It’s time for the second major of the year, and the US Open at Merion Golf Club in Pennsylvania should be a fine test for the best players this week. The course actually has an almost British Links feel to it, with plenty of hollows and rises and the gleaming white bunkering framing the greens. As always at the US Open, the fairways will be narrow (especially here), and the rough will be penal; about an inch at the side of the fairway and then the real nasty stuff at 4 inches. Any bad lies and most of the players will be hacking it out sideways.
The course has an odd mixture of short and long holes, with the 3rd Par 3 measuring 256 yards and the 18th Par 4 521 yards. Conversely the seventh par 4 is only 360 yards, and the tenth par 4 only 303 yards! The last five holes are brutal, so scores have to be made before the fourteenth.
There has been torrential rain in the last few days, and it has changed the nature of the course, instead of playing fast and loose, the fairways should be holding and I think there might be more birdies than usual. Also the players who can get the ball out there may just be tempted to take the course on more than they would have. Greens will be at about 14 on the stimp metre , if that means nothing to you it means fast!
So this week I’m looking for players who are arrow straight off the tee, decent putters and a really good temperament. Patience is essential.
My first pick is the Masters champion, Adam Scott. He is a player who tries to peak for the majors and has all the requisite attributes to do well here. If he copes with the hullabaloo of been a major champion, I believe he can go close.
Matt Kucher won the Memorial a few weeks ago, and did it in great style. There’s real pressure at that event, and he dealt with it with an assured air and never looked as if he was going to buckle. A great driver and iron player who is at the top of his game, every chance this week.
For my last bet, a bet on the Continental European market can possibly produce a winner in Francesco Molinari. A very accurate driver, his coach Dennis Pugh has been tipping him strongly to perform.
Tiger may go well but he putted dreadfully last time out, Garcia may of been a pick, but I’m afraid his remarks about Tiger could make him a marked man with the fans. McDowell has a good chance and Dustin Johnson may also go well.
Look out for the flags this week, odd. Never catch a lobster like that!