TEED OFF
By Robert Bicknell
 

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June 11, 2006

US Open predictions…

Well, its getting to that time again where I am required to make my prediction on who will win the upcoming US Open golf tournament.

Due to my outstanding record of predicting winners, the odds-makers in both Las Vegas and London have been waiting breathlessly for my prediction. There’s a very good reason for this…

I have never been right.

I could pick Tiger Woods to win while playing solo in an event and he’d probably fall down and break a leg or something, anything to avoid winning and screw up my unblemished record. So, they know whoever I predict to win doesn’t have a prayer.

So far, according to the books, the safest bets continue to be Tiger Woods (9-2) and Phil Mickelson (11-2)

Phil is playing well and has a lot of positive momentum, but I won’t pick him to win because I have a sneaking suspicion that he’ll lose it midway through the last round, then fight like hell to make it look good and end up one stroke back.

Tiger Woods is always dangerous. If Tiger is in the right mood, he can win anything. Sadly, as he is still dealing with the passing of his father, I doubt he’s be mentally ready for something as diabolical as the US Open. Yet, he just might decide to "win it for his father". Ya never know.

Retief Goosen is sitting nicely at 10-1, while Ernie Els and Jim Furyk are cast at 12-1. Rounding out the favourites is Vijay Sinh (15-1), Sergio Garcia (10-1) and Adam Scott (25-1).

For those of you who like long-shots, Colin Montgomery is 100-1 and David Duval is 200-1.

I am actually not disappointed that Michelle Wie didn’t make the cut. After all, she’s still only a teenager. Why do people jump on the bandwagon and tout a budding superstar as the next (insert your favourite player here)? This can only lead to disappointment later down the road.

If she does win a lot early in life, then people will claim she never struggled for it and what would her future hold, early retirement before college?

If she doesn’t win everything in sight, people will say she never reached her potential.. It’s a no-win situation for someone that young and gifted.

Besides, she’s already a multi-millionaire without actually winning anything of consequence. Wie needs to toil a bit more to build up a steel shell before stepping into a pressure cooker like the men’s US Open.

If she continues to develop and gain more experience in big events, her future could be bright as the sun, but she still has a long way to go.

There are a lot of things that make up the criteria for making a solid prediction. The type of course the event will be held on; how a particular player has been faring lately; the official odds, etc. There’s a lot of science involved.

Thankfully, I tend to ignore all those things and go with my gut feeling – which explains my impeccable record.

So, after looking at all the data, I have to repeat my Masters picks and apply them to the US Open and go once again with Retief Goosen and Jim Furyk, but this time I have logic on my side.

For example, The US Open is one of the most bizarre events in golf. You don’t win a US Open, you survive it. So, if we’re talking about bizarre events, ya gotta include Jim Furyk’s swing in that category.

As for Retief, well, he’s so laid back that bizarre wouldn’t even register on his radar screen. You could have a myopic vertically-challenged clown juggling chainsaws and blowing a foghorn on the tee box and he wouldn’t even notice.

Some people asked me about Davis Love III’s chances. Actually, he has a good chance because Winged Foot fits his game pretty well. He’s also had some great performances there and has been around long enough to know what Sundays in a major feel like. I don’t think he’d fold under pressure, but the reason that I’m not picking him is because it might make sense.

I have no intention of screwing up a perfect record…


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