GOLF.com’s Best American Golfer Bracket marches on to Part II today. To catch you up, this contest is not a question of who is the best golfer in the world right now. (It’s Rory McIlroy, duh.) There is much more opportunity for debate on who is the best American golfer in the game. To decide, we leave it up to your vote. May the best player win. There were no upsets in the first part of our bracket with Bubba Watson, Brandt Snedeker, Dustin Johnson and Rickie Fowler all advancing.
Click here to see the full results of Part I of the opening round.
2) Jordan Spieth vs. 15) J.B. Holmes
J.B. Holmes can overpower any golf course, but that might not be enough to defeat the steady 21-year-old Jordan Spieth. What Spieth lacks in sheer power, he makes up for with a mature short game and fiery disposition. Spieth has raised his driving distance five yards from last year’s totals to further close the gap in length. J.B. can have faith in one thing: There have been seven No. 15 seeds to knock off a No. 2 seed in NCAA Tournament history.
7) Phil Mickelson vs. 10) Brooks Koepka
The mentor takes on a protege in this round 1 matchup. Phil often takes young players under his wing, and Koepka has fit the mold perfectly. The 24-year-old learned how to win on the Challenge and Euro Tours before he made the jump over to the PGA Tour. Koepka earned a spot on the big stage by winning the Phoenix Open in front of a raucous crowd at TPC Scottsdale. Even for all his merits, the wily mind games of Mickelson might be too much for the youngster to overcome.
4) Patrick Reed vs. 13) Keegan Bradley
This matchup will include fist-pumping, glares, screams and crowd-shushing. And that’s just on the way to the first tee. Reed and Bradley both enjoy the spotlight of match play, as seen in the Ryder Cup, but Keegan hasn’t been in the winner’s circle since 2012. Reed has hoisted four trophies in the last 18 months and thrust himself into the spotlight as a top-tier player.
5) Jimmy Walker vs. 12) Matt Kuchar
There might not be many bogeys in this match with these two nice guys conceeding par putts to each other all day. Walker has the distance advantage, but Kuchar has better scoring average and strokes gained marks. These two 36-year-olds took different routes to the PGA Tour, but they are two of the most well-liked players in the game. But one has to lose.