Justin Thomas. He is the game’s most complete player and comes in with a ton of momentum. And a softish parkland course like Bellerive is right in his wheelhouse. Sleeper: I took Schauffele at Carnoustie and I’m afraid his profile is too high now to qualify as a dark horse so I’m going with Luke List. He has one of the best long-games in golf and early word is that Bellerive is a bomber’s paradise.
I love the idea in theory; read it and putt it! Pure as can be. But I wonder what it’ll look like in practice — how much grey area remains in enforcing the rules and pushing the limits? I’m wary of more rules. Color me cautiously in favor.
Bubba Watson. It’s been an incredible year for Bubba and it continues this week when he picks apart Bellerive with that pink driver. Sleeper: Hossler has been there all year. He’s shown the ability to play his way into contention at normal Tour stops. I think he avoids the weekend blow-up that has normally followed and bags himself his first top 10 in a major.
And Tiger pours it in! That was a heck of a par. He even smiled at that one. He’s still +2. Woods from the left trees 70 yards away. And the shot clips a limb…and lands next to cup! Wow that was almost a disaster but instead it coziest past to about 7 feet. That’s for a par save.
Iron play should be a major factor and it all sounds like a fit for him. Also if you like a history angle Bellerive hosted the U.S. Open that Gary Player won to complete his own career slam. What’s one more?
I’ll never give up on McIlroy. I think the PGA is likely harder for him to get up for than say the Masters but I expect that fact will serve him well in St. Louis.
Woods and Thomas are safely on this par 4 but outside 30 feet. Rory from 115 yards with a little tree trouble…and it’s a flyer that stays on the green maybe 30 feet above the hole. No great birdie looks from the group here.
Sleeper: Muscular Kiwi Ryan Fox is one of the biggest hitters on any tour and when he keeps it in the park he can contend anywhere. Quietly he’s climbed to ninth on the Race to Dubai points list and 80th in the OWGR thanks to a playoff loss at the Irish Open and a T6 at the Scottish Open.
I wouldn’t be worried about Tiger’s fatigue this week. It’s the last major of the year and Tiger’s attention will be squarely placed on attacking Bellerive. He can take his foot off the gas at the Northern Trust and nobody will hold it against him…
As Zak wrote in Scotland Chamblee pulled double duty all week in Carnoustie prepping for the qualifier around his TV work. And then he claimed medalist honors. It was extremely impressive…and Watson is still at a completely different level. Links courses are just a magical fit for him. It was incredible to see him in the hunt on the weekend at St. Andrews.
Bryson like Jordan Spieth tends to get extremely uh verbal when things start going south. That made this implosion all the more compellingwe could hear his internal monologue. A bad finish is just a bad finish unless it proves to be something more. How will DeChambeau respond?
Monty’s claim was enough of a hedge (“Well almost ever”) that I wouldn’t bother trying to refute it. And I agree that the Europeans are very very strong this year. And that their strength has been overlooked/downplayed amid the hype surrounding all the youthful talent the Americans will field. Sometime ago our own Alan Shipnuck boldly predicted a U.S. romp. I disagreed with him then and I disagree now. I expect this to be close and I expect Europe to win.