Whatever methods "the odds-makers" use to make their calls, the folks on their shortlists to win the US Open at Congressional, June 16-19th, are the ones we've been seeing recently in the woods, bushes, backyards and creeks. And US Opens are not usually won from that far off the fairway.
The odds-on favorites including Tiger Woods, Phil Michelson and Rory McIlroy will not hold up in a tournament that will be played on a tight course recently lengthened then squeezed by US Open-issue long grass and hard, fast greens.
Though some things seemed to gel for Tiger Woods at the Masters, he still doesn't really know if it's going left or right off the tee, and is also looking more and more like a guy who can't close the deal when the pressure is on. And the more he doesn't win, the higher the pressure gets.
Rory McIlroy, the way he plays with the heat of a final round lead in a major, might never win a US Open. I'm sure there won't be too much chipping out of backyards going on at Congressional in June.
Phil too, just seems too wild at this point to win a US Open, which always has been and still is going to be, about methodical precision that holds up over three tough days and one final day tougher mentally than all the other three combined.
Depending on how they duke it out today across the green hills of the Heritage Open, three players can emerge as semi-under the radar pros with a good shot at grabbing the US Open title this year.
Luke Donald, Mark Wilson and Jim Furyk.
I say semi-under the radar because they certainly aren't obliterating the entire radar screen like the big names, who in my mind don't have as much of a chance as some of the less babbled about individuals.
Yet Donald, Wilson and Furyk aren't totally under the radar, the way Oosthuizen was at last year's British, or the other new South African with a major title, Schwartzel coming into the Masters.
Anyway, I think there are three or four players with the right game, and the right lack of chaos surrounding them, to emerge victorious at the Congressional Blue Course.
Furyk took the FedEx cup last year, had three wins last year, and can be a master of consistency and deadly accurate putting.
Donald, has one win this year and none before that, but is again very consistent, and yet has a little more length to go with it.
Wilson has two wins this year, one in a playoff and before that he also won in '09 and in '07. And one more guy, Nick Watney has the right kind of attitude to grind out a US Open title as well.
Should be a good one though, with a ton of players in it at the end, just like the Masters.
The new face at the top of tour golf right now isn't one face or two, or three like the odds-makers might call it.
There are a ton of people in it and that's exciting, like it was at the Masters this year, when the broadcast folks were trying to scramble to keep up with how many important shots were going off, all at once, all over the course.
Pretty cool, and it bodes well for the future of golf, especially the near future, starting June 16th at Congressional.
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