2018 U.S. Open Picks, Including the Driver-Off-The-Deck BOLD Play of the Week #isitThursdayyet

After some side-stepping, cash-grabbing, deviations from “the norm” 2 of the past 3 years with its U.S. Open venues (Chambers Bay and Erin Hills), the USGA returns to one of the top venues in all of golf, as Shinnecock Hills plays host to this week’s U.S. Open.  Other than FOX carrying the coverage again this year, I’m downright excited.  In fact, I’m so excited that I’m going to just jump straight into my picks (although not before I remind you that I picked Brooks Koepka as the winner last year after beginning my Lockzilla writeup with the word “inevitable.”)  BOOMSHAKALAKA.

My picks last week at the FedEx St Jude Classic were looking great as of early Friday afternoon, with all 3 in line to make the cut, until my Semi-Flier Shawn Stefani and BOLD play of the week Joel Dahmen totally came unglued down the stretch, both narrowly missing the cut.  My Lockzilla Henrik Stenson did finish t-26th and I did spot on nail the previous week’s runner-up Ben An to miss the cut.

Now, let’s hop into some picks for this week.

LOCKZILLA (Last week: Henrik t-26th)

Dustin Johnson
Dustin Johnson
– Just go ahead and give him the trophy, he’s the clear-cut favorite and when he’s dialed in, no one can beat him, right?  Well, I can’t dispute the last two statements.  I’m not necessarily sure if he wins this week, although yes, I would like to make it two years in a row in this spot picking the winner of the U.S. Open (FYI again- I had Brooks Koepka in this same Lockzilla spot last year at Erin Hills).  But, he’s a must play in all formats given his current form and U.S. Open track record.  DJ is certainly your centerpiece this week.

SEMI-FLIER (Last week: Stefani MC)

Alex Noren
Alex Noren
– Quick- who’s the higher ranked Swede in the OWGR- Henrik Stenson or Alex Noren?  Nope, not the Swedish Terminator but rather his compatriot Alex Noren (yes, they’re only 1 ranking apart- #16 and #17, but it’s notable nonetheless).  Now, Noren does not have the U.S. Open track record that you’re looking for in a total Lockzilla pick, with 4 MCs and a t-51st on his Open resume (hence, why he’s under my Semi-Flier category); however, I LOVE his high bleeding fades for a firm, slippery test like Shinnecock, along with his grit and the fact that he has taken his game to the next level the past 12 months, winning the European Tour’s BMW Championship and adding close calls on the PGA Tour with top 3s at the Farmers Insurance Open, the Honda Classic and the WGC Match Play.

Also digging me some Marc Leishman this week.

HOSEL-ROCKET BUST (Last week: An MC)

Justin Thomas
Justin Thomas
– Last year’s U.S. Open darling who fired a record-tying 63 in Saturday’s round with that sensational eagle on the 18th hole on Saturday, before drifting back to a t-9th finish is sure to catch some attention this week.  Call it a gut feeling, but I’m in total fade mode on JT this week.  You can thank me later.

DRIVER-OFF-THE-DECK BOLD PLAY OF THE WEEK (Last week: Dahmen MC)

Brandt Snedeker
Brandt Snedeker
– Remember this shaggy-haired, fist-pumpin, smiley American fella?  Of course you do.  We all love us some Sneds!  No question about it- it’s been a tough season thus far for the 37-year-old with nary a top 10 to speak of until last week at the FedEx St Jude Classic.  Well, that might just be the momentum boost that he needs into our nation’s Open as he has actually quite the stellar record in golf’s toughest test, with 5 career top 10s (no finishes better than 8th), including a t-9th last year at Erin Hills.  He’s gritty, has a helluva good short game and can save pars with the best of ’em.  Oh yeah, and it’s a Ryder Cup year (don’t for a second think that he hasn’t been thinking about that as motivation- he’s going to need a big splash soon though, and when better than this week).  Brandt Snedeker is your Driver-off-the-Deck BOLD play of the week!

#isitThursdayyet

Joel Harrington
@joel4deepgolf

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