The Dormie returns for our National Championship
Erin Hills Golf Course: Par 72, Yardage: 7,800 yards
Built in 2006, Erin Hills hosts the US Open for the first time. As you can see from the picture above, the course lays out more links-like rather than the typical US Open tracks we’ve seen in the past. The course that may pop into your head is Chambers Bay from two years ago and the amount of drama that caused. The greens aren’t the talk of the town this time, but the fescue on the outside of its wide fairways:
The Kevin Na video has gone viral but here’s a more lighthearted take on it from Lee Westwood:
Making the most of the situation! My boy Rory sums up my opinion on the matter:
The fairways are pretty wide and if it was an actually red-lined hazard, it wouldn’t be nearly as hard. The players will need to drive the ball far to give themselves a low-numbered iron into these greens.
It’s been raining all week and is rainy today (Wednesday). Hopefully, the weather holds over the weekend so we don’t get into a similar situation as last year at Oakmont with rain delays.
TV Coverage (Eastern Time):
Thursday and Friday: 11:00 am – 6:00 pm (FoxSports1) and 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm (FOX)
Saturday: 11:00 am – 8 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. 9 previous champions are competing. A fun story as Davis Love IV (known as Dru) made the field as an alternate and his father, Davis Love III (Ryder Cup Captain and 1997 PGA Champion) will be caddying for him! If he makes the cut, what Father’s Day that would be.
As I mentioned above, the course layout has some of the golfers a little annoyed but it shouldn’t be that huge once the tournament gets underway. Dustin Johnson returns to major action after his notable fall right before the Masters. As the defending champ and one of the hottest players on the tour pre-injury, he’ll certainly be one to watch. Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth are perennial powerhouses at majors and have that killer instinct if either gets a sniff of the top of the leaderboard. As a British Open champ, you’d want to give the edge to Rory but Jordan won at Chambers Bay so don’t be surprised if that comes up a bit in Spieth’s coverage. Sergio Garcia will be of note due to winning the Masters but I’m not sure if his game matches the style needed for this course. Jason Day hasn’t won in 2017 yet. He got close a few weeks back at the Byron Nelson, this could be the weekend for him to take off into the rest of 2017. Up until a few weeks ago, Jon Rahm was white hot. I don’t think missing the cut at the Memorial should set him back too far. I always talk about Rickie Fowler getting close to finally winning a major. He has played really consistent golf this year and should be competitive. Justin Thomas, Brooks Koepka, Gary Woodland, and Adam Scott are all ones to keep an eye out on as well. They all drive the ball incredibly well and have had their own hot streaks in the past 12-18 months.
The top five favorites according to Odds Shark:
#1 DJ (15-2) — #2 Spieth & Rory (12-1) — #4 J-Day (14-1) — #5 Rahm (20-1)
Good value in any of these picks.
The Cut: +5
The Winner and Score:
With the rain, I think the cut should be a little lower than what the USGA hopes for–absolute carnage. What’s needed to win this tournament is to drive the ball long and can ultimate close the door on the green. As long time readers know, I’m a huuuuge Rory fan and that I’ve picked him numerous times. With that bias, I’ll give my take on him but make another pick as well. Rory hits the crap out of the ball–remember that 3-wood on 10 on Sunday at the 2014 PGA!? He’s played well in 2017 but did miss a few weeks due to a rib injury. He’s played a bunch of rounds in the road to recovery but not in tournaments. Alright, bias over. As great of an opportunity that is for Rory, the fact that he hasn’t played in forever gives me pause. I’ll be rooting for him but I’m picked someone else: Jon Rahm. As I mentioned, Rahm was white hot until missing the cut at the Memorial but I don’t think that will trip him up. He’s a long ball hitter who has seemed to hit his stride in 2017. Rahm wins his first major with a final score of -2.
Disagree with my pick? Who do you think will be in the final groups on Sunday? Let me know in the comments