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US Open 2024: Our idiot major championships tipster makes an obvious (but not so obvious) choice | Golf News and Tour Information

US Open 2024: Our idiot major championships tipster makes an obvious (but not so obvious) choice |  Golf News and Tour Information
US Open 2024: Our idiot major championships tipster makes an obvious (but not so obvious) choice |  Golf News and Tour Information

 


I say this not because, in 2022, it was the first major tournament in about a decade of trying where I correctly predicted the winner, ending a 0-for-37 run that should have at least relegated me in the golf steno pool. journalists. No, the US Open resonates with possibilities, obviously due to its egalitarian nature, with these 10,000 participants believing they could achieve a Tin Cup-like feat. But more than that, I think there is something out of place in the calendar. This first half of June, after Memorial Day but before July 4, makes us think that an eternal summer awaits us. Vacation, and all that it entails, lingers on the horizon, like entering the best new golf course you've never played or the distant sounds of an ice cream truck approaching.

The aura of the moment of a US Open imbues everything with a new range of perspectives and omens where we think our best golf might yet be possible, where our father truly is the smartest man we've ever known , or in another younger part of our life. lives, where there is still a kind of romance around self-discovery and hope and the thrills of what will one day be the nostalgia that allows us to sleep well at night, regardless of the trials of life. daytime.

Or maybe I watched Summer of 42 just one time too many. But then who hasn't done it?

Let's move on. The mission at major championships is to pick a winner by mistake, and there's no one better than me at that. I'm the same kind of gift for bad procrastination that Leonard (Mr. Spock) Nimoy was for pop music. Or what High Key is for chocolate chip cookies (if I only wanted one net carb from my cookies, I'd rather eat the box). Or what William Henry Harrison was for the American presidency (a misplaced stroke of luck that simply led White House doctors to prescribe double doses of opium). Note: My editors have long assumed that double doses of opium were my true method of selecting a major championship winner.

It turns out that, unlike the former president, my process is rooted in logic and, surprisingly, not camphor, laudanum, or septic shock. (Pro tip: When you live downstream from sewage, it's best not to double water the connection, if you know what I mean.)

Indeed, when you're talking about a U.S. Open at a scorched-earth No. 2 Pinehurst and you're looking for a likely candidate for victory, you need someone who hits more greens than a vegan at a market of Joshua Tree producers, operates like an industrial-sized market. EggCheff (trust me, it pays for itself) and plays fast greens with the nonchalant, indifferent grace of Max Verstappen whirring through a Chipotle drive-thru. I know about Formula 1 about as much as I know about the benefits of a Putter Boy pedicure, but Scottie Scheffler is Mad Max in golf pants. Or he would be if he did what he's doing for three more years in a row. Fortunately, it's not entirely a given that Scheffler will win another major, even if it's close, especially since the constables of Moore County, North Carolina, understand hospitality with a sense of purpose more advanced than Buford T. Pusser and his friends on the Louisville police force.

I would, however, like to think that I could find a way for Scheffler to not fully execute the inevitable. (Note: fully executing the inevitable is how my freshman calculus professor explained to me after my first week the extreme likelihood that I would not pass his class. I turned in that first weekend very special parents, if I remember correctly.) While the local police were probably the 15th club that stopped Scheffler from winning the PGA Championship last month, are there really any legitimate obstacles that could be scattered at the way of Mr. Inevitables this time?

What makes Scheffler's incredible quality so realistic, of course, is the statistical certainty of each of him. I just looked and he's top five in 47 different statistical categories. The only person who does it better is Beyoncé. And she doesn't know how to putt either.

As good as Scheffler is, golf of course rarely lends itself to total domination. Tiger Woods lost 277 times in his 359 career starts, and at the peak of his power (1999-2003 and 2005-2009) he won just 33 and 41 percent of the time. Meaning? He lost more than he gained. Right now, Scheffler, of course, loses as often as I remember to turn off my turn signal.

Do not mistake yourself. I love Scheffler and his dominance. His Marshall Dillon style and Andy Taylor attitude are what this all-mixed world needs, in large doses. He may be as hip as Steve Douglas, Ward Cleaver or Richie Cunningham, but I like a guy who knows that job #1 is husband, father, friend. The rest is just bacon and ice cream. He doesn't have to have a YouTube channel, and when he throws a fist uppercut, it's to win a tournament, not to tie, or worse, drive a green left-handed, with his dog and a GoPro Hero12 at hand. . Schefflers is a guy who works in his field, shares his WonderBread PB&J with you without asking, and probably still thinks GoPro is exactly what he did in 2018. Stay gold, Ponyboy, stay gold.

But he's not going to win everything every time. In my statistical calculation (and I realize I'm saying this is one thing, which it clearly isn't), the winner at Pinehurst #2 should be someone who is really good at all three sets of skills above. And while you might think that Scheffler is by far the best, he actually isn't. If you look at the rankings for strokes gained approach, around the green and putting, Scheffler is not universally in first place. Or at least not the way I saw it.

Because the winner of the US Open over the past decade has ranked no worse than 32nd in the Official World Golf Rankings, I eliminated anyone who was worse than that. This included Gordon Sargent, who, when he grows up (in a year or two), could very well be Scottie Scheffler 2.0. But he won't win this week, not yet.

No, what could really be exciting for golf (and for Scheffler), what could make it even more amazing, is a legitimate, absolute rival, someone who is ready to elevate his game now that he has shown he can hold his own on the biggest stage. . Xander Schauffele is slightly behind Scheffler in Strokes Gained Approach and Around the Green, but he is significantly better with the putter. Perhaps that's the difference at Pinehurst No. 2, where the greens already appear to be set to a Spinal Tap 11. With barely a drop of rain in sight for the week and players already sinking putts during practice rounds, perhaps someone with the steadier hand of recently met expectations is just the answer Scheffler's season has been waiting for. The US Open may be the most promising major tournament, but No. 2 Pinehurst will need certainty, a Resolute Desk full of confidence and wisdom.

Schauffele, as they say, joined the cat. Scheffeler and all of golf will be better off for it.

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2/ https://www.golfdigest.com/story/us-open-2024-major-championship-prediction-sure-to-go-wrong-xander-schauffele

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