Who Will Win? Who Knows?

This is the day the so-called experts tell you who will win the U.S. Open. The truth is, if you were given 10, or even 20, picks, you might not be able to name the winner. Take this test. Just for speed and ease, let’s go back to 1996, the year Tiger turned pro and Steve Jones won the U.S. Open. Would Jones have been one of your top-10 picks? The guess here is no.
1997: Ernie Els wins. In your top-10? Yes.1998: Lee Janzen wins. Again. But in your top-10? No.1999: Payne Stewart. In your top-10 for sure.2000: Tiger. Ditto.2001: Retief Goosen. Certainly in your top-20, maybe not your top-10.2002: Tiger again. Of course.2003: Jim Furyk. Likely in your top-10, but not a certainty.2004: Retief, again. Yes, in your top-10.2005: Michael Campbell. Ah, no.2006: Geoff Ogilvy. Ah, no.2007: Angel Cabrera. Ah, no.
Your insiderish picks for this year — Boo Weekley, Steve Stricker, Brandt Snedeker — would all be no-brainers if you could pick 20 names. The point here is that for the last three years, and some other recent years, you have to go deep into the field to predict your winner.
In other words, you gotta be feeling good about Johnson Wagner.