The first round of the 118th U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club is finally here. Shinnecock is located in the town of Southampton on Long Island, New York.
This classic track has some history as this will be the fifth U.S. Open held at Shinnecock. The last time the U.S. Open was played at Shinnecock was in 2004 where Retief Goosen held off Phil Mickelson. Is this the year Mickelson comes back to win his first U.S. Open and completes the career grand slam? Maybe, but we have a few other picks that need to be made. Golf fans across the country have a favorite they would like see win, just like everyone has a sleeper pick and a feel good pick. Well, Mickelson is going to be my feel good pick this year. It would be a great story for Mickelson, a six time U.S. Open runner up to get the win this week.
My favorite to win the U.S. Open this year at Shinnecock is going to be Rickie Fowler. He has had a good year so far and with runner-up finish at The Masters it seems as though Fowler is primed to win his first major. Fowler also just got engaged to his girlfriend Allison Stokke, so that may be a good omen heading into the tournament.
The sleeper pick of the week at Shinnecock is going to be Tony Finau. He has had a good season with a nice showing in his first appearance at The Masters, where he finished T10. Finau has 11 top-25 finishes in 18 starts this season so his game is in good shape. His length off the tee is also something to keep an eye on as Shinnecock can favor the bigger hitters off the tee.
So there you have it, those are my picks for the 118th U.S. Open. And yes, I had no mention of Tiger Woods. Could he win, sure but he needs to drive it better and make some putts this week to have a chance.
— Jeff BaileyThe Denver Post
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