Monday, June 13, 2005

US Open

It has been a long two months but the US Open is finally here. This year’s US Open is probably the most anticipated of the last decade because of a few storylines. First, whenever Tiger wins the Masters there will always be immediate talk of him winning the Grand Slam. Tiger is not going to ever do it; not with his competition elevating their games they way they have over the past two years. There will be a Slam this year but it will be by Annika (look for comments at a later date). Second, Pinehurst is probably the most unique course in the world because of the greens. It is definitely not a typical US Open course, not with the greens that are compared to an upside down bowl or with the Bermuda grass rough. Third, the champion from the last US Open played at Pinehurst, Payne Stewart, tragically died in 2000 in a plane crash. There will obviously be many articles and TV stories about the events surrounding his death and the impact it had on his family and the golf world.

When looking at the field, everyone is going to pick someone who is putting well. I can’t disagree with this but I think that it will be someone who’s striking it well, particularly their short irons. It’s a major so you have to be stupid not to think that Tiger, Phil, Vijay, Els and Goosen will be in contention. Outside of those five, the couple names that come to mind right now are David Toms and Chris DiMarco. Toms may have the best iron game on Tour. He has a major under his belt and he has been playing well most of the year. DiMarco just seems to be there at every major lately. I’m not sure if two consecutive playoff loses in majors helps or hurts him. But the guy is deadly with his irons. So if I’m picking right now, I’ll take Els out of the Big Four (plus Goosen), Toms and DiMarco and give you the field. If I can only take one guy, it would be Toms. I have been picking Els a lot this year and he has yet to get a win, so I'm going with Toms.