It is my favorite time of year… The US Open is upon us and after last year’s debacle at Chambers Bay, we’re looking at a classic (and vicious) golf course. The rough is up and the stimpmeter might be triple digits. Hit it long and straight. When you miss, minimize the damage and putt the lights out boys. If you can do that, someone will post +6 and win it all.
Talk of weather is overblown this week. The course is not so long that rain will make holes unreachable. Rain will make the rough far more punitive but it will also slow that greens. For those playing well, it should not matter that much and the last forecast I saw wasn’t talking about prolonged rain. Besides, the course drains well and any effects will reverse themselves rather quickly.
I like guys with a complete game this week (I know, brilliant insight). I also like guys that can grind (more unbridled sagacity). That sounds a lot like Jason Day; not sure who else has a realistic chance. McIlroy has been inconsistent, as has Spieth. Dustin Johnson should be great for 69 holes (anyone know where I can bet him for third place?) and the rest of the field will have to play their all time best just to be in the conversation on Sunday. I have a few fades. Kuchar has a flat swing and getting the ball out of the rough is going to be a bigger challenge for him that it will be for many others. Yes, I’ve see the stupid Sketchers ads where the corny balding forty-something white guy trash talks a 37 handicapper about missing fairways. That notwithstanding, Matt in all his goofiness will miss fairways and that flat swing will not help to elevate the ball and move it downrange. I am also fading Bubba. Mental toughness is of paramount import. It takes only one bad break to melt down Bubba. It’s the US Open and there will be a buried ball short side that ends Bubba’s tournament. Not since Ted Knight was there such a delightfully good slow burn to observe.
Counter to Kuchar, I like guys that will go dig it out of the spinach. Swing hard and steep — Day, McIlroy, Holmes, Koepka, Matsuyama, Sergio. This course doesn’t demand length like some others but the rough does require strength. Sorry Luke Donald…
There is a lot to feed into the model this week and the outputs have often been contradictory. Several analyses gave us over the hill ball strikers (Westwood and Goosen). Separating the statistically significant from the anomalies has not been an easy task but there are a few stand out plays (unfortunately, none in the props). I like the long odds on many guys but I have chose my four favorites to win it all (yes, I said Day and I meant it just not at +650).
To Win (1/4 unit each):
Z Johnson +8,000
Plus, a prop bet that I cannot resist — I thought this was a typo when I saw it so if it is a sucker bet, I am a three time sucker ’cause I’m going three units on:
+125 on the winning score to be 283 or higher
And, a nice slate of H2H action (1 unit each):
Day -114 over McIlroy
Day -115 over D Johnson
McIlroy -106 over D Johnson
Matsuyama -106 over Fowler
Scott -115 over Watson
Kuchar -115 over Watson
Koepka +101 over Garcia
Reed -118 over Berger
Oosthuizen +105 over Schwartzel
Westwood +109 over Casey
Z Johnson +110 over Furyk
Lowry +111 over Simpson
Grillo +107 over Lee
Goosen -106 over Donald
Donaldson +110 over Kjeldsen
Check back for round by round bets and additional action. Good luck tolerating another four days of Joe Buck, Greg Norman and the short bus of on course commentators and analysts. I’d rather listen to David Feherty’s mother and Johnny Miller with a rag stuffed in his mouth.
Best of luck,