When I say get ready for golf in the 70s, I am not talking about the temperature. The U.S. Open golf championship began on Thursday, and predictably, most of the scores were in the 70s.
The U.S. Open is atypical of most tournaments because most courses in professional golf are set up so the pros can shoot really low scores. On a weekly basis, scores around 65 are common.
However, one reason I love the U.S. Open is that it is usually the most difficult course the golfers will face all season. Heavy rough and rock hard greens often cause the scores to go out of sight. If it is dry and windy, the course will be that much more challenging.
In terms of picking a winner, the conventional picks are Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson. They are clearly the top two golfers in the world. If Woods stays healthy and motivated, he will likely be considered the greatest golfer of all time when he retires. Mickelson is a worthy foe and is arguably the most popular player on tour. Woods shot a 71 in the opening round, and Mickelson shot a 74.
However, when given the choice of picking Woods, Mickelson, or taking somebody from the field, I am going to take somebody from the field. Mickelson's current wrist injury gives me concern especially if he has to muscle shots out of the deep rough. Also, my gut tells me Woods is not going to win, but my gut can often be a big dope.
Kind of like The Masters back in April, I think the winner will be someone who is fairly unknown. Then again, maybe it will be a European (heaven forbid). Or maybe a past champion like Jim Furyk.
Regardless of how it plays out, it should be a struggle.