Archive for 17 June, 2013

“J-Rose” Wins the 113th U.S. Open Like a Boss

Phil Mickelson after years of heartache at the U.S. Open looks to regain himself at the British Open.

Phil Mickelson after years of heartache at the U.S. Open looks to regain himself at the British Open.

Justin Rose, one of golf's legends, wins his first major title as he raises his U.S. Open trophy to the clouds for a moment he soon won't forget

Justin Rose, one of golf’s legends, wins his first major title as he raises his U.S. Open trophy to the clouds for a moment he soon won’t forget

The 2013 U.S. Open is in the books and it was one for the ages as Justin Rose wins his first major title making him just one win shy of the hall of fame. Merion ended up being yet again one of the toughest challenges in U.S. Open history, with NO ONE finishing under par. Everyone, including Justin, was over par, nobody wasn’t even even for the tournament (See what I did there?) and this shows yet again why the U.S. Open is the toughest test in all of golf. The Masters is still the best major in my opinion but the U.S. Open is a blast year after year and Merion absolutely shredded these golfers to pieces. It’s incredible what one golf course can do to a golfer’s ability and mentality and Justin Rose was able to fight his way through and get to the finish line and hoist the trophy at the end. Big ups to Phil Mickelson and Jason Day as well as Phil had the lead the whole tournament but unfortunately for him, this is his sixth runner up at the U.S. Open, extending his record for most runner ups in a U.S. Open but as we know, Phil is a competitor and will surely comeback next year. Jason Day on the other hand has been incredible throughout his short career despite only having a few wins. He constantly is in the top 10 in the majors and eventually he will win a major title which will lead him to more majors because he’s just that good.

I have never seen anything like it, he’s in the top 10 or five in every major and it’s not like he’s some big superstar like Phil or Ernie Els who also finished in the top five as he was trying to capture his second major in two years.Jason’s approach to the game is very stealthy, sometimes you don’t realize he’s in the top 10 at the majors and then well, there he is! Phenomenal play once again by Jason Day and there is no question he will win plenty of major championships before it’s all set and done. Jason Dufner, who was a favorite by a lot of top golf writers including myself (NOT a top golf writer) going into the season to win a major as I had “Duff” winning the Masters but we know who took that crown (Some guy named Scott). He finished tied for fourth trying to get his first major title and trying to keep his expectations as high as many thought. Overall Jason has had an “OK” season, not bad but just not as good as many expected and getting a W at the U.S. Open would have boosted up his popularity although he’s already a fairly popular player.

Merion was a perfect fit for him too as he his one of the most accurate hitters on Tour. Control players had the benefit going into the U.S. Open with its narrow fairways and tight greens. Justin Rose, like Phil Mickelson has that great combo of power and accuracy off the tee and Justin is better at hitting shots with accuracy than power but still had plenty of pop which made him dangerous but it also made Phil dangerous as well. Billy Horschel finished in the top five as well and has proved why he has been one of the best players on Tour this year. Billy, who rocked those awesome octo shorts for Sunday’s round, has five top 10’s including a win quietly coming in to his own. he’s also a terrific control player who has amazing putting skills as well.

Just another great player on another stellar leaderboard. Another guy, who finished tied for 10th was power hitting Nicolas Colsaerts who overall for his career has been very good with nine wins on his resume. He’s just going to get better if he stays on the PGA Tour as this is the first time we have really seen Nicolas and anytime you see a bomber off the tee that can challenge Bubba Watson, Dustin Johnson and Luke List, you know it’s going to be a fun time. He was the only power hitter to finish in the top 10 as everyone on the leaderboard was either a control player or an all-around player like Justin Rose and Phil Mickelson. Oh, and a shout to the guy from my hometown Chicago, Luke Donald for a great performance at the tournament! Overall, this has been a great U.S. Open and I bet next year’s will be just as fun. Thanks for the memories Merion!

Guys to Look Out for Going into Sunday at the U.S. Open

Phil Mickelson's smooth world famous swing

Phil Mickelson’s smooth world famous swing

Merion...you'll give us beautiful memories...

Merion…you’ll give us beautiful memories…

The U.S. Open is arguably the most difficult test in golf. It features normally some of the toughest host courses in history, including Bethpage Black, Pebble Beach and now Merion which features extremely narrow fairways and and deep bunkers while also being a shorter course making it more difficult for the power hitters and more of an advantage for the control players. Most people will say the power hitters have a better shot but I’m going to tell you they don’t. The course is too short for them and they tend to hit their shots hard so they may over hit their shots on most holes while the control may be dead on with their shots. But right now, it’s U.S. Open Sunday, one of the best days in all of golf and only two players are under at the par at the moment but will quickly change as soon as this piece goes up. Phil Mickelson, a control player with excellent power is a great choice for Sunday (Even though, he’s the leader obviously) because as mentioned above, he has that deadly combination of power and control, he’s also one of the greatest short game players in the history of the game, maybe only the great Lee Trevino was better. He’s a hall of famer for a reason and he looks to get his fifth major title and his 42nd win where he ranks ninth all-time in PGA Tour wins, it would also mark as his 50th worldwide win. The kicker is, he’s been runner up in the U.S. Open five times which is a record.

But I believe the terror is over for Phil and he will rise above the competition to pull it out because he’s the only true all-around player in the top five besides Justin Rose. Justin, by the way, is another player to look for as he tries to become hall of fame eligible by getting his 14th career PGA Tour victory which would put him just one win away from accomplishing that feat. Justin has been a preseason favorite to break out and have a dominate season and he quietly has been phenomenal despite not winning any tournaments this year but has a shot to take the U.S. Open crown this year if he can tackle a tough course in Merion and to knock off a dominate Phil.Also, be sure t look out for Luke Donald who is only one win away from being hall of fame eligible as oppose to J-Rose being two wins away. The UK and Chicago native has been playing his best golf the last couple of years and is still playing at a very high level this year. He’s incredible from the bunker and is one of the best putters and golf as well as being one of the most accurate players the game has ever seen. Merion is a control players dream and if there’s one control player that will take advantage and make a charge on Sunday, it’s Luke.

When he’s hot, he’s red hot and point on with his shots. Lastly keep an eye on Charl Schawrtzel who is terrific in majors with his best performances at the Masters however, he’s been fairly quiet at the U.S. Open but he’s always licking his chops in these majors. He’s quiet in other tournaments but in the majors, he comes out like a shadow in the night and he’s also a control player that has plenty of pop in his driver which makes him extremely dangerous. He’s had a very good season, having four top 10’s and only one missed cut. He’s also third in Scoring Average. If there’s one person that lives for the moment at the majors then it’s Charl. So those are some guys to look out for today. Should be a classic finish at the 113th U.S. Open Championship.

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