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Wednesday, 12 June 2013 13:11

2013 US Open Preview

Written by 

For the first time since 1981, the US Open returns to the Merion Golf Club outside of Philadelphia. The national golf championship will start at 6:50AM tomorrow morning, but weather may play a factor. The Philadelphia area has a 90 percent chance of rain and thunderstorms on Thursday, with the remnants of Tropical Storm Andrea bearing down. The grounds crew has been prepping the Par 70 course all week just to get it ready.

A small controversy brewing at the Open this week is Merion's traditional use of red wicker baskets adorning the top of flagpoles on each hole. Golfers complain that without flags, they cannot tell which way the wind is blowing. Also, hitting the basket itself could ricochet away from the cup and set up for a difficult shot or worse. In my opinion, getting the course ready for Thursday is a bigger fish to fry than the red wicker baskets. 

Once we get the US Open underway, here is a look at who could win a rain soaked US Open.

 

Matt Kuchar

 

Kuchar has been the hottest player on the tour in recent weeks. He is coming off of two straight strong performances. His game matches up well with this course, in fact he just recently won the Memorial Tournament in the same fashion that wins US Opens. Watch for Kuchar to make a run come Sunday and snag his first major championship.

 

Tiger Woods

 

What kind of major championship is there without mentioning Tiger Woods as a favorite? He really is playing well and seems to have put the past in the rear view mirror. Tiger will not have to rely on his driver so much on a course like this and puts him at an advantage of others. Tiger has been in this position before and he is very hungry for another major victory, a soft course this week may just end the slump.

 

Graeme McDowell

McDowell always seems to be in the running for the US Open every year. He won at Pebble Beach in 2010 and was right there until the very end at Olympic last year. He is playing well and has been very accurate with his driving this year. He's never missed a cut in the US Open in seven chances and there's no reason to expect him to this year. McDowell likes to play long, but he's has to tweak his game slightly on a short course like this and that could be the only thing that hinders him this week.

 

Zach Johnson

 

Johnson hasn't played particularly great as of late, but Merion is a course made for his game. Merion is made for solid wedges and putting both of which Johnson has in his arsenal. It's going to be a weird week at Merion with the soft courses and some very low scores, so, it makes sense to go out on a limb and choose an unlikely.

 

Rickie Fowler

 

Fowler is a young, talented golfer that can never seem to get over the hump, but this week could be his breakout tournament. Fowler has great experience here and has played very well at Merion in the past. Fowler was 4-0 in the 2009 Walker Cup played at Merion, but that was on a harder course. This week, due to the large amount of rain, it is expected to be softer and could play right into Fowler's hand.