2018 US Open Preview at Shinnecock Hills

The US Open starts this Thursday at Shinnecock Hills in New York and is sure to excite.  The 118th playing of our national championship is being played at one of America’s most challenging courses.  If offers a lot of hills, wind, and frustrated golfers.

US Open Favorites

Dustin Johnson 11/1

Rory McIlroy 12/1

Jordan Spieth 14/1

Jason Day 14/1

Justin Thomas 14/1

Justin Rose 14/1

Rickie Fowler 16/1

Tiger Woods 20/1

Jon Rahm 20/1

Brooks Koepka 25/1

Image result for dustin johnson

(Photo Courtesy: Tourbrassie GmbH / F.Föhlinger)

Dustin Johnson is coming off of an impressive 6 stroke win at the St. Jude Classic last week and with the win, he’s back as golf’s number one ranked player.  He entered the final round tied with Andrew Putnam but Putnam finished the day +2 while DJ went -4.  Despite the convincing win, he isn’t considered as much of a favorite this week as Rory is right behind him and Jordan Spieth closely behind them.

The Course

Shinnecock Hills is a links style course.  Very similar play to many European courses.  It’s very hilly and if you don’t place your shots perfectly, you’ll have a long round.  It features over 7,000 yards of rough terrain and barely any flat greens.  The greens will play fast and wind will be a factor.  If you can score anything under par, you’d have an elite week here.  You have to play holes 9, 10, and 11 damn near perfect and if you can escape those holes with just par, you should be fine.  Also, you must locate your tee shot accurately on 10, 11, and 16 because if you don’t, your round is going to go from bad to worse.

Sleepers

I can’t believe I’m saying this as a sleeper but keep an eye on Henrik Stenson.  He’s had a rather down year and finished 15 strokes behind DJ last week with his -4 but he is a golfer that can easily turn things around.  The US Open has kind of been a kryptonite to Stenson, in last years US Open at Erin Hills he didn’t even make the cut.  So no real expectations for him this week which creates the perfect storm for him to make a run.  Another sleeper is Hideki Matsuyama.  He finished last years US Open -6 which was four strokes behind winner Brooks Koepka.  Hideki is a solid golfer and has shown up big in big tournaments before and expect him to be near the top of the leaderboard again.

Favorites

DJ has won a US Open, Spieth has, Rory has.  So expect all three to be in contention.  Another player you can expect to be near the top is Jason Day.  Who can forget back in 2015 at Chambers Bay when Jason Day was playing really great golf until his bout with vertigo came and he still managed to produce a great score over four rounds.  Phil Mickeslon has been a runner up in the US Open six times in his career and this course will test his short play.  And we all know that Phil is a master at the short game.  He finished last week -6 but had a masterful Sunday going -5.

My Pick

Phil Mickelson.  I think this is finally the year Phil puts it all together and finally wins the US Open.  And with the win, he’ll become only the 6th golfer in history to win all four majors.

 

 

Brian Berard (@RockyBerard)

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