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Who Will Win at Merion? PDF Print E-mail
Written by BRUNO   

Merion East 5th hole

 

 

Ever since I first laid eyes on Merion's East Course on July 4th, 2011, it has been my personal

favorite parkland type course design. I have analyzed every aspect of Hugh Wilson's brilliant

layout during my site visits and also when I played Merion with Greens Department staffer

Dave Petfield two summers ago.


My conclusion regarding what it will take to win the U.S Open - the champion will need to be a

world class iron player and be amongst the best shortgame players in the world. Those

two attributes immediately bring three names to mind: Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, and Luke

Donald.

 

Merion's 115 yard - 13th hole

 

 

Lets breakdown those three. Tiger is having his best year (up to this point) in a long time. His iron

game is superior, and his shortgame and putter are close to what they were in his dominant

years. Once again ranked #1, TW has the swagger back, and that's scary for the rest of the tour.

Although Tiger is the favorite, he has never competed at Merion, has never won a major on a par

70 layout, and struggled mightily in his last outing (at Muirfield Village for The Memorial). He will

contend this week, and if his the putter lights up, his 15th major is a real possibility . . . but he is

not my pick.


Phil Mickelson has 5 runner up finishes at the U.S Open, and for the opposite reasons, Lefty has

a serious chance. Mickelson did compete at Merion in the 1989 U.S Amateur, and he was red hot

last week at Memphis finishing tied for 2nd . . . but like TW, Phil has a few reasons that might hinder

his chances. After seeing the rain on Monday, Phil left Merion and traveled back to California to attend

his daughter Amanda's 8th grade graduation on Wednesday. Great to see that Phil has his priorities

in order, but that's alot of travel - from San Diego to Memphis, then Memphis to Philadelphia, then

Philadelphia to San Diego, then San Diego back to Philadelphia. Considering he turns 43 years old

on Sunday, and has never won this event, it might be a tall order to overcome so many hurdles.

having said all that, if anyone can defy logic, it's Phil. His irons and shortgame are as good as Tiger's,

so the tools are there.



The gorgeous quarry 16th hole at Merion

 


Then there is Luke Donald. I know, he is off form . . . but this course is not the norm. It's shorter than

most major venues, it has many tight holes that won't allow too many drivers to be played, and length

won't be a factor. This is Luke's chance to show what can happen when a major comes to an old school

classic venue. No longer ranked in the top three, Luke is under the radar and under no pressure. His

shortgame is on par with the best in the world, and his short irons and putter can be down right amazing.

Call it a bit of a gut call, but I see Luke Donald edging out the two heavyweights as the Champion of

the 2013 U.S Open.








 
Major #4 for The Big Easy PDF Print E-mail

 

Ernie Els previously had finished 3rd and 2nd at the last two Open Championships at Royal Lytham & St.Annes . . . and it seemed that his 12 foot birdie putt at the last would once again give him a close call at Lytham.The birdie was vintage Ernie of yesteryear, and looked to be no more than a great highlight and perhaps a pressure point to Adam Scott's first victory.Trailing by six strokes entering Sundays Final round, El's had four birdies and no bogeys on the back nine to shoot 32, enroute to  a Sunday 68.

After being snubbed by the green jackets earlier this spring, and missing the short putt on the 72nd hole at Innisbrook (that would have gotten him into the Masters), it seemed that his time or big wins was over.As it turned out, Scott (75) stumbled home with four straight bogeys and suddenly his first major victory was gone.It was Ernie's time again . . . a year ago he admitted to being lost, and at 42 years old he is now a FOUND major champion.After an up and down 2012 season, he is once again the keeper of the best trophy in Golf, the Claret Jug.


I’m still numb. It still hasn’t sunk in,” said the South African who was 50-1 with the bookmakers at the start of the Championship and still 25-1 with 18 holes left togo.“It’s a crazy, crazy game. I can't really believe I have won. I have been on theother end more times than I have been on the winning end so I know what Adam is feeling like.


The 141st Open Championship will be remembered as much for the late collapse by Adam Scott as much as it will be for Ernie's win.Hopefully Adam Scott's time will come, his talent is worthy.


Tiger Woods and Brandt Snedeker finished tied for third at -3.


Final Leaderboard: http://www.theopen.com/en/Leaderboard.aspx


Ernie's Clubs:

Callaway RAZR Fit Driver, 8.5°
Callaway X-TOUR FW (15.0)
Callaway RAZR X Muscleback Irons (5-9, PW)
Callaway X Utility Prototype (18°, 21°, 24°)
Callaway JAWS Wedges (52°, 60°)
Odyssey White Hot XG #1 Belly Putter (44.5″, 3* loft, 70.5* lie angle)

Iron / Wedge Shafts:
KBS Tour X

Ball:
Callaway HEX Black Tour

 

 

 


 
U.S Defends Presidents Cup PDF Print E-mail
Written by BRUNO   

 

 

United States the 2011 President Cup Champions

 

 

Melbourne, Austrailia- Fred Couples and the U.S once again triumphed over Greg Norman and the

Internationals 19-15, this time avenging the 1998 loss at the same venue, Royal Melbourne .

 

Couples controversial selection of Tiger, and his hands off style seemed to contribute to the U.S

performance in another dominating win. Royal Melbourne proved as challenging and unique

as any venue on the planet, Mackenzie's design down under continues to validate his genius

(like no other). 

 

Tiger Woods secured the winning point, Hunter Mahan was magnificent and Jim Furyk went 5-0, while

a few Aussie players struggled on their home turf.Robert Allenby, and Jason Day just did'nt show up,

team veteran Ernie Els also failed to perform to the level that the internationals needed.

 

Scores from Sunday singles:http://www.pgatour.com/tournaments/presidentscup/scoring/2011/

 

 

 

 
PGA Championship PDF Print E-mail
Written by BRUNO   

 

 2011 PGA Champion - Keegan Bradley

 

 

Johns Creek, Georgia - Keegan Bradley a rookie, and winner of the Byron Nelson in May, is the

Champion of the 93rd PGA Championship at Atlanta Athletic Club.In another drama filled PGA,

"Glory's Last Shot" once again went beyond 72 holes.

 

Jason Dufner (69) in command throughout the final round, bogeyed 3 of the last 4 to surrender a

share of the lead to a resilient Keegan Bradley (68).Bradley a native of Vermont (now living in

Jupiter, Florida), triple bogeyed the treacherous fifteenth (after a thin chip shot raced across the

green into the water), he then bounced back with birdies at the long par 4 sixteenth and the par

3 seventeenth.The par he made on the 72nd hole kept him at -8, enough to reach the playoff.

 

The playoff began on hole sixteen, Bradley went Birdie, Par, Par (-1) to Dufner's par, bogey, birdie

(even) . . . good enough for a one stroke margin in the three hole aggregate format (after Dufner's 

three putt on the seventeenth, the drama was all but over).

 

One of 27,000 PGA Professionals, Mark Bradley can now call his son: PGA Champion.

 

Anders Hansen finished solo 3rd at -7, Scott Verplank, Robert Karlsson, and David Toms finished

Tied 4th at -5. 

 

For all the scores click the link below:

http://www.pga.com/pgachampionship/2011/scoring/index.cfm

 

 

 

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