112th US Open preview
There could be carnage at the US Open this week, it is not a course for the faint heartened and it will make some of the finest pros appear like veteran hackers.
We are off to the Lake Course at the Olympic Club in San Francisco America. It is not the longest course but there are plenty of tough challenges and with narrow fairways, superb and accurate iron-play will be essential.
The bad news is that if you are out of form with the putter, with the horrendous tilts on some greens, it could be a long two or if lucky, four days for some. The 16th hole is a 670-yard par five, if you reach the green in three it will be hard enough to keep the ball on the green.
The last time the USPGA took the event here in 2008, the winning score was even par. They say it was easier back then!
Tiger Woods is the favourite at 8/1, he may not be the player of old but his putting stroke has improved of late and he has won twice this year. He has not won a Major in four long years but he should be full of confidence.
He knows the course well from his student days at University and he should not be discounted, even at a single figure price. Jason Dufner (12/1) is in the form of his life, in his last four events, he has won two and finished second last time out at the Crowne Plaza Invitational.
He is ranked eleventh on driving accuracy percentage, yet he is still fifty-seventh best for driving distance. He lost a late lead and a play-off to Keegan Bradley (66/1) at last year's PGA Championship and he shared the 36-hole lead at this year's Masters.
When the best players yet to win a Major are discussed, most people talk about Westwood (12/1) and Donald (12/1) or even the likes of Kuchar (28/1) and Hunter Mahan (35/1) but never Dufner! He could be a dark-horse at the event.
Mcllroy (20/1) is a Major winner but although he impressed last week at the St Jude Classic, the defending champion missed three cuts prior to the event. He has stated that he is going to attack the course and play as aggressively as possible. This is a far tougher test than last year and he will need to keep his cool to win in San Francisco.
Luke Donald (12/1) is the best at scrambling in the world and he rarely putts poorly. He is also ranked eighth for driving accuracy on the PGA Tour, he will make plenty of birdies and on stats he looks the player to beat.
The 2007 Masters champion Zach Johnson (45/1) has been in red hot form of late and he recently beat Jason Dufner at the Crowne Plaza. He missed the cut last week but he has three top five finishes in his last five events and he will have been practicing parts of his game last weekend.