Predicting the Unpredictable
I’m not sure why I’m bothering with this. Every time that I talk about golf, the following major the winner tends to the person that I haven’t even looked at in terms of mentioning. First Louis Oosthuizen, then Charl Schwartzel. Those pesky South Africans.
But, on the night before the start of the US Open, whilst looking over the bookies odds and weather reports I realise the second major of the year is once again impossible to predict. Too many names who are capable of glory, many more capable of being on form for just those four rounds.
The Congressional County Club looks set for rain, rain and a little bit more rain over the first two days especially. And, after we needed any proof from the Open Championship last year, that can spring up a number of surprising results.
So, Alexandre Rocha, not to put any pressure on you here, but I might put a little bit of money on you.
Realistically, the Americas are highly unlikely to produce a winner. No American holds their hands on one of the four majors, with the Europeans looking deadly. The obvious threat is the current world number one, Luke Donald. Donald has been in sensational form so far in 2011, victory at Wentworth two weeks ago only goes to prove that. With the current form it does look highly unlikely that he won’t be challenging.
This is a massive contrast to the reigning US Open winner, Graeme McDowell. A massive burn out has happened for the Northern Irishman, spectacular failures in Wales (30th), Wentworth (missed the cut) and the Masters have blighted his season so far. And the recent two performances are major causes of concern heading into one of the four majors.
The best tip from Europe will probably be Rory McIlroy, the Masters proves that on his day, he is brilliant, over three days he can be exceptional. But his tendency to choke has ruined a chance at two majors. I doubt he will have learnt that should he have a commanding lead in the US Open. But if he is behind on the final day, he could make an interesting late climb up the board.
It isn’t all doom and gloom for the Americans, underrated golfers in Steve Stricker, Hunter Mahan (oh la la la lally) and Matt Kuchar could all stake a claim for the US Open. Phil Mickelson is of course the favourite from this lot, he’s having a solid season so far, but has yet to win this major. Can it be his time? I just don’t see it myself.
There are some other blokes that could also do well, Lee Westwood (he can’t stay that high up the rankings without winning a major soon, can he?), Martin Kaymer, the two Koreans of K.J. Choi and Y.E. Yang and of course, Alexandre Rocha (he’s only 750-1 at Bet365, I mean, with the way the majors have been going at the moment, why not?).
Two groups are grabbing my attention as well. Luke Donald, Lee Westwood and Martin Kaymer as well as the all Italian group of Francesco and Edorado Molinari and Matteo Manassero. As a personal thought, this really does excite me considering I love all the Italian golfers, and I do reckon Manassero could spring out a top 10 finish if he is on it. I’ve blogged about him before but I really do like the guy, and think this could be his opportunity for the world to notice his talent.
It’s going to be tough for everyone who steps on the Congressional grass. Par’s are going to be tough to reach and its going to be a challenge and a deserved victory for anyone who makes it. That’ll be Alexandre Rocha.