Jim Furyk

Pinehurst No.2, 114th US Open

Let’s get straight to it, the second of the majors gets underway this week with the 114th US Open, at Pinehurst No.2. Woooooooooooooooo!

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Did you know… ( I didn’t either)

Twelve of the 14 US Open winners this century have been aged between 26 and 37 – only Woods and McIlroy have won at an age younger than 26 and in the case of those two world class stars such players are always likely to buck trends. Reducing the age range of the last 14 winners further, exactly 50% of them have been aged between 29 and 33.

So what does it take to win the US Open?

Well, in 2010, Pinehurst underwent a massive renovation that completely changed the way it plays. The course cut 35-40 acres of area that was just fairways and rough.

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‘The course now consists of 50 acres of turf, all maintained at fairway mowing heights, essentially eliminating the higher rough. The rest of the marginal areas were transformed into irregular, sandy ground dotted with wispy, unpredictable wiregrass. Bunkers that had been grown over also were reclaimed, while some existing ones were tugged and extended into lines of play.’

So yes, now it has been cut back it does allow the longer hitters to have a little more room when they hit bombs but I think Pinehurst will still have enough bite to punish those wayward drives to make some think twice for their risk and reward.

However for me I still think it’s going to come down to strong approach play, tight recovery shots and a magical touch around the greens that will Unlock Pinehurst No.2 come weekend.

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Although Rors and the inform (never really out of form) Adam Scott are favourites I honestly think it’s somebody else’s day… Not Jason’s either (apologies for the pun!)

To me this favours players like Jim Furyk, Graeme McDowell and Zach Johnson. They aren’t the most intimidating off the tee, but they understand that putting the ball where it needs to be is more important come Sunday!

Other favourites for me are Matt Kuchar, steady eddy, a few hiccups here and there so far in 2014 but Matt’s always there, scrambles well too which will be key at Pinehurst!

Another one for me is Jason Duffner, another easy going guy, but hey what do I know, let’s wait and see, bring on Pinehurst!

Who’s your pick to win the US Open? Who will rule the weekend at North Carolina?

 

A ‘Fifth’ Major, The Players Championship

So today the ‘fifth’ major gets underway at TPC Sawgrass, theres many to watch and its one of my favs to watch too! The Players is part of history, whether you believe in the fifth major or not, its a great event and definitley not something to miss.

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Theres loads with a shout, JB Holmes off the back of his win last week, Adam Scott will be wanting a good finish, a top 16 will also see Scotty return to the world number one spot. Garcia, Dustin Johnson, the list is endless, I really can’t pick a winner!

If i had to have a guess i’d go wth Fowler as an e/w bet, hes finding form with Butch in his corner, his swing is looking good, and I think this year he will produce something special, will it be the players? I’m not too sure. Jim Furyk finished well last week and finding some form, when he’s on it he really is tough to beat, long off the tee and deadly accurate when he wants to be, one to watch for sure!

Something a little different here’s a few players who have never won at the Players… Yeah yeah, theres a lot of players who havent done that, but packing a top field you would have thought one of these guys would have lifted the unofficial fifth major!

One. Jim Furyk. This week could change all this, a fourth and fifth finish here, he’s done better than a few others and in his current form could break the duck!

Jim Furyk,  Dustin Johnson

Two. Justin Rose. JR has missed the cut here five times over the years, clealry he struggles here but why? Clearly this isnt his english cup of tea! Come on Rosey!

Three. Bubba Watson.  Bubba, Bubba Buba Bubba. Bubba long may struggle me thinks.

Four. Rory McIlroy. Like Rose, This isnt Rorys favourite either, missing the cut in his first three attempts! Like Bubba and other big hitters Rory may struggle, can he hone in those long drives to cope with the doglegs and tight lies?

Five. Lee Westwood. A great ball striker works well pretty much anywhere and Lee has that, thats for sure. He’s struggled in America before now, but now he’s moved over maybe he’s settles on US soil? the unoffical major still counts as a major right Lee?

Luke Donald

Six. Luke Donald. Luuuuuuuuuke! Easy to forget poor Lukey boy was World No.1 not so long ago, a 2nd place finish here nearly 10 years ago on his way up the rankings and fourth and sixth finishes as well, you would think this course suites his game.

Who’s your bet for the players? Maybe one of the above?