OUR FINAL PREVIEW IS NOW AVAILABLE HERE:
Tournament: US Open 2013
Location: Ardmore, Pennsylvania
Course: Merion Golf Club (East Course)
Distance: 6,996 yards
Current Champion: Webb Simpson
Dates: June 13 – 16
You can check out our 2nd preview + our initial picks here –
Preview 3 is also available here: DownThe18th Preview 3
The second major of 2013 is only 4 weeks away and as we did with The Masters, we have decided to publish the ‘1-month’ preview.
This years US Open will be played at Merion Golf Club (East course) in Philadelphia and for the first time since 2004, the distance will be under 7,000 yards, making it a very different challenge for all the players.
The average driving distance on tour this year is 290 yards, therefore we will do a calculation of what yardage could potentially be left from the average drive on the par 4s.
Here is a run through of the 18 holes –
No. 1 – Par 4 – 350 yards – 60 yards left
No. 2 – Par 5 – 556 yards
No. 3 – Par 3 – 256 yards
No. 4 – Par 5 – 628 yards
No. 5 – Par 4 – 504 yards – 214 yards left
No. 6 – Par 4 – 487 yards – 197 yards left
No. 7 – Par 4 – 360 yards – 70 yards left
No. 8 – Par 4 – 359 yards – 69 yards left
No. 9 – Par 3 – 236 yards
Out – Par 36 – 3,736 yards
No. 10 – Par 4 – 303 yards – 13 yards left
No. 11 – Par 4 – 367 yards – 77 yards left
No. 12 – Par 4 – 403 yards – 113 yards left
No. 13 – Par 3 – 115 yards
No. 14 – Par 4 – 464 yards – 174 yards left
No. 15 – Par 4 – 411 yards – 121 yards left
No. 16 – Par 4 – 430 yards – 140 yards left
No. 17 – Par 3 – 246 yards
No. 18 – Par 4 – 521 yards – 231 yards left
In – Par 34 – 3,260 yards
Total – Par 70 – 6,996 yards
From this you can ascertain that the key areas will be approach shots inside 100 yards and between 125-150 yards. (approx.) Basically, the golfer who is solid with a short iron will prosper at Merion.
The course itself has very tight fairways, so accuracy off the tee is arguably the most crucial asset to have. Accuracy will also be vital when going for the green with hazards surrounding pretty much every hole, bringing into play proximity to the pin. One miscalculation can be the difference between birdie and bogey – not to mention the undulating greens which will play consistently hard throughout the week. As always the short stick gurus will end up near the top of the leaderboard come Sunday on these tough greens.
It is likely every player will miss several greens throughout the four days, meaning anyone who can scramble will give themselves a chance as well.
After doing more extensive research, we found and calculated several trends that past US winners have had – and here they are.
- 17 of the last 18 U.S. Open winners had made at least two previous U.S. Open starts.
- 41 of the last 43 U.S. Open winners had a top-10 finish on the PGA Tour that year.
- The past 9 U.S. Open winners made the cut in the previous year’s British Open.
- 16 of the past 19 U.S. Open winners had a previous top-14 U.S. Open finish.
- 8 of the last 11 US Open champions made the cut at that years Masters
Therefore, we have created a table of the 19 golfers who met the above criteria and have included what we feel will be the key stats for the week. (Even though Jason Day, Henrik Stenson, Ryan Moore and Robert Garrigus did not play in the Open and Geoff Ogilvy did not play in the Masters it seemed rather unfair to exclude them because they have all had a top 10 US Open finish in recent years.)
We have also researched all the tournament stats we could find (7/11) since 2012 that played under 7,100 yards, which gave for some interesting reading.
- The winner of these 7 tournaments under 7,100 yards has on average been 14th in driving accuracy. (So we will be looking at the top 30 in this category)
- The winner of these 7 tournaments under 7,100 yards has on average been 10th in GIR. (So we will be looking at the top 40 in this category).
- The winner of these 7 tournaments under 7,100 yards has on average been 16th in strokes gained putting. (So we will be looking at the top 40 in this category).
So, with all of this in mind, what are we actually looking for?
- Top 30 driving accuracy
- Top 40 GIR
- Top 40 strokes gained putting
- Top 50 ball striking (computed by totaling a player’s rank in both total driving and GIR)
- Top 40 approach 125-150 yards
- Top 40 approach inside 100 yards
- Top 30 proximity to the hole
- Top 30 scoring average
- Top 30 sand save %
- Top 30 scrambling
- Top 30 strokes gained putting
- Top 30 putts per round
Anyone who meets the above criteria we will highlight their stats in green.
As you can see, one of our favourite players Brandt Snedeker is the perfect fit as he ticks 10 out of the 11 categories. You can currently get him at 25/1 with various bookmakers if you are interested in a cheeky ante post bet.
Two more golfers that we like and fit over 50% of the categories are:
Steve Stricker (50/1 Various)
Matt Kuchar ( 40/1 William Hill)
Also below we have a table of players who did not meet the original trends however their stats were just too good to ignore! Take a look.