Perhaps Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods won’t dominate the headlines (and leader boards) at this weekend’s U.S. Open at Pebble Beach. Maybe they will. The best part about this major event is that one mistake can send a player into a tailspin, resulting in a missed cut, a drop on the leader board, or even a championship.
So while you know who the favorites to win this year’s installment of the tour’s toughest tournament, here are five dark horses who could survive the field, and the course, at Pebble Beach.
Not that we’re endorsing gambling here, but it’s worth noting Johnson’s Vegas odds have him at a 30/1 shot to win the U.S. Open this weekend. Perhaps those are generous numbers. Johnson has won the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am two years in a row now, including a 16-under performance this year.
Johnson, who is been hot so far this season (10th on the money list), has been putting up solid numbers, which should translate to success. He’s second in driving distance (303.6), 24th in greens in regulation, and 16th in birdies per round.
Johnson has three Top 10 finishes so far in 2010, and could add to that this weekend.
Zach Johnson enters the 2010 U.S. Open playing pretty good golf. He won the Colonial a few weeks back, and finished 12th at last week’s St. Judes Classic, posting a final score of five under par.
Johnson has been striking the ball well off the tee, putting him at ninth in driving accuracy, something that will be key to victory this weekend. If Johnson can stay out of the notorious deep rough, and he continues to find the green (31st in greens in regulation), he should find himself in contention come Sunday.
Like Dustin Johnson, Casey’s Vegas odds are also at 30/1 to win the Open this weekend. The European native has been playing streaky golf in 2010, missing the cut in two of his last four events.
However, in the two events he made the cut, he did put up good numbers, most recently 12 under par at the Colonial a few weeks back.
Casey’s finishes haven’t quite reflected how well he’s actually hitting the ball right now, though. The former ASU Sun Devil is currently ninth in greens in regulation, and sixth in putting average. If he can continue these numbers, don’t be surprised to see his name atop the leader boards on Sunday.
Plain and simple: Matt Kuchar is due for a win. The Florida-native has five Top 10 finishes so far in 2010, including a 10 under par performance at the Colonial, which was good for eighth.
Kuchar is playing really well right now, and his stats reflect that. He’s currently 17th in driving accuracy, 12th in greens in regulation, and 15th in putting average.
All three of those aspects of Kuchar’s game will be tested at Pebble Beach, and if he continues to play the way he has, he should make a serious charge up the leader board over the weekend.
Vegas has Watney’s odds of winning the Open this weekend at 35/1, which seems vastly high for the golfer with the best greens in regulation numbers in 2010.
Watney has four Top 10 finishes in 2010, including one at this year’s Masters, where he finished seventh at eight under par. Despite missing the cut at the Memorial, Watney should be able to rebound and put together a decent performance at Pebble Beach.