2013 US Open Picks

MerionMy 2013 US Open picks are not going to look like the conventional odds board selections popping up in Las Vegas or the offshore betting houses.   This year is a unique opportunity for non-favorites because there are no “horses for courses”running in this tournament, as Merion has not hosted a major championship since 1981.

Let’s cull the herd by looking at last week’s big name debacles at Memorial and start with Phil Mickelson.  What bugs me is that he didn’t play for the second straight year (dropped out in 2012) and hasn’t played since The Players Championship where he missed the cut.  Memorial is a great tune up because it’s hard and the best players in the world compete.  Phil is playing this week at FedEx St. Jude because he always plays the week before a major, but TPC Southwind is a horrible tune-up venue.  Phil is inconsistent from week to week and he’s very difficult to predict.  What’s clear is that he doesn’t play enough and now he’s rusty.  Sorry not happening this year, Lefty.

Tiger Woods‘ 3rd round 79 was mystifying but these things happen for a reason and I believe his hot streak with the putter is over.  The flat stick is clearly his Achilles heel when he’s off and his superb ball striking and four wins in 2013 have the odds makers falling all over him at 4/1.  Call Steve Stricker for another putting lesson because it’s not happening this year.

Rory McIlroy‘s first round 78 was no surprise.  Rory is plagued by inconsistency and is still distracted to a point where he’s too focused on firing agents and lining up endorsements to play consistently well.  No focus – not happening in 2013, Mr. McIlroy.

The smart money is on two main contenders and two dark horses.  Merion will require excellent accuracy off the tee and superb wedge/iron play from 125-150 yards.  The course is set up at only 6,996 yards and drivers will remain in the bag.  The exceptions are the three monstrous par-3s at #3 (256 yards), #9 (236 yards), and #17 (246 yards).

SnedekerContender #1 is Brandt Snedeker.  Okay, I’ll throw out his second round 80 at Memorial 🙂 but I love that he’s third on tour in GIR from 125-150 yards and putts lights out.  He’s hungry, has contended in the last two majors, and is ready.  He gets a little quick with his putting stroke under pressure and will have to settle that down.

Contender #2 is Graeme McDowell.  I love the win at RBC Heritage because the Harbour Town Golf Links is short and tight requiring a similar mindset to the pending US Open setup.  Also, look who he defeated at RBC; Webb Simpson – defending U.S. Open champ.  These guys love the short tracks.  I like G-Mac’s ability to putt under pressure, as well as his ranking in driving accuracy (1st) and scrambling (1st).Gmac

Your 2013 US Open Picks:

Champion:  Graeme McDowell.  Finished 2nd last year, has the game, the guts, and the stats to make it happen.

Runner Up:  Brandt Snedeker.  Gets closer than ever but loses Monday in an 18-hole playoff.

Third:  Jim Furyk.  Cagey veteran knows how to play the Open and doesn’t get flustered.  Very patient player.

Dark Horse #1:  Kevin Chappel.  2nd at Memorial and T-10 in last year’s US Open.  Up and coming.  Love his odds at 200/1.

Dark Horse #2:  Michael Thompson at 150/1 looks like a real value play.  Finished 2nd in the Open last year, finished 8th at Memorial this year, and looks like he focuses well this time of year.

Enjoy the spectacle and happy Father’s Day!

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About Brian Penn

Avid sports fan and golf nut. I am a lifelong resident of the Washington D.C. area and love to follow the local teams. Also worked as a golf professional in the Middle Atlantic PGA for several years and am intrigued by the game to no end. I love to play and practice and am dedicated to continual improvement.
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10 Responses to 2013 US Open Picks

  1. rossdstarkey says:

    Brian, yep I also like GMac for the stats and for that his recent form is mirroring that of 2010 when he won at Pebble Beach. He doesn’t seem to like long tracks either. It won’t surprise me either if Webb Simpson has another year where he goes close too. Also if Westwood is ever going to win a major, this be looks tailor made for him. He’s holing more putts, but more importantly, it’ll not be he who holes the most putts, but he who makes fewest bogeys, which will suit Lee who regularly fails to make the proprtion of birdie putts his iron play deerves. Someone similar to Simpson and GMac is Kevin Streelman who would be my outside bet. Beware of Tiger though, he’ll no doubt be using his three wood stinger all week, and when he doesn’t take driver, watch out. His stat of 5th in strokes gained putting is testament to the improvement he has had with the short stick this year. Last week may well have been a blip, he’s had big blips in most of his stellar years too. I’m hopin Merion itself is the big winner this week though, great course. I just hope a combination of booming pro power, or the soul destroying dogma of USGA curse setups don’t ruin it as a spectacle or future US Open venue.

  2. Brian Penn says:

    Very good point on Westwood. Great ball striker and has three straight top 10 finishes. Could be his year – finally. Thanks!

    • No way Westwood wins. He is Colin Montgomerie 2.0! As for your other picks, I like the direction and Graeme I think will be a trendy pick as he hits it is the fairway. Accuracy will be key at Merion. But Jim Furyk?!? Cagey veteran or not, he is primed for the Champion’s Tour!

      • Brian Penn says:

        Westwood’s best chance to win a major should be the British Open because the other venues require superb touch on the greens and Lee doesn’t have that. But Montgomery 2.0? I don’t think so. At least Westwood never quits and has a good attitude. Thanks!

  3. I really like the GMAC pick and after his practice round there he really seemed to like the course. It’s hard not to like Tiger after his year thus far. Also, looks like Lefty found a little something this week after that weekend finish. He might be more of a contender than you think. I’m going with Dustin Johnson though. Just a feeling.

  4. quinersdiner says:

    I read this post after-the-fact. You really called it with Tiger. I had high hopes for Iowa boy, Zach Johnson. He was pretty bummed by the course, calling it “tricked up.” I was disappointed Phil couldn’t pull it off. Good post!

    • Brian Penn says:

      Ha! It’s easier to pick who’s not going to win because of the sheer numbers. Didn’t see Rose coming out of the pack with his past putting issues but I guess it was just his time. Thanks!

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