The 2016 Edition of The Dormie took a bit of a break for Study Madness but we’re back for our National Championship
Oakmont Country Club: Par 70, Yardage: 7,254 yards
The US Open returns to Oakmont for the 9th time, the first since 2007 when Angel Cabrera won at five-over. Yes, this course is that hard. The cut was +10 in 2007 and this year will be no different. The 2016 iteration is only 27 yards longer than it was nine years ago. Oakmont, like Chambers Bay last year, has little trees and no water. The greens are lightning fast and define the course’s difficulty. We could run through the heartbreaks the course has caused the competitors. Statistically: “As of May, the slope rating was 148 and course rating was 77.8, but the USGA’s Davis said the latter would rise into the 80s for the Open” this from Johnette Howard’s preview of Oakmont’s difficulty on ESPN. Oakmont features deceptively hard holes including the 288 par 3 8th hole and the 313 yard par 4 17th. Both holes were designed to for golfers to have a driver in hand on the tee box. In 2007, Bubba came close, Tiger came closer, and none of the big three/four were on the PGA Tour.
TV Coverage (Eastern Time):
Thursday and Friday: 10:00 am – 5:00 pm (FoxSports1) and 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm (FOX)
Saturday: 11:00 am – 7 pm (FOX)
Sunday: 11:00 am to finish (FOX)
At 156 players, the US Open is certainly is one of the largest fields in golf. 12 previous champions are competing but not Tiger Woods. Not shocking as Tiger hasn’t played competitive golf in about a year.
A quick aside: having gone to summer camp for every summer through 2006, the 2007 US Open was the first US Open I watched and really paid attention to from start to finish. I couldn’t be more excited to see our National Championship return to Oakmont as it brings back those memories.
Jordan Spieth looks to repeat as the US Open Champion and to bounce back from the collapse at the Masters. Spieth has won one event but fallen apart on Sunday twice since Augusta. Rickie Fowler continues to be in the conversation as one of golf’s best but has yet to finish a major atop the leaderboard. Rory McIlroy isn’t where was in 2015 in terms of wins and ranking but he did win the Irish Open last month, a lifelong dream of his. Jason Day is the best golfer coming into the US Open. The Aussie has big wins in the tougher stages of golf this season, including the Match Play in March, and the Players last month. Can Dustin Johnson redeem himself for the choke job he pulled in the 18th green last year? Other stories will include Jim Furyk wanting another shot at a championship at Oakmont (Furyk overshot the green on 17 on Sunday in 2007, ending his charge at Angel Cabrera). And as with every US Open until he finally wins one: will Phil Mickelson win the US Open and complete the Career Grand Slam? Or will he finish in 2nd at the US Open for the 7th time?
EDIT: A notable omission I realized after this went up was Masters Champ Danny Willett. Willett has played well since his first major win, mainly on the European Tour which is why you probably haven’t heard about what he’s been up to (and why you probably never heard about him before the Masters). Willett has played in the last two US Opens, finishing T-45th at Pinehurst and missing the cut at Chamber’s Bay. He’s certainly improved since last year’s US Open winning three events including the Masters since then, but as we’ve seen many times, winning back-to-back majors is very, very tough.
The Cut: +11
The Winner and Score:
It hasn’t rained in about a week in Pennsylvania. The greens are going to be extra fast, just how the USGA wants it; hence a higher cut than in ’07. I’ve picked Phil to finally complete the career grand slam the past two years, but not this year. Rickie Fowler’s snap chat (username: Rickiefowler15) has been great this week, but not enough for me to pick him. Jason Day is coming in HOT, Jordan Spieth is a master putter, Rory seems to always be able to put himself in contention as he did last year until Jordan and DJ started to pull away. I love Rory, longtime readers will know that (off by 1 stroke in 2014!), but something doesn’t sit right this year. It’s hard to win back-to-back US Open titles, but I think Spieth will be close. Even though it hasn’t been at that level as 2014 and 2015, Jordan’s putting can certainly keep him close and it’s hard to imagine he’d out of the top 10. Matty D is going with Spieth but I’m making a different pick. Jason Day is winning the 2016 US Open at +4. He’s been more consistent in 2016 and Oakmont will need the most consistent golfer to emerge. Moreso than any other US Open, Oakmont will test every facet of your game. This will be the toughest test.
Disagree with my pick? Who do think will be in the final groups on Sunday? Let me know in the commentsFollow @geordo9