US OPEN CONTENDERS

Tiger Woods
Most of my thoughts on Tiger can be seen here. However, I would like to add one point about my Tiger estimation. Personally, I think it’s insane, at this point, to view Tiger at anything less than his career minimum. True, he has really struggled this year, but he has the potential to dominate, has played incredibly well at Pebble and I chalk up most of this decline to not picking up a golf club for SIX MONTHS. As he continues to get time on the course, I think there is no reason he doesn’t get better. I’ll settle on -.95 for my estimation of Tiger, which puts him at 6-1 to win.

Steve Stricker

I’ve given up thinking I’m wrong on Steve Stricker at this point. True, he struggled mightly for a few years, but basically for four years, he has been in the top-5 of the world on a round to round basis. His game is not flashy at all, but he putts well, is statistically a great scrambler(probably second most important stat to GIR), hits it fairly straight and his fantastic from 150 in. That screams, “success at Pebble to me,” if you would like to judge course form. More importantly, Stricker is really good(higher ranked than Phil in 2010 for me) and doesn’t get enough credit.

Jim Furyk
Ditto on Furyk, albeit with a fairer price being offered. Pebble has small greens and isn’t long. That should suit Furyk’s game more so than the monster 7700 yard major courses that are more common. I’m not saying Furyk(or Stricker, for that matter) will win, but I don’t see any legitimate reason he shouldn’t be priced just behind Mickelson for number 3.

Sergio Garcia

It takes a special type of patience to continue following Sergio Garcia as he struggles and makes excuses. He is clearly the Christiano Rinaldo of elite golf(Soccer Reference!). At this point, you would have to call 2010 an outlier compared to other seasons for Garcia. He is still a tremendous talent, with a great pedigree, who should be entering his prime. With prices floating at over 100-1, this is a great chance to “buy low” on Sergio.

Sleepers will be up later…

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