U.S. Open: Five bold predictions

Dustin Johnson. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Dustin Johnson. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /
4 of 6

Embed from Getty Images

Prediction: The cut line at the 117th U.S. Open will be at least +2 over par.

The U.S. Open is designed to be among the most challenging tests of golf skill and endurance. Erin Hills will be set up to maximize course difficulty and 72 is going to be a good score. Don’t be expecting to see a lot of red numbers on the leaderboard. Old Man Par could win this battle.

At Oakmont last year some of the best in the game – Phil Mickelson, Rory McIlroy, Jason Day, and Rickie Fowler – flirted with that dreaded cut line. The previous year, at Chambers Bay, Martin Kaymer, Bubba Watson, and the now-surging Alex Noren missed the cut.

We could probably get into a fairly hot debate about which greens were worse – those at Chambers Bay or those at Pinehurst #2. Bubba Watson would likely not choose to vote. He missed the cut at both venues and excoriated the putting surfaces both times. But Bubba had good company. Jason Dufner, Luke Donald, and Hunter Mahan all went home from Pinehurst #2 early while Martin Kaymer stayed around to collect the hardware.

There’s not much logic to predicting who will and who won’t make the cut. I’ll leave that to other prognosticators but I will say that getting into the top 60 (plus ties) in the field and staying there for 36 consecutive holes isn’t going to be easy at Erin Hills. Some of the games finest will be sitting out the weekend.