Conversation: US Open Venues

February 12, 2015

The US Open. Golf’s hardest test. Every year, the USGA sets out to create a venue that is so difficult that it tests the minds and patience of the greatest players in the game. According to the USGA, the goal “isn’t to embarrass the best players in the world.”

“It’s to identify them.”

Now, many golfers and golf fans have differing definitions of what’s the “best.” Everyone’s definition of what’s “best” is subjective. But “best,” at least in the context of America’s National Championship of Golf, can at least partially be quantified by how difficult the golf course is. So we here at the PF got thinking–what is the “best” (read, “hardest”) venue for the US Open?

Since the 1940s, the US Open’s winner shot +7 four times. But three of those events were in the 1950s, and the last one (the massacre of 1974) led the USGA to the conclusion that the course really was just too hard. (see http://sports.espn.go.com/golf/usopen06/news/story?id=2475245). Because of this, we use 1974 as the cut line for “modern” golf, as it represents a place where the focus of the USGA shifted just a bit, but enough to matter.

Importantly, the venues that hosted these high-numbered events (Merion, Oakland Hills, Olympic Club, and Winged Foot) have all seen US Opens since (Oakland Hills and Merion actually saw higher numbers in 1924 (+9, Oakland Hills) and 1934 (+13, Merion), but those were considered by the PF to be too old to include).

Since Hale Irwin’s win in the 1974 US Open at Winged Foot, there have been six US Opens where the winner had a score greater than even par. Those were
1975 – Medinah (Lou Graham, +3)
1978 – Cherry Hills (Andy North, +1)
2006 – Winged Foot (Goeff Ogilvy, +5)
2007 – Oakmont (Angel Cabrera, +5)
2012 – Olympic Club (Webb Simpson, +1)
2013 – Merion (Justin Rose, +1)

There have also been five instances where the winner’s score was E
1979 – Inverness (Hale Irwin)
1995 – Shinnecock Hills (Corey Pavin)
1998 – Olympic Club (Lee Janzen)
2005 – Pinehurst (Michael Campbell)
2010 – Pebble Beach (Graeme McDowell)

When reviewing the list of courses, several obvious ones jump out. Oakmont, being consistently known as a punishing layout, and Merion, recent site of the 2013 US Open that tested some of the best that showcased how a “short” (by TOUR standards) course could still be incredibly punishing. But it also bears mentioning that Olympic Club made both lists.

So, we looked back at some of these courses to see their history.

Medinah hosted twice since 1974 (just once before)
1990 – Hale Irwin, -8
1975 – Lou Graham, +3

Cherry Hills had only the one US Open in 1978 (twice before 1974)
1978 – Andy North, +1

Winged Foot hosted the 1974 massacre, and then once since, but notably has also hosted the PGA Championship (e.g., when DL III won his only major)
1984 – Fuzzy Zoeller, -4

Oakmont hosted the US Open 3 times since 1974 (and four times prior).
2007 – Angel Cabrera, +5
1994 – Ernie Els, -5
1983 – Larry Nelson, -4

Olympic Club has hosted 3 US Opens since 1974 (and twice before)
2012 – Webb Simpson, +1
1998 – Lee Janzen, E
1987 – Scott Simpson, -3

Merion hosted just two events since 1974 (although one of the three prior Merion US Opens included Ben Hogan’s famous 1-iron shot from the 18th fairway, which secured him a victory at +7)
2013 – Justin Rose, +1
1981 – David Graham, -7

of the “E” courses……
Inverness just had the one

Shinnecock has had 3
2004 – Retief Goosen, -4
1995 – Corey Paven, E
1986 – Raymond Floyd, -1

Olympic has already been covered

Pinehurst has hosted three times, but under grandly different course circumstances for each of the three, with MAJOR redesigns between all of them.
2014 – Martin Kaymer, -9
2005 – Michael Campbell, E

Pebble Beach
2010 – Graeme McDowell, E
2000 – Tiger Woods, -12
1992 – Tom Kite, -3
1982 – Tom Watson, -6

So, based on scoring alone…..there’s really no winner. All of the courses mentioned have had hard Opens and relatively easier Opens.

But winning score really can’t be used as a measure of how difficult the course was. For example, when Martin Kaymer won at Pinehurst, the only two other players under par were both at -1, and the next best player was at +1. In another example, Tiger Woods shot -12 at the US Open in 2000, but no other player was better than +3. And, it would be rather unfair to judge the 2000 US Open by Tiger’s (at the time) scoring record-breaking performance–literally the best golfer in the game playing the best golf of his career at the best time of his career.

Instead of looking at winning scores (which seem to be all over the board), let’s look at scoring average, as this more closely matches what would be an appropriate measure of difficulty.

Shockingly, the scoring average for US Opens is not an easily achievable statistic. For what we were able to find, the list is included below:

and, for the sake of preserving the data, it’s included in quote below

Year | Name | Course | Location | Average | Par | +/-
2014 | Martin Kaymer | Pinehurst Resort, Course No. 2 | Pinehurst, North Carolina | 73.23 | 70 | 3.23
2013 | Justin Rose | Merion Golf Club, East Course | Ardmore, Pennsylvania | 74.31 | 70 | 4.31
2012 | Webb Simpson | Olympic Club, Lake Course | San Francisco, California | 73.85 | 70 | 3.847
2011 | Rory McIlroy | Congressional Country Club, Blue Course | Bethesda, Maryland | 73.00 | 71 | 2.002
2010 | Graeme McDowell | Pebble Beach Golf Links | Pebble Beach, California | 74.98 | 71 | 3.979
2009 | Lucas Glover | Bethpage State Park, Black Course | Farmingdale, New York[N 1] | 72.93 | 70 | 2.9286
2008 | Tiger Woods (3) | Torrey Pines Golf Course, South Course | La Jolla, California[N 2] | 74.73 | 71 | 3.725
2007 | Ángel Cabrera | Oakmont Country Club | Oakmont, Pennsylvania | 75.72 | 70 | 5.72
2006 | Geoff Ogilvy | Winged Foot Golf Club, West Course | Mamaroneck, New York | 75.98 1st round | 76.933 2nd day | |

When we examine the data available (and, I’ll admit, there isn’t much), Oakmont is far and away the most difficult course of the last 8 years. 2006 would be a great one to compare to 2007, but we don’t have enough data. Merion would be next at +4.31, and (as that round is in pretty recent memory) the players indicated as such during the tournament, with many complaining that it was “unfair.” By the numbers, Pebble Beach was harder in 2010 than Olympic Club in 2012–and, even with Tiger’s incredible performance in 2000, my guess would be that the numbers would support the 2000 US Open as being harder than the 2010 US Open.

However, just on gut, I personally have always believed that Oakmont is the quintessential US Open venue. It’s insanely long even by TOUR standards, has punishingly difficult hills, has insanely undulating and fast greens, and insanely long rough. And–according to the data–the numbers bear it out.

Any thoughts from our readers? LG?

January 12, 2011.

That’s when ThePowerFade posted this article debating a topic that was much talked about at the time. The topic, like so often is the case with the world of golf, revolved around Tiger Woods. At the time, Tiger was just a few years removed from the man-on-a-mission-and-a-bum-knee victory at the 2008 US Open. He had had temporary setbacks, but nothing indicated long-term that Tiger would face the kind of recurring injury and failure to “put it together” that he’s seen over the last four years. At the time, Tiger–just four shy of Jack–was in position still to catch Jack–at least, that’s what LG and I argued.

But four years did pass. In those four years, Tiger has had some tremendous runs. He first ditched Haney, went with Sean Foley, then ditched Foley. He had 5 wins in 2013, two of which were WGC championships, was #1 on the money list, and regained the world #1 ranking. To be sure, he still has the ability to beat the best.

Which is what makes this topic all too frustrating. Tiger’s measure of his own success has been and always will be how he stacks up in majors. Sure, he is proud of having won 79 of his 316 TOUR starts (That’s winning 25%, or one out of every four tournaments he’s entered). But the injuries that took him out of most of 2014 and are now creeping back up in 2015–plus his seeming inability to turn it on when he needs to in major championships–has us revisiting this question: will Tiger catch Jack?

And, at this point, I think the answer has changed to “no” for the same reason that it was a “yes” in 2011. Math.

Tiger Woods is now 39 years old. If he stays in good shape, he has 7-8 more good years of competitive golf left (look at Mickelson, who still competes at 44). But that assumes he won’t be hurt, and, as I type this, Tiger has just pulled out of the Farmer’s Open at Torrey Pines (one of his favorite venues–and, ironically, site of that 2008 US Open where it all started). However, even if Tiger Woods were to have a full 8 years on the Tour, he’d only have 32 major opportunities left in which to achieve 4 major victories (to tie) or 5 major victories (to overtake). That means Tiger has to win 1/8 (once every two years) to tie, and has to do better to overtake. Now, in 2011, I said “if he just wins twice in three years, he’ll overtake Jack by 2016.” Well, it’s the start of 2015, and Tiger has hardly sniffed a major championship since I wrote that in 2011 (two T4s in The Masters (2011/2013) and a T3 and T6 at The British Open (2012/2013), but he wasn’t really in contention in either). The other caveat is that, when making those projections in 2011, that was a “likely case” scenario, with potential other scenarios in which Tiger could overtake Jack. With this analysis, this is the ONLY way Tiger could do it.

And, frankly, the talent out there with Tiger is better these days. Rory McIlroy seems to just find grooves sometimes where he’s an unstoppable force (and, other grooves where he can’t find the face of the club, but let’s not focus on that now). Aside from him, unfocused Dustin Johnson has enough talent to win a major without trying. Bubba Watson is a double Masters champion in just a few years, and seems like he’s figured out something about Augusta that no one else has. Martin Kaymer can obliterate a field of the best of the world when his game is buttoned up. And, then there’s Mickelson, who just never seems to go away. Throw in all the other players who have a ton of potential and are just waiting in the wings to pick up their first majors (e.g., Rickie Fowler, Jordan Speith, Kuchar, Gary Woodland, Patrick Reed, Ryan Moore, Sergio Garcia, et. al) and the guys who have won majors and could easily threaten for another (e.g., Justin Rose, Oosthuizen, Dufner, Charl Schwartzel, etc.), and Tiger’s competition just seems to get better and better.

At this point, I certainly hope I’m wrong. Golf needs Tiger to come back and dominate. But, I really don’t think I am. In early 2015, it’s time to call a spade a spade. Tiger will not break Jack Nicklaus’s record of 18 major wins.

In typical PF fashion these days, LG is off gallivanting around playing golf somewhere while JK works his craft. We are sorry we haven’t been able to provide you, our readership, with a consistent stream of valued content. Nonetheless, our ever-popular Predictions series carries on with the year’s final major, the PGA Championship at Valhalla. It’s been 14 years since Tiger and Bob May famously dueled in perhaps the greatest display of golf skill in history. If you’ve got a spare … well, who cares how long it takes, it’s worth it:

Check out 6:30 to 8:10 in Part 1, especially:


ACTUAL SCORES (updated 8/10)
1 Rory McIlroy -16
2 Phil Mickelson -15
T3 Henrik Stenson -14
T3 Rickie Fowler -14
T5 Jim Furyk -12
T5 Ryan Palmer -12
T7 Jimmy Walker -11
T7 Ernie Els -11
T7 Victor Dubuisson -11
T7 Hunter Mahan -11
T7 Steve Stricker -11

JK:
Winner: Sergio Garcia (T36 at -3. Correct: Rory McIlroy)
Winning Score: -8 (-16)
Runner Up: Ricky Fowler (T3–close; Phil Mickelson)
Low PGA Professional: Rod Perry (all MC, low was Jamie Broce at +3)
“Unknown” in the Top 10: Roberto Castro (MC. Mikko Ilonen was correct)
Last Year’s Winner (Dufner) Will … (Win, Top10, Make the Cut, or Miss the Cut): Top 10. He likes this event (WD)
The Master’s Winner (Bubba) Will: MC. Dude’s too flaky. (T65 at +3)
The US Open Winner (Kaymer) Will: Make the cut (MC)
The Open Champion (Rors) Will: Top 10 (Winning is Top 10…right?)
How many prior PGA Championship winners will be in the Top 10: 2 (correct: Mickelson and McIlroy)
Will someone win it, or will everyone else lose it? Sergio fires another round in the 20s to take it. (not exactly)
What will be the biggest story of the tournament? Tiger WD, and thousands of references to Tiger/Bob May (a lot about Tiger, but it was really about Boy Wonder)
Tiger Woods will: WD. Back issues (close. lots of grimmacing and +6 MC)
Zach Johnson will: Top 10. This course sets up well for him. (T70 at +5)
Steve Stricker will: Make the cut. He just can’t get over it. (Top10, T7 at -11)
Dustin Johnson will: Share a coke with Paulina (sorry, this is just a holdover from last year’s, but it’s too funny to leave out)
Who is most likely to “Jim Furyk” it? Jim Furyk (final round 66, he did nothing of the sort. Stenson, Fowler, and Mickelson all bogeyed, so any of them I guess)

LG:
Winner: Sergio Garcia (First time in the history of the PF that JK and I pick the same player not named Tiger to win) (still no)
Winning Score: -14 (close…-16)
Runner Up: Rory McIlroy (close….he won. Two years in a row for LG)
Low PGA Professional: Stuart Deane (no, see above)
“Unknown” in the Top 10: Daniel Summerhays (t33 at -4)
Last Year’s Winner (Dufner) Will … (Win, Top10, Make the Cut, or Miss the Cut): Make Cut (WD)
The Master’s Winner (Bubba) Will: Make Cut (Make Cut)
The US Open Winner (Kaymer) Will: Make Cut (MC)
The Open Champion (Rors) Will: Runner Up (close)
How many prior PGA Championship winners will be in the Top 10: 2 (correct)
Will someone win it, or will everyone else lose it? Sergio takes it.  Redemption. (we all wish)
What will be the biggest story of the tournament? Sergio’s first major (nope)
Tiger Woods will: Top 10 (MC +6)
Zach Johnson will: miss cut (…and hopefully throw that hideous putter into a lake) (nope)
Steve Stricker will: Make cut (Top10)
Dustin Johnson will: give no …um… thoughts… about this tournament at all. (probably)
Who is most likely to “Jim Furyk” it? No one.  Sergio’s day has come. (not exactly)

It’s time for the playing of one of greatest and oldest championships of all time – the Open Championship.  Known in the states as the British Open, the Open Championship was first played on October 17, 1860 at Prestwick in Scotland. The inaugural tournament was restricted to professionals and attracted a field of eight golfers who played three rounds of Prestwick’s twelve-hole course in a single day.

This year’s contest will take place at the site of Tiger’s last Open victory in 2006 – Royal Liverpool, more commonly known as Hoylake.  Often called one of the greatest displays of iron play in the history of the game, Tiger’s two-shot victory (-18) over Chris Demarco (-16) on the baked-out links involved him hitting driver once and not hitting a single one of Hoylake’s notoriously penal bunkers all week!  The PowerFade is excited for Tiger’s return to Hoylake, but our picks may suggest a different outcome that TW taking a swig from the Claret Jug.  On to the picks!

ACTUAL (updated 8/11/2014)
1 -17 MCILROY, Rory
T2 -15 GARCIA, Sergio
T2 -15 FOWLER, Rickie
4 -13 FURYK, Jim
T5 -12 LEISHMAN, Marc
T5 -12 SCOTT, Adam
T7 -11 SCHWARTZEL, Charl
T7 -11 MOLINARI, Edoardo
T9 -10 LOWRY, Shane
T9 -10 MCDOWELL, Graeme
T9 -10 DUBUISSON, Victor

LG:
WIN: Miguel Angel Jimenez (MC)
PLACE: Rory McIlroy (Win -17)
SHOW: Tiger Woods (solo 69th, +6)
Winning Score: -8 (-17!)
“Unknown” in the Top 10: Kevin Streelman.  Seriously. (T54, +2. Marc Leishman or Shane Lowry were the choices)
Last Year’s Winner (Phil) Will … (Win, Top 10, Make the Cut, or Miss the Cut): Miss Cut (T23, -5)
The Master’s Winner (Bubba) Will …: Miss (Correct)
The US Open Winner (Kaymer) Will …: Make cut (correct, solo 70th at +8)
The current PGA Champion (Duf) will …: Miss (T51, +1)
How many prior winners will be in the Top 10: 1 (0)
Will someone win it, or will everyone else lose it? MAJ takes it in a playoff with Rors. (Rory won it. played great)
What will be the biggest story of the tournament? Rory breaks the Major scoring record of 63, but posts an 80 to bring the field back.  Surges on the weekend to come up short.  Takes away a lot of positives from the experience. (close, but no)
Who is most likely to “Sergio Garcia at Carnoustie” it?  No one. (correct. no one yakked)
Will you watch on Sunday? Yes. (?)
Tiger Woods will: Top 10 (guessing 3rd, but two strokes back) (incorrect. wildly incorrect)
Sergio Garcia will: Top 10 (correct – T2 at -15)
Dustin Johnson will: Make (correct, T12 at -9)
Jason Day will: Make (correct, T58 at +3)
Jordan Speith will: Miss (incorrect, T36 at -2)
Rory McIlroy will: Second. (almost)

JK:
WIN: Justin Rose (T23 at -5)
PLACE: Jonas Blixt (MC)
SHOW: Matt Kuchar (T54 at +2)
Winning Score: -1 (-17)
“Unknown” in the Top 10: Yasaku Miyazato (MC)
Last Year’s Winner (Phil) Will … (Win, Top 10, Make the Cut, or Miss the Cut): Make cut, probably just outside the top 10 (correct, T23)
The Master’s Winner (Bubba) Will …: MC (Correct)
The US Open Winner (Kaymer) Will …: Make cut (Correct)
The current PGA Champion (Duf) will …: MC…dude is having some real short game issues right now (Incorrect)
How many prior winners will be in the Top 10: 0 (correct)
Will someone win it, or will everyone else lose it? J Rose plays consistently all week while everyone else folds under the pressure (incorrect)
What will be the biggest story of the tournament? uh, basically the same as LG–Rory goes nuts and then yaks all over the place (close)
Who is most likely to “Sergio Garcia at Carnoustie” it?  Sergio Garcia (no, he played tremendously)
Will you watch on Sunday? unlikely. i’ll be driving home from waygus (watched a little)
Tiger Woods will: Make the cut, but barely (correct, with incredible precision)
Sergio Garcia will: Make the cut (T2…much better than making the cut)
Dustin Johnson will: Make the cut (correct, just outside top 10)
Jason Day will: Top 10 (nope. Thumb injuries).
Jordan Speith will: Top 10 (incorrect, T36)
Rory McIlroy will: outside Top 10, but make the cut (sure…)

Update 6/16/2014
Great job by Martin Kaymer in successfully making out national championship a boring event. Top 10 Included below:
1 KAYMER,Martin -9
T2 COMPTON,Erik -1
T2 FOWLER,Rickie -1
T4 BRADLEY,Keegan 1
T4 DAY,Jason 1
T4 KOEPKA,Brooks 1
T4 JOHNSON,Dustin 1
T4 STENSON,Henrik 1
T9 SCOTT,Adam 2
T9 WALKER,Jimmy 2
T9 SNEDEKER,Brandt 2

It’s that time again. It’s hell week. It’s our national championship, the ultimate test of golf, this year returning to Pinehurst #2, site of Payne Stewart’s victory in 1999. A lot of hype surrounds Phil Mickelson due to his runner-up finish at the last Pinehurst Open AND his runner-up finish at last year’s US Open. There will be plenty to talk about, of course, as with any major championship. Lo and behold, LG and I need to make our picks. With about as much certainty as we always have, here are our picks (it should be noted that JK and LG have $100 on Spieth vs. McIlroy):

JK:
Winner: Jordan Spieth Kaymer. Spieth T17
Winning Score: E -9
Runner Up: Billy Horschel correct answer: Fowler and Erik Compton. Horschel T23 at +6
Low Amateur: Oliver Goss MC
“Unknown” in the Top 10: Stephen Gallacher MC
Last Year’s Winner (Justin Rose) Will … (Win, Top10, Make the Cut, or Miss the Cut): Make the Cut, just outside of Top10 exactly right. T12
How many prior US Open winners will be in the Top 10: 1 actually, 0. Furyk was closest at T12
Masters Champion (Bubba) will …: M/C. This isn’t a bomber’s course Correct.
British Open Champion (Phil Mickelson) will …: Make cut Correct.
PGA Champion (Jason Dufner) will …: Top 10. Incorrect. MC
Sergio Garcia will…: Top 10 Incorrect. T35
Dustin Johnson will…: Top 10 Correct. T4 at +1
Rickie Fowler will…: MC Not exactly. T2.
Jordan Spieth will…: Win nope
Jimmy Walker (current Fedex points leader) will…: Top 10. Correct. T9 at +2
Adam Scott (current world #1) will…: Make the cut Actually, Top 10
What will be the major storyline of the tournament: Spieth’s redemption from his loss at Augusta. Kaymer runs away with it
What is your Bold prediction: Tiger makes some odd announcement in the middle of the tournament to get the attention back on him. awwww. we could’ve used something besides golf this week.

LG:
Winner: Rory McIlroy LG Fail. T23
Winning Score: -3 -9
Runner Up: Sergio Garcia Incorrect
Low Amateur: Fitzpatrick Correct
“Unknown” in the Top 10: Erik Compton hell of a pull here, LG. CORRECT!
Last Year’s Winner (Justin Rose) Will … (Win, Top10, Make the Cut, or Miss the Cut): Miss Cut incorrect
How many prior US Open winners will be in the Top 10: 2 Incorrect
Masters Champion (Bubba) will …: Miss Cut Correct
British Open Champion (Phil Mickelson) will …: Top 10 Incorrect
PGA Champion (Jason Dufner) will …: Miss Cut Correct
Sergio Garcia will…: Runner Up Incorect
Dustin Johnson will…: Top 10 Correct
Rickie Fowler will…: Make Cut Incorrect. T2, not just Make Cut
Jordan Spieth will…: Make cut Correct
Jimmy Walker (current Fedex points leader) will…: Miss Cut Incorrect. Top 10
Adam Scott (current world #1) will…: Top 10 Correct
What will be the major storyline of the tournament: Amazing leaderboard going into the weekend, but the lowest ratings for the U.S. Open ever. probably true
What is your Bold prediction: Sergio has a 2 shot lead going into the back nine, but Rory comes storming back from 4 back to win. not even close, but i like the boldness shown here

Here at the PF, we pride ourselves first on having families, careers, and loving the game of golf outside of the computer. As you may have noticed, our intense love for the game of golf has left us little time for posting lately. We apologize if you were waiting for the next instruction post on how to repaint a club, or the next insightful course review. While we wish we could always jot down every thought on the page for all of you to digest, we have grown to a realization that our lives outside of this pursuit are becoming more difficult to manage, and the fringe (including the PF) has suffered.

That said, even in the worst of times, my (and LG’s) favorite segment of our endeavor here is the major predictions page–especially the Masters. It’s a signal that the golf season is truly starting (yea, I know, there’s been a lot of golf played already…but still). It’s a signal that Spring is fully upon us, and that the time for long rounds of golf after work and good times with friends are here. In commemoration of this, I give you our Masters Predictions [sic] 2014:
Correct answers in italics updated 4/13
Top 10:
1 Bubba Watson -8
T2 Jonas Blixt -5
T2 Jordan Spieth -5
4 Miguel Jimenez -4
T5 Rickie Fowler -2
T5 Matt Kuchar -2
7 Lee Westwood -1
T8 Bernhard Langer E
T8 Jimmy Walker E
T8 Rory McIlroy E
T8 John Senden E
T8 Kevin Stadler E
T8 Thomas Bjorn E

JK:
Winner: Jordan Spieth T-2. Not Bad. Congrats Bubba
Winning Score: -11 -8
Runner Up: Dustin Johnson MC *achem*
Low Amateur: Matthew Fitzpatrick Arthur Goss
“Unknown” in the Top 10: Thorbjorn Olesen T-44 at +9. Unknowns? Probably Jimmy Walker or John Senden, but no one, really. A bunch of people who you might not have heard of if you don’t follow the game closely, but most are well known
Most difficult hole vs. par? 11 correct, +0.480
Easiest hole vs. par? 13 correct, -0.301
Last Year’s Winner (Adam Scott) Will … (Win, Top10, Make the Cut, or Miss the Cut)? Just outside the Top10, so Make the Cut.correct. T-14, one shot from T-8
How many prior Masters winners will be in the Top 10? 1 2 – Bubba Watson & Bernhard Langer!
US Open Champion (Justin Rose) will …? Make the Cut correct, T-14 at +1, just outside the top 10
British Open Champion (Phil Mickelson) will …? Top10 incorrect, MC
PGA Champion (Jason Dufner) will …? Make the Cut – he doesn’t putt well enough to compete incorrect – MC. Let’s call him Mr. 9 from now on for his performance on the 13th hole
When will Sergio Garcia implode? Sergio finishes Top10. No implosion this year. MC. No chance to implode
Dustin Johnson will…? Runner up. MC….yea I missed it.
Bubba Watson will…? Miss the Cut or win the tournament
Rickie Fowler will…? Miss the Cut or finish in the top 10
Jordan Spieth will…? Win it.close–T-2
Jimmy Walker will…? Miss the Cut or finish in the top 10
Matt Jones (last qualifier for the tournament) will…? Miss the Cut. Sorry Matt. correct.
Ben Crenshaw, Larry Mize, and Sandy Lyle. Who wins? Certainly not the fans. Uhhh….Crenshaw misses the cut by the fewest? first off, crenshaw was the worst player in the entire field. Second off, Larry Mize AND Sandy Lyle both MADE THE CUT! Sandly Lyle wins this at +9, but still amazing.
What will be the major storyline of the tournament? Spieth reigniting shades of Tiger Woods circa 1997.Bubba winning his second green jacket, although Spieth had a chance at this story for awhile.
What is your Bold prediction? It’s a two-man chase for the jacket on the last day, no one else even close. this was pretty accurate, Jonas Blixt made a charge and finished T-2 but it was really all about Bubba and Spieth until about the 12th hole, and then it was all about Bubba.

LG:
Winner: Jason Day MC
Winning Score: -5 -8
Runner Up: Sergio Garcia MC
Low Amateur: Garrick Porteous MC
“Unknown” in the Top 10: Brandon de Jonge T-37, 2 shots ahead of my flop for this category, Thorbjorn Olesen
Most difficult hole vs. par? 10nope, 11. 10 was +0.24
Easiest hole vs. par? 13 correct
Last Year’s Winner (Adam Scott) Will … (Win, Top10, Make the Cut, or Miss the Cut)?  Make Cut correct
How many prior Masters winners will be in the Top 10? 2 correct
US Open Champion (Justin Rose) will …? Make Cut correct
British Open Champion (Phil Mickelson) will …? Top 10 MC
PGA Champion (Jason Dufner) will …? Make Cut MC
When will Sergio Garcia implode? Back 9 on Sunday. not even a chance for that to happen that way
Dustin Johnson will…? Play great until sunday.  Make Cut MC
Bubba Watson will…? Miss Cut win the tourney
Rickie Fowler will…? Miss Cut finish top10
Jordan Spieth will…? Top 10 correct
Jimmy Walker will…? Miss Cut finish top10
Matt Jones (last qualifier for the tournament) will…? First exit – Miss Cut.yeah
Ben Crenshaw, Larry Mize, and Sandy Lyle. Who wins? No one.  SNOOOOZE.  (I’ll take Crenshaw) correct…
What will be the major storyline of the tournament?  Tiger Not being there.  Also, Jason Day wins a Major (without Tiger there) Tiger wasn’t even mentioned
What is your Bold prediction?  Jim Nantz gets a cold and can’t call Sunday. oh how we wish…

Updated with actual 8/11/2013

1 — -10 — Jason Dufner
2 — -8 — Jim Furyk
3 — -7 — Henrik Stenson
4 — -6 — Jonas Blixt
T5 — -5 — Scott Piercy
T5 — -5 — Adam Scott
7 — -4 — David Toms
T8 — -3 — Jason Day
T8 — -3 — Zach Johnson
T8 — -3 — Dustin Johnson
T8 — -3 — Rory McIlroy
T12 — -2 — Graeme McDowell
T12 — -2 — Boo Weekley
T12 — -2 — Marc Leishman
T12 — -2 — Roberto Castro
T12 — -2 — Marc Warren
T12 — -2 — Kevin Streelman
T12 — -2 — Steve Stricker

Yep, that’s right. Tiger’s return to the winner’s circle. JK takes the title for the Open Championship, but let’s see him top these picks. Here they are, folks:

LG:
Winner: Tiger Woods -Nope, DUFNER!
Winning Score: -10, Dead on! 
Runner Up: Jason Dufner, Jim Furyk, close though! 
Low PGA Professional: Bob Sowards, nope, but none of them made the cut, and my guy beat JK’s by a shot, so I’m calling it a win.
“Unknown” in the Top 10: Jason Kokrak, nope.  Only person that would have qualified would be Jonas Blixt
Last Year’s Winner (Rory) Will … (Win, Top10, Make the Cut, or Miss the Cut): Make the Cut, correct, but also Top 10.
The Master’s Winner (Scott) Will: Make the Cut, correct, but also Top 5.
The US Open Winner (Rose) Will: Top 10, incorrect – T33
The Open Champion (Philly) Will: Make Cut, Correct – T72
How many prior winners will be in the Top 10: 2, Correct!  David Toms and Rory
Will someone win it, or will everyone else lose it? Tiger dominates. Possible 63 watch. 1/2 right, 63 watch was correct, and Dufner definitely won it.
What will be the biggest story of the tournament? Duh.. , #dufnering
Tiger Woods will: Win. wrong – Duf!
Zach Johnson will: Top 10, Correct! T8
Steve Stricker will: Miss Cut, sadly., incorrect – T12
Dustin Johnson will: Make Cut, correct, but also T8
Woody Austin will: Miss Cut, correct – 4 strokes for having 15 clubs didn’t help much either…
Gary Woodland will: Make Cut, CORRECT, Taking down solo 74th.
Shaun Micheel (last PGA winner at Oak Hill) will: [[LG to supply answer before tournament starts]] I didn’t see this one earlier, but definitely would have said MC.
Who is most likely to “Jason Dufner” it on the 17th hole on Sunday? Jason Dufner, well we’re going to have to redefine this term, but Dufner was the only person who had a chance to blow it today.  Well done, Jason.

JK:
Winner: Hunter Mahan, Incorrect – T57
Winning Score: -6, Incorrect – -10.
Runner Up: Tiger Woods, Incorrect – Furyk.
Low PGA Professional: Rod Perry, see above.  LG takes down the W here.
“Unknown” in the Top 10: Rod Perry (a la Mark Brooks, maybe?), Definitely not.  
Last Year’s Winner (Rory) Will … (Win, Top10, Make the Cut, or Miss the Cut): Miss the cut, Incorrect – T8.
The Master’s Winner (Scott) Will: Top 10, Correct! 
The US Open Winner (Rose) Will: Make the Cut, Correct! 
The Open Champion (Philly) Will: Make the Cut, Correct! 
How many prior winners will be in the Top 10: 4, Incorrect – 2.
Will someone win it, or will everyone else lose it? Mahan plays solid while everyone else falls away, Definitely not. 
What will be the biggest story of the tournament? Mahan gave away victory for his baby–he wins the big one, Definitely not. 
Tiger Woods will: T-2, Incorrect.
Zach Johnson will: Miss cut, Incorrect – T10.
Steve Stricker will: Miss Cut, Incorrect – T12.
Dustin Johnson will: Top 15, I’m not sure this is a valid category, but correct! 
Woody Austin will: Miss Cut, Correct! 
Gary Woodland will: Make Cut, Correct! 
Shaun Micheel (last PGA winner at Oak Hill) will: Not even sniff the cut., Correct! 
Who is most likely to “Jason Dufner” it on the 17th hole on Sunday? Jason Dufner, See above.

From the PowerFade team, Congrats, Jason.  Though your winning reaction was not as great as your grabbing your wife’s rear end after the win, we’re still amazed by the ball-striking display you put on.  

 

 

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