Jun 7, 2015; Dublin, OH, USA; Hideki Matsuyama tees off the first hole during the final round of the Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
$9,900 to $9,000
There are only five golfers to choose in this range and I’m not crazy about these particular golfers. Jimmy Walker doesn’t sound too thrilled with Chambers Bay and I’m sure Bubba Watson won’t like it, so I’m crossing them both off.
What I love about Bubba is he will tell you how he’s feeling. If he doesn’t like the course, fade him. If he likes the course, take him. It’s that simple. I may reconsider this once it’s the week of the U.S. Open and we get the players talking about Chambers Bay, but I’m fading him for now.
Jason Day has been struggling of late and he hasn’t played well on links-styled golf courses in his career. He is too risky a pick for me at this point in time.
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So, that leaves Sergio Garcia and Martin Kaymer. This is a course that could potentially set up well for Garcia, but if he doesn’t like it – if he struggles on the greens – then he could be packing his bags early.
I don’t usually like taking defending champions, but Kaymer could be a good pick here at Chambers Bay. Kaymer is a solid links golfer, but also remember what I said about Chambers Bay? It kind of has a bit of Pinehurst No 2/Whistling Straits vibe to it. Kaymer won both the U.S. Open and PGA the years it was held on those respective courses.
I think if I had to pick someone, I think I would lean towards taking Garcia. This is a course that Garcia could potentially thrive in, but of course, at the same time he could really blow up. Garcia is probably the ultimate low floor, high ceiling pick at the U.S. Open.
I can’t help but think of The Open Championship last year where both Fowler and Garcia were in contention. It might finally be “the year” for one of them.
$8,900 to $8,000
This is where Tiger Woods ($8,600) resides in which I’m a little bit surprised. I thought he would be a little bit more expensive just because of his name. Woods’ ownership will be interesting.
Hideki Matsuyama ($8,900) and Patrick Reed ($8,500) will probably be two of the highest owned golfers at the U.S. Open. Week in and week out Matusyama is competing near the top of the leaderboard.
Reed hasn’t really done much of anything for a few months now, but he is a big name and he could breakout, you never really know with Reed. He gets hot and cold really quickly.
It’s fitting that Matt Kuchar ($8,800) and Jim Furyk ($8,700) are right next to each other. They both play alike, both have been top ten machines throughout their career, but they have struggled – for the most part – this season.
At a long course like this, it’ll be interesting to see how they fare. While they maybe at a disadvantage distance wise, if the wind does pick up that will help them out immensely. Both play well in the wind and if they get in trouble they can scramble really well. Just good, solid golfers.
Brandt Snedeker ($8,100) is a boom-or-bust pick. He has missed the cut in two of his last five tournaments – at The Masters and The PLAYERS – but he has finished inside the top six in his last two tournaments.
Snedeker finished T-2 at the Crowne Plaza at Colonial and T-6 at the Byron Nelson.
Billy Horschel ($8,000) has the kind of game that can win a U.S. Open, maybe not this one, but if Horschel is winning a major it will be a U.S. Open.
Horschel might be a sexy pick as well. He has been playing well and getting a lot of love of late. If he plays well at the FedEx St. Jude Classic expect more hype to surround him.
The pick for me here is pretty easy; Matsuyama is definitely the pick. Matsuyama should be at least in the high nines. At his price he comes at a value. The only flaw in Matsuyama’s game is his putter. The flat stick is pretty spotty and that is a concern, but other than that Matsuyama is rock solid. Compared to everyone else in this group Matsuyama is clearly the one to target.
Next: The Meat & Potatoes: $7,900 to $7,000