Our staff’s U.S. Open sleepers to watch at Pebble Beach
Can Brooks Koepka win his third straight U.S. Open, or will an under-the-radar pro — or future star? — swoop in and steal the show at Pebble Beach? Here’s our staffs U.S. Open sleepers to watch at Pebble Beach.
U.S. Open sleepers to watch
Sean Zak, associate editor (@sean_zak): I’m not gonna sleep on the man in his 40s who is playing some solid golf this year. Jim Furyk finishes in the top 10!
Josh Sens, contributor (@JoshSens): Kevin Kisner. A good wind player and a grinder to boot. At 120-1, I’ll take those odds.
Luke Kerr-Dineen, instruction editor (@LukeKerrDineen): Brandt Snedeker. His general lack of distance is a concern. A big concern. But I’m OK taking a flier on Brandt anyway because he’s in great form — he was on 59 watch two weeks ago and played well again at the Canadian Open — and outside of DJ, he may have the best course form of anybody in the field, too. He’s won on this course not just once, but twice. Wait, now I’m starting to wonder if Brandt Snedeker qualifies as a sleeper. Probably not. Oh well.
Jeff Ritter, digital development editor (@Jeff_Ritter): Is Sneds still a sleeper after shooting 60 last week? I see him at 100-1 odds on the board, and that seems crazy low. Love his combo of ball-striking and pop-stroke putting. I think he’ll contend.
Jonathan Wall, equipment editor (@jonathanrwall): Kevin Kisner. The folks in Las Vegas have him at 100-1 (!!!) to win the U.S. Open. Pebble requires precision off the tee, a deft touch and rock-solid putter — all things Kis has in spades. I would be shocked if he isn’t somewhere near the first page of the leaderboard come Sunday afternoon.
Pat Ralph, associate editor (@Pat_Ralph): Paul Casey. When the U.S. Open was last played at Pebble, Casey tied for sixth. He also finished runner-up to Phil at the Pro-Am this past February. Casey is the only player on Tour this year in the top-20 in both driving accuracy and ball-striking. Don’t be shocked if the Englishman is lurking on Sunday on a course he’s comfortable playing.
Alan Bastable, executive editor (@alan_bastable): G-Mac. The defending Pebble Open champ has been playing inspired golf this season with the aim of qualifying for the Open Championship. The monkey’s finally off his back — his T-8 in Canada Sunday punched his ticket to Portrush — but there’s no reason to believe his fine play won’t continue, especially on a course where he has such good vibes.
Dylan Dethier, associate editor (@Dylan_Dethier): Scott Piercy. Not the flashiest pick — but that’s the whole point, no? Piercy’s not the longest player but he hits a ton of fairways and greens and putts it pretty well. He’s above average in nearly every facet of his game. Plus there’s some strong recent form — top-threes at Fort Worth and Hilton Head, and T10 and T20 his last two starts at Pebble. There’s some value there.
Josh Berhow, senior editor (@Josh_Berhow): Rafa Cabrera Bello has had a solid but unspectacular season. He’s missed just one cut in 15 starts and has eight top 25s, yet just two top 10s. He’s also finished inside the top 30 in the lost two Pebble Beach Pro-Ams. He could be in line for a sneaky good finish.
To receive GOLF’s all-new newsletters, subscribe for free here.