It's Tiger Woods' U.S. Open to win or lose
Well, I’ll be the first to admit when I’m wrong and, man, I was really wrong on this one.
Of course, I’m referring to picking Colin Montgomerie to win this week’s Open. The Scotsman had a dreadful two rounds and missed the cut at 18-over-par for the tournament. Those two rounds included something like three double-bogeys and one triple-bogey. What’s most disheartening is that Monty finished a full four strokes worse than Sergio Garcia.
What can I say? I felt my pick had some merits: Monty does generally play U.S. Opens well (finished second last year after all), nearly won the U.S. Open in ‘94 when it was at Oakmont, and is a perennial major contender. But there were others that scoffed at my prediction, not least WorldGolf.com’s Brandon Tucker, who’s reporting live from Oakmont this week. Tuck pointed out that Monty’s high fade is not a good fit for Oakmont, and he was skeptical about Monty hiring a local caddie after firing his longtime bag man a few weeks ago.
So, who’s the sure bet now? WorldGolf.com’s Bill Wolfrum, certainly no stranger to predictions not panning out, likes Paul Casey. I’m not surprised to see Casey near the top of the leaderboard. There’s been no hotter golfer on the European tour for the past year than England’s Casey (he’s already won eight titles - compare that to Garcia’s six European titles in 10 years as a pro). I won’t go so far as to call Ron Mon’s pick of Lee Janzen crazy - no, I need to be humble today - but that would be some feat, as Janzen sits seven strokes back from the leader (and one can never be sure whether Ron Mon is really serious).
Let’s face it, this is Tiger Woods’ tournament to win or lose. He fought his way back into the final pairing, and even though it’s true that Woods has never won a major trailing at the start of a Sunday (0-28), you gotta figure Aaron Baddeley is going to fall back to the field. If Woods just focuses on shooting an even-par round, it will be good enough.
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I think the guys to look at are the ones whose stroke numbers are decreasing (Woods, Stricker, Furyk, with Appleby on the outside) and those who have gone low this week (Casey, Stricker.)
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