We are less than 24 hours from The 118th US Open at Shinnecock Hills and somehow my excitement for this years US Open is higher than it was for The Masters. The top players in the world are all in great form and it just feels like a packed leaderboard with big names awaits.
Deuce’s US Open Power Rankings:
10.) Phil Mickelson: Lefty turns 48 on Saturday and is chasing the career grand slam this week and has been in great form all season. He ranks 2nd on Tour in Strokes Gained Putting. If he can find the fairways at Shinnecock and avoid the fescue, with his short game, this could be his year.
9.) Marc Leishman: I feel like there has not been nearly enough talk about Marc Leishman this week. He was the Round 1 leader at The Masters and finished solo 9th, it just seems like the bigger the stage the better Leish performs. My dark horse pick of the week to grab his first major title.
8.) Jordan Spieth: Speaking of big stages… Spieth has struggled all season with the putter, and while he finished 2nd at The Masters, he has ZERO Top 5s since then. Being a huge Spieth fan and seeing this guy tear up majors his entire career, its hard not to put him in the top 10.
7.) Henrik Stenson: Maybe the best ball striker on tour. With as long and accurate Stenson is with his trusty 3-wood, finding the fairway should not be an issue for him. He ranks 2nd in proximity to the hole on tour but only 107th in birdie or better conversion. If he can get the flat stick rolling he could have a scary good week. (Also is a great value bet at 33/1 this week for all of you degenerates who take on the impossible task of betting golf)
6.) Brooks Koepka: Koepka will look to become the first person since 1989 to successfully defend his US Open title this week, but in great form as of late it is definitely doable. Koepka’s short game is better now than it was this time last season and is more than just a “long hitter” on Tour now.
5.) Rory McIlroy: The 2011 US Open champion is long overdue for a major title and in my opinion, is the best golfer on Tour when he puts everything together. The guy absolutely shredded Muirfield Village during the Saturday round shooting a staggering 8-under par. However, Rors only has 1 Top 5 US Open finish since 2011 (T-9 at Chambers Bay in 2015)
4.) Jason Day: Already a two time winner this season, Day will look to win his first US Open title where he has had great past success grabbing 5 Top 5s in 7 appearances. Finally in good health he is getting back to where he was in 2015-2016. The leader on Tour for Strokes Gained putting and one of the premier ball strikers. My pick to win.
3.) Justin Rose: Has there been a more in form golfer in the past 2-3 months? I swear any time I look at a leaderboard Justin Rose’s name is near the top. One of the purest swings on the tour, just seems like not a lot can go wrong with his game right now.
2.) Justin Thomas: JT’s #1 ranking didn’t last quite as long as we thought it would thanks to Dustin Johnson winning at Memphis last week. I am anxious to see how the new driver performs this week at Shinnecock, and after torching Erin Hills last year with a Saturday 63, the expectations are high this year for The FedEx Cup leader.
1.) Dustin Johnson: Is there really need to explain myself with this one? The 2016 US Open champ is coming off a win at The St Jude Classic where his last swing was a hole out eagle. The odds on favorite at 8/1 this week.
Notable fades from me this week include Tiger, Rickie, Bryson DeChambeau, John Rahm, Bubba Watson and Patrick Reed.
Any version of Tiger off the tee could show up this week, and that is what worries me the most about him. He left a million shots out there at Muirfield Village two weeks ago. He is capable of winning this thing by 5 or completely missing the cut. Who the hell knows.
Rickie just got engaged… we saw what that did to Spieth and Sergio. Spoiler: not great. Just one of those gut feeling fades and I hope I am completely wrong.
DeChambeau won his last start at the Memorial but was dreadful off the tee, a recipe for disaster at The US Open.
John Rahm was my preseason pick to win this event. But his ball striking this year has been woeful and this course could give him absolute fits. Look, Im a Rahm fan, but he bitches and moans more than any guy on Tour… well maybe not any guy (IM TALKING TO YOU BUBBA)
Patrick Reed probably already has his mind set on trying to capture the season grand slam and nothing would be more American than him hoisting the trophy in a powdered wig and bald eagle on his shoulder but the Masters hangover seems real. He has performed well in his past US Open appearances but I smell a missed cut coming from him this week.