Tiger Woods, left, Rory McIlroy and Phil Mickelson will compete in the U.S.… (Ezra Shaw, Stuart Franklin…)
Writers from around the Tribune Co. will predict the winner of theU.S. Open, which starts Thursday at the Olympic Club in San Francisco. Check back throughout the day for their responses and give us your predictions in the comments section.
Bill Dwyre, Los Angeles Times
Steve Stricker will win the U.S. Open this week because San Francisco’s Olympic Club is a fastidious course and Stricker is a fastidious player. Also, he is due. Think of his victory as a mirror-image to Darren Clarke’s win at last year’s British Open. Clarke was due, deserved one, and got it, bouncing two-irons through traps and onto greens.
Stricker is a very good player who is playing his 17th U.S. Open. His game doesn’t revolve around big-bomb drives, and the emphasis at Olympic is placing those drives properly, not hitting them out of sight. Also, U.S. Opens are won with great putting, and Stricker certainly is among the best at that.
Tom Yantz, Hartford Courant
Not Tiger, Phil, Bubba, Rory or Lee.
“Kooch” will reign supreme.
Matt Kuchar just won the Players Championship, where he beat a stellar field. But the U.S. Open at Olympic Golf Club, toughened to the extreme by the USGA, will be a greater physical and mental endurance test.
Kuchar can grind with the best of them. He ranks 10th in greens in regulation and 25th in driving accuracy on the PGA Tour. Both are essential to win this U.S. Open.
Remember, he tied for 14th in the 1998 U.S. Open at Olympic GC as an amateur.
Don’t be deceived by his engaging smile and personable nature. When he’s on the course, Kuchar is a major league competitor. He also has a big-league game with the tour’s No. 1 scoring average (69.80).
And Sunday, he’ll be No. 1 at Olympic.