I'm kicking off our US Open coverage with tips I put in today's Daily Record. Later in the week site regular and golf fan Bruce Robertson will post his thoughts
TIGER WOODS has been prowling Merion wondering how on earth he can conquer a little gem that hasn’t hosted the event since 1981.
The East Course doesn’t demand big hitting although the four par threes measure more than 225 yards and the key attribute will be keeping the ball on the fairway.
Woods has won four of the six PGA stroke-play events he has entered this year and is top of the money list and FedEx Cup rankings but still hasn’t won a Major since his victory in the US Open at Torrey Pines in 2008.
He headed the market for Augusta in April and flopped and again could be lay (oppose).
To have a chance Woods will have to put away the driver and make sure he stays on the short stuff.
There is better each-way value but McIlroy, the 2011 champion, isn’t one of them and while his form has improved he’s nowhere near the golfer he was before he switched to Nike clubs.
Woods, McIlroy and Masters champions Adam Scott have been paired in the first two rounds and it’s the Aussie who could impress most after ending his Major drought. Only twice this year has Scott fired rounds over par.
Irish ace Graeme McDowell has a US Open title and a 2013 PGA Tour win under his belt and can’t be ruled out at 28-1.
He’s been talking a good game and the tournament seems to be one of his favourites after tying for second last year.
American Matt Kuchar will give each-way backers a run for their money. He has finished in the top 30 at the last three US Opens including sixth in 2010. My one worry though is his lack of a Major and while he’s been close a number of times the first one is the hardest to bag.
Finally, if the course plays as soft as they say then Phile Mickelson, joint second last week, could become factor due to his exceptional short game. If he can fire the ball at flags from close range then watch out. He is 22-1 (various).
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