In later years when he was no longer the new kid and having won four U.S. Opens, Jack is on record as saying, “A difficult golf course eliminates a lot of players. The US Open flag eliminates a lot of players. Some players just weren’t meant to win the US Open. Quite often, and a lot of them know it.”
As to who are maybe meant to win at Oakmont the obvious choices are Jordan Spieth, Rory McIlroy and Jason Day.
Reflecting with my golfing buddies as to who would win at Oakmont and being fairly sure it would be in-form Jason Day, my good friend Frank said, “Well if you’re so sure, why not bet on the U.S. Open at William Hill
Frank is from Liverpool and always fancies a flutter and when he’s not betting on his local soccer club “The Reds” he’s doing it for big golf events.
Forced by Frank to defend my choice I reminded him that Oakmont is probably the toughest of all the U.S. Open golf courses and that Angel Cabrera won the 2007 Oakmont Open with a 5-over par score of 285 and Jordan Spieth recently said, “The history of Oakmont produces champions who believe they won at the toughest test in golf, which is a U.S. Open at Oakmont. If you were to go ask a lot of the game’s greats, you’d probably find most of them would say that’s the toughest test, is the U.S. Open there.”
Therefore to me the in-form guy is Jason Day who’s a typical Aussie battler when the going gets tough. A man with the right mental attitude and currently enjoying a hot streak with his putter which will come in very handy on Oakmont’s notoriously fast greens.
As to the other two major contenders, the notoriously fast greens are going to test Rory McIlroy who in recent times has struggled with his putting and Jordan Spieth is coming off a missed cut at the Players Championship and perhaps still in recovery mode after his meltdown at The Masters. Nevertheless I have to give some thought to the fact that Jordan Spieth during a recent first- look at Oakmont chose to use a local caddie rather than his regular looper Michael Greller. And as we all know local knowledge is a very valuable asset.
Something that helped Sam Parks Jnr win the 1935 U.S. Open at Oakmont. The story goes that the virtually unknown Sam entered the U.S. Open thinking his knowledge of Oakmont might pay off and so every day prior to heading towards his local pro position at South Hills he stopped off at Oakmont to play nine holes.
As I write this the William Hill web site advises that Spieth and McIlroy sit at 6/1 and Jason Day at 7/1. Followed by Dustin Johnson who I believe is over rated at 16/1 given his shaky putting record and inability to close the deal at big events.
And in closing I’m betting on Jason Day to win on the day.