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US Open Expert Picks

The first of TWO US Opens this season

Golf - PGA - 106th US Open Championship at Winged Foot Photo by Rich Kane/Icon SMI/Icon Sport Media via Getty Images

Due to the US Open not being played in the 2019-2020 PGA season, we get to see two US Opens this season! This is the first of the two that will occur. The second will be in June of 2021.

Tournament Information

US Open
Date: September 17th – 20th
Course: Winged Foot Golf Club
Purse: $12.5MM ($2.3MM to winner)
2020 Winner: NA

Course

Winged Foot Golf Club — Originally built in 1923, the West course was designed by A.W. Tillinghast (renovated by Gil Hanse in 2015). This private par 70 will register at over 7,400 yards for the US Open with a course rating of 75.7 and a slope rating of 141. While the course is fairly flat, the roughs can be brutal and the expectations of this course will be to hit greens in regulation with calculated iron shots. It must utilize those to be difficult since there are no water hazards on the course. As an architect for Bethpage Blake, Baltusrol and Somerset Hills, A.W. Tillinghast is no stranger to creating a fearsome US Open course for the participants. Ultimately this tournament will be own or lost on it’s greens which can be treacherously fast.

The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship - Winged Foot Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images for the DC&P Championship

My Starting 4

Phil Mickelson (first selection this year) — I don’t necessarily believe Nickerson will win here but I think, even with the unfortunate finish, he still finished second here in 2006 and now, 15 years later, he still among the best in the game.

Abraham Ancer (first selection this year) — Ancer closed out the Tour Championship finishing 18th last season. He continues to improve each season and as of the end of last year he was 38th in putting, 33rd in strokes gained off the tee, 45th in strokes gained approaching the green and 43rd in driving accuracy.

Gary Woodland (first selection this year) — Winner of the US Open last year, Woodland has excellent putting, phenomenal approaches to green (10th in strokes gained last year) and he has a good track record of strong play at Majors. He also has a tendency to excel early in the seasons which will hopefully mitigate the largest concern – his final few tournaments of last season.

Xander Schauffele (first selection this year) — The second overall FedEx Cup finisher last year, Schauffele has one of the best recent majors finishes: 10th, 41st, second, 16th and second (one of those seconds is last years US Open). He was third in total strokes gained last season, eight in strokes gained off the tee, 33rd in putting and seventh in strokes gained tee to green. He is as efficient as they come on the tour right now.

My Bench 2

Tommy Fleetwood (first selection this year) — Fleetwood finished 29th, second, 65th, 48th and 36th in his last five Majors. Unfortunately the 65th was the US Open last year. When the US open was at Shinnecock Hills in New York in 2018, he finished second. He’s 26th in strokes gained putting, 24th in strokes gained off the tee.

Bryson DeChambeau (first selection this year) — DeChambeau struggled a bit down the stretch last season but his last majors was solid, finishing fourth. He can put well (10th on tour), he’s first in strokes gained off the tee and 19th in strokes gained tee to green.

Fun Fact: Having hosted six US Opens, Winged Foot is only surpassed by Oakmont Country Club and Baltusrol in number of US Opens hosted.


2020-2021 Stats

Starting 4: avg finish 41st (26th percent)
Bench 2: avg finish 73rd (47th percent)