U.S. Open winner. As recently as last year he had top 5 finishes in 2 majors. If a 40something player other than Mickelson has a chance to contend, it could be Furyk.

* Note * Where’s Tiger? I’ve never made a top 10 major contender list without Tiger Woods. His game is no condition to win the U.S. Open.  It’s that simple. He shot 85 at the Memorial a couple of weeks ago.


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