Welcome to GOLFstats.com! You are currently viewing one of our Preview and Picks post that we publish each week. We also publish special Performance Charts for the tournaments, analyzing results over the past 8 years, a special DraftKings Picks Post, analyzing what picks are the best this week for the DraftKings games, and we do a weekly Key Fantasy Stats Post detailing what stats are most important for this weeks tournament and course, and which players excel in those stats. Very useful!
Our data is updated daily. To access all this info, and so much more, just CLICK HERE to SIGN UP for GOLFstats!

BlogU.S. Open Preview and Picks

U.S. Open

June 18th – 21st, 2015

Chambers Bay

University Place, Wash.

Par: 70 / Yardage:

Purse: $8.7 million (last year)

with $1,620,000 (last year) to the winner

Defending Champion:
Martin Kaymer

by Sal Johnson

Founder, Chief Data Officer, GOLFstats

E-mail me at:
sal@golfstats.com

This week’s field includes:

The field includes 60 of the top-60 in the latest Official World Rankings.

Last year there were 59 of the top-60.

The field includes 23 of the top 25 on the FedEx point standings for 2015.  Those players not in the field are #16 Steven Bowditch and #22 Sangmoon Bae.

The field includes 24 in the top 25 on this year’s PGA Tour money list. The player not in the field is #20 Steven Bowditch .

The field includes 21 players that have won 31 events on the PGA Tour this year: Ben Martin (Shriners Hospitals), Robert Streb (McGladrey Classic), Ryan Moore (CIMB CLassic), Bubba Watson (WGC-HSBC Champions); Charley Hoffman (OHL Classic at Mayakoba);  Patrick Reed (Hyundai T of C); Jimmy Walker ( Open in Hawaii & Valero Texas Open); Bill Haas (Humana Challenge); Brooks Koepka (WM Phoenix); Jason Day (Farmers Insurance); Brandt Snedeker (AT&T Pebble Beach); Padraig Harrington (Honda); Dustin Johnson (WGC-Cadillac); Jordan Spieth (Valspar Championship & Masters); Matt Every (Palmer); J.B. Holmes (Shell Houston); Jim Furyk (RBC Heritage); Justin Rose (Zurich); Rory McIlroy (WGC-Cadillac Match Play & Wells Fargo) Rickie Fowler (Players) amd Chris Kirk (Colonial).

Those winners not in the field are Sangmoon Bae (Fry’s.com); Nick Taylor (Sanderson Farms); James Hahn (Northern Trust); Alex Cejka (Puerto Rico), Steve Bowditch (Byron Nelson) and David Lingmerth (Memorial).

The field includes 13 past champions: Martin Kaymer (2014), Justin Rose (2013), Webb Simpson (2012), Rory McIlroy (2011), Graeme McDowell (2010), Lucas Glover (2009), Tiger Woods (2000, ’02 & ’08), Angel Cabrera (2007), Geoff Ogilvy (2006),Retief Goosen (2001 & ’04), Jim Furyk (2003), Lee Sanzen (998 & ’93) and Ernie Els (1997 & ’94).

A perfect way for fantasy golfers to check on the past performance of all the players in the U.S. Open field is our performance chart listed by average finish.  Another way to check who is the best is through a special formula worked out in Golfstats that gives us the best average performances at the U.S. Open in the last five years or check out our sortable 8-year glance at the U.S. Open.

A good cheat sheet is this list of odds from the top bookmakers in England.

Another cheat sheet is this list of odds from the top bookmaker North America, Bovada.  They give winning odds plus top-five and first round leader odds.

Another cheat sheet is this list of odds from the top bookmaker in Las Vegas.

**NOTE**

One thing to look for is our new GOLFstats IQ.  For those that play in fantasy golf it’s a perfect way to help you pick those players in Draft Kings and Victiv games.  You can customize the list of those in the tournaments, to look back a couple or many years of tournament stats and you can go back a couple or ten weeks prior to the tournament.  On top of that, all the stats are fully sortable to help you pick your six players, we even give you their value for the week to help you chose.

That’s GOLFstats IQ, give it a try and tell us what you think of it

24/7 GOLF

How would you like to have Total Golf Knowledge At Your Fingertips??

We have the perfect solution for you.  If you own a Iphone or a Ipad we have developed a perfect app called 24/7 GOLF.

It gives you everything that you need to know about golf, you have all the players results and every tournament result, again at your fingertips.  It’s very easy to use and you can take a good amout of GOLFstats with you everyplace.  No need to get home and check things out on your computer at home, you can answer any question with your Ipad.

So check it out, just hit this link to get 24/7 GOLF:

Screen Shot 2015-04-23 at 12.01.34 AM

Time to look at our who’s hot and who isn’t:

Who’s Hot in the field for the U.S. Open

Player FedEx St. Jude Lyoness Open Memorial Tournament Nordea Masters Byron Nelson Irish Open Colonial BMW PGA Wells Fargo Open de Espana The Players Mauritius Open Cadillac Match Play
Francesco Molinari
(234.67 pts)
DNP
 
DNP
 
T3
(90)
DNP
 
DNP
 
T51
(0)
DNP
 
5
(70)
DNP
 
T2
(66.67)
DNP
 
DNP
 
T34
(8)
Alex Noren
(211 pts)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
Win
(132)
DNP
 
T21
(29)
DNP
 
T8
(50)
DNP
 
T56
(0)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
Kevin Kisner
(204.67 pts)
DNP
 
DNP
 
T8
(50)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
T5
(46.67)
DNP
 
T38
(8)
DNP
 
T2
(100)
DNP
 
DNP
 
Byeong-Hun An
(184.33 pts)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
T21
(29)
DNP
 
Win
(132)
DNP
 
T15
(23.33)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
Rory McIlroy
(184 pts)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
CUT
(-10)
DNP
 
CUT
(-10)
Win
(88)
DNP
 
T8
(50)
DNP
 
Win
(66)
Jordan Spieth
(183.17 pts)
DNP
 
DNP
 
T3
(90)
DNP
 
T30
(20)
DNP
 
T2
(66.67)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
CUT
(-10)
DNP
 
T17
(16.5)
Miguel A. Jimenez
(171.67 pts)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
CUT
(-10)
DNP
 
T43
(7)
DNP
 
T2
(100)
DNP
 
T2
(66.67)
DNP
 
DNP
 
T34
(8)
Rickie Fowler
(164.5 pts)
DNP
 
DNP
 
CUT
(-10)
DNP
 
DNP
 
T30
(20)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
Win
(132)
DNP
 
T9
(22.5)
Charley Hoffman
(163.17 pts)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
T2
(100)
DNP
 
T10
(26.67)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
T30
(20)
DNP
 
T17
(16.5)
Chris Kirk
(155.5 pts)
DNP
 
DNP
 
T36
(14)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
Win
(88)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
T13
(37)
DNP
 
T17
(16.5)
George McNeill
(152.33 pts)
T29
(21)
DNP
 
T13
(37)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
T5
(46.67)
DNP
 
T28
(14.67)
DNP
 
T17
(33)
DNP
 
DNP
 
Hideki Matsuyama
(145.5 pts)
DNP
 
DNP
 
T5
(70)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
T20
(20)
DNP
 
T17
(33)
DNP
 
T9
(22.5)
Zach Johnson
(144.17 pts)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
5
(70)
DNP
 
T19
(20.67)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
T13
(37)
DNP
 
T17
(16.5)
Billy Horschel
(142.5 pts)
T8
(50)
DNP
 
T11
(39)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
T13
(37)
DNP
 
T17
(16.5)
Andy Sullivan
(134.67 pts)
DNP
 
DNP
 
T13
(37)
DNP
 
DNP
 
T6
(60)
DNP
 
17
(33)
DNP
 
WD
(-3.33)
DNP
 
DNP
 
T34
(8)
Tony Finau
(133.33 pts)
DNP
 
DNP
 
T8
(50)
DNP
 
T10
(40)
DNP
 
T19
(20.67)
DNP
 
T16
(22.67)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
Phil Mickelson
(133.33 pts)
T3
(90)
DNP
 
T65
(0)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
T4
(53.33)
DNP
 
CUT
(-10)
DNP
 
DNP
 
Kevin Na
(131.67 pts)
DNP
 
DNP
 
T13
(37)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
T10
(26.67)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
T6
(60)
DNP
 
T34
(8)
Brooks Koepka
(130.5 pts)
T3
(90)
DNP
 
T52
(0)
DNP
 
T16
(34)
DNP
 
DNP
 
T72
(0)
DNP
 
DNP
 
CUT
(-10)
DNP
 
T17
(16.5)
Bill Haas
(128.5 pts)
DNP
 
DNP
 
T18
(32)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
T68
(0)
DNP
 
T4
(80)
DNP
 
T17
(16.5)
Thongchai Jaidee
(128 pts)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
CUT
(-10)
DNP
 
T10
(40)
DNP
 
T2
(100)
DNP
 
DNP
 
CUT
(-10)
DNP
 
T34
(8)
Robert Streb
(126 pts)
DNP
 
DNP
 
T18
(32)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
T19
(20.67)
DNP
 
T4
(53.33)
DNP
 
T30
(20)
DNP
 
DNP
 
Tommy Fleetwood
(125.33 pts)
DNP
 
DNP
 
CUT
(-10)
DNP
 
DNP
 
T21
(29)
DNP
 
T6
(60)
DNP
 
T33
(11.33)
DNP
 
DNP
 
T5
(35)
Marc Leishman
(123.83 pts)
DNP
 
DNP
 
T5
(70)
DNP
 
CUT
(-10)
DNP
 
T27
(15.33)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
T24
(26)
DNP
 
T9
(22.5)
Ben Martin
(121.17 pts)
DNP
 
DNP
 
CUT
(-10)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
T10
(26.67)
DNP
 
T38
(8)
DNP
 
T4
(80)
DNP
 
T17
(16.5)

How Player Rankings are Computed

Who’s Not Hot in the field for the U.S. Open

Player FedEx St. Jude Lyoness Open Memorial Tournament Nordea Masters Byron Nelson Irish Open Colonial BMW PGA Wells Fargo Open de Espana The Players Mauritius Open Cadillac Match Play
Shiv Kapur
(-36.67 pts)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
CUT
(-10)
DNP
 
CUT
(-10)
DNP
 
CUT
(-10)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP
 
Andres Romero
(-30 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
CUT
(-10)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
71
(0)
DNP
 
CUT
(-10)
DNP
 
DNP
 
D.A. Points
(-26.67 pts)
DNP
 
DNP
 
CUT
(-10)
DNP
 
CUT
(-10)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
Michael Putnam
(-26.67 pts)
DNP
 
DNP
 
CUT
(-10)
DNP
 
T73
(0)
DNP
 
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP
 
T58
(0)
DNP
 
CUT
(-10)
DNP
 
DNP
 
Daniel Summerhays
(-26.67 pts)
DNP
 
DNP
 
CUT
(-10)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
T58
(0)
DNP
 
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP
 
CUT
(-10)
DNP
 
DNP
 
Sam Saunders
(-24.67 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP
 
CUT
(-10)
DNP
 
T71
(0)
DNP
 
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP
 
T47
(2)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
Charlie Beljan
(-23.33 pts)
68
(0)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
CUT
(-10)
DNP
 
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP
 
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
Bradley Neil
(-20 pts)
DNP
 
DNP
 
CUT
(-10)
DNP
 
DNP
 
CUT
(-10)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
Marcel Siem
(-20 pts)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
CUT
(-10)
DNP
 
CUT
(-10)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
Jason Day
(-20 pts)
DNP
 
DNP
 
CUT
(-10)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
CUT
(-10)
DNP
 
T52
(0)

How Player Rankings are Computed

The Buzz:

So it’s off to the great northwest for the first U.S. Open in the region.  It’s on an exciting course on the shores of Puget Sound with wonderful views of the Olympic Mountain range.  As you already know the course is links, played in an old quarry farm and it will be interesting to see what happens.  Some players have already been critical of the course, which opened just eight years ago in 2007.  The course has only one tree on it, beside the 16th tee but the interesting thing about it is it plays through sand dunes.  On the surface it looks like any links course in Scotland or Ireland, but it’s very deceiving to think that it took over 1.5 million cubic yards of earth to build it.

What makes the course so unique is that it’s growth from consumption was to play a U.S. Open on it.  In talking with Mike Davis, last month he said that he has spent more time in the overall design and playability on this course than any others that hold a USGA championship.  So if this week is a success, Davis will be a hero again but if it’s not it will be the first time since he set-up U.S. Open courses that he would have a failure.

I have been to the course three times, once in 2008, another in 2010 and last month.  When I first played the course I thought it was awful with a lot of the criticism based on the condition of the course, the fescue hadn’t taken and it was a mess.  When I played it in 2010, I thought the overall design was sound and the layout that architect Robert Trent Jones Jr. did was good, but I found it a tough walk and the greens a bit like putt-putt golf.  Because of my bad knee I only played ten holes, but went around and looked at the others and felt that yes many players may complain.

The big problem I see is the greens; they are massive at 8,700 square feet with lot’s of undulations. There are many words that could describe the greens that have swale running through them, plateau areas that could be hard to get a ball close and bowls in the greens.  You really don’t know were the fairways end, and the greens begin as the fairway in front of the green is mowed to the same level as the greens.  Some holes in which the green sit up like hole seven will see many balls spin back and roll 50 to 80 yards off the green.  In a way the greens have many of the same things that Augusta National has in their greens, but but Augusta doesn’t have the big plateaus making it hard to hit shots into.

The greens are pure fescue, a grass that is used in areas that have mild weather.  It’s a bit different and hard to judge; most grasses tend to slow down during the day when the grass grows. But, fescue just gets faster during the day as the sun and wind dries them out making them quicker.

Between tee to green on the surface the holes are wider than any other U.S. Open course, but if you get into the rough the wispy, fescue grass will make it hard to get a ball on the green.  Just like at Augusta National, players will need to place drives in proper spots to have better shots into the greens.  The course could be overpowered by a Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson or J.B. Holmes to name a few, but again the placement of your drives could be more important than length.  Talking about length, the course will change everyday and play between 7,200 and 7,600 yards.  Chambers will have four par 5s that will play longer than 525 yards with the 14th, playing down the hill going as high as 546 yards.

The fun part of the course could be the complaining, many will hate this course and be out of the running before they even tee off.  When Jack Nicklaus was asked about the complaining said, “It’s not supposed to suit your game. You’re supposed to figure out how to suit your game to the course.”

Now to stick my two cents on this, I have a funny feeling that this course will get clobbered just like Bellerive did in 1965 and Hazeltine did in 1970.  Back then the USGA wanted to go to these new areas and felt that the courses were challenging and be great U.S. Open courses.  Sorry but the players hated both of them, especially Hazeltine. When Dave Hill was asked on the thoughts of the course said, “I’m still looking for it”.  When asked what Hazeltine needed, he retorted, “Hazeltine really did lack only 80 acres of corn and a few cows. They ruined a good farm when they built this course.”  Both courses went into obscurity for a couple of decades and 20 years ago were redone.  Today both are courses that can hold important tournaments, Hazeltine will hold the Ryder Cup matches next year.  The point is; both courses needed the time too mature.  In 2000 I attended the opening ceremonies for Kingsbarns links, a seaside course about ten miles from St. Andrews.  The course was wonderful and many thought it could hold a British Open soon, but R&A officials said that course needed time to mature.  So when asked how long that would be they said 25 years.  In a way I agree with this, courses need time before they hold big events on it and Chambers Bay could have used a dozen years.  With that said the Open is just days away and hopefully it will be the gem that Davis and the USGA think it will be.

One last thing about this week that shows more parity, this year 48 of the 156 players will be U.S. Open rookies.  This seems like a remarkable number until you realize that last year there were 53 rookies. Both of these are extraordinary numbers.  In the history of the U.S. Open the year with the most first-timers was 86 in 1919.  That was the first Open played after World War I and the field increased in size.  If you look at the most first-timers since World War II, it’s 75 in 1948.

Looking at U.S. Opens since 1970 the most first-timers were 53 in 1977, 1980, and 2011 so this year will not have the most rookies.

For those wondering, in 2013 there were 44 rookies at Merion, in 2012 there were 46 first-timers at Olympic and in 2010 there were 50 at Pebble.

Championship information:

The inaugural U.S. Open was slated for September of 1895. However, the Open, as well as the inaugural U.S. Amateur, were delayed due to a scheduling conflict with the more popular sporting event, the America’s Cup yacht races. Finally, the first U.S. Open was played on Oct. 4, 1895, on a nine-hole course at the Newport Golf and Country Club in Newport, Rhode Island. The first U.S. Open was somewhat over-shadowed by the first U.S. Amateur tournament, which was played concurrently at the Newport Golf and Country Club. Its meager field consisted of just 10 professionals and one amateur. Horace Rawlins, the assistant at Newport Golf and Country Club, captured the first U.S. Open. The format for the tournament was 36 holes squeezed into one day, with four trips around the nine-hole course in Newport.

In 1898, the U.S. Open switched to a 72-hole format, two days of 36-holes. For the first few years, the field was routinely riddled with amateurs as well as British and Scottish professionals. Popularity for the event dwindled until Americans began to dominate, starting with John McDermott in 1911. The U.S. Open experienced a dramatic jump in popularity in 1913 when Francis Ouimet, a 20-year-old American amateur, defeated famed British professionals Harry Vardon and Ted Ray in a playoff. Popularity for the U.S. Open began to soar even higher in the early 1920s. In 1922, the U.S. Open sold tickets to the event for the first time. A year later, Bobby Jones, an amateur golfer from Georgia won his first of four U.S. Opens. By 1924, an enormous influx of applicants to compete in the U.S. Open forced the USGA to hold sectional qualifying to determine who would receive entry into the field.

In 1926, the format for the tournament was again switched. Players would play 72 holes; 18 holes on each of the first two days, followed by 36 holes on the third and final day. The changes to the U.S. Open format were paralleled by an almost systematic phase-out of the amateur player. Though amateurs still compete annually, John Goodman was the last amateur to win the U.S. Open, taking the 1933 crown  at the North Shore Country Club in Glenview, Illinois. Jack Nicklaus’s second-place finish at the 1960 U.S. Open is the best finish by an amateur since Goodman’s victory in 1933.

The U.S. Open saw relatively few changes between 1935 and 1954. In 1954, the course was roped off from tee to green for the first time, as well as broadcast on national television. Arnold Palmer’s historic comeback victory in 1960 further boosted the tournament’s popularity. But it was the 1962 U.S. Open, in which Jack Nicklaus defeated Arnold Palmer in a Monday playoff, that would catapult “America’s Championship” to the forefront of the golf world.

Over the next 18 years, from 1962 to 1980, Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer combined to win four U.S. Opens. Fans flocked to the U.S. Open in droves to see the budding rivalry. In 1965, in an effort to accommodate the growing fan base, the U.S. Open switched from the three-day, 72-hole format to the current, four-day, 72-hole format.

In 1971, Lee Trevino’s victory at the U.S. Open was the catalyst as he went on to play, arguably, the three greatest weeks of golf. After winning the U.S. Open, Trevino went on to capture the Canadian Open crown, followed by the British Open crown. A feat that to this day has not been matched. Trevino, as well as the already well-established Nicklaus and Palmer, created a trio that further launched the event into the American limelight. In 1977, ABC began live coverage of the final two rounds of U.S. Open play. By 1982, upstart cable channel ESPN was broadcasting the Thursday and Friday rounds.

In 1994, the U.S. Open at Oakmont was the venue for Ernie Els’ first victory in America. Els and Loren Roberts both shot 74, while Colin Montgomerie shot a 78. Els claimed the title by defeating Loren Roberts on the second sudden-death playoff hole.  Els and a slew of other foreign champions paved the way for the first qualifying tournaments held outside the United States.

But for the masses nothing will compare to Tiger Woods’ victory in 2000 at Pebble Beach.  First of all it was the 100th U.S. Open. Secondly, it was held on one of the great courses in the world that comprised the beauty of an ocean side course that stunned the viewers and fans but on a tough course in which wind played an important factor. It was also perfect timing for Tiger Woods to win his first Open title in a dominating way. At 12 under, he finished 15 strokes ahead of Ernie Els and Miguel Angel Jimenez to become the first double-digit winner relative to par.  The win clearly brought the U.S. Open into a different focus as it began its second decade of play.

Course information:

Chambers Bay Golf Course

University Place, Washington

No such yardage, course will play between 7,200 and 7,600 yards, depending on the conditions of the day

Par will also change daily, the fron with be either 36/35 with the first hole being played as either a par 5 or par 4.

The back nine will be either 34/35 as the 18th hole will be either a par 4 or a par 5.

Par for each of the tournament rounds will be 70

Chambers Bay held the 2010 U.S. Amateur.  Peter Uihlein celebrated his 21st birthday by defeating David Chung, 4 and 2, in the final match.

2015 U.S. Open Players Who Competed in 2010 U.S. Amateur (11): 

  • Byeong-Hun An (semifinalist)
  • Blayne Barber (Rd. 32)
  • Russell Henley (FQ)
  • Morgan Hoffmann (quarterfinalist)
  • Tom Hoge (FQ)
  • Alex Kim (Rd. 32)
  • Brooks Koepka (FQ)
  • Denny McCarthy (Rd. 64)
  • Cheng-Tsung Pan (Rd. 64)
  • Patrick Reed (Rd. 32)
  • Jordan Spieth (FQ)

About Chambers Bay

When you consider the average age of golf courses that get a U.S. Open it’s in the decades.  Last year the U.S. Open was at Pinehurst, a course built in the 1930s.  Next year the Open goes to Oakmont, the course will be 122 years old, opening in 1904.  Tradition has it that U.S. Open’s is played on courses that have had a lot of time to mature and gotten ready.  But that tradition will change as Chambers Bay opened in 2007, just eight years ago.  Before Pierce County bought the land in 1992, the site had numerous operations on it for close to a century mostly as a gravel pit that provided more than 250 million tons of gravel to build highways and roads.

In 2000 John Ladenburg, a federal prosecutor, had been elected Pierce County Executive. He had just taken up golf and thought how wonderful it would be to put a golf course on that property.  But he didn’t want to build just any type of golf course but one that would help the community.  He was inspired by a book about Bethpage, the iconic public golf course in Long Island that was about to hold the U.S. Open and thought it would be great to do the same.

The property had the greatest views of the bay and the Olympic mountain range in the background and after getting consultants in the liked the proposals that Robert Trent Jones Jr. was making.  Jones had a vision to build a championship course and when he submitted his bid to build the course, he passed out bag tags that said the course could open the U.S. Open in 2013.  He missed it by 15 years.

Jones built a links style course that had the same views as Pebble Beach had and a different looking course that resembled something you find in Britain.  Jones also had a good pipe-line into the USGA and got things rolling.  When Chambers Bay opened in 2007, the USGA were looking to have Winged Foot host the 2015 Open but the club voted not to do it. In a search for another venue they were impressed not only with what Chambers Bay could turn into, but also to solve the one search that alluded the USGA for years, to finally bring a U.S. Open to the Pacific Northwest.  Mike Davis first visited Chambers in 2005 when it was first getting built and he could see the potential.  But all of the moons had to get lined up perfectly and they did, in February of 2008 the USGA took a chance on Chambers Bay by awarding it the 2010 U.S. Amateur and the 2015 U.S. Open.

Many will ask why the USGA made such a quick decision and the reason was easy.  The PGA of America also was looking at going back to the Pacific Northwest.  It held the 1998 PGA Championship at Sahalee, and it was a financial success but the course wasn’t good enough for a major.  So they were also searching to take their championship back to the area and already had beaten the USGA to the punch for Whistling Straits so this gave the USGA the reason to take a gamble on Chambers Bay.   Guess we will see if it pays off.

Here are some of the secrets of what it takes to play well at the U.S. Open:

Since 1960 only nine players have made the U.S. Open their first PGA Tour victory; Jack Nicklaus, 1962; Lee Trevino, 1968; Orville Moody, 1969; Jerry Pate, 1976; Ernie Els, 1993, Retief Goosen, 2001, Michael Campbell in 2005, Angel Cabrera in 2007 and Graeme McDowell in 2010.  But take a look at that list. Jack Nicklaus and Jerry Pate were U.S. Amateur champions, Retief Goosen and Ernie Els had almost a dozen wins around the world before they won the U.S. Open and Lee Trevino became one of the greatest players in the world.  Michael Campbell, Angel Cabrera and Graeme McDowell won a lot around the world, especially in Europe. So of these first time winners, you have Orville Moody, who went on to win the Senior Open but still wasn’t that great of a player.  The point here is look for a big name to win the U.S. Open.

So could that open the door for another first time winner?  Probably not, of the 48 first timers I don’t see one that could win, lot’s of good players and prospects for the future but not today.

Five years ago the 40 year streak of not having a European Tour player winner was finally broken by Graeme McDowell.  Since then the flood gates have opened as other Europeans like Rory McIlroy won in 2011, Justin Rose in 2013 and Martin Kaymer last year.  With the course being so different, don’t be surprise if another European wins this year. Europeans are use to playing links style courses, more than Americans.

Here are some more key stats to look to for this week:

So what will it take to win at Chambers Bay?

The most important aspect will be getting around the course. Last year Martin Kaymer choreographed a perfect 72 holes to get around Pinehurst.  The person that wins this week will have to do the same, think about the placement of each shot and pick your spots to go after a birdie and make sure to make par.  In 2011 Rory McIlroy won thanks to only making three bogies and one double bogie.  Someone will be looking to do that this year.

How important is driving?

It won’t be a key like other Open venues, but if you are wild it will cost you.  Fairways are generous, but the fescue rough is very tough and you won’t get the ball close to the hole from the rough.  As for hitting it long that will play a key, again if you keep it on the short grass.

Hitting to the greens, how tough?

A lot will depend on if the pin is tucked away on a plateau or hard to get close.  Again a player has to be smart, there are lot’s of dangerous around the greens so you have to make sure a shot is to the right part of the green.

What about onces you get there?  Greens are massive at 8,700 square feet with lot’s of undulation and roll.  Yes reading the greens will be tough.

Weather

The weather is always important at the U.S. Open. This week all the players will have pleasant conditions with no humidity and temperature’s in the high 70s. There is a 40% chance of morning showers on Friday, other than that it’s great.  One last thing is wind, forecast is for 10 mph on Thursday and Friday, going down to 8mph over the weekend so weather shouldn’t be a factor.

One last important element, patient:

You have to keep you cool at all time.  Some bounces will go in your favor while others won’t.  But if you let it get to you, that spells defeat.  Those that have a good attitude over the course will be the one that wins.

Is there any rhyme or reason for a player winning the U.S. Open?

No.

In the past 25 years its been won by grinders like Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose, Jim Furyk, Retief Goosen, Angel Cabrera and Graeme McDowell, who may not look pretty but knows how to place shots in the right spots.  There have also been superstars like Tiger Woods, who were expected to win.  It’s been won by great tour players like Tom Kite and Corey Pavin, who capped off their PGA Tour careers with their first win in a major.  It’s been won by up and coming stars like South African’s Ernie Els, Martin Kaymer, Retief Goosen and Geoff Ogilvy, who won it in 2006.

Who can forget the stars that many thought were past their prime, like Payne Stewart and Hale Irwin.  It’s also been won by tour grinders like Lee Janzen and Webb Simpson. Last but not least the stray qualifier like Steve Jones, who surprised the golfing world with his victory in 1996, plus Michael Campbell in 2005, who was contemplating not going to U.S. Open qualifying the night before.  How about 2009 winner Lucas Glover, you show me a person that had a winning Lucas Glover ticket and I will show you my winning Irish sweepstake ticket.  In past Opens we said that it’s a wide open field.  But I feel that only the best will contend this week. It will be just like the Masters in which only a dozen players have a real chance at winning.

 

Who to watch for at the U.S. Open

Best Bets:

Rory McIlroy

2015 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03
T23 T41 CUT Win CUT T10

It’s got to be Rory, he hits it far and straight, knows how to plot his way around a course and is a good putter. He also does have a lot of patience which will help him.

Phil Mickelson

2015 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03
T28 T2 T65 T54 T4 T2 T18 CUT T2 T33 2 T55

Amazing how good he played at the PGA last August and at the Masters. Showed signs of his putter coming back at the Memorial and was very pleased that his game was improving each day in Memphis. He likes the course and knows his biological clock is ticking away. Oakmont next year is not on Phil’s list of places to win, so he has to do it this year or have to wait a while for a course that suits him. I think he does it this year.

Jordan Spieth

2015 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03
T17 CUT T21

He has the game for the course, plus a caddy that knows Chambers Bay backwards and forwards. But it will all fall onto his putting, if he has a great week he will win.

Best of the rest:

Justin Rose

2015 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03
T12 Win T21 CUT CUT CUT T10 CUT T5

Along with Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth he is one of the favorites. The two elements that make him good for this week is his knack of playing well at Augusta, which is a lot like Chambers Bay with precise putting. Most important Rose maturity, patience and experience will carry him this week.

Dustin Johnson

2015 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03
T4 55 CUT T23 T8 T40 T48

Says he likes the course, that is a great sign. Can overpower the course, but needs to keep it straight, just wonder if he can manage his game which is important.

Hideki Matsuyama

2015 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03
T35 T10

Six top-five finishes in 2015, ranks 2nd in Strokes Gained Tee-te-Green which is an important element for playing well at Chambers Bay. The topper is the fact that he has played well at the Masters (T-5th this year) and also played well on British Open links course (was T-6th in 2013). Lastly he was able to figure out how to play at Merion, was T-10th in 2013. He will be in the running come Sunday.

Henrik Stenson

2015 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03
T4 T21 T23 T29 9 CUT CUT T26

This guy can play great on links courses, he is long overdue to win a major it could be this week.

Solid contenders

Adam Scott

2015 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03
T9 T45 T15 CUT CUT T36 T26 CUT T21 T28 CUT CUT

Has Stevie Williams back on the bag, think it will get him thinking better. Has the game, just be preoccupied on other things which Williams will help him manage better.

Brooks Koepka

2015 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03
T4 CUT

His game is sharp right now, I can see him play well.

Sergio Garcia

2015 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03
T35 T45 T38 T7 T22 T10 T18 CUT CUT T3 T20 T35

Has always played well on links course, if he can get his putter rolling he could be tough this week.

Jim Furyk

2015 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03
T12 CUT T4 CUT T16 T33 T36 T2 T2 T28 T48 Win

Has the experience to know how to play Chambers Bay, plus he has five, top-five finishes on British Open courses. From tee-to-green he is perfect for Chambers Bay but the one aspect of the game, putting, is what could give him problems. If he can do well with the flat-stick like he did in his Heritage win and his T-5th finish at Memorial, he will be a force to reckon with this week.

Rickie Fowler

2015 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03
T2 T10 T41 CUT CUT T60

He is young enough that things won’t bother him. He has all the confidence and the game to do well.

Long shots that could come through:

Ryan Palmer

2015 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03
CUT CUT T21 CUT

His game has been sharp of late and he can manage the course, it’s up to his putter.

Francesco Molinari

2015 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03
T23 CUT T29 CUT CUT T27

Have to watch him, he could be that longshot that plays well like Eric Compton did last year.

Michael Putnam

2015 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03
T45 T55 CUT

Has played on this course more than anyone else. Knows the course the question is if he can get the job done.

Alex Noren

2015 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03
CUT T51

Plays well on links course and could play a factor this week.

And then you have Tiger…

Tiger Woods

2015 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03
T32 T21 T4 T6 Win T2 CUT 2 T17 T20

In the Tiger of old this would be a great course for Tiger. But his game is just to shaky, at Memorial his chipping and putting was terrible, he can’t play well without that and his putter. Sorry but Tiger will again be playing to stick around for the weekend.

Comments

  1. Relatively new to the site… wondering about the rankings above. For the guys listed like Putnam and Noren as longshots, is this site saying they would take them before someone like Jason Day or Zach Johnson? If not, is there another list where all players are ranked? I’m in a two player serpentine draft and need the top 30 or so players completely ranked. Thanks!

  2. The rankings above is a list of players in the U.S. Open that have played the best and worst over the last nine weeks.

    As for longshot picks, they are chosed from me and try to enlighten on players that you would not normally think of. Day and Johnson are guys we think about, Putnam and Noren aren’t.

    As for a list of top players, go up to the main GOLFstats page and the left tab rankings is that list. You can list the top 80 golfers through the search.

    Welcome to GOLFstats.

  3. Thanks Sal.

Speak Your Mind

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.