The third major on the golfing calendar is upon us already as we look forward to this week's 122nd edition of The US Open at the Open Course, The Country Club, Brookline, Massachusetts.
I’ll tell you something, it’s been an eventful week in the world of golf don’t you think? First of all congratulations go to Linn Grant making history by becoming the first woman to win on the DP World Tour. The talented 22 year old Swede from Helsingborg absolutely annihilated the field and stormed to a 9 stroke victory with a -24 winning scorecard at the Scandinavian Mixed. Truly amazing effort and achievement, Well done Linn.
Our selection Henrik Stenson was runner up at 33/1 each way so well done to everyone who collected, there was simply no catching Linn Grant with some remarkable golf shots on display.
Meanwhile, some other news catching the headlines this week, I’m quite sure you’ll all know by now what LIV Golf is and who’s pulling the strings. For someone to pull strings then that requires puppets and I’m sorry, I don’t want to offend anyone here but I’d rather watch The Muppets.
I haven’t watched a single shot or any coverage of this LIV Golf and to be honest, I hopefully never will. I appreciate that everyone has different views and opinions and I absolutely respect that. It was interesting reading everyone’s views on last week's thread but it was clear to see that the majority all agreed that they were selling their souls and it was all about power, money and greed.
That's usually where the fun stops as Rory quite rightly pointed out but to be fair I can’t see any fun or excitement for us in any of those unbelievable lucrative packages. I actually had to laugh but really it’s so sad to hear comments like this especially in the climate we are living in at present. I’ll not mention any names but “it’s a decision I made about my family’s future” come on, who are you trying to kid? You’ve already got enough money and luxuries to last 100 lifetimes.
The question I ask is, Do you remember who it was that made you who you are or ever will be and how can anyone just walk away from an amazing set up like the PGA for that other nonsense that's got absolutely no support other than money? Don’t you have any respect for the game that gave you all your fame and fortune? and what about all your fans you supposedly adore?
I also had comments about how can I say this blood money is disgusting and if I’m also disgusted at Newcastle etc . Listen I’m not allowing anyone to lead me astray, I write golf previews and cover golf events only but what I will say is this, if these sports organisations can’t refuse this dirty money and keep on allowing these people to scoop up anything they wish for their own fun or a hobby then Houston we have a problem and believe me this problem will finish with no fairytale ending.
I certainly will not be covering any LIV Golf events and on that note let’s get back to this weeks US Open preview at The County Club.
The 156 field, with the top 65 including ties making the cut, will all be competing for a share of the generous $12.5m prize purse with the winner collecting the US Open crown and a winner’s cheque for $2.25m.
The Open Course at Brookline will be playing 7,254 yards long this week. It’s a par 70, tree lined parkland track but also has a combined links feel. This will be the third occasion Brookline has hosted The US Open, it was also played out here in 1913 and 1963.
The key stats that matter at Brookline this week will almost certainly involve power and precision. With some lengthy holes and three cuts of rough, the third cut being long jungle grass, definitely worth avoiding.
It’s going to suit a big straight hitter who can scramble around these tricky greens. Greens in regulation figures will prove pivotal come Sunday evening.
The weather forecasts warm and sunny conditions with temperatures in the 30s. Thursday and Sunday will see the best of the weather but showers are predicted on Friday and Saturday. Breezes are expected to peak at around 16 mph.
This event will be screened on Sky Sports Golf & Sky Sports Main Event with live coverage starting at 1pm on Thursday afternoon.
So let’s move on with this weeks selections for The US Open at The County Club where 49 of the worlds Top 50 ranked golfers are due to attend.
For my first and main selection in Brookline I’m going to strongly suggest Max Homa 55/1 EW at SportNation.
The talented 31 year old from California has found a rich vein of form and seems to be surfing a golfing tidal wave. In the twelve events that Homa has played this year he has only missed the cut once and has finished inside the Top 20 on no less than eight occasions.
Three of those attempts were Top 10 finishes which include a recent PGA victory when collecting the Wells Fargo Championship crown. Last time out Homa put on yet another dazzling display when finishing 5th at The Memorial Tournament.
What’s significant and unique about his putting stats at The Memorial was that Max Homa took only 99 putts throughout the tournament. Now you may think, what's the big deal about that? but here’s an interesting fact, it’s the least amount of putts at any tournament since records began and Homa is the first player to break under 100 putts at any PGA golfing event in history.
If that’s not enough to tempt you, then maybe his recent victory at Wells Fargo should. It’s the second time in three years that Max Homa has won the Wells Fargo Championship. He now has four PGA crowns in the bag, the Wells Fargo Championship titles mentioned above as well as both titles he won last year, The Genesis Invitational and the Fortinet Championship.
Here’s some stats to back up my decision to include Max Homa to conquer this demanding track; Homa is 2nd on the PGA Tour for most consecutive cuts made, 18th SG Around the Green, 20th SG Putting, 18th Going for the Green, 15th Putting Average and 12th SG Total.
Did you notice a trend? It’s all stats and figures in the Top 20 on the PGA Tour this season and if Max Homa arrives producing these consistent figures at The County Club then he can make the firms look silly when he wins the US Open at a handsome 55/1. Happy days!
For my next selection I’m going to advise, I just can’t leave him out this week, in fact I’m still scratching my head as to why I left him on the shortlist last weekend , it’s the one and only Rory McIlroy 11/1 EW William Hill 1-9 places .
Yip, that’s right, I don’t like telling you all my secrets but Rory was all over my radar last week but I’ve been trying to keep him for The 150th Open Championship at the home of golf, St Andrews.
You all know Rory’s one of my favourites but I can’t really include the 33 year old Irishman to win a tournament every week. It’s all about timing and finding the best suited event and course when a player is showing some form.
I went for Justin Thomas instead of Rory last weekend at the RBC Canadian Open and it ended up being just what I thought, a ding dong duel between them from start to finish, especially on the final back nine. If you seen the two of them duelling and staring each other out then you’ll know just what I mean.
Rory seen off a late challenge from his playing partners, JT and Tony Finau to claim his 21st PGA title with two shots to spare. He openly bragged how much it meant to overtake Greg Norman who was busy hosting a certain event elsewhere. Rory, with four majors already in the bag, is on fire at the moment and looks like the roaring lion of old.
He’s back up to Number 3 in the World Rankings and you can see the swagger is definitely back. I’m going back only a few tournaments here but check Rory’s last five events; winner last week at The RBC Canadian Open, 18th The Memorial Tournament, 8th USPGA Championship, 5th Wells Fargo Championship and finally 2nd at The Masters at Augusta. That’s as consistent as it gets considering that two of the above mentioned were majors .
If you are a stats person and go with the figures then they don’t come much better than this. This season on the PGA Tour Rory ranks 1st SG Tee To Green, 1st SG Total, 3rd Shots gained off the Tee, 3rd Driving Distance at 319.1 , 7th Going for the Green Birdie or better and 17th SG Around The Green.
These are quite simply phenomenal figures and it’s no wonder Rory McIlroy is back where he belongs, at the top of the golfing elite. His head may be bigger than his swagger this coming Sunday evening as the Irishman bags his fifth major in Brookline, Massachusetts.
For my next pick I’m going to single out Matthew Fitzpatrick 30/1 EW BetVictor.
The 27 year old from Sheffield, England has a previous winning track record at The Country Club that no one else in this field can boast.
He is the only Englishman in over 100 years to have won the US Amateur title at this venue in 2013. Fitzy has fond memories around here, he is actually going to stay with the same family this week as he did when winning the US Amateur nine years ago.
I just have a feeling that this tournament is all set up for Fitzpatrick with course knowledge on his side to finally not just win a major but also break his duck in style on the PGA.
He’s basically done everything else apart from lift a trophy and win an event on the PGA tour. In his last fourteen tournaments, check this out, apart from two missed cuts, every other finish has been inside the Top 20. In fact I’m actually doing Fitzy a disservice here as eight of those were Top 10 finishes with four of them being Top 5s including two runners up medals.
Fitzpatrick's last victory was at the Andalucia Masters last year on the DP World Tour where he has seven DP World Tour titles already in the bag.
It's about time that Matthew Fitzpatrick, instead of knocking on the door that doors coming crashing down at The Country Club yet again when the Englishman finally shows them all how it’s done around here, just as he did in 2013.
Brooks Koepka v Dustin Johnson
For my matchbet Nap this week I’m going to point you in the direction of Brooks Koepka to beat Dustin Johnson over 72 holes, 10/11 Nap Bet365.
I just feel that all the travelling and bad press coverage over the past week will catch up with Johnson and this could be an easy victory for Koepka at an event he clearly enjoys having won it twice in 2017 & 2018.
Dustin Johnson to miss the cut
For my final selection I’m going to again stick with Dustin Johnson but this time to miss the cut 11/8 Bet365. It’s going to be interesting too see just how the crowd treats the former World Number One and how he deals with it. No pressure DJ!