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The US Open – A Battle of Attrition

The US Open Golf Championship is the most challenging of all the Majors. Set to begin on 18 – 21 June, this year’s US Open may prove to be the toughest test in history for professional golfers. After fighting the fescue, the weather, and their nerves, someone at the end of 72 holes will be crowned the 2015 US Open Champion.

Regardless of where it is played, the “US Open rough” is a beast that conquers most players. Previous US Opens have left many players shaking their heads due to the perceived unfair playing conditions. This year, Chambers Bay at University Place, Washington, may bring this perception to a reality. Measuring a menial 7500 yards, this links course will test every aspect of the players’ game and mental fortitude to survive four days of gruelling competition

US Open Preview – What Can the Field Expect from Chambers Bay? previously posted on Pundit Arena outlines the unrelenting challenges the pros will face in just under two weeks. Without taking the weather into account, Chamber Bay is already garnering the interest, and in some cases, ire of the field.

So who is going to be the last man standing? Will a past champion like Justin Rose, Rory McIlroy, or Tiger Woods rely on their past experience to lead the field? Or will a relative unknown like Oliver Farr, Alexander Levy or Garth Mulroy emerge from the pack? Perhaps amateurs Oliver Schniederjans, Gunn Yang or Bradley Neil will shock the golfing world by fulfilling their dream of winning the US Open. The endless possibilities are staggering and virtually impossible to calculate.

To win the 2015 US Open at Chambers Bay, the winner will have to stick to the fairway like Bobby Jones, scramble like Jack Nicklaus and putt like Ben Crenshaw! If we examine all the stats, the top ten players in the world are intermixed somewhere. Each has the potential to play like the champions of old, but the real question is will they?

As of now, here are the top ten players in professional golf according to the Official World Golf Ranking:

  1. Rory McIlroy
  2. Jordan Spieth
  3. Jim Furyk
  4. Bubba Watson
  5. Henrick Stenson
  6. Justin Rose
  7. Dustin Johnson
  8. Rickie Fowler
  9. Sergio Garcia
  10. Jason Day

This list is very obvious, yet not very helpful if trying to select a couple of players who could win the US Open. To narrow the selection process, based on stats and how they are currently playing, I believe Jordan Spieth, Justin Rose, and Dustin Johnson will contend on Sunday.

All three are playing well, have the length to conquer the length of Chamber Bay and understand the pressures of playing on Sunday of a Major. These players have won or, at least in Dustin Johnson’s case, contended for a Major. Any of these three would be great choices when trying select the US Open Champion.

However, none of the above would be my choice. As a fan favourite and potentially a Cinderella story, Phil Mickelson is my choice as the US Open Champion this year. Mickelson would not be an obvious choice, yet it would not come as a surprise to anyone if he did outlast the competition. With no less than six second place finishes to his name, Mickelson knows how to play in the US Open. When he goes on to win this year at Chamber Bay, Phil Mickelson will have completed his career grand slam and forever be remembered as one of the greatest golfers ever.

So as the US Open fast approaches, many pundits will be scrambling to determine who will be crowned champion at Chambers Bay. Regardless of whom actually wins, this year’s test will be a battle of attrition. The player who makes the least amount of mistakes will triumph at the end. A personally, I believe Phil Mickelson will be that person!

The Grateful Golfer / Pundit Arena

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Author: The PA Team

This article was written by a member of The PA Team.