In 2000, Tigers Woods turned the United States Open into a Tiger free-for-all weekend on the links. Woods’ closest competitor in the 100th playing of our country’s championship was Ernie Els and Miguel A. Jiminez, who were both 15 strokes back. As the event returns to Pebble Beach for the 119th US Open next week, a lot of people feel that Tiger is playing well enough to maybe duplicate that feat once again.
I say there’s absolutely no way that happens.
Why? Brooks Koepka, Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy and many other golfers are just too good for Woods to run away and hide. And one more thing, there is a golfer, probably the sentimental favorite, who has been a runner-up six times at the US Open and Pebble Beach just might be the venue he may be able to hoist the championship trophy and complete his grand slam. I think you all know who I am talking about – Phil Mickelson.
I don’t see it, but with Phil, you just never know.
I also bring you back to the 2010 US Open also played at Pebble Beach where Tiger fired a four-round score of 287, 15 strokes worse that what he did in 2000 and he finished in a tie for fourth with Mickelson.
That year Graeme McDowell won the championship with an even-par score of 284.
Tiger is much, much older, he has gone through the ringer with back surgeries, and if everything holds to form with the past US Opens, the PGA will most likely get something wrong and the players will be complaining about course conditions, the rough or something that is not to their liking.
So who am I picking?
It seems like every time I watch a major championship, this name over the past several years seems to work its way up the leaderboard and on to the first page at some time during the tournament.
So my pick is Xander Schauffele, who played his college golf at Long Beach State and San Diego State. He is currently ranked as the No. 10 golfer in the world and he is third in the Fed Ex Cup ratings.
He won the 2018 World Golf Championship (HSBC) last October and he started the 2019 season with a win at the Sentry Tournament of Champions.
Being from around Sand Diego, I’ll assume he played a few rounds at Pebble Beach so he knows the course.
He tied for second at the Masters, one stroke behind Tiger Woods, and he has four top 10 finishes in 15 starts, 11 top 20s.
I think next Sunday on Father’s Day he is your 2019 US Open champion.
I had to laugh on Thursday night as I was covering the Grand Island Elite vs. York Fusion 18-U softball game because I also caught glimpses of the tee-ball game going on the field next to me.
Those kids have a lot of energy and most of them play eight of the nine positions on the field at the same time. At one point a ball rolled into right field and a group (like maybe six kids) took off after the ball. It looked like they were running a 100-meter race instead of playing tee-ball. Once they got to the ball, one picked it up and threw it to the center fielder, who was also part of the group chasing the ball to right field. The kid who hit it stopped at first base and the coaches were motioning for him to keep running, which he did eventually and ended up at third base after the group got the ball in centerfield.
Anyway, it’s really neat to see that many kids interested in the sport and learning about the game.
Well, that’s all for now.
The Striv all-star basketball game is at York High School Saturday night starting with the girls at 6 p.m. It will be interesting to see what kind of scoring shots the Striv crew will have cooked up this year!
Have a great weekend and drive safe if you have to travel.