It’s nearly time for the most punishing week in the professional schedule: the United States Open.  This year, the tournament will be contested at the monstrously long (7812 yards from the tips on the scorecard) Pete Dye (vomit) design at Erin Hills.

Kevin Na provides a perfect preview of the conditions to be faced in the video below:

With that context in mind, here’s the PowerFade’s guide on how to lose your money gambling:

LG:
Winner: Rory Mcilroy
Winning Score: -4
Runner Up: Dustin Johnson (in a playoff)
“Unknown” in the Top 10: Stu Hagestad
Last Year’s Winner (DJ) will…: runner up
Masters Champion (Sergio) will …: Make cut
British Open Champion (Stenson) will …: Make cut
PGA Champion (Walker) will…: Miss cut
Last week’s winner, Daniel Berger, will…: Make cut
Rory will…: WIN
Rickie Fowler will…: Top 10
Jordan Speith will…: Make cut
Justin Rose will…: Make cut
Jason Day will…: Make cut
Will Mickelson play in the event?: Yes.
Will anyone break par for all 4 rounds?: No
What will be the highest score that misses the cut?: +35
What will be the highest single hole score?: 11
What will be the major storyline of the tournament: Mickelson’s daughter’s graduation gets pushed forward an hour so he can make his late tee time to miss the cut with no driver in the bag.
Bold Prediction?: Stu Hagestad isn’t bold enough????

JK:
Winner: Dustin Johnson
Winning Score: +2
Runner Up: Rory McIlroy
“Unknown” in the Top 10: Thomas Pieters
Last Year’s Winner (DJ) will…:  Back-to-back, assuming he doesn’t fall down the stairs again
Masters Champion (Sergio) will …: MC
British Open Champion (Stenson) will …: MC
PGA Champion (Walker) will…: MC
Last week’s winner, Daniel Berger, will…: Make the cut
Rory will…: Top 10
Rickie Fowler will…: Top 10
Jordan Speith will…: Top 10
Justin Rose will…: MC
Jason Day will…: Top 10
Will Mickelson play in the event?: No
Will anyone break par for all 4 rounds?: No chance
What will be the highest score that misses the cut?: +23
What will be the highest single hole score?: 9
What will be the major storyline of the tournament: The rough
Bold Prediction?: The big names do really well overall…not many unknowns making a play.

Apparently, there’s another major this week?

Glory’s last shot at Baltusrol… yada yada yada…

JK:
Win: Jordan Spieth
Winning score: -6
Runner-up: Phil Mickelson
“Unknown” in the Top 10: Jason Kokrak
Low PGA Professional: Rod Perry
The US Open Winner (Dustin Johnson) will: Top 10, probably T2
The Masters Winner (Danny Willett) will: Make the cut
The Open Champion (Henrik) will: Top 10
The 2015 PGA Championship Winner (Jason Day) will: Top 10
Sergio Garcia will: Miss cut
Hideki Matsuyama will: Make Cut
Adam Scott will: Top 10
Bubba Watson will: Get caught in his jetpack
Will someone win it, or everyone else lose it: Tough rounds in the middle of the week, but Spieth lights it up on the weekend to take his third major
What will be the biggest storyline of the tournament: Jordan coming back after not showing up for most of the year
Will you watch on Sunday: Hell no…I’ll be flying somewhere golfy

LG:
Win: Rory
Winning score: -15
Runner-up: DJ
“Unknown” in the Top 10: Kevin Chappell
Low PGA Professional: Mitch Lowe (GO MITCH!)
The US Open Winner (Dustin Johnson) will: 2nd!
The Masters Winner (Danny Willett) will: MC
The Open Champion (Henrik) will: Make Cut
The 2015 PGA Championship Winner (Jason Day) will: Make Cut
Sergio Garcia will: Top 10 (sorry, Sergio)
Hideki Matsuyama will: Make Cut
Adam Scott will: Make Cut
Bubba Watson will: Miss Cut
Will someone win it, or everyone else lose it: Rory takes it down.
What will be the biggest storyline of the tournament: Classic Rory/Tigeresque win.  He’s Back!
Will you watch on Sunday: Nope – on a plane to Scotland!

The Anonymous Mini-Tour Pro presents: Shooting Your Best Score Ever

Are you looking to shoot your best score ever?

Well, good luck sifting through the red-stake-marked pool of advice that exists in all types of outlets that cover golf – magazines, the golf channel, your local pro, and of course your golf buddies. Good news though! This column will guide you through accomplishing just that.

The bad news, however, is that it’s going to require you to take a tee and prick the massively inflated bubble that is your sense of self. Take Mr. 85 for example: he goes around with his single digit index of 9.9 and consistently throws away shots by thinking that he should employ the same strategy as the pros. The most important lesson he should learn in order to shoot his best score ever is that everyone is really terrible at golf.

And yet, one might say, Tiger in 2000 won practically every tournament – he wasn’t bad at golf! False. Tiger would consistently take 60 to 75 shots to complete a round, of which only 18 of his shots would find the bottom of the hole. I will double check the numbers but I believe that is way less than 100% of his shots. Perhaps even below 90%. So you see, if Tiger would only put 18 of 69 shots in the hole, a terrible rate, and he was best ever, think how bad Mr. 85 must be at golf – really, really awful!

The goal in golf is to be the least awful you can be. Remember that next time you aim for a tucked pin from 240 out to an island green guarded by alligators.

So let’s go through some common scenarios and see if Mr. 85 can alter his decision-making in an attempt to shoot his least horrible score ever:

Putting

A classic scene when observing Mr. 85 preparing to hit a 15 foot putt is a series of useless rituals that will not put a dent in the high likelihood that he will 3 putt. The problem lies in the fact that the plumbob, 360 degree green reading, and 7 practice strokes do not turn him from a horrible putter into an okay putter but instead turn him from a horrible putter into a still horrible putter whose stupid rituals distract him from having correct speed on his putts and also hold up the group behind him – the same group who earlier in the round were also doing stupid putting rituals but are now drunk and stopped caring about score and may get violent if they see one more plumbob out of Mr. 85. Let’s break it down:

Best player ever: makes 10% of 15 footers

Mr. 85’s opinion: “What do you mean 3 putt? I’m gonna drill this!”

Mr. 85 reality: No drilling but many, many 3 putts

Solution: Skip the pre-shot routine and lag it to 11 inches short and 7 inches right of the hole for an unexciting 2 putt. You’ll thank me after the round.

Chipping

While putting is usually a struggle for Mr. 85, chipping is usually a relative strength. Just kidding! His chipping is putrid. Unfortunately, Mr. 85 does not know this because he hit that one chip close to the hole that one time. Let’s take the common situation of having a tough chip over a bunker with little green to work with.

Best player ever: hits a nice flop over the bunker that will be close 30% of the time, 15 feet past 69% of the time, and flubbed in the bunker once in a long while.

Mr. 85’s opinion: “Watch and learn, boys!”

Mr. 85 reality: 49.9% chili chunk in the bunker, 49.9% skull over the green, and that one chip that one time.

Solution: Chip it 15 feet past the hole, where he will probably 3 putt.

Iron shots

Putting and chipping are undoubtedly important but at least a 3 putt is only a single lost stroke. The result of certain iron shots, on the other ungloved hand, can be the golf equivalent of being beaten over the head by Old Tom Morris’ rusty brassie from the 19th century.

There’s no doubt that Mr. 85’s iron game is hideous. He hits chunks, skulls, slices, hooks, and whatever other negative golf terms exist to describe shots. There’s also no doubt that he will continue to be horrible. However, there is hope! Mr. 85 could change his target line. Tucked pin surrounded by bunkers? Go for the middle. Island green? Go for the middle. More than 200 out over water? Lay up.

Let’s take a specific example: second shot on 18 at bay hill from 210 out with the pin back right.

Mr. 85’s opinion: “Here comes a controlled power butter drawfade right at the pin!”

Mr. 85 reality: Too gruesome to be explained in this column. Not for the faint-hearted.

Solution: Go for left and long of the green where your chunk, skull, slice, and hook will all find grass and where you can chip on and make your 5, which is 2.5 strokes below your current average after choosing That-Which-Is-Too-Gruesome-To-Be-Explained.

Mr. 85 might be asking: well, at what distance should I stop aiming for the middle and start aiming at the pin? 150 yards? Answer: Hmmm….yeahhh…. how about at 100 yards and under just to be safe.

Driving:

The good news with the irons is that the worst Mr. 85 can do (usually) is hit it in the water. That means a nice drop up to where it entered the hazard! The driver, conversely, can introduce a whole new level of punishment in the form of white stakes.

The problem with Mr. 85’s driving is that he believes that he hits ‘ehhhh…. around 70% of my fairways?’ when in reality he’s hit 619 banana slices in a row. Now fast forward to Mr. 85 teeing off on a hole with an array of beautiful, soon to be damaged houses down the right side. Now fast forward to banana slice 620. Now fast forward to Mr. 85 calculating how long it would take him to hop the fence, hit a nice recovery shot back to the fairway without taking too big a divot off of the back yard lawn, and hop back over the fence, all before the angry pitbull in the yard tries to eat his FootJoys and the drunken group behind him gets rowdy. And that’s the best case scenario – worse case is Mr. 85’s playing partners catch him trying to play his shot from out of bounds.

If the latter happens, he would have to re-tee where he will be hitting 3. 3! With no progress made! Remember the beating you took from Old Tom Morris’ brassie? This is way worse. This is like taking Old Tom Morris’ spoonie, dipping it in a pool of anthrax, spearing a beaver with it, feeding it to an alligator, and then having it bite your leg while you’re doing the move where you take your shoes off to play the ball on the edge of the lake even though the sign CLEARLY said to beware of anthrax gators.

Solution: realistically map out your tee shots in a dispersion pattern that you can then adjust your target line on. That means Mr. 85 needs to know that he hits mostly boomerang slices and on the hole that has the houses down the right side needs to pick a new line down the left.

Conclusion

In short, we have learned that penalties from iron shots in the hazard or drives out of bounds are absolutely devastating to Mr. 85’s rounds. The value of the short game, while still a good opportunity for improvement, pales in comparison with the simple changes one can make in the target line. Follow these directions correctly and you will accomplish your goal of being slightly less terrible at golf.

Time for the third major of The Year Of The Links Major. This one, the purest form of links golf, the Open Championship at St. Andrews. In the last three contests at St. Andrews, the winner has waltzed to victory, with no margin of victory at St. Andrews being less than 5 shots since 1995. Many story lines pervade our senses–will Jordan Spieth take home the third major in a row? Will Tiger Woods find his game at a place that he has previously been a magician? Can Louis Oosthuizen relive his major championship form when it matters in his St. Andrews defense? Can Dustin Johnson bounce back from a terrible loss at the US Open?

Without further ado, here are our predictions:

Final Leaderboard:
1 Zach Johnson -15*
T2 Louis Oosthuizen -15*
T2 Marc Leishman -15*
T4 Jason Day -14
T4 Jordan Spieth -14
T6 Justin Rose -11
T6 Sergio Garcia -11
T6 Danny Willett -11
T6 Jordan Niebrugge (a) -11
T10 Adam Scott -10

*denotes playoff

LG:

WIN: Rickie Fowler (T30, -6)
PLACE: Victor Dubuisson (MC, 74-71)
SHOW: Tiger Woods (MC, 76-75)
Winning Score: -10 (-15)
“Unknown” in the Top 10: Eddie Pepperell (T49, -4. Actual answers: Willett, Niebrugge)
Last Year’s Winner (Rors) Will … (Win, Top 10, Make the Cut, or Miss the Cut): Be discussed on TV, but will not tee it. (yah)
The Master’s Winner (Spieth) Will …: Make Cut (T4, one shot away from the playoff)
The US Open Win….nevermind
The current PGA Champ….nevermind
How many prior winners will be in the Top 10: 2 (1-Oosthuizen)
Will someone win it, or will everyone else lose it? Rickie will continue his stellar play from last week and close wire to wire. (I’d say ZJ won it…big putt on 18, great score in the playoff)
What will be the biggest story of the tournament? Rory isn’t there, Tiger shows solid form, and Victor Dubuisson holes a miracle bunker shot on Friday from the Road Hole bunker. (ZJ, Spieth ALMOST doing it)
Will you watch on Sunday? Probably not live, but I’ll watch the replay. (I watched a ton. Great tourney)
Tiger Woods will: Top 10 – he could play this place blindfolded. (I wish)
Dustin Johnson will: Miss Cut. (leader at the cut line…fall away on the weekend. yikes DJ)
Bubba Watson will: probably not even show up. (wouldn’t that be nice? MC)
Philefty will: Make Cut. (T20, -7)
Horschel (Current Fedex Cup champion) will: Miss Cut. (T30, -6)
Jimmy Walker (second to Spieth in Fedex Cup points) will: Make Cut. (T30, -6)
Zach Johnson (LG’s favorite player) will: lol. (lol indeed)
Miguel Angel Jimenez (LG’s ACTUAL favorite player) will: Make Cut. (MC, 75-73)
Nick Faldo (1990 winner at St. Andrews) will: probably break a club during missing the cut. (83 on the first day. yeah)
John Daly (1995 winner at St. Andrews) will: sell T-shirts out of his van in the parking lot. (first outside the cut line)
Tiger Woods (2000 and 2005 winner at St. Andrews) will: Top 10.  Come on TIGER! (yeah..right)
Louis Oosthuizen (2010 winner at St. Andrews) will: Top 10. (my second of two prior champions in the top 10) (good call. T-2 in playoff)
Rickie Fowler (2015 Scottish Open Champion) will: WIN! (Dear God)
What will be the margin of victory: 2 (0.0–playoff)
Will Rory McIlroy make an appearance? Probably in some Nike commercial about overcoming adversity (adversity here being an injury during a pickup soccer game…) (yup)

JK

WIN: Tommy Fleetwood (one shot outside the cut.)
PLACE: Paul Casey (T74 at E)
SHOW: Jason Day (T4, -14–one shot out)
Winning Score: -18 (-15)
“Unknown” in the Top 10: uhm….Tommy Fleetwood (right….not exactly)
Last Year’s Winner (Rors) Will … (Win, Top 10, Make the Cut, or Miss the Cut): count his money (indeed)
The Master’s Winner (Spieth) Will …: Top 10 (yup)
The US Open Win….nevermind
The current PGA Champ….nevermind
How many prior winners will be in the Top 10: 3 (1)
Will someone win it, or will everyone else lose it? Fleetwood wins running away (ZJ won it)
What will be the biggest story of the tournament? Tommy Fking Fleetwood
Will you watch on Sunday? Tune in to watch Tommy Fleetwood run laps around the field? no thanks
Tiger Woods will: Top10. Probably T-4. (nope)
Dustin Johnson will: Top10. Probably T-6 (close enough.)
Bubba Watson will: storm off the course, proclaiming that “Scottish golf is stupid–bubba golf is rad.” (yes!)
Philefty will: Top10. The British Open is always good to philly (close)
Horschel (Current Fedex Cup champion) will: gator champ at a patron, causing said patron to throw beer at him.
Jimmy Walker (second to Spieth in Fedex Cup points) will: Top10.
Zach Johnson (LG’s favorite player) will: Top10

Miguel Angel Jimenez (LG’s ACTUAL favorite player) will: Make Cut.
Nick Faldo (1990 winner at St. Andrews) will: cheat on his wife or girlfriend. Again.
John Daly (1995 winner at St. Andrews) will: shirtless JD at St. Andrews? Can it be true?
Tiger Woods (2000 and 2005 winner at St. Andrews) will: Top10. Great showing, can’t quite get it done.
Louis Oosthuizen (2010 winner at St. Andrews) will: Just outside the Top 10. He’s doing good right now.

Rickie Fowler (2015 Scottish Open Champion) will: wear orange on sunday?
What will be the margin of victory: 8 shots
Will Rory McIlroy make an appearance? Nike, Omega, the PGA of America….yeah, he’ll be there…in recording at least.

download

Over the last few days, I’ve spent time here and there reading through a bit of Shane Ryan’s Slaying the Tiger.  I picked it up after reading a short excerpt on http://www.golfwrx.com about the Masters and the membership at Augusta National Golf Club, and even though I’ve only managed to get through a couple of chapters, I don’t think there is a single golfer that follows the PGA TOUR at all that would not be fascinated by the stories in this book.

Ryan does an incredible job (thus far) of researching his subjects, creating a storyline that feels like it has progression, and telling the story in a way that is relatable to the average golfer.  In short, he posits a more clear picture of life on TOUR than we get from your average Golf Channel broadcast and associated advertising.

From the book: “As the golf writer for Bill Simmons’s Grantland, Shane Ryan is the perfect herald for the sport’s new age. In Slaying the Tiger, he embeds himself for a season on the PGA Tour, where he finds the game far removed from the genteel rhythms of yesteryear. Instead, he discovers a group of mercurial talents driven to greatness by their fear of failure and their relentless perfectionism. From Augusta to Scotland, with an irreverent and energetic voice, Ryan documents every transcendent moment, every press tent tirade, and every controversy that made the 2014 Tour one of the most exciting and unpredictable in recent memory.

Here are indelibly drawn profiles of the game’s young guns: Rory McIlroy, the Northern Irish ace who stepped forward as the game’s next superstar; Patrick Reed, a brash, boastful competitor with a warrior’s mentality; Dustin Johnson, the brilliant natural talent whose private habits sabotage his potential; and Jason Day, a resilient Aussie whose hardscrabble beginnings make him the Tour’s ultimate longshot. Here also is the bumptious Bubba Watson, a devout Christian known for his unsportsmanlike outbursts on the golf course; Keegan Bradley, a flinty New Englander who plays with a colossal chip on his shoulder; twenty-one-year-old Jordan Spieth, a preternaturally mature Texan carrying the hopes of the golf establishment; and Rickie Fowler, the humble California kid striving to make his golf speak louder than his bright orange clothes.”

Pick it up today for only $11.84 on your Kindle (or your iPhone) at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Slaying-Tiger-Year-Inside-Ropes-ebook/dp/B00N6PD1WK/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=8-1&qid=1434414898.

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.  

 

 

Updated with actual 7/23/2013

Ahh… Time for the Open Championship.  If you’re like me at all, you’ve probably stopped watching professional golf and have been trying to play as much as possible.  I honestly forgot the Open was coming up, but am very excited to see another playing of the oldest major!

ACTUAL (basically, just look at JK’s):
Winner: Phil Mickelson
Winning Score: -3
Runner Up: Henrik Stenson
“Unknown” in the Top 10: There really wasn’t one, closest was Hideki Matsuyama, but if you watch any golf you’ve seen this guy.
Last Year’s Winner (Ernie Else) Will … (Win, Top 10, Make the Cut, or Miss the Cut): T-26, +8
The Master’s Winner (Scott) Will …: T3, +1
The US Open Winner (Rose) Will …: MC
The current PGA Champion (Rory) will …: MC
How many prior winners will be in the Top 10: 1 (Tiger Woods)
Will someone win it, or will everyone else lose it? Both
What will be the biggest story of the tournament? Phil’s comeback from Merion
Who is most likely to “Sergio Garcia at Carnoustie” it? No one
Jason Dufner will: T26, +8
Tiger Woods will: T6, +2
Sergio Garcia will: T21, +7
Paul Casey will: Not in the field, LG
Ian Poulter will: T3, +1
Dustin Johnson will: T32, +9

Top 15:
1 — -3 — MICKELSON, Phil
2 — E — STENSON, Henrik
T3 — +1 — POULTER, Ian
T3 — +1 — SCOTT, Adam
T3 — +1 — WESTWOOD, Lee
T6 — +2 — MATSUYAMA, Hideki
T6 — +2 — JOHNSON, Zach
T6 — +2 — WOODS, Tiger
T9 — +3 — MOLINARI, Francesco
T9 — +3 — MAHAN, Hunter
T11 — +4 — SNEDEKER, Brandt
T11 — +4 — CABRERA, Angel
T13 — +5 — LEONARD, Justin
T13 — +5 — JIMENEZ, Miguel Angel
T15 — +6 — DE LA RIVA, Eduardo
T15 — +6 — ENGLISH, Harris
T15 — +6 — SCHWARTZEL, Charl
T15 — +6 — WILLETT, Danny
T15 — +6 — KUCHAR, Matt
T15 — +6 — BRADLEY, Keegan

LG:
Winner: Graeme McDowell (Mickelson)
Winning Score: -8 (-3)
Runner Up: Sergio Garcia (Stenson)
“Unknown” in the Top 10: Bud Cauley (Close, T-32 at +9. Good call, though, LG)
Last Year’s Winner (Ernie Else) Will … (Win, Top 10, Make the Cut, or Miss the Cut): Top 10 (T26, +8)
The Master’s Winner (Scott) Will …: MC (T3, +1)
The US Open Winner (Rose) Will …: Make cut (MC)
The current PGA Champion (Rory) will …: MC (MC)
How many prior winners will be in the Top 10: 3 (1 – Tiger Woods)
Will someone win it, or will everyone else lose it? GMAC gets it done. (both)
What will be the biggest story of the tournament? Tiger doesn’t win another major. (Phil’s return from Merion)
Who is most likely to “Sergio Garcia at Carnoustie” it?  …Sergio. (No one–maybe Dustin Johnson, 76-77 on the weekend, but that wasn’t uncommon…or maybe snedeker, who shot 79 on day 2. He wins if he shoots E on Friday)
Will you watch on Sunday? Yes.  Live? no.  (?)
Jason Dufner will: MC (T26, +8)
Tiger Woods will: Top 10 (T3, +2)
Sergio Garcia will: runner up – Top 10 (T21, +7)
Paul Casey will: Make Cut (uhhhhhh….not in the field)
Ian Poulter will: Make Cut (T3, +1)
Dustin Johnson will: MC (T32, +9)

JK: wait…before we get started….are you really not picking Tiger, LG?
Winner: Phil Mickelson (YES)
Winning Score: +1 (-3)
Runner Up: Luke Donald (MC)
“Unknown” in the Top 10: Bud Cauley was a nice call LG. I’ll go with Josh Teater (solo 82nd at +17)
Last Year’s Winner (Ernie Else) Will … (Win, Top 10, Make the Cut, or Miss the Cut): Make the Cut (YES, T26)
The Master’s Winner (Scott) Will …: Top 10 (YES, T-3)
The US Open Winner (Rose) Will …:  BE AWESOME AT EVERYTHING but still miss the cut (YES)
The current PGA Champion (Rory) will …: top 10 (MC)
How many prior winners will be in the Top 10: 1 (YES, Tiger Woods)
Will someone win it, or will everyone else lose it? This is usually one that is a combination of both–a guy who plays OK, but not lights out, while everyone else gets thrashed by the conditions. I’m going with Phil coming back from Merion to win it. (YES)
What will be the biggest story of the tournament?  Phil Rebounds from Merion (YES) 
Who is most likely to “Sergio Garcia at Carnoustie” it? We could also call this “Phil Mickelson at Merion,” but…I’ll go Jim Furyk (MC)
Will you watch on Sunday? Unlikely Live? if it’s happening then it’s live, so unlikely (yes, actually…while on a plane. Third time I’ve watched a major championship on a plane this year).
Jason Dufner will: choke on his dip. MC (T26)
Tiger Woods will: probably pull out with injury, but if not, top 10–in the running all week, but unable to close. (YES, exactly right, actually…except the injury part)
Sergio Garcia will: show up well but never be in the discussion. Make the cut, likely top 15. (YES, almost exactly right–one shot from top 15, but T21 at +7)
Paul Casey will: who? MC (well, he wasn’t even in the field)
Ian Poulter will: sad to say, he’ll make a run, but he’ll just make the cut. Likely top 20. (YES, exactly…except T3 is better than top 20 for sure)
Dustin Johnson will: (meh)