2015 U.S. Open Picks

Jordan Spieth from ABC news

Jordan Spieth from ABC news

In 2015, the U.S. Open golf course will be the big news.  The peculiarities and unknowns of Chambers Bay makes handicapping this field a little tricky, but with some reverse logic we can arrive with a solid pick to win.

We know the course is links style with a single tree standing out on the entire property.  It’s long, with four par-4 holes measuring over 500 yards, and the greens are huge.  There’s no shortage of consternation in anticipation of the USGA setting up a carnival ride, at least that’s what you hear from pros like Ian Poulter on social media.  I think it’s in the USGA’s best interest to set up as fair a test as possible because they took a good amount of criticism for the non-traditional setup at Pinehurst last year.  Folks want long, narrow, and slick for the U.S. Open and they’re not going to get it for the second year in a row, so expect the setup to be tough but reasonable.

Let’s look at the contenders.  World #1, Rory McIlroy is the betting favorite at 7:1 but is coming in with zero mojo and off two missed cuts in Europe.  When Rory is on his game, he is the best player in the world, no doubt.  But why is he slumping now?  Over the years, he’s had two recurring problems when he under-achieves:  1) Poor practice habits.  2) Distractions from a love interest.  #2 appears to be in play and I don’t like Rory this week because of it.  Jordan Spieth is next at 8:1 and I love his competitive “anywhere on any course” attitude.  He oozes winning and I would bet the house that he finishes ahead of McIlroy this week.  The rest of the field is way back.  Mickelson, Fowler, Rose, and Dustin Johnson are all at 18:1.  Chambers Bay is unique and will require an inordinate amount of imagination and patience to play well and Phil has the most of those attributes.  Over the years, he’s learned to be patient despite his gambler mentality, but when you picture him and his imagination, you envision high flopping lob shots to impossible pins, not the low running ground game that Chambers Bay will require.  For this reason, I’m feeling good about the defending champion, Martin Kaymer.  Chambers Bay is cutting the fringes to almost the same heights as the putting surfaces.  You may see guys putting from 50 yards off the green and Kaymer loves the putter from the fringe and essentially won at Pinehurst with that play.  He’s an excellent dark horse pick at 40:1.  Lastly, watch our rabble-rouser, Poulter.  He’s playing well on the American tour and the venue suits his hit it anywhere-work the chipping and putting.  If he comes in with a good attitude about the golf course, he could do some damage.

While I’d love to see Phil close the deal on the career slam, he’s got two main obstacles: his age and Jordan Spieth is in the field.  So your 2015 U.S. Open picks:

Winner:  Jordan Spieth

Runner up:  Phil Mickelson – again

Third:  Martin Kaymer

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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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16 Responses to 2015 U.S. Open Picks

  1. Brian

    Great picks. Nothing wrong there, but I am not sure Phil can handle another second place at the US Open. I think the biggest unknown will by the course it self. Chambers Bay is a monster and it will interesting to see who tames it.

    Cheers
    Jim

  2. Napster says:

    Reblogged this on The Betting LAD.

  3. Brian,

    As cruel as it seems to slot Phil in second, again, I think I agree that he doesn’t quite get it done. Hard to argue picking Spieth, and what a story that would be for him to pick up the first two majors. However, I’m sticking with my early season predictions back in mid-March, and taking Rory. I’m 1 for 1 so far in those early season picks, so I’m riding it out. Rory hasn’t had great form lately, but if anyone can turn it around in a hurry to pick up a major, it is him. You make some good points on his reason for slumping, and that definitely concerns me. Still standing by my March picks though!

    I also have a weird gut feeling that Sergio could play well at a venue like this. A great ball striker, and with some wild greens, everyone is going to miss some putts, not just him, haha.

    Good post.

    Cheers
    Josh

    • Brian Penn says:

      Josh, was thinking the exact same thing about Sergio because this layout is similar to a British Open venue and Sergio has most of his success in the majors there. BUT, Sergio still is a bit of a choker and if he’s negative on any aspect of the competition, like an unfair layout, I think his attitude problems may resurface. I’ll be watching him closely though. Enjoy the action!

      Brian

      • Good point, Brian. Not just Sergio, but anyone who expects to contend will need to embrace the course and the challenges. It’s going to be a fun week as fans. Enjoy!

        Cheers
        Josh

  4. Great picks, this is going to be a challenging course for all of them, one of the toughest courses I have seen in a long while. Check out my course guide here https://truesportrealtalk.wordpress.com/2015/06/16/u-s-open-preview-a-look-at-chambers-bay/

  5. svgolfer says:

    Reblogged this on the Silicon Valley Golfer and commented:
    I’d like to toss Ricky Fowler in the mix. I think he’s got a good shot with his solid steady improvement these last 18 months. My 2 cents

  6. Nick Herbert says:

    Lefty’s got to feature as their length is a key factor – so Bubba gets my vote with Phil in his usual 2nd bridesmaid spot.

  7. It is proving to be a carnival ride.

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