US Open 2012 pick


We’ve hit that time on the golfing calendar when all the experts and statisticians throw their notebooks up in the air and shrug their shoulders like a spoilt schoolkid… It’s US Open time! Where the formbook gets put to one side and the field of 200+ players are put through their toughest test of the year.

TTO’s Gappyhilmore tries his best to pick out the player he feels to have a good shot at The Olympic Club in San Francisco over the next 4 days.

Ok, so we all know the US Open is famous for taking no prisoners. We’ve regularly sat and watched golf’s greats post scores that wouldn’t be out of place at your local Sunday morning clubhouse society scramble. Year after year we’ve watched the years penultimate major turn the games biggest names into desolate figures on the golf course. And as much as we’ve all enjoyed watching amazing golf being played along the way, there’s something just as satisfying about watching these guys suffer at the hands too!

Thankfully, for all us golf sadists, this years event at San Francisco’s Olympic Club promises to be one of the toughest tests of them all!

Totalling an eye watering 7,170 yards, the Lake Course is a relentless test of both length and accuracy from start to finish. With it’s first 6 holes in particular looking as though they’ll have the pros scratching their heads in disbelief for the majority of the 4 days.

During practice Bubba Watson gave his honest insight on the opening 6 holes:

“If I shot 2 over every single day (thru 6) in the four days, I’d be pretty happy, knowing what I’ve seen so far.”

As well as Bubba, Phil Mickelson set his target at +1 and Lee Westwood said he’d be “delighted” with even par thru 6. This just about shows you the severity of those opening holes! Couple this with the monstrous 670yd 16th hole and I think we can safely say that the pros have got their work cut out this week. Bubba took driver, driver (both A1 hits) for his first two shots at 16 and was still left with 60 yards to the pin!… It’s long!

With the extremity of the course’s length taken into account, it’s safe to say if a player is going to be successful this week they’re not only going to have to be great off the tee, but deadly accurate too. The fairways are perilously narrow and the rough is thick and long! Then once your tee to green mettle has been fully tested, the super fast greens will have their wicked way with the majority of remotely half decent shots.

So who do I think has the all round game, grit and resolve to handle this collossal 4 day challenge? Here’s my pick for the week:

Matt Kuchar
Golf’s latest Mr Consistency has everything it takes to win his 1st major this week. He may not be one of the most entertaining or electrifying players on tour but ‘Kooch’ is a player who consistently gets the job done. And having recently added another PGA title to his ever increasing repertoire, he’s proven he has what it takes to see out a victory this year. Couple this with an impressive 3rd at this years Masters (where he should have perhaps won), five top 10 and 9 other top 25 finishes and it’s clear Kuchar is clearly a man on top if his game right now. He’s as tidy as they get tee to green, ranked 10th for Greens in Regulation % on the PGA Tour this year. As well as being ranked 1st for round scoring average (69.36) outlining the fact you know what you’re getting with Kuchar: Steady, patient and incredibly consistent golf. Add his steely nerve and ‘unflusterability’ to the scenario and you’ve got yourself, in my opinion, a superb candidate for this years US Open champion.

And finally, for all the lovers of a good fairytale story, here’s one other stat to add to the equation:
The last time the US Open was held at The Olympic Club was in 1998 when a certain Mr. M Kuchar finished 12th to take the top amateur award for the competition… Maybe this is his time to take the top honours for the pros.

Kuchar is available at best odds of around 30/1 on Betfair. 25/1 elsewhere.