Top-15 European Order of Merit
Graeme McDowell: McDowell may have blown his load on the first round of the St Jude Classic. I like McDowell, although not nearly as much as I did when I was assuming the Euro Tour=PGA Tour, and he could be the shorter hitting ballstriker that had some success around here the first time. McDowell was pretty awful for a few month stretch, but is showing signs of turning it around with top-20s at the BMW EPGA Championship and the Masters. Still I think Top-20 is his potential here.
Ross Fisher: Fisher is the rare European talent that actually got some attention, when he made it to the final four of the match play event. Since then, he posted a nice finish of second and the BMW EPGA, and added respectable finishes at the Masters and Quail Hollow. Fisher, as a long hitter that hits the ball high, has the type of game that I think suits Bethpage well. Fisher is a very aggresive player, however, and I’m not sure he will be able to tone it down enough on a penal US Open layout. The fast greens should also give him a problem, considering they will be rolling a solid 2-3 faster next week than the typical Euro Tour setup.
Martin Kaymer: Kaymer is another potential European breakout star. He has the high finishes, wins and overall good standing on the Order of Merit on the other side of the pond. At his age, there should be significant upside to Kaymer as well. All that remains for Kaymer is to come to the states and prove himself against the stronger fields and tougher setups. It shouldn’t be too long before he does.
Soren Kjeldsen: Steady Soren is one of several who share his name that never get enough recognition over here for there play. Kjeldsen is arguably the best of the group. Kjeldsen has played very well this season in Europe with a win in Andalucia and a top-3 finish at Wentworth. Kjeldsen also posted a top-10 at Doral. Kjeldsen is not the type of player who immediately sticks out as a contender at Bethpage, but I wouldn’t at all be surprised to see him contend.
Oliver Wilson: Like many of the Euro guy’s its only a matter of time before Wilson shows up at a US event. He certainly has the game challenge at a major and he did finish 36th in last year’s Open, but he has had injury issues after Doral this season and I think he needs to get a little more familiar with US layouts.
Jeev Milkha Singh: It would be easy to quickly write off Jeev, because of his crazy name and ugly swing. He is probably not a great look, but I wouldn’t automatically rule him out, because he did finish top ten at Oakland Hills last year, which was basically a US Open setup.
Darren Clarke: I see no upside at this point in Clarke’s career. With only one finish of 45th on the EPGA Tour this year, I have no problem branding him with the “NO SHOT” label.
Soren Hansen: Hansen has finished in the top-15 of the European Order of Merit that past two seasons, but has not played to that level so far this season. Hansen was among many strong Euro finishers at Doral, and better finishes that past two weeks could indicate his game is turning around. Still, there are better European options in my opinion.
Shingo Katayama: SHINGO! If memory serves me correctly Shingo was in contention at the US Open at Shinnecock Hills for at least the first day. However, since I don’t care to see his Cowboy hat again after the Masters I’m saying, No Shot.
Azumo Yano: Yano snuck into the US Open by 10 million(fill in Japanese Golf Tour Currency) and 6 spots in the World Golf Rankings. He looks like the Japanese version of the gay
winnerloser(I think) of American Idol. Two wins on the Japanese Tour, a missed cut at the 08 British Open and a 76th at Doral are all can find out about him. No Shot.