Major number two coming up this week. There are lots of intriguing story lines surrounding the 2006 playing of the U.S. Open but first lets take a look at how our fantasy players performed last week.
Vijay Singh put in an impressive performance for his first victory of the year but we didn’t pick him. Our picks last week were Padraig Harrington, David Howell, Luke Donald, and Sean O’Hair. Donald and Howell had good weeks finishing T5 and T13 respectively. Harrington struggled early and O’Hair struggled late while they both finished in a tie for 36.
And now, the U.S. Open at Winged Foot. There’s been a lot of talk about the golf course and how difficult it will play this year but the USGA has promised to keep the conditions fair. We know the rough will be long and the greens will be firm so it should be a good challenge. Some of the questions adding to the intrigue of this event are; How will Tiger perform after his 9 week layoff and the passing of his father Earl? The layoff will hurt no doubt but would anything be more fitting than Tiger winning for Earl on Fathers Day? About the chance for leg three of the ‘Mickel-Slam’? Nobody has played better in major tournaments over the last 3 years than Phil, could this be another victory for him? How about Vijay Singh coming in with confidence after his first win of the season? Storylines abound as we approach the U.S. Open at Winged Foot.
I’m going to go with somewhat of an International field for this weeks predictions but my first pick will be American David Toms. Winged Foot is long which doesn’t exactly work in Toms favor but it does reward the straight hitters. Toms is also a brilliant iron player which will be crucial on these firm/fast greens.
Second pick is South African Tim Clark. Clark is still looking for his first win in the States but he seems to play well in the big events. He had a great finish in the U.S. Open last year and a great finish in this years Masters. Clark is another short hitter but he is a gritty player and plays well on tough golf courses. The biggest question for him will be the putter.
Third pick this week is Australian Adam Scott. Scott’s ball-striking has been awesome for the last few weeks but a balky putter has held him back. I don’t think he will have the confidence he needs around the greens to win this week but I expect him to be in contention.
And finally, a familiar name in my picks, Englishman Luke Donald. Donald is another short hitter but he will be rewarded for hitting fairways and greens. He is another player who has performed well in majors but needs to prove he can take his game to the next level.
So there we have it. Sunday will be the perfect day to hang out with dad, on the couch, watching the U.S. Open with a couple of beers.