It’s the way to way to early preview of major #2, the US Open. Held from June 18-21 at Chambers Bay, in University Place, Washington.
US Open 2015 Preview
Jordan Spieth won a green jacket.
Nobody can every take that away from him.
But now, as golf fans do, we start to think in the future.
Can he do it again? Can that dominating performance be replicated away from Augusta?
The field will be more challenging, to be sure. The Masters is known for allowing it’s past champions to play for life (Tom Watson, Ben Crenshaw, Fred Couples, Bernard Langer). Rather, these names will be replaced with hungry, young golfers looking for their first shot at glory, rather than those hanging onto it.
Little is known about Chambers Bay, partly because it’s so new. The course opened in 2007, constructed from an old, unused gravel mine near Puget Sound in Washington.
It’s generally regarded to be one of the top 100 courses in America. (Click here for a hole-by-by hole breakdown of the course)
No ways around it, this is a long course. With championship length of over 7,500 yards (about on par with Augusta), the play is sure to favour the long hitter.
It may also favour the international. According to reviews, the course plays very fast, playing like a true links course, rather than the woodland feel of Augusta.
Perhaps one of the most intriguing parts of the US Open is the eclectic field it invites for a shot at a major title. Several amateurs will be in the field, including recent winners of the Masters, PGA Championship, and European BMW championship.
The internationals have had the most recent success in the tournament with Martin Kaymer and Justin Rose, Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell racking up recent wins.
But who will be challenging for a major title in the 115th playing of the US Open?
The odds on early favourite has to be Jordan Spieth.
Fresh of a Masters green jacket where he set several records,the 21 year-old is on top of his game.
But according to the betting world, Rory McIlroy is the favourite at 5/1, followed by Spieth at 10/1, with Woods and Adam Scott both going off at 16/1.
Former champion Justin Rose is a 25/1 long shot, despite tying for second in the Masters. (His score of -14 would’ve been good enough to win the Masters in 72 of the past 78 Masters tournaments)
After looking through the hole-by-hole breakdown, long hitters will certainly have an easier time with the enormous course, but could easily run into trouble.
The course is tight and filled with giant sand traps that could easily turn the hole into a nightmare.
For example, the par 4 5th, is a fairly wide-open, elevated tee box where the long drivers will be able to work with relative ease. But, a massive bunker guards the front of the green, close to where pin positions will be set.
The average driver, like Spieth, may struggle on some of the long par 4’s, like the 482 yard 7th, where a short tee shot will leave you with a blind uphill shot to the green.
Overall, I say to look for the big names to contend here.
Bubba Watson will look to rebound from a poor showing at Augusta. And you know Phil Mickleson will be out to prove he has more majors in him.
It feels like a course Tiger Woods will struggle with if he doesn’t work out his driving woes that plagued him down the stretch at Augusta.
Also, expect for the favourite, Rory McIlroy to compete with Spieth, as they continue to take the torch from the old guard.