2015 U.S. Open at Chambers Bay picks + predictions, plus the Driver-Off-The-Deck BOLD Play of the Week #isitThursdayyet

Welcome to the 2015 U.S. Open, aka the year of the unknowns.  An unfamiliar course (Chambers Bay) and a new broadcasting network (Fox).  Let’s dive right in.

LOCKZILLAS (Last Week: English t-45th, Horschel t-8th)

Dustin Johnson
Dustin Johnson
– Illness, schmillness.  DJ’s WD last week from the FedEx St Jude Classic was not surprising whatsoever, he’s good for one or two random WDs or violent missed cuts every season on Tour.  All that does is make me love his chances all the more this week with some folks now scared to roster him.  He’s having a banner season and it’s inevitable that he’ll win a major sooner than later in his career with his level of talent.  The U.S. Open is his best fit in a major and I’ve been saying all season now, he is hands down my pick to hoist the trophy this week.

Sergio Garcia
Sergio Garcia
– Sergio is undoubtedly one of the easiest players to hate, with his woe-is-me attitude and other absurd comments he’s made of the years, but plain and simple, he’s one of the top plays this week.  El Nino hasn’t missed a cut on the PGA Tour since last year’s Masters(!) and in his most recent start on Tour lost in a playoff to Rickie at the PLAYERS Championship, so he’s clearly in solid form.  Despite the fact that he’s never won the big one, he also has an incredible 19 top 10s in major championships over his career (nineteen!), including four at the U.S. Open and eight at the British Open.  He simply continues to ball-strike his way into contention again and again, and as long as he doesn’t talk himself out of the tournament, he’ll be there on Sunday.

SEMI-FLIER (Last Week: Watney t-53th)

Ryan Moore
Ryan Moore
– Sans a WD after two rounds of the Humana Challenge way back in January, Moore has missed only one cut this calendar year on the PGA Tour (PLAYERS).  His U.S. Open record is far from stellar–just one top 10 in 8 appearances—but given the added motivation of it being the first ever U.S. Open in his native state of Washington, I’ll take that boost plus his solid form this season and I’ll ride it all week long.

HOSEL-ROCKET BUST (Last week: Casey WD)

Jordan Spieth
Jordan Spieth
– Whoa, but he’s the hottest player on the PGA Tour this season and his caddie has all sorts of knowledge about Chambers Bay.  How can you be picking him as a bust this week, Joel?!  Well my friends, let me begin.  Hottest player on the PGA Tour season and the POTY thus far yes, to be sure.  But, with no career success (yet) on links courses (t-36th is his best ever finish in two British Open appearances) and the flood of media attention of being the Masters champ = pressure like he’s never felt before.  Also, yes, his caddie has looped about 40 rounds here, but that was back in 2011 before the course changes and in a completely different setup than U.S. Open conditions.  Spieth usually does green reads on his own and doesn’t call his caddie in for assistance unless he really needs a second opinion, which might shake up his normally reliable routine this week if he starts leaning on his caddie too much.  That could lead to a lot of hey-I-thought-you-said-this-would-break-left moments on the course this week for young Spieth.  Steer clear of Jordan this week and thank me later.

DRIVER-OFF-THE-DECK BOLD PLAY OF THE WEEK (Last Week: Palmer t-22nd)

Kevin Chappell
Kevin Chappell
– I remember watching Rory dominate the U.S. Open at Congressional back in 2011 and thinking to myself, who is that young dude who just finished t-3rd and low American for the tourney?  Enter Kevin Chappell, who is one of the most talented, best kept secrets in all of golf.  Chappell followed up that t-3rd U.S. Open finish with a t-10th finish the very next year, then a t-32nd after that.  After not qualifying for the Open last year he’ll unquestionably be hungrier than ever to tee it up in our nation’s championship, especially when you consider that he and his wife own a house only about an hour from Chambers Bay, and he’s logged nearly two dozen rounds here the past couple years.  Oh yeah, and his form is coming around too, with three top 25s in his past four PGA Tour starts.  Kevin Chappell is your Driver-off-the-Deck BOLD play of the week!

#isitThursdayyet

Joel Harrington
@joel4deepgolf

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