Ever since Tony Jacklin broke the hoodoo back in 1970 Europeans have believed they could win the toughest assignment the USPGA can set, just like defending champion, Justin Rose. This year the players return to Pinehurst No2. For me one of the best looking courses in the US and an entirely different test for our golfers since the re-design by the two Bills, Crenshaw and Coore.
Wider fairways and very different types of rough mean that when you do leave the short grass, imagination, flare, confidence and no small amount of luck will be needed to get up and down.
That said its possible that with more room off the tee some of our more wayward players may not visit the rough as often and so comes the prospect of a different type of winner featuring this week. A Par 70 course that measures 7,562 yards is one heck of a test for any golfer and I wouldn’t expect the winning score to be more than 7 under par this week. Who will post that score – that’s the challenge.
For my winner I want, length, great scramble skills and some goodish form with plenty of quality behind it.
My Tips for this week are
1. Phil Mickelson – the great man is finding form and has the best set of skills to handle this course. He invented scrambling and knows shots the others haven’t thought of. He will miss some fairways and on a different course I wouldn’t think of him for a US Open but on this one he could get away with it and with a decent finish last weekend he might be starting to find a game
1 unit E/W @ 18/1 with Sportingbet
2. Henrik Stenson – a huge amount of belief from a guy who simply showed everyone how to play the game at the back end of last season. He can do it all and hits it real long. Tough to get back where he was but last weekend at the Nordea Open showed his game is in pretty good shape and if he feels good about his game then look out.
1 unit E/W @ 28/1 with Sportingbet
3. Victor Dubuisson – what a player he was in the Accenture. He has it all, he’s long, he attacks and he can get it up and down. He too started to find his game last weekend in the Nordea and he isnt frightened of anyone. He may not win this one but he will win a major in the next 5 years and he wont be this price for any more majors going forward
1 unit E/W @ 100/1 with Betfair