Oakmont is Open, US Open

By on June 15, 2016

Jason Day hits a bunker shot on the eighth hole during the practice rounds on Tuesday of the 2016 U.S. Open golf tournament at Oakmont CC. photo John David Mercer / USA TODAY Sports)

Jason Day hits a bunker shot on the eighth hole during the practice rounds on Tuesday of the 2016 U.S. Open golf tournament at Oakmont CC. photo John David Mercer / USA TODAY Sports)

It has been nine years since golfs toughest test has been held at Oakmont CC in Westchester, Pennsylvania, and since then much has changed in the game of golf. With the advancements in modern technology coupled with player fitness, the 7,245-yard course is no longer a brooding, physically demanding test for most. Instead the players will be tasked with navigating the par 70 course, which is lined with treacherous rough and bunkers that serve as hazards on a course that lacks any water or trees for that matter.

Best known for its cruel green complexes, Oakmont tortured the field in 2007, with Angel Cabrera prevailing at +5. It still stands today as the 2nd highest scoring major championship ever in relation to par.

While the game plan for most this week will be to hit as many fairways as possible and avoid disaster on the greens, really the US Open comes down to who can keep their poise the longest. Not only is this week the most physically demanding test of the year, it serves as a litmus test to weed out the mentally weak. So enjoy seeing some of the world’s best struggle breaking par this week because it will not happen again any time soon.

There is a strong possibility that rain will hold up Thursday’s round and may soften up the course for some lower scores. However, come the weekend, expect low humidity and temperatures in the high 80’s to dry this course out and make for a very entertaining fathers day weekend.

The Favorites

  1. Jason Day: Not exactly a groundbreaking pick, but it’s not my fault his game suits every golf course ever made. He is long, straight, and has arguably the best short game on the planet. His thoughts on Oakmont? “Its everything I would ever want in a course.” The rest of the field should be worried.

  2. Dustin Johnson: There’s something about the golf gods track record that tells me they owe him one. After last year’s “Three Puttgate” on 18, I expect DJ to come out guns blazing. He has said he won’t back down from hitting the driver and that Dustin Johnson is my favorite Dustin Johnson.

  3. Matt Kuchar: This one is all about form. He comes in with six consecutive top 10’s and four consecutive top 15’s in US Opens. Plus he hits it straight and that’s what this course is all about. KUUUUCCCCHHH!

The Sleepers

  1. Sergio Garcia: A lot of people are forgetting about the Spaniard because of his track record at majors, but I could argue this course is best suited for him. Much like the rest of his career, this week really all comes down to his putter.

  2. Branden Grace: The guy is a quiet, cash making machine and his track record in majors is impressive. I got a chance to watch him at The Players this year and his ball flight would work anywhere, even if the USGA put this tournament in a Submarine.

My Pick

Rory McIlroy: Rory has his bounce back. He is walking, talking, and swinging it like he did leading up to his 2011 US open win. His putting does make me nervous, but he has switched back to his normal grip and that’s where I believe he belongs. I can imagine he’s tired of hearing about Jason Day and Jordan Spieth when he has more majors then both of them combined. Major #5 at his age would put him in a different stratosphere.

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