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PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2013 12:48 pm    Post subject: THE OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP

Merion: looking forward to this though maybe the golf gods didn't expect what might become!

1. What are you most looking forward to this week at Merion?

Shane O'Donoghue, Host, CNN's "Living Golf": First and foremost, I am looking forward to having a front row seat! What privilege that is and I don't take it lightly. I've been intrigued by the U.S. Open since 1982. My parents attended that one and brought back a program, which intrigued an 11-year-old boy no end. Tales of the defending champion David Graham and his peerless performance on the final day at Merion. They teed up the battle between Nicklaus and Watson and identified a young Bobby Clampett, who would go on to lead the Open at Muirfield a few weeks later. Merion fascinates me, Hogan is my golfing hero and in our latest Living Golf show on CNN International, I visited the course a few weeks back, traced the history of the place, hit Hogan one-irons on 18 and interviewed both Graham and Trevino. Dreams can come true! My hope is that we get a worthy winner, one fit to stand alongside the great who have triumphed there.

Alan Shipnuck, senior writer, Sports Illustrated: It's going to be a fascinating test, a kind of retro-Open. The tension between this old course and the modern game should turn this is into the ultimate thinking-man's Open.

Gary Van Sickle, senior writer, Sports Illustrated: The place is dripping with history so the course standing up to 21st century technology and players is the biggest focus, not including all things Tiger. Is virtual par going to be 68 or is Merion going to remain a classic Open test? The world waits to see. Also, I can't wait to see the gallery try to follow Tiger, Rory and Adam Scott around the narrow spectator walkways at Merion. Furthermore, I can't wait to see if the Philly golf fans are more sophisticated than the Philly baseball fans who booed Mike Schmidt all the way into the Hall of Fame. "Now on the tee..." Boo-ooooooo!

Jim Gorant, senior editor, Sports Illustrated: Interested to see how the course holds up. That and a few good cheesesteaks.

Michael Bamberger, senior writer, Sports Illustrated: Seeing how the golf course gets played. Every hole offers so many options. It's such a thinking-man's course.

Eamon Lynch, managing editor, Golf.com I'm most interested in seeing how one of America's greatest courses stacks up against the modern professional game. Even if the pros devour it, that's no rap on the venue. Merion was a great course when the Open was last there in 1981, and it will be a great course when this Open passes. It is some of the finest golf course architecture this side of St. Andrews, and a welcome oasis in the architectural desert we trudge through most weeks following the game.

Jeff Ritter, senior producer, Golf.com: Can't wait to walk the course. I've heard about it. I've read about it. I'm excited to finally see it.

Joe Passov, senior editor, travel, Golf Magazine: I'm most excited about seeing how the ol' girl will hold up, and to watching how Tiger, Rory and Phil will fare amid the powerful ghosts and lore radiating from Jones, Hogan, Trevino and Nicklaus.

2. Recent rains and threat of more rain appear to make Merion more vulnerable to low scoring. Does that help -- or hurt -- the favorites coming in?

Bamberger: If the course plays soft -- and I don't think it's going to play THAT soft -- it brings in many more players. The faster it is, the more skill it takes.

Van Sickle: The rain softening the course was the difference in 1971 for Lee Trevino, a low-trajectory guy, against Jack Nicklaus, a high-trajectory guy. The high-ball hitters, generally the power players, just lost whatever edge they had in stopping the ball on firm greens. This is going to be a short-iron and putting contest now. It probably was, anyway.

Lynch: Many majors venues play longer and harder when wet -- Augusta National, for example. But wet conditions won't stiffen Merion's defenses. Quite the opposite. Soft fairways mean the ball won't run through into the thick rough as often, and it's not as though these guys are going to be hitting many drivers off the tee to begin with. Soft conditions widen the pool of contenders but I don't think it hurts the pre-tournament favorites. The favorites are the favorites because of more than just scoring potential. It's their patience and nerve under pressure that makes counts, and those demands haven't changed.

Gorant: I think the favorites have generally been the ball-control guys and soft conditions shouldn't hurt them. Long hitters may benefit from getting less roll out, anyone off target is gonna struggle in what will be wet, heavy rough.

Shipnuck: Hurts in a big way. If Merion is really crispy only a handful of guys have the will, patience, course management and talent-shots to tame it. But soft conditions allow for a more mindless kind of golf and brings tons of guys into the picture.

Ritter: Doubt the rain has much of an effect on the favorites. This Open was already wide open because the course isn't long enough to eliminate part of the field, as so often happens at other majors. The player with the best combination of ball-striking and putting is going to win this week.

Passov: I keep hearing that soft conditions bring more players into possible contention, but typical (pre-Mike Davis) U.S. Open setups, wet or dry, always seemed to yield a bunch of unexpected contenders. Merion resembles an old-fashioned setup, with no graduated rough, brutal primary rough and small, hard-to-hit greens. I think the favorites will be fine -- even helped. It will aid the nerves to know that a poor shot won't be penalized quite so badly as when it's firm -- and allow favorites to recover more aggressively when the time comes.

O'Donoghue: Luckily, the rain came ahead of the U.S. Open and the weather looks set to be perfect for the championship. I expect it to be a classic Open test, with rough about 4 inches long and undulating greens stimping at 13. There will be carnage out there, but the great players will be set for the challenge. It's a course for strategists. The best in the world are here. I can't wait to see them tested.

3. Will someone shoot 62 (or lower) this week?

O'Donoghue: I wouldn't be surprised, but don't expect it. The last five holes will sort out anyone on a birdie rampage. I bet Mike Davis can't wait to sort out the wheat from the chaff, which is as it should be. That's what the US Open is all about. Going out on a limb, I fully expect one of the amateurs to really surprise us this week. They are all in form, particularly the three Cal boys and watch out for Ireland's top amateur Kevin Phelan, who medalled at Bradenton last week.

Van Sickle: I think 62 is in play because of the soft conditions. The hard part is, there are only two par 5s and one of them isn't eagle material. So to get to 62, you're going to need eight birdies and no bogeys. Merion's greens are not flat. That's a lot of putts to make. But I think one player on a hot streak can do it.

Passov: No. I can see somebody making eight, or even 10 birdies when conditions are soft, but the impossible rough and dinner plate-shaped greens (thank you, Lee Trevino) will bring double bogey into play with every missed shot. Nine birdies, two bogies (maybe 9 and one double) will mean 63. Then again, somehow, somebody named Lee Mackey shot a 64 in 1950, when the winning score wound up being 287, 7-over-par, so I can't say that 62 is so far-fetched.

Shipnuck: No. The wet rough will be fearsome, the greens are tiny and the bunkers very penal. I can see 65s or maybe 64 or even a 63 early in the week but even a rain-softened Merion has enough defenses to fend off a 62.

Ritter: It's possible, but I'll guess that 65 is the low round of the week.

Bamberger: I think it will happen, Thursday or Friday. A 62. And that person will not win. If you are a betting person, please note: EVERY time I make a bold statement like that, it's wrong.

4. What will the winning score be at Merion?
a. Even par or higher
b. one under to five under par
c. six under to nine under par
d. 10 under or better

O'Donoghue: It will be under par, but not that much, therefore B is a reasonable shout. These guys are good!

Bamberger: I think 10 under will win by one or two. You shoot 10 under, you have really golfed your ball.

Ritter: I'll say six to nine under wins it. While many of the par 4s are short enough to be played with a long iron off the tee followed by a flip wedge, three of the par 3s are crazy long and most of the fairways have been pinched. Scores will be lower than a typical U.S. Open, but I don't expect this to turn into the John Deere Classic.

Shipnuck: A lot depends on the weather, obviously. If the forecast holds the course will get firmer and more fiery as the week goes on. I could see -8 or -9 leading going into the weekend but -5 or -6 winning it.

Gorant: More than 10 under, but not by much, because I think there enough birdie holes out there (especially if the greens are softish) to play it at two or three under a day.

Van Sickle: The winning score will be 10 under or better. Not much better. Twelve, maybe. More like 10. Of course, if it gets windy, Merion will be an absolute nightmare with that rough.

Passov: Six under to nine under par. Scores should be low in the softer opening rounds, but forecast looks dry with a bit of breeze for the weekend. That, and the usual U.S. Open pressure should inflate the scores on Saturday and Sunday. I like 8-under 272.

Lynch: I'm calling 12-under. Even the medium-length hitters will probably hit wedge into almost half the holes, and these guys can do a lot of damage with that club, no matter how tucked the pins are. But note the yardage of the four par 3s: 256, 236, 115, 246. This might be the first Open venue at which the USGA is defending par on the curious beachhead of par 3s.

5. Pick your winner and your dark horse.

O'Donoghue: It's Tiger's to lose, but I'm going for Mickelson, who, after five runner-up spots, knows better than anyone the agony of defeat. A Father's Day victory would be the perfect birthday present for "Philly" Mick. My dark horse is Thorbjorn Olesen. He's Europe's next big star and showed at last year's Open at Lytham and in his Masters debut that he is fearless when it comes to the Majors. 90/1 with Irish bookmakers, I'm having some of that!

Van Sickle: I like Webb Simpson to defend his Open title because he's got as much experience at Merion as anyone in the field--a U.S. Am and a Walker Cup. He also wields a belly putter, which fulfills my dream of 12 straight anchored putters winning majors before the ban goes into effect. Dark horse is Tim Clark, who usually leads the Tour in proximity to the pin because he's a torrid iron player. My super-dark horse is amateur Gavin Hall. My sources at Oak Hill in Rochester, N.Y., have been telling me about this kid for a year now. He's the real deal and, let's face it, just about anywhere he goes from Oak HIll is going to be easier. Hall could be the Jim Simons of this Merion Open.

Shipnuck: Winner: Tiger Woods. Golf's ultimate tactician will win this chess match. It's time. Dark horse: Tim Clark. One of golf's straightest hitters and he'd love to give the USGA the ultimate F-you.

Lynch: Graeme McDowell. He ranks No. 1 in driving accuracy on Tour and sports solid numbers putting from 10-20 feet, which can often decide an Open. He also plays difficult courses well and plays the Open well (obviously) with his last three finishes being 1st-T14-T2. My dark horse is Nicolas Colsaerts for one reason alone: he ranks first on tour in approaches from over 200 yards (see: par 3s, long).

Passov: His Memorial hiccup notwithstanding, I'm going with Tiger Woods. Merion winners have been masters of precision, either that week or in general and these days, when Tiger gets to play "small ball," there's nobody better at managing and executing. Second -- how dark does the horse have to be? Kevin Chappell finally emerged from his 2013 doldrums with a runner-up at Memorial, and he's had two top 10s the past two U.S. Opens; however, I'll pick Francesco Molinari. He's not having much of a 2013 either, but when he's on, he's a fairways and greens machine, and he has good karma from his brother winning the 2005 U.S. Amateur at Merion.

Ritter: Tiger deserves to be the favorite and he's my very unoriginal pick to win. Have we reached a point where anyone other than Tiger, Rory or Phil is a dark horse? Sign me up for Steve Stricker, who has played well this season with his shortened schedule. Maybe this is the week he finally breaks through.

Gorant: Winner: Tiger Woods. Dark Horse: Justin Hicks.

Bamberger: Bubba to win. King Louis dark horse. He's only a dark horse because nobody talks about him. Even though he's the King. With the best swing in golf. And a British Open at St. Andrews. And a sleeve in a green coat. And a frankly-Hogan-I-don't-give-a-damn attitude that serves him well in times of stress.

6. Jack Nicklaus likely established the trend of skipping the event preceding a major, for work, rest and scouting. Tiger obviously agrees, Phil doesn't. It seemed that when Westchester was played the week before the U.S. Open, it was the perfect tune-up. However, Memphis is such a physical grind -- witness all the swamp-ass. Is it a mistake to play it the week before the grueling test of our national championship?

Van Sickle: With a course like Merion, the only mistake to be made was not spending a couple of days there checking it out at some point. If you were looking for your game, playing Memphis was a good idea, just not at the expense of not seeing Merion early.

Shipnuck: I think so -- it'll take these guys a couple of days to rehydrate and recover. Not to mention the dry cleaning bills on all their trousers
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2013 1:00 pm    Post subject: Re: THE OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP

Two months ago 9,800 golfers began the long road to the US Open. When the event gets underway on Thursday at Merion Golf Club in the outer suburbs of Philadelphia, 156 will face the starter.

Merion is not a long course by modern day standards, in fact at 6,996 yards it is one of the shortest in recent memory although 450 yards longer than it was when it last hosted the event in 1981. That was the 4th occasion the US Open had been played there.

Given its relative lack of exposure to modern day tournament golf it is hard to get a line on which golfer it will suit, perhaps better to assess chances of current form and a player
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2013 1:05 pm    Post subject: Re: THE OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP

Power Rankings
Taking into account the top 5 bookmakers here are their combined Power Rankings

1. Tiger Woods
2. Rory McIlroy
3. Adam Scott
4. Matt Kuchar
5. Brandt Snedker
6. Justin Rose
7. Luke Donald
8. Lee Westwood
9. Graeme McDowell
10. Phil Mickelson
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2013 1:09 pm    Post subject: Re: THE OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP

Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy top a long list of potential favorites as the U.S. Open returns to Merion Golf Club this week for the first time since 1981.

But who really has the advantage on a course no one in the field has ever played in competition?

Woods won the first U.S. Open ever to be contested on a municipal course when he captured his second national championship at Bethpage State Park's Black Course in 2002.

The late Payne Stewart edged Phil Mickelson for the crown when the Open made it to Pinehurst No. 2 for the first time in 1999.

While the 32-year gap between Opens at Merion may seem like a long one, the longest break occurred at Olympia Fields outside Chicago. After conducting the 1928 U.S. Open won by Johnny Farrell, the course waited 75 years until 2003 for another Open. Perennial contender Jim Furyk claimed his only major that year.

So the trend of unfamiliar territory would seem to favor veteran winners.

Finally the Year for Phil?

Could Merion, located just 10 miles outside the City of Brotherly Love, finally show some U.S. Open love to five-time runner-up Mickelson? A second-place showing in his final prep at the FedEx St. Jude Classic, where Lefty never took driver out of the bag, would seem to bode well.

Or could this be the year Steve Stricker finally cashes his major ticket? A limited schedule of events should have Strick well rested to flex his silky putting stroke on a waterlogged course that Ernie Els predicts will "see a lot more birdies than ever at U.S. Open venues."

The past three U.S. Open champions at Merion - David Graham, Lee Trevino, and Ben Hogan - were out-of-this-world ball strikers. That's no surprise for an Open winner but two of these guys are Hall of Famers and the third, Graham, definitely should be.

So who in this week's field possesses a Hall of Fame worthy tee-to-green game?

Precision Trumps Power

Masters champion Adam Scott owns perhaps the game's sweetest swing but in practical terms, Justin Rose is tops when it comes to finding fairways and greens. Others that score well in keeping the ball in play include a streaking Boo Weekley, Brandt Snedeker and believe it or not, McIlroy.

Merion will be a quintessential Open layout with pinched fairways and punishing rough. Although he's striping the ball solidly - or at least he was until struggling at the Memorial Tournament in his final Open tune-up - Woods doesn't excel on tight Open layouts. Tiger has won his three U.S. Opens on courses known more for their unpredictable weather than trouble off the fairway: Pebble Beach, Torrey Pines, and Bethpage Black.

Accuracy will be at a premium but equally important will be an ability to dial back on full shots. In an era where players are hitting 7- and 8-irons 200 yards, the artists who can create shots to find the right spots on Merion's small greens should excel.
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2013 1:11 pm    Post subject: Re: THE OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP

ARDMORE, Pa. (AP) -- The most popular equipment Merion was not a golf club but a squeegee.

More heavy rain at the U.S. Open flooded a bunker by the 11th green and filled fairways with large puddles and tiny stream. The course was closed for four hours during the first full day of practice, and then shut down for good later in the afternoon.

Brandt Jobe played three holes when he heard a horn to stop play. Jim Herman managed to play one hole. Practice rounds are important because only a dozen or so players have ever seen this 100-year-old course, which has not hosted a U.S. Open in 32 years.

Workers were busy running squeegees across the greens and fairways during the afternoon before another downpour arrived.

''After the rain this morning, it's going to be very sloppy now,'' Ernie Els said. ''You're not going to see a firm U.S. Open this year, I'm sorry. I don't care if they get helicopters flying over the fairways, it's not going to dry up. We're going to have a soft golf course this week - all week.''

The forecast was for mostly dry conditions Tuesday and Wednesday, followed by a 40 percent chance of rain on Thursday for the opening round.

Merion received more than 3 inches of rain on Friday, and Monday's downpours - three of them - didn't help. The low point on the East course is the 11th hole, and a bunker was filled with water from an overflowing stream.

Course superintendent Matt Shaffer said the base sand was left alone. Workers removed the silt and put about three tons of new sand in the bunker, tamped it down and ''we were ready to go.''

For now, officials were hopeful.

Shaffer said Merion has had two big rains, and both times 11th green has stayed above water. And while there were tiny streams running through fairways and large pools of water on sections of the greens, the water appeared to drain quickly.

''This golf course is not built on sand, so it's got the heavier soils,'' USGA executive director Mike Davis said. ''But it is maybe the best draining golf course I have ever seen. If you walk this course, you know there's hardly any flat lies at Merion.''

Merion is 6,996 yards on the scorecard, the shortest U.S. Open course since Shinnecock Hills in 2004. The rough is thicker than usual compared with most recent U.S. Opens, though soft greens are a recipe for low scoring no matter the golf course.

Congressional was softened significantly by rain, and Rory McIlroy shattered the scoring record at 16-under 268 for an eight-shot win. As for the week, it rained so much at Bethpage Black in 2002 that the tournament barely finished 72 holes on Monday, with Lucas Glover winning.

Els mentioned the firm fairways because that's what can make Merion tricky. Tiger Woods, Adam Scott and Rory McIlroy were among those who came to Merion early, and they all spoke about the experience necessary to find the right angle off the tee to keep the ball in the fairway. Geoff Ogilvy played Sunday for the first time and mentioned the best driver would fare well - but not necessarily the straightest driver.

With soft fairways, it becomes more of a target.

''Obviously with it being a little soft, it becomes a little more simple than what it was,'' Scott said. ''The ball is just going to stop where it lands.''

Davis said the USGA would try to move the hole locations to some of the higher spots on the greens to avoid standing water if it rains on Thursday. As for the fairways, even with standing water, the U.S. Open could be played as long as players could move the ball to a dry spot that didn't add significant distance to their shots.

The next two days could be crucial.

''We just need a little bit of sunshine,'' Shaffer said.
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2013 1:13 pm    Post subject: Re: THE OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP

Having big names like Tiger Woods or Rory McIlroy win major tournaments is great for the PGA Tour but you
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 12, 2013 7:09 am    Post subject: Re: THE OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP

thanks poi gonna look at this tomorrow before i place bets
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 12, 2013 7:26 am    Post subject: Re: THE OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP

you're welcome halvey!

Weekly Preview - U.S. Open
Greg Vara RotoWire.com Golf Writer

It's human nature to look ahead to more exciting things in life. The same holds true for golf as well, which is why the event prior to any major is often afterthought the moment the final putt drops. With that, I'll say congrats to Harris English on his first PGA Tour win ... and promptly move onto what we're all here for, the U.S. Open. In case you haven't heard, and if you have a television or the Internet, you probably have, there's a bit of moisture in the air this week at Merion. OK, according to reports, it's a tad more than a bit of moisture. Some have already started in on the Ark jokes, which in case you aren't there, means we are dealing with a substantial amount of rain. So what does that mean for players this week? The obvious answer is the course will play longer. True, but that doesn't automatically eliminate the short hitters. Wet fairways mean wet greens and wet greens are much more receptive to approach shots, even those coming off the club of a 3-iron as opposed to a 6-iron. Long story short, if you had a short-hitter pegged before the start of this week, there's no need to jump ship. With more rain in the forecast, you'd be insane to abandon ship.
This week: U.S. Open

Last Year: Webb Simpson shot a final-round 68 on his way to a one-stroke victory over Graeme McDowell and Michael Thompson.
Players to Consider:

1. Graeme McDowell

A week ago, McDowell looked like a great pick, and though he's getting a lot of attention, I'm sticking with him. His record at the U.S. Open is outstanding, and the shorter layout should help as well. McDowell has a good chance to pick up his second major this week.
2. Phil Mickelson

Mickelson is no stranger to U.S. Open layouts. While he's only won the Open once, he's come close several times. His most recent close call ended with a 72nd-hole debacle, a memory he'd like to put behind him with another Open win. He has the form heading into this week, but as always, the question is about his decision making.
3. Tiger Woods

While many in the field this week will look to take advantage of the slow fairways with bigger clubs, Tiger likely will play it smart off the tee, knowing his higher irons will hold on the greens. As long as his performance at the Memorial is not a sign of something bigger, Woods should be back in the mix this week.
4. Matt Kuchar

More than any tournament on the schedule each year, a golfer has to have it between the ears to succeed at the U.S. Open. Kuchar has never had any issues keeping it together, a trait that helps him during the majors and one that should come into play this week. Kuchar has two wins already this season and another this week would vault him to an entirely new level.
5. Scott Stallings

Stallings comes into the U.S. Open on fire with three consecutive top-5s, and though the U.S. Open is an entirely different beast, you have to think that his form will carry over, at least somewhat, to this week. This will be a true test of Stallings' game this week as well as a test of momentum in general.

Players to Avoid:

1. Freddie Jacobson

Jacobson's early season momentum is a thing of the past as evidence by his MC last week at the St. Jude. Add to that, Jacobson is hitting little more than 55 percent of his fairways this year, a number that just won't cut it this week.
2. Dustin Johnson

Johnson played well for three rounds last week, but his accuracy off the tee again doomed his chances of winning. D.J. is hitting less than 50 percent of his fairways this season - a number he won't overcome this week.
3. Jimmy Walker

Walker is having a fantastic season, but he's starting to slow down as evidence by his two most recent performances. He barely made the cut at the Memorial two weeks back and missed the cut last week at the St. Jude. Walker has posted 10 consecutive rounds in the 70s entering this week.
4. Bubba Watson

Watson is another player who struggles to find the fairway off the tee, at about 56 percent, but this pick is due more to his lack of fire this season. Much was expected of Watson this season after his Masters win last year, but he hasn't given any indication that he's ready to take his game to another level.
5. Brandt Snedeker

It's well documented that Snedeker is having some health issues and his play seems to be suffering because of those issues. He unexpectedly missed the cut last week, and if he thought it was difficult to navigate the course last week, he's in for an even more brutal test this week. The U.S. Open is not the place to get healthy.
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 12, 2013 8:14 am    Post subject: Re: THE OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP

The second major of the golf calendar gets underway Thursday at Merion Golf Club in Ardmore, Pennsylvania.

A mix of conditions left by Tropical Storm Andrea and the short track at Merion could mean that we may see some uncharacteristically low scores in the U.S. Open.

With the possibility of some record setting scores in mind, here is a look at seven prop bets for the 2013 edition of the United States Open courtesy of the LVH..


OVER 270.5 -110
UNDER 270.5 -110

In 2011, Rory McIlroy recorded the lowest 72-hole score in the U.S. Open with 268. Nobody else in the history of the Open has shot less than 272 over four round.


YES +160
NO -180

There have been 39 holes-in-one throughout the history of the U.S. Open. There haven't been any aces at Merion Golf Club in the four times the event has been hosted there (1934, 1950, 1971, 1981).


YES +250
NO -300

The last time the U.S. Open went to a playoff was in 2008 when Tiger Woods won at Torrey Pines against Rocco Mediate. Two of the four times that Merion has hosted the event it has gone to a playoff (1971, 1950).


OVER 64.5 +110
UNDER 64.5 -130

The lowest round in the history of the U.S. Open is a 63. Johnny Miller (1973), Jack Nicklaus (1980), Tom Weiskopf (1980) and Vijay Singh (2003) share the record.


OVER 8.5 -110
UNDER 8.5 -110

Tiger finished T21 at the 2012 U.S. Open. From 2007 to 2010, Woods has recorded a finish of T2, 1, T6, T4 respectively.


YES -300
NO +250

Sergio has missed the cut in the U.S. Open two times (2006, 2007). He was T38 in 2012.


OVER 70.5 -110
UNDER 70.5 -110

Last year's champ Webb Simpson shot a two-over 72 in the opening round of the 2012 U.S. Open at the Olympic Club in San Francisco.

Here is a look at some tournament matchup odds courtesy of the LVH:















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PostPosted: Wed Jun 12, 2013 8:17 am    Post subject: Re: THE OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP

U.S. Open Preview and Picks
Matt Fargo

We have hit the second major of the season as the 113th edition of the U.S. Open tees off this week from the East Course at Merion Golf Club in Ardmore, Pennsylvania. This is the first trip for the Open back to Merion since 1981 which is a big gap considering this is the 18th time it has hosted a USGA Championship. Therefore we can toss experience out of the equation right away as no player has teed it up here in any sort of pro tournament, especially one with a meaning like this one.

Merion is not the typical U.S. Open course or any tour course for that matter as it sits just 6,996 yards in length and that is stretching it out as far as possible. It is just a par 70 which means two less par fives are in the mix and while there are short yardage holes, Merion still has its share of length on some. Three of the four par threes are 236, 246 and 256 in yardage while four of the par fours are 464 yards or longer including the 18th hole which measures out at 521 yards.

The weather has been an issue leading up to the tournament and it will remain an issue going into Thursday. The area received a lot of rain over the past weekend and Monday was virtually a washout. The course does drain well but the chances of it getting hard and fast, which is what the USGA had hoped, will be next to impossible. The 11th and 12th holes are prone to flooding and if any more significant rain does come, there is talk about playing two holes on the West Course to open the round and skip 11 and 12 altogether.

Hopefully that will not be the case but a wet course means more aggressive play. That brings a lot more players into the mix because the greens will be more receptive which gives lower iron shots a greater chance of actually staying on the greens. With the fairways not allowing balls to roll out, it cuts down on distance but it also will help prevent balls rolling into the extremely dangerous rough in some cases. The putting surfaces will still be fast as estimates of around 12 on the Stimpmeter are expected.

While the thought is that the Majors are dominated by the world's best players, that has hardly been the case. Of the last 18 Majors, there have been 17 different winners with Rory McIlroy being the only two-time Major winner. As far as the U.S. Open, seven of the last eight winners hoisted the trophy for the first time, with Tiger Woods in 2008 being his third title. American players used to dominate but only three of the last nine winners have been from the United States.

The defending champion is Webb Simpson (+5,000) and while has been playing decent, he has not been contending very often. His best finish is a solo second at the RBC Heritage and he has just two other top tens. History is not on his side as only one player has been able to defend his title since 1951 when Curtis Strange backed up his 1988 U.S. Open Championship at The Country Club with a win in 1989 at Oak Hill.

Graeme McDowell (+2,000) won the U.S. Open in 2010 at Pebble Beach and he backed that up with a T14 in 2011 and a T2 last year. He heads into this year's edition in good form as he has a match play win in Europe as well as a win here at the RBC Heritage. He is not long off the tee but that is not a requirement here and he makes up for that with incredible accuracy. He will be a threat again.

Phil Mickelson (+2,000) will be the first of two players that have come close to the championship but have yet to claim one. He has been a runner-up at the U.S. Open a record five times and while his T65 and T54 the last two years will lead people to think his time has passed, I am not one of those. While he did miss the cut at THE PLAYERS, he has four top three finishes including a win in Phoenix and a T2 last week.

The second of the two aforementioned bridesmaids is Lee Westwood (+2,500). In his last five U.S. Open starts, he has three top tens including a T3 and a solo third. He can still be considered the best player without a Major even though some may think he is on his way down. It is hard to make that argument when he posted a T10, T8, T4 and a T8 in four straight tournaments before his WD at the Memorial two weeks ago.

Brandt Snedeker (+2,500) has been on a lot of radar screens since he won the FedEx Cup last year and rightfully so. He opened the season with four top threes in his first five starts and while an injury has slowed him down, we cannot forget his T8 at THE PLAYERS. He has missed his last two cuts but Webb Simpson came into last year the same way. He has finished T11, T8 and T9 in three of his last four U.S. Opens.

We will be going with two longshots this week, the first being Henrik Stenson (+7,500). After pretty much taking off the final three years, he is playing some great golf with three tops tens in seven medal play made cuts including a T2 and a T5. He has always played well at the U.S. Open and this year he is ranked first in driving accuracy, third in greens in regulation and third in scrambling from the rough. Enough said.

Tim Clark (+8,500) will be the other longshot pick this week as a non-firm course keeps him in play with the big boys. He has been all over the map this year with five missed cuts but he also has three top tens including a solo second at the Sony Open in Hawaii. In his last four U.S. Open made cuts, he has a T12, T40, T48 and a T17 so even in the faster conditions, his accuracy keeps him around.

Recommended Tournament Win Six Pack at the U.S. Open (all for One Unit)

Graeme McDowell (+2,000)
Phil Mickelson (+2,000)
Lee Westwood (+2,500)
Brandt Snedeker (+2,500)
Henrik Stenson (+7,500)
Tim Clark (+8,500)
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 12, 2013 8:56 am    Post subject: Re: THE OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP

4 whatever it's worth poi looking at these golfers:


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 13, 2013 1:26 pm    Post subject: Re: THE OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP

Good luck poi on your picks...I read alot of your thread stuff & at PGA site..decided to do just a few long shots...some more bad weather is coming for weekend..so I think anyone can win its wide open tourney....




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PostPosted: Thu Jun 13, 2013 1:49 pm    Post subject: Re: THE OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP

jj weather looking ok 4 weekend.(sat.,and sun.) took phil over tiger.took hanson instead of stallings.well see but you right taking long shots us open are gold! so final:


best of luck my friend and go get um bro!
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 13, 2013 7:38 pm    Post subject: Re: THE OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP

just woke up turn tv on and see play suspended...poop bad rain...poopy
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