A sneak peek of the 2013 U.S. Open


With the U.S. Open being only 10 days away golf fans across the country are selecting their favorite to hoist the U.S. Open trophy. However picking the right golfer requires the consideration of many different factors from the course that the U.S. Open is held at to the golfers the individual golfers playing in the field.

This year the U.S. Open is being held at Merion Golf Club (the East Course) located in Haverford Township, Pennsylvania. The course has played host to the U.S. Open four times (1934, 1950, 1971, and 1981). The course is plays six, 846 yards which is particularly short compared to other PGA courses whom have an average yardage of well of 7,000. However, even though this course is very short, the fairways are very narrow and the rough is very long and dense no matter which way the golfers miss. This is why any player who is going to win next week must hit a majority of the fairways. Also the East Course at Merion features a lot of greenside bunkers so the players must be able to hit the greens in regulation if they want to score well. That being said here are very golfers to look out for this week.

The heavy favorite going into it is Eldrick “Tiger” Woods. Woods is the number one ranked player in the world right now and has already won three times on tour this year. Also, his game sets up well for Marion. Because the course is so short Woods who on average carries the ball 297.4 yards with his driver will have a lot of short irons into holes. Tiger already hits the greens in regulation 67.58 percent of the time but give him a shot in between 125-150 yards and he hits the green 70.00 percent of the time. Also Tiger has a lot of experience playing at the U.S. Open playing in it 18 times and winning it three times his last win coming in 2008. Junior Derek Striker agrees Woods is capable of winning the U.S. Open this year.

“He just regained his spot as world number one and to add to his swing is finally coming around. He has also won more events going into the tournament than any previous year,” Striker said.

Another golfer to watch out for is the 2010 U.S. Open Champion Greame McDowell. McDowell hits his average drive 277.4 yards which is more than enough length on this course but more importantly he leads the tour in driving accuracy hitting the fairway 71.10 percent of the time. From the fairway McDowell hits the green 62.63 percent of the time. Greame has experience winning this tournament once and he has always had a good track record at the U.S. Open, he placed tied for second last year.

“He is capable of winning it because he did win it a couple of years ago. But not now. He’s not playing well” senior Chris Dinh said.

A good “under dog” pick is K.J. Choi from South Korea. Choi tends to go a little bit “over the top” when he swings the club meaning he takes the club fine on the way inside but instead of coming down on the same plane he goes a little over it causing his ball to go from left to right. This sets up nice for Merion because a few of the holes dog leg to the right. Also even if K.J. misses the green he is number two ranked player on tour on sand or bunker saves averaging 68.67 percent. Another big component of the U.S. Open is being able to make putts. Using the unusual big grip on his putter Choi makes putts 50.38 percent from five to 15 feet which is sixth on tour.

However, it doesn’t matter who wins the U.S. Open, it will still be a very entertaining tournament at a course where anything can happen.

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James Volk

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