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Jun 15th, 2019
Koepka will make history
Although I want Rose to win
Words: David Adair Photography: Getty Images
I just placed a bet on the US Open. I got odds of just shy of 6/1 on one Mr Brooks Koepka. My heart is with Justin Rose and, if his amazing short game continues, he may well win but my head says that Koepka will come through to make history.
Looking at the statistics, 18 of the last 20 winners have come from top five going into the final round. Therefore, one should look no further than Messrs Woodland, Rose, Koepka, Oosthuizen and Reavie. Although, sitting in sixth spot is world number three Rory McIlroy who you rule out at your peril.
The weather forecast is for more of the same as day three, with dry and breezy conditions continuing. The greens will continue to firm up, as will the fairways, and accuracy will be paramount. Brooks Koepka is tied first in greens hit in regulation and if he can get his putter running hot the birdies will surely come.
Gary Woodland is playing great golf and will be a tough guy to beat. However, he did struggle a little coming down the stretch on Saturday and but for two outrageous par saves would have struggled to break par. Woodland has never won a major, the closest he came was the 2018 PGA Championship where he led at the halfway mark but eventually finished tied sixth.
It is a different Justin Rose to the usual one at this year’s US Open. Rose has traditionally been solid tee to green but always seemed to struggle with the flat blade, particularly when the chips are down. 35 single putts out of the 54 holes played is a truly remarkable statistic and one some of us can only dream of. However, any slight wobble with the short game and I fear Rose may start to struggle.
With all due respect to Chez Reavie he is the outsider of the group and probably for good reason. It would be a major surprise if he came through to lift the trophy on Sunday evening.
Louis Oosthuizen is a different kettle of fish. A former major winner (2010 Open Champion) he has come second in all the majors and so will be able to handle the pressure down the stretch. However, of late he seems to be more the ‘nearly man’ and I think once again he will come up just short.
As mentioned above, one cannot rule out Rory McIlroy. He is a man in form and if he gets on a roll, he will surely challenge. However, the putter can often be Rory’s Achilles heel and the signs are he may well struggle on the quickening greens on Sunday.
So, its Brooks for me. This guy does not seem to get the credit he deserves and his recent record in majors with four wins from the last nine is nothing short of amazing, one might venture to suggest it’s of Tigerish proportions. He had a slight wobble in this year’s PGA Championship where he almost let a seven shot lead slide but prior to that he has stormed to victory with strong sub-par finishes.
So whilst the heart wants Rose, the head and more importantly the wallet are all about Brooks!!
And another thing....