2013 U.S. Open at Merion Preview, Picks + Predictions Plus the Driver-Off-The-Deck BOLD Play of the Week

Ah the U.S. Open, where once per year we get to watch world class players chip out sideways from the rough, make double and triple bogeys galore and toss those sponsor-driven caps in disgust in all directions.  As long as Chris Berman isn’t involved in this year’s telecast, it’s going to be a great event.

As for the Merion course, here’s my thoughts on how it’ll play this week.  Note, in case you haven’t noticed this already, I’m more than just a little bit honest when it comes to my assessment and predictions.  Also note that instead of laughing at my 7-under winning score pick after a player shoots 64 on day one, how about we just wait and see what the total 72 holes bring first.  #MerionHasTeethFolks

If you want me to just pick the seemingly lay-ups of Tiger, Kuch, Graeme and Dustin this week, then go somewhere else for your picks.  If you want real, accurate and in-depth analysis as to who will contend at Merion and why, you’ve come to the right place.

Now, let’s hop into those picks Merion style:

LOCKZILLAS: (Last week: Phil t-2nd, F Jacobson MC)

Luke Donald
Luke Donald
– It’s been a bit of a soft year for the 35-year-old Englishman, but Luke quietly has logged 7 top 25s, including two top 5s on the PGA Tour.  For being such a short hitter, Luke isn’t the most accurate driver of the golf ball, but is a wizard around the greens.  There’s no one better on Tour at pitching out of trouble, then getting up and down from 30, 50, 80, 100 yards or what-have-you for par than Luke Donald.  Think Justin Leonard at the ’97 PGA Championship at Winged Foot in finishing second place behind DLIII.  Luke has a major love affair for classic and traditional courses that are not overly long, but are extremely challenging and fair.  Luke will contend this week.

Kyle Stanley
Kyle Stanley
– One of the few players who has played here in competition (’05 U.S. Amateur) last minute qualified for this event as he stayed in the top 60 in the World Golf Rankings thru last week’s FedEx St Jude Classic (finished 60th).  Stanley has been on a tear of late, with three top 6s in his past five events, including two solo 3rds.  I can already see the qualified-last-minute-and-now-he’s-contending story being written about him this week.

Also really like Justin Rose, Sergio Garcia and Henrik Stenson as LOCKZILLAS this week.

SEMI-FLIERS: (Last week: Rollins 6th, Teater WD before start)

Jason Dufner

Jason Dufner– Yep, zero top tens this year is more than a little eye-opening for the shaggy haired big dippin’ Duf man, but something about Merion just screams #Dufnering to me.  Perhaps it’s the Duf man’s Hogan obsession, or the fact that he’s a fairways and greens machine and just an all around ball-striking Jesse.  Most of the field will double and triple bogey their way out of contention this week.  Dufner won’t ignite the course with 7 birdies a round, but he won’t shoot himself out of contention either, and I believe come Sunday afternoon will be a factor and could very well be our next major champion.

Fredrik Jacobson
Fredrik (sorry “Freddy”) Jacobson
– Scrappy, par-savey and choppy sound funny, but seem to be a perfect recipe for U.S. Open contention.  Oh yeah, and when you’re nicknamed “the Junkman” you’re destined to win an Open before your career is done!  I was one of the probably handful or less of people holding a 125/1 ticket on Freddy to win the U.S. Open last year at Olympic Club, and after he was in the final group on Sunday but crumbled down the stretch my heart still lived to see another Open.  I like Freddy to contend again this year.

HOSEL-ROCKET BUSTS: (Last week: D Johnson t-10th, Poulter t-51st)

Bubba Watson
Bubba Watson
– Something about a tight, traditional track with an extra premium on driving accuracy coupled with some viciously long rough that could swallow a small child doesn’t seem to bode well for Bubba’s chances this week.  Throw in a MC at Olympic Club last year and a t-63rd at the ’11 U.S. Open and Bubba’s confidence at our nation’s championship isn’t riding too high right now.  Wouldn’t at all be surprised to hear Bubba throw out a totally complain-y whiny type comment before his two day week is over. #MC

Keegan Bradley
Keegan Bradley
– See exact same notes about Bubba above, minus the whiny talk.  Keegan cares way too much about 345 yard drives, flat-billed hats, a wannabe mustache and 195 yard 8-irons than keeping the ball in the fairway. #MC

DRIVER-OFF-THE-DECK BOLD PLAY OF THE WEEK: (Last week: Karlsson t-39th)

Kevin Chappell
Kevin Chappell
– Kevin is one of those sneaky good youngsters who we all should’ve heard of by now, but for some reason never seem to pick when it comes to pools or Fantasy contests.  That should change this week.  Kevin finished t-3rd at the ’11 US Open at Congressional, followed by a solid t-10th last year at Olympic Club, so clearly has some seriously good U.S. Open vibes going.  He’s also one of the few players in the field who has played this course in competition (he reached the round of 16 in the ’05 US Amateur at Merion) and comes in with some great momentum following a solo 2nd at Memorial just two weeks ago.  Mr flat-billed Chappell is your Driver-off-the-Deck BOLD play of the week.

#isitThursdayyet

Joel Harrington
@joel4deepgolf

P.S. Click here for the 2013 U.S. Open at Merion TV Schedule.  Can’t wait to see those wicker baskets in action.

Comments

  1. theDroux says:

    Noted: the US Open champion came out of your list of “Lockzillas”.

  2. The white and purple hat that jason dufner is wearing, i’ve been trying to find it. Anybody know where I can get kne

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