10 June 2014

2014 U.S. Open Preview

The United States Open Championship returns to the famous Course No. 2 of Pinehurst for the first since 2005. It is the second major of 2014 and the 31st tournament of the year. And barring something contrary tradition, scores will be high and golfers will face a much tougher course than they may be used too. The tournament kicks off this Thursday.

Here is the B-Flo 360 preview of the 2014 U.S. Open.

1. Can the favorite Rory McIlroy nab his second U.S. Open title?
McIlroy is always dangerous when his game is on and particularly so when Tiger Woods is not in the field. That said, he has not won on the PGA Tour since September of 2012, although that win at the BMW PGA Championship on the European Tour last month has given him more confidence. And while he did dominate the 2011 U.S. Open, that course at Congressional was a total fluke in terms of playability. I think he will certainly be in the mix at some point, but I don't know if he can put it all together.

2. Can Phil Mickelson, amid some distractions and a disappointing 2014, finally finish the career Grand Slam?
There is no question that Mickelson has struggled thus far in 2014. His best finish is being tied for eleventh at Quail Hollow and TPC Southwind. Not to mention that he is being investigated for possible insider trading. One of these days, Mickelson is going to win that long elusive U.S. Open but his struggles and distractions will prove to be too much for Lefty to overcome.

3. What should be expected from Jordan Spieth in his first U.S. Open?
A lot of eyes will be on the young Dallas native this weekend at Pinehurst. After all, he is not even 21 years old and is being seen as the next big star on the PGA Tour in the wake of his second-place finish at the Masters. But the U.S. Open is traditionally a different animal, and a tournament that requires a higher learning curve than usual. Sure, Spieth is going to win himself a ton of majors in the future, but I think he is more likely to miss the cut.

4. So who gets it done come Sunday (or Monday)?
I am going to throw a name out there that will excite nobody, but is also a guy that can play consistently and smartly in nabbing par after par. Jim Furyk. Furyk has played some of his best golf in years in 2014 as he is a perfect 12 for 12 in making the cuts and has a pair of second place finishes at Quail Hollow and Sawgrass. He is driving accurately, leads the tour in scrambling (making par or better after not hitting the green in regulation), and has been putting rather well. Look for Furyk to get his second U.S. Open title.

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