Our U.S Open picks to win at Pebble Beach
Our staff’s U.S. Open picks to win are in. Tiger Woods is returning to the site of his most dominant victory, Brooks Koepka is trying to make it three U.S. Opens in a row and Rory McIlroy enters the week coming off a sizzling victory in Canada. Here’s who our staff likes to win at Pebble Beach.
U.S. Open picks to win
Sean Zak, associate editor (@sean_zak): Dustin Johnson plays this course so damn well. (He plays most courses well, I suppose.) He’d be atop my list. Can he putt well enough?
Josh Sens, contributor (@JoshSens): Tiger Woods. All due respect to Sean’s man, DJ, but Tiger plays Pebble even better. A second-shot course that lends itself to his strengths (iron game; patience) without placing too much strain on his driver. Bank it. A 16th major for Woods. Unless Brooks wins by 10.
Luke Kerr-Dineen, instruction editor (@LukeKerrDineen): Adam Scott. Truth be told I was tempted to pick Brooks Koepka because why not, but Adam Scott is my guy this week. He’s had a quiet resurgence that seems to be going slightly overlooked: He has two top 10s in his last major starts (and should’ve had three if not for a terrible final round at the Masters), and he’s coming off a runner-up at the Memorial. That’s major-winning form.
Alan Bastable, executive editor (@alan_bastable): Brooks … Really, no one has picked Koepka yet? When are you all going to learn? Pebble’s probably not the best ballpark for his game but he did top-10 there at the 2016 AT&T. Also, it’s been a whole month since his last major win. Dude’s due.
Jonathan Wall, equipment editor (@jonathanrwall): I’ll hitch my cart to Rory McIlroy when he’s riding a heater … and I think he’s about to go on one after winning in Canada. Even if he doesn’t replicate his putting performance from last week, I think he has the game to tame Pebble.
Pat Ralph, associate editor (@Pat_Ralph): Brooks Koepka. Give me the guy who’s won the last two U.S. Opens and who has been tearing up the majors over the last three years. Koepka is tied for second on Tour in ball-striking, and this course setup is going to demand excellent iron play and incredibly accurate driving. If Brooks can handle the small Pebble Beach greens and putt like he did at Bethpage last month, he’ll join Willie Anderson by having won three straight U.S. Open titles.
Jeff Ritter, digital development editor (@Jeff_Ritter): The smart money should flow toward Brooks and DJ but for the rest of the hopers and dreamers, there isn’t a better story out there than Phil winning an Open. This has to represent his last, best shot. He loves Pebble, Pebble loves him back and he won the Pro-Am earlier this year. It’s possible Phil permanently wrecked his Open mojo when he swatted that moving ball last year at Shinny, but if he wins this week, it will give golf its Greatest Story Ever for the second time in three months. I’ll make some hedges with my wallet, but this GOLF.com pick comes straight from the heart: Phil to win.
Dylan Dethier, associate editor (@Dylan_Dethier): Tiger Woods. The way I’m approaching this, we’re picking the player more likely to win than any other player. I think that’s Woods. He’s precise with his mid/long irons, he’s showing signs of life off the tee and is elite around the green. On a course like Pebble, I think he’s the best play. (Note: this logic worked well at Augusta and poorly at Bethpage, so proceed with caution.)
Josh Berhow, senior editor (@Josh_Berhow): Rory McIlroy. He’s hot, he’s due (for a major), and I like how Pebble sets up for his game. Simple as that!
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