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Bonus Model Targets – US Open

Welcome to the US Open, one of the most exciting tournaments of the season. Outside of The Masters, this is my favorite event each summer. I always look forward to hearing the players fret about how hard the course is or how the USGA got it wrong or how unfair the greens are as even the elites players are forced into trouble many times during the week. I am hoping that this tournament will not end up like last year where scoring ruled the day, particularly on Saturday when everyone on the course seemed to be having a record round. I like when the leaders are battling just to stay close to par for the week and to see them have to work out of difficult, thick rough where they can barely see the ball. It really forces players to be strong in all facets of their game as the courses are generally unforgiving and very penal for wayward tee shots.

Shinnecock Hills Golf Club should provide a tougher test than Erin Hills did a year ago. Last year, the fairways were as wide as 60 yards and surprisingly, the rough was not nearly as tough to hit out of as we had expected it to be so much so that Brooks Koepka, normally one of the wilder players off the tee, was able to put up a -16 for the win, much lower than what we ever see at US Open events. The course is over 7,400 yards and plays as a Par 70 with just two Par 5 holes, one of which is over 600 yards, making it a difficult hole to assume a birdie opportunity. The course is much narrower than Erin Hills with the fairways averaging around 40 yards, but still wider than most other courses on tour, which will make driver usable, but from what I have seen of the rough and of some of the tall grass and brush off the fairways, players will be penalized for poor shots off the tee so there will be a big choice between sticking with driver or trying to stay safe with a wood or iron. Weather will play a big role in how easy or difficult the course will play this week. There are no trees on the course so if the winds do get gusty as we expect them to on Thursday and Friday afternoon, we could see some big numbers go up in a hurry. However, if the winds is mild, this is another course that does not have much for defenses so scores could end up coming down. Be sure to get a good weather check in on Wednesday night before finishing up your lineups.

Here’s who I’m looking at and avoiding for the US Open….

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