Olympic suits Kuchar
Not Tiger, Phil, Bubba, Rory or Lee.
"Kooch" will reign supreme.
Matt Kuchar just won The Players Championship, where he beat a stellar field. The U.S. Open at the Olympic 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.
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 (69.8).
Stricker is deserving, due
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 in last year's British Open. Clarke was due, deserved one and got it, bouncing 2-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 on placing those drives properly, not hitting them out of sight. Also, U.S. Opens are won by great putting, and Stricker certainly is among the best at that.
Woods boosts Mickelson
I'm picking the guy whose middle name is "Heartbreak," at least in U.S. Opens.