Event – United States Open
Dates – June 16-19 2016
Venue – Oakmont CC
Location – Oakmont, Pennsylvania
Defending Champion – Jordan Spieth
Purse – $10 million
Early Prediction – Rickie Fowler
Rickie Fowler had quite the 2015. First, he was crowned most over-rated golfer and then he promptly went out and won the tour’s unofficial fifth major championship, The Players Championship. He followed that up with a runner-up in the Quicken Loan Invitational. Down the stretch, in the FedExCup Playoffs, he managed a top-15 at the Tour Championship, a top-5 at the BMW Championship and led off the playoffs with a win at the Deutsche Bank Championship.
Rickie missed the cut at last year’s US Open but I am willing to give any player in that event a pass based on the sheer uniqueness of the event. Throwing that out, and its untraditional layout, Rickie was runner-up in 2014 and tied for 10th in 2013 on more traditional US Open layouts.
Looking at stats that will play of value at a US Open track, you will see that Rickie excelled in a couple I look at for a major championship. His 12th in the All-Around and first in strokes gained putting are both stats that play well at a major championship venue especially the US Open. He does need to tighten up on driving accuracy where he was 163 but that was masked by his third place ranking on approaches from 50-125 yards. Do not be surprised if one small step forward and his new level of confidence end in a major title.