Why You Should Back Jordan Spieth to Win the U.S. Open at Brookline
The Country Club at Brookline is memorable for one of the biggest upsets in sports history when amateur Francis Ouimet won the U.S. Open back in 1913.
Now, 109 years after the historic win, Brookline is once again the host of America’s biggest golf tournament, which comes at a pivotal point in the sport.
A rival Saudi-backed golf league has dominated headlines with it poaching some of the bigger names in golf, while the PGA Tour has announced suspensions for those who join the LIV Golf Series. Some of those players, such as Dustin Johnson, Phil Mickelson and Bryson DeChambeau will tee it up this weekend after answering questions about the morality of taking money from a group with a controversial human rights record.
How times have changed.
It’ll be interesting to see how those LIV golfers are treated by the Boston fans. Will DeChambeau continue to be taunted as he was much of last season? Does the traditional love affair for Mickelson still exist? All of these storylines carry intrigue. The LIV Golf element will hang over this tournament, whether we like it or not.
Brookline as undergone numerous changes since it last hosted the U.S. Open in 1988 and was won by Curtis Strange. The latest redesign came from Gil Hanse, who restored the greens to make them the second smallest in championship golf at just 4,400 square feet. Only Pebble Beach has smaller landing areas.
U.S. Opens have been known for their penal rough, and this year is expected to be no different. If golfers miss the fairway off the tee, they can expect the rough to be at least five inches deep in some places.
“The thought is to put some level of premium on driving the golf ball in the fairway and controlling your golf ball up around the greens,” Jeff Hall, the USGA’s Managing Director, Rules and Open Championships said. “It’s an important element of the overall test of the U.S. Open.’
Add in the small greens, and this year’s U.S. Open is once again shaping up to be one of the hardest tests in golf.
Best Bet to Win
Jordan Spieth +3000 WynnBet
U.S. Opens have been an issue for Spieth since his win at Chambers Bay in 2015. He’s missed the cut twice and hasn’t finished better than the T-19 at Torrey Pines last year. But his game is rounding into form for the weekend.
This season he ranks 10th in average shots gained tee to green (1.34) and is 20th in average shots gained around the green (.368).
He has been even better in those categories recently, ranking first in both over the last 24 rounds. With the penal rough and small landing areas on the greens that the players will miss this weekend, I like backing a guy who has been solid at saving par from missed approaches.
Putting has been an issue in recent tourneys for Spieth. He managed to win the RBC Heritage while losing strokes putting. However, over his last four starts, he’s gained strokes putting in three of those.
Spieth’s game is coming together at the right time, which is enough for me to pick him as my winner this week.
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