Tommorow is the first round of the 109th U.S. Open at Bethpage Black Course on Long Island, New York. It returns there for the first time since 2002. The U.S. Open is the tournament I always look forward to every single year. I believe the setup is extraordinary and the champion always has to play 72 solid holes in order to win. Par is always a very good score and many on many occasions it is an equalizer and many champions are totally off the radar screen at the beginning of the week, such as Michael Campbell in 2005 and Angel Cabrera in 2007. While I could be wrong, the length of Bethpage makes it one where the biggest hitters are going to rise to the top. Here are my picks:
1. Tiger Woods-He won here in '02 and fully expect him to do the same just like any major he tees it up in.
Others that might have a chance
2. Phil Mickelson-Another long hitter and wants to win an Open more than a lot of tour players. He is playing with a heavy heart
3. Sergio Garcia-A "brown horse," he has not been playing well this year but his length and ability to rise in some majors makes him a factor. He is going to win a major one of these years, could this be it
4. Ernie Els-His career has gone down (especially after the four near misses in '04) but I think he has one more run in him. A long hitter, this may be his last chance at a major. For this course he is the closest to dark horse that I can get-I cannot see one rising up from nowhere to take this.
Of course, none of these players could even be in the top 10 on Sunday night. Sit back and enjoy. Remember, it does not "begin" until the back 9 on Sunday!