For being the US Open, it is sure going to have some international flare. No, not due to the World Cup, but it sure is a fitting time for a European to have the trophy at the end of the tournament. We head back to Pebble Beach for the USGA’s major and it should be a doozy.
There’s one thing I’m going to note; You can’t discount the annual Pebble Beach Pro-Am. Sure, the course has narrower fairways, but the players are familiar with this course. Also, this Fantasy Four will be supplemented by my US Open Preview for a bit more of my thoughts and analysis. So this will be a short and sweet post.
This is Week 7 during Month 2 of the NG Nation Fantasy Four and it’s never too late to join. For a refresher on the rules, hit the link — Contest Guidelines and leave your Fantasy Four below.
NIKE GOLF: Four to Watch
Most eyes will be on Woods as he looks to rebound. He’s won 3 US Opens and had his blowout win at Pebble a decade ago. That won’t happen now. I think we’ll see a similar performance to the Masters this year. A shaky Eldrick, hitting inconsistent shots with enough magic to get him into the Top 10 but not win.
Casey is blazing on the comeback trail after being lights out in February in March. Since his injury he’s had a T22 at Verizon, T13 at the Crowne Plaza and T17 at the BMW PGA. He’s a big underdog this week and most of the English pressure will be on Westwood, so I look for him to just focus on his game and he’ll get far into the weekend.
A super underdog here and people may think last year was a fluke. I might have also if it wasn’t for a 2nd place finish at the Pebble Beach Pro-Am this year. I’m fully expecting another magical major for Duval as he had a T8 here in 2000. History is actually on his side as opposed to Bethpage where he missed the cut in 2002.
Another underdog who just plays well at US Opens and has been playing well as of late with three straight top 25’s. Cink thrives on venues where the winning score is closer to par and he’ll be in contention again. He finished T8 here in 2000 and can deliver this week.
See my Pebble Beach Preview for the full list of Nike Golfers.
THE FIELD: Four Who Are Hot
He’s been on this list 3 straight weeks. His past 4 starts have been T12, T3, T4 and T7. However, history isn’t on his side as at Majors, but the way he’s playing is worth a shot. He had no history at Augusta but pulled out a T25 there and he’s playing much better now.
I fully think he will get a Top 5 this week, if not a win. Aside from his win last week and 5 Top 10’s in his last 6 events including the BMW PGA, he finished T5. In his last 3 majors he’s finished T3, T3 and 2nd. How do you not pick him this week?
If Westwood doesn’t win, I believe Luke Donald will. His last three events were all played in Europe and he finished 3rd, 1st and T2. His straight and precision game should serve him will at Pebble Beach.
There could be other players to put here, but I wanted to look at some of the European players for this. McDowell is coming off a win on on the European Tour, and before that he finished 4th at the Madrid Masters. He’s played well lately with a bunch of Top 30’s and finished in the Top 15 in 3 of the Majors last year and a T6 at the WGC CA Championship this year. He can play with the big boys, so watch out.
THE FIELD: Four Who Have History
Big Philly should have himself composed and ready to make a serious run. He’s had 5 runner up finishes at the US Open and a T16 here in 2000. At Bethpage in ’02 and ’09 he finished second so he’ll finish at least T16. He also had a T8 here at the Pro-Am last year and won it in ’07, so he’s right up there with Tiger and Westwood and poised to take a run at his first US Open.
When I say DJ, I’m talking about the kid, Dustin Johnson, not Trahan. Sure, he’s a long-baller who has been the King of Pebble Beach lately. He said the course is tighter, but he’s still a favourite in my mind. I believe that he is out to prove something with all the big names here. This is his big chance and I think he’ll do well.
A runner-up to Woods in 2000, Ernie has won two US Opens of his own. Ernie has been great this year and is looking to make a big splash. His last three major he’s finished T8, T6 and T18 and he loves US Opens.
I can’t say enough about Tom Watson. He won this event at Pebble Beach in ’82 and has always done well at US Opens and big stages. In 2000 and 2003 he got off to strong starts and still came away with Top 25’s. But he dominated US Opens and you can just check my US Open preview. I’m expecting at least a Top 10 from Watson and he’ll bring the magic once again.
FINAL FOUR: Luke Donald, Lee Westwood, Dustin Johnson and David Duval
I had a toss-up between Dustin Johnson and Tom Watson and for the Nike spot. I’m taking a chance on Duval, but there are so many swooshers that it’s tough to pick. I would say my top 3 Nike boys would be Duval, Cink and Woods, but Glover has been playing very well as of late.
The field is ridiculous. The only person missing is Anthony Kim. The Top 10 ranked players are here, 9 of the 10 Money Leaders, but it’s just a dream to try and pick 4 golfers out of this ridiculous field. Check out the full field here >> 2010 US Open Full Field
Leave your Fantasy Four below. Remember, you must have ONE Nike Golfer and have your picks in by Wednesday at Midnight (PST).
Pick with your heart,