Par 70, 7,230 Yards
I’ve been doing some reading up on Oakmont and the general consensus is its very tough and going to be a huge test for the players. Daniel Berger tweeted last week “The rough is on steroids you can’t advance the ball 10 yards sometimes” which says it all really. This course last hosted the US Open back in 2007 where Angel Cabrera won on a score of +5. The course was designed by Henry Fownes and was opened 113 years ago in 1903. It straddles the Allegheny River Valley and uniquely has virtually no water hazards, and, since 2007, almost no trees. It has two par 5’s, four par 3’s and 12 par 4’s. The shortest hole is the par 3 13th measuring 183 yards. The longest hole is the par 5 12th measuring a lengthy 667 yards.
With a USGA course rating of 77.5 and some 200 bunkers it is generally regarded as one of the most difficult in the US. It features large, extremely fast, and undulating Poa annua grass greens.
The course is also noted for its slope. In particular, on holes 1, 3, 10, and 12, the greens pitch away from the fairway. One of Oakmont’s most famous hazards is the Church Pews bunker that comes into play on the 3rd and 4th holes. It measures approximately 100 by 40 yards (91 by 37 m) and features twelve grass covered traversing ridges that resemble church pews.
Arnold Palmer famously said “You can hit 72 greens in regulation in the Open at Oakmont and not come close to winning”. It seems the main areas of focus are negotiating these tricky greens. Making enough putts could be the key to winning around here along with GIR and a mix between power and accuracy.
There is no other golfer on the planet playing as well as Jason Day at the moment. He has been playing superb golf over the last 12 months and looks to be a huge threat every time he tees it up lately. He had a great wire to wire win at Sawgrass at The Players Championship winning by four strokes from his nearest challenger Kevin Chappell. He got his first win of the season at the Arnold Palmer Invitational back in March and followed that with another win at the WGC Matchplay. He then finished T10 at The Masters, T23 at The RBC Heritage, T5 in New Orleans and a win in Sawgrass. He had a mediocre performance at Memorial finishing T27 and took a break last week.
Day has a great US Open record finishing eighth in Chambers Bay in 2015, fourth in Pinehurst in 2014, second in Merion in 2013 and second in Congressional in 2012. He seems to be a player with a complete game for this course and ranks first in strokes gained putting, second in par 4 scoring, fourth in par 5 scoring and 20th in driving distance. With superb current form and a great all round game Day has to be the man to beat here.
Despite taking a rest with a back injury over the last few weeks Justin Rose looks to be pain free according to his Twitter profile. He has been playing well over the last few weeks and has only finished outside the top 20 twice in his last nine starts. Rose played well in Pebble Beach back in February finishing T6 and followed that with a T16 at The Northern Trust Open, T17 at The WGC Cadillac, T9 at The Arnold Palmer and a T10 in Augusta at The Masters. More recently he finished T19 at The Players and solo third at The Wells Fargo and didn’t shoot worse than a 71 all week.
The Englishman has a good record in US Opens over the years finishing 27th in Chambers Bay last year, 12th in Pinehurst in 2014, a win in Merion in 2013 and a T21 in Olympic in 2012. Rose also played well in Oakmont in 2007 finishing T10 and comes here in much better form this time around. He ranks fifth in GIR and 18th in driving distance and if he stays injury free he could be right in the mix come Sunday.
Despite a poor performance at Memorial, Matsuyama has been playing well over the last couple of months and has four top 11’s in his last six starts. He had a great week in Sawgrass finishing T7 at The Players Championship. He had a good performance in Bay Hill finishing T6 and followed that with a T7 at The Masters and a T11 at The Wells Fargo.
He has played in three US Opens and hasn’t finished worse than T35. He finished 18th in Chambers Bay, T35 in Pinehurst in 2014 and T10 in Merion in 2013 . He ranks 14th in GIR, seventh in par 4 scoring, 25th in par 5 scoring and third in strokes gained around the green. He ticks a lot of statistical boxes and could be a big contender here.
Brooks played great last week at The St.Jude shooting an impressive final round 66 to finish T2. He also came very close to winning the Byron Nelson a couple of weeks ago after shooting rounds of 65,64,65 in the first three rounds but lost in a playoff to Sergio Garcia after shooting a final round 71. Despite that he still finished second and played solidly all week. He also played well at The WGC Matchplay finishing fifth and followed that with a T21 at The Masters. He has played well in his two previous US Open appearances finishing 18th last year in Chambers Bay and fourth in Pinehurst in 2014.
Kopeka is one of the biggest hitters on tour averaging 305 off the tee and ranks ninth in driving distance. He also ranks sixth in strokes gained around the green and seventh in par 4 scoring. He comes here in great form and could have the game to suit a tricky Oakmont setup.
With six top 15’s in his last nine starts Patrick Reed’s game looks in great shape to take on mighty Oakmont. He had a good week at The Valspar finishing T7 and followed that with a T9 at the WGC Matchplay, T10 in Houston and a solo second in Texas. More recently he finished T15 at Colonial which included a 65,69,69 the first three rounds capped off with a final round 71 to post six under for the week. He had another good performance at Memorial finishing T8 which also included three rounds in the 60’s.
Reed has played in two US Opens and he seems to be getting better every time he plays. He finished T14 in Chambers Bay last year and had a respectable T35 at Pinehurst in 2014. He also looks good statistically ranking 51st in driving distance, 13th in SGTTG and first in strokes gained around the green. He also ranks fourth in scrambling and 14th in par 5 scoring. He looks good value to have a solid week on a course that could suit.
The Masters champion has had a superb season and arrives this week feeling fresh after some time off since Wentworth where he finished solo third. He had a good three rounds the week before in Ireland but had a poor final round to finish T23. He also had a good week at the WGC Cadillac finishing T3 and followed that with a T22 at The Valspar. He then went on to shoot an unreal 67 in round four in Augusta to win The Masters and beat Jordan Spieth. The Englishman also won the Dubai Desert Classic earlier in the season so he is no stranger to winning.
He has featured in two US Open’s in 2014 and 2015. He missed the cut in Chambers Bay last year and finished T45 in Pinehurst in 2014. Despite his average record in US Open’s, he has proved he can contend and win in the best fields. He also looks good on paper ranking fourth in stroke average, 25th in GIR and 11th in strokes gained putting. Danny has to be respected here and could be in with a chance given his current form.
Final selections –
Jason Day 7/1 2pts EW
Justin Rose 25/1 1.5 pts EW
Hideki Matsuyama 33/1 1pt EW
Brooks Koepka 50/1 1pt EW
Patrick Reed 50/1 1pt EW
Danny Willett 50/1 1pt EW
Total staked = 15 pts
Most bookies paying 7 places!
Good luck and enjoy the golf,
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