Watson breaks through

Teddy Greenstein

Chicago Tribune

I'm going out on a limb, picking a U.S. Open champion born in the same country as Barack Obama. American golfers have been trumped of late by internationals.

Enough's enough. It's time for a country boy named Bubba to win a major.

Bubba Watson can bomb it 350 yards and also hits the most greens on tour. The lefty closed well to win in San Diego and New Orleans this year and came within a shot of claiming his first major at last year's PGA Championship.

He appears in bare feet and overalls in that comically bad Golf Boys video singing: "I want my birdies all day long." Assuming he can find a pair of slacks and a shirt to cover up his chest hair, I like Watson to break through this week.

tgreenstein@tribune.com

It's Stricker's time

Bill Dwyre

Los Angeles Times

Picking a U.S. Open golf winner is like picking the trifecta in the fourth race on Thursday afternoon at Hollywood Park. Eight maiden claimers. Roll the dice and don't expect to return to the window.

Most U.S. Open golfers are better known, but they are equally unpredictable. So, we'll roll the dice and call Steve Stricker's number. He is No. 4 in the world, hits the ball far enough now to deal with these overblown, stretched-out courses, seems less inclined than most of the other guys to come unglued over a 5-foot putt and he hasn't won a major before. Think of it as the Dirk Nowitzki syndrome.

A good guy, well-spoken and well-deserving, wins the big one. Because he is good and because it is his time.

bdwyre@tribune.com

Anybody's Open