12 June 2012
On the eve of the 2012 U.S. Open at the Olympic Club in San Francisco, we find a history of winners that were not among the pre-tournament favorites: Jack Fleck beat Hogan here! Billy Casper took down Arnie. Lee Janzen sent Johnny Miller packing. So will their be a spoiler this year? If so, who might the unexpected winner be?
Potential Surprise Winners:
Here is my short list of players who have the game to win this week, but we would surprise winners: Sang-moon Bae, Kyle Stanley, Matteo Manassero, Robert Rock, Nicolas Colsaerts, John Senden, Charles Howell III, Martin Laird, Robert Garrigus and Ben Crane.
Potential Also Rans: This group consists of good players who haven’t been sharp yet, but who could show up this week in the winners circle: Sergio Garcia, Bill Haas, Gary Woodland, Nick Watney, Steve Stricker, Jason Day, Louis Oosthuizen, Adam Scott, Justin Rose, Geoff Ogilvy, Keegan Bradley, Charl Schwartzel, or Graeme McDowell.
Odds on Favorites: this group is where we expect the winner to come from: Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods, Jason Dufner, Matt Kuchar, Rory McIlroy, Luke Donald, Lee Westwood, Hunter Mahan, Zach Johnson, or Rickie Fowler.
For those who believe pairings make a difference, those who could benefit from a good pairing the first two days might be in the following groupings: 4:18 – 10:33 – Alvaro Quiros, Gary Woodland and John Senden; 11:28-5:13 – K.J. Choi, Y.E. Yang, J.T. Kim; 4:47 – 11:32 – Jason Day, Louis Oosthuizen, Jason Dufner; 11:06 – 4:51 – Carl Pettersson, Charl Schwartzel, Charles Howell III;
The Golfstruck Top 10 Picks for the 2012 U.S. Open: I have selected below those players I believe this week will have sufficient game to hit fairways,keep it below the hole, recover around the greens and putt well enough on those severely sloped Olympic greens.
And the Golfstruck Surprise Winner Pick is: Sang-moon Bae