Tour Confidential Daily: Who will come out on top and win the U.S. Open?
Gary Woodland leads the U.S. Open after 54 holes but Justin Rose is just one back and, uh oh, the two-time defending U.S. Open champ, Brooks Koepka, is lurking in a group just four shots off the lead. But who will come out on top and win the 119th U.S. Open on Sunday at Pebble Beach? Here are our staff’s picks.
Sean Zak, associate editor (@sean_zak): Koepka. He will finally start dropping putts like he did at Shinnecock and Erin Hills. Rose and Woodland are somehow not faltering yet, but there are cracks there. BK birdies the first hole on Sunday and it only gets closer from there.
Alan Bastable, executive editor (@alan_bastable): Can’t stray now from my pick coming in: King Koepka. Disagree with Zak that Woodland and Rose are showing signs of cracking, but I love how Brooks is trending: 69-69-68, with nary a single bogey today. So much depends on course conditions, though. Koepka best hope Pebble remains soft (most likely) and scoreable (depends on the pins).
Jeff Ritter, digital development editor (@Jeff_Ritter): It feels like Woodland shot the lowest round he could’ve today, while Rose still hasn’t played his best 18 holes this week. Sunday it clicks, and Rose beats a hard-charging Koepka by one to win it.
Jonathan Wall, equipment editor (@jonathanrwall): Big, bad Brooks. No pressure playing from four back and he’s already won the last two. He has absolutely nothing to lose. Gonna shoot 66 and win by two.
Luke Kerr-Dineen, instruction editor (@LukeKerrDineen): All the players who complained the loudest. I’m sorry, but I like a U.S. Open with some fire in the course, where pars are prized possessions and a handful of birdies can fly you up the leaderboard. But instead we’ve got a pillow fight, with Gary Woodland at the top. Yes, the course is getting more difficult, but I just can’t endorse a U.S. Open with this much red on the leaderboard.
Jessica Marksbury, multimedia editor (@Jess_Marksbury): Justin Rose. As good as Kopeka is, four shots (three to catch Rose) is a big ask on U.S. Open Sunday. Rose has the resume and experience to get this thing done.
Dylan Dethier, associate editor (@Dylan_Dethier): Chez Reavie. Do I believe this? Not really. But I desperately want it to happen. A win for the little guy on a leaderboard filled with bombers. For the common people. This is the golf course where Ted Potter Jr. took down Dustin Johnson on Sunday, after all. Maybe it has some little-guy magic left. (But yeah, Woodland is gonna win.)
Josh Berhow, senior editor (@Josh_Berhow): No one is going to pick Rory? OK, I will. He’s five back to start the day, but that deficit shrinks real quick when he gets off to a hot start, grabs all of the momentum and watches the leaders falter behind him.