2018 U.S. Open Golf Predictions, Picks, Analysis, Odds

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2018 U.S. Open Golf Predictions, Picks, Analysis, Odds

The 2018 U.S. Open Golf Championship is back at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club in Tuckahoe, New York, and the weather conditions are going to make the most difficult golf tournament on American soil even more difficult.

Dustin Johnson enters the U.S. Open as the betting favorite at 9-1, with former U.S. Open champion Justin Rose behind him on the odds board at 12-1. Golf stars Rory McIlroy, Rickie Fowler and Justin Thomas are all listed at 14-1.

The gusting winds at Shinnecock Hills are going to cause a lot of trouble for golfers who hit with a lot of height. Johnson, the favorite, is one of the PGA's biggest big hitters, which may make his time at the second major of the year a bit challenging. 

The panel of golf experts offering their predictions, picks and analysis are:
Chris Garosi, The Fantasy Fix
Geoff Feinberg, Fantasy Golf Expert
Garrett Johnston, NBC Sports Washington
Kenny Kim, Fantasy Golf Degenerates Podcast
Troy Machir, NBC Sports Washington
Doug McKinney, NBC Sports Washington/Sports Junkies
Matt "Valdez" Myers, 106.7 The Fan's Sports Junkies

2018 U.S. Open Golf Picks:

Geoff Feinberg: Jon Rahm
While everyone seems to be calling the DJ win, Ill happily promote Jon Rahm to lift the trophy Sunday night. He brings that Dustin Johnson-esque skill set to this demanding layout though I wish he had Dustin's temperament at times.  I'm confident Rahm will be the next PGA Tour young gun to win a major.

Chris Garosi: Justin Rose
It’s hard to pass on Justin Rose given his success on links courses and his current form. His game is trending to a win here and he’ll be the favorite on a lot of cards this week.

Garrett Johnston: Dustin Johnson
He dominates at driving distance and US Opens are becoming mostly about that.  Oh, and he won last week.  If anyone is going to break the streak of US Opens not won by players who won the previous week, it’s Dustin.

Kenny Kim: Justin Thomas
Every facet of his game fits the course and has become a hard course specialist as he has won on the 3 toughest courses on Tour in the last 10 months (Quail Hollow, PGA National, Nine Bridges).

Troy Machir: Justin Rose
Won the U.S. Open in 2013 U.S Open and has great success on links-style courses and playing in brutal winds. 

Doug McKinney: Rory McIlroy 
I said at beginning of the year he’d win this event; I’m stubborn and staying with it.  Good form coming in and he can play links golf.  He calls Shinnecock Hills one of his "favorite golf courses in the world."   I think he will back up that statement with a win this week.

Matt Valdez: Jason Day
Long off the tee and with wider than usual fairways, should play to his advantage.  High trajectory helps hold fast and undulating greens of Shinnecock.

2018 U.S Open Golf Sleeper Picks: 

Geoff Feinberg: Tommy Fleetwood 
Over the last 12 months, Fleetwood has played all over the world and in many ways has quietly become the 12th ranked golfer in the world primed for a breakout on American soil.

Chris Garosi: Branden Grace, Brandt Snedeker
Branden Grace at a major? Sign me up. He has five top 10s in his last 12 major starts including two top 5s in his last three U.S. Opens and a T6 at last year’s Open Championship...If poaannua is on the greens, Brandt Snedeker also has to be in consideration as his putters sings on greens like these. He has five top 10s in for his career in the U.S. Open and has three top 25s in his last five Open Championships. 

Garrett Johnston: Tony Finau
Finau's lethal distance and deft touch around the greens is a winning recipe.

Kenny Kim: Keegan Bradley
Bradley has world-class tee-to-green game with horrendous putting.  The only bright side to his game on the greens, Poa is the only surface where he has gained strokes putting throughout his career.

Troy Machir: Tommy Fleetwood
He was a sneaky pick at the 2017 Open Championship and is familiar with the conditions that Shinnecock Hills will present. It's time for Fleetwood to break out and become a star. 

Doug McKinney: Tommy Fleetwood 
If I was a betting man – and I am –that 40/1 price looks juicy, because the Englishman is definitely a contender to win.  I followed him at Honda Classic this year and saw firsthand that when he gets going, only he can stop himself (or Justin Thomas in that case).

Matt Valdez: Marc Leishman
On the cusp of a major.  Finished top 10 at Masters and a very good wind player. If wind picks up during the US Open, he has the advantage.

2018 U.S Open Golf Longshot Picks:

Geoff Feinberg: Emiliano Grillo
I've long proclaimed Emiliano will crash a big boy party and this might just be the week.  His iron play has been spectacular the last few weeks and with less of a premium on birdies and more about keeping the card clean makes him a sneaky play.

Chris Garosi:  Rafa Cabrera-Bello, Jimmy Walker 
Rafa Cabrera-Bello is coming off back to back top 10s in Europe and may fly under the radar a bit. Many will focus on fellow countryman Jon Rahm, but Cabrera-Bello won last year’s Scottish Open on a links course and has had success at the Open Championship including a T4 last year...Jimmy Walker is another player who has played well on course with a similar style to Shinnecock. He also looks like he’s finally healthy as his run of five straight top 20 finishes attests.

Garrett Johnston: Gary Woodland
From many accounts, this course favors bombers.  Woodland is long and is due for a strong performance in a major.

Kenny Kim: Brandt Snedeker

Troy Machir: Ian Poulter
Sticking with my trend of taking international golfers, Ian Poulter has netted a top ten finish in every major at least once, with the U.S. Open being the lone exception (T12 2006). He keeps the ball low and is not on anyone's radar.

Doug McKinney: Gary Woodland
I understand that he went through a stretch of missing four cuts in a row, but he has a win to his name this year and is coming off a nice showing at the Memorial.  I also understand that this is a "true" US Open venue, yet it shares some similarities to an Open Championship track.  Wouldn't you know, "Woody's" best success in the Majors comes at The Open Championship.

Matt Valdez: Branden Grace
Another good wind player.  Kills it on par 70 courses ie final round 63 at the Open Championship (although Johnny Miller would disagree) and finished T2 at Chambers Bay.

2018 U.S Open Golf Fade Picks

Geoff Feinberg: Bubba Watson
While in theory, you might assume the modern US Open layouts would suit Bubba's tee game and 3-point avoidance.  But Bubba seems to excel at 'Bubba tracks' while he seems to struggle at places he's not familiar with especially if they have penalizing rough.

Kenny Kim: Jordan Spieth
Spieth’s horrendous putting seems to have affected other parts of his game.  In his last four events, he has close to 40 bogeys or worse.  When he makes a putt now it’s more relief on his face than celebration.  He used to have a swagger on the course even maybe arrogance but that is now long gone.  It doesn’t even look like he’s having fun out there anymore.

Troy Machir: Bubba Watson
Bubba Watson is fun to watch, but I'm not putting any money on a guy who crushes the ball high and wide. 

Doug McKinney: Jon Rahm and Tiger Woods
The fescue at Shinnecock should bring out Rahm's trademark temper, so not expecting him to contend here.  Howe,ver I’m seriously considering picking him for this year’s PGA Championship. As for Tiger, I fear he will forget his flat stick on his yacht docked in the Hamptons.

Matt Valdez: Jordan Spieth
Can’t pick him until he finds his putter and way too inconsistent off the tee.

2018 U.S Open Golf DraftKings "Price is Right" Bargain:

Geoff Feinberg: Emiliano Grillo ($7,100), Brendan Steele ($6,800)

Chris Garosi: Dean Burmester ($6,000)
There were three South Africans in the top 10 after 54 holes at Shinnecock in 2004. So, do South Africans have an advantage? If you want to find out give Dean Burmester ($6,000) a shot. He’s minimum priced on DK surrounded by a19 year old amateur and Liberty University’s best golfer this past season (maybe?). 

Kenny Kim: Tommy Fleetwood ($8,100), Louis Oosthuizen ($7,800), Byeong-Hun An ($6,900)

Doug McKinney: Marc Leishman ($7,800)
His driving accuracy hasn't been great this season, but he owns six Top 10's and has made 13 of 15 cuts.  His last four majors, he has finished T27-T6-T13-9.  It's an open track, where wind could come into play.  Wind + Leishman = LOVE LOVE LOVE "The Leish" this weekend.

Matt Valdez: Adam Hadwin ($7,000), Brendan Steele ($6,800)
Hadwin: 19 for 19 in cuts...Steele: Long off the tee and last two US Opens he’s finished Top 15 or better.

2018 U.S Open Golf DraftKings Pick(s) to build around:

Geoff Feinberg: Jon Rahm ($9,500), Paul Casey ($8,000)

Kenny Kim: Justin Thomas ($11,000) and Justin Rose ($9,900)

Doug McKinney: Phil Mickelson ($8,600) and Justin Rose ($9,900)


Tiger Woods-Phil Mickelson match to include $10M donation for COVID-19 relief efforts

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Tiger Woods-Phil Mickelson match to include $10M donation for COVID-19 relief efforts

HOBE SOUND, Fla. (AP) -- The next match involving Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson involves a $10 million donation for COVID-19 relief efforts, along with plenty of bragging rights in a star-powered foursome May 24 at Medalist Golf Club.

Turner Sports announced more details Thursday for "The Match: Champions for Charity," a televised match between Woods and Peyton Manning against Mickelson and Tom Brady.

Medalist is where Woods plays when he's at home. Manning and Brady said they have played there before -- Manning running out of golf balls before reaching the 18th, Brady posting a 106.

The format will be better ball for the front nine and modified alternate shot on the back nine, meaning both players hit tee shots and they take turns from there.

It will be simulcast on May 24 at 3 p.m. EDT on TNT, TBS, truTV and HLN, along with pre-match coverage available on the Bleacher Report app.

WarnerMedia and the four players will collectively make a charitable donation of $10 million to benefit various relief efforts locally and nationally. Turner said the match includes a partnership with the "All In Challenge," an initiative that provides food for those in need.

Mickelson beat Woods in a playoff under the lights in Las Vegas over Thanksgiving weekend in 2018. This time, they are bringing in two of the NFL's greatest quarterbacks to add to the entertainment.

The announcement came with a video interview by TNT's Ernie Johnson of the four players, in which Brady said he wanted Woods as a partner until Manning's father called to switch the teams.

The match will be held one week after live golf returns to television for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic shut down the PGA Tour and other tours around the world. Rory McIlroy and Dustin Johnson will play a charity match against Rickie Fowler and Matthew Wolff at Seminole Golf Club, one of Florida's most famous courses that will have a televised event for the first time.

The Open Championship won't be played for 1st time since 1945

The Open Championship won't be played for 1st time since 1945

The British Open will not be played this year for the first time since 1945, golf officials announced Monday as they tried to reconfigure a major championship schedule that would end with the Masters being played two weeks before Thanksgiving.

Still to be determined is when - or even if - golf can resume depending on the spread of COVID-19 that has shut down sports worldwide.

The R&A announced that the British Open, scheduled for July 16-19 at Royal St. George's in England, will be pushed back until July 15-18 in 2021, leaving the 150th Open for St. Andrews in 2022.

"I can assure everyone that we have explored every option for playing The Open this year, but it is not going to be possible," R&A chief Martin Slumbers said.

The Masters, which was supposed to start Thursday, was rescheduled for Nov. 12-15. That would follow the PGA Championship on Aug. 6-9 at Harding Park in San Francisco and the U.S. Open - still at Winged Foot in New York - for Sept. 17-20.

"We hope the anticipation of staging the Masters Tournament in the fall brings a moment of joy to the Augusta community and all those who love the sport," Augusta National Chairman Fred Ridley said. "We want to emphasize that our future plans are incumbent upon favorable counsel and direction from health officials."

Golf's major organizations have been trying to piece together a puzzle for the last three weeks and each agreed to announce their schedules at the same time in a show of collaboration. Still missing is the starting line, along with details on what could be the most hectic pace golf has ever known.

The PGA Tour has the most moving parts, and it tentatively has planned to complete its FedEx Cup season close to schedule, with the Tour Championship wrapping up the postseason run on Labor Day. It also is contemplating putting tournaments in dates that previously belonged to the U.S. Open, British Open and Olympics.

"It's a complex situation, and we want to balance the commitments to our various partners with playing opportunities for our members - while providing compelling competition to our fans," PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan said. "But all of that must be done while navigating the unprecedented global crisis that is impacting every single one of us."

The new schedule features:

- Aug. 6-9: PGA Championship.

- Aug. 13-16: End of PGA Tour regular season at Wyndham Championship.

- Aug. 20-23: Start of FedEx Cup playoffs at The Northern Trust.

- Aug. 27-30: BMW Championship, second playoff event.

- Sept. 4-7: Tour Championship for the FedEx Cup.

- Sept. 17-20: U.S. Open at Winged Foot.

- Sept. 25-27: Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits.

It was not immediately clear how the teams from Europe and the United States would be determined for the Ryder Cup, although European captain Padraig Harrington has said he would not be opposed to picking all 12 players.

For the 24 players, that means going from what long has been regarded as the toughest test in golf to what has become the most tiresome three days in golf at the Ryder Cup.

Other details still to be sorted out is U.S. Open qualifying. Like everything else, it all starts with when golf resumes. The next tournament still on the schedule is Colonial on May 21-24, though that appears unlikely.

Ridley said every player who has received invitations to play the Masters in April will stay on the list, with more details to be sorted out later. He also said the Augusta National Women's Amateur was canceled, and every player can keep their spots for next year provided they don't turn pro.

Winged Foot just north of New York City is about 5 miles away from a hot spot for the new coronavirus. Construction for the U.S. Open was stopped two weeks ago as the USGA tried to determine its best course. For now, it's to stay in New York with a September date.

The last time the U.S. Open was this late in the year was in 1913, when amateur Francis Ouimet took down Harry Vardon and Ted Ray at Brookline to put golf on the map in the United States.

The U.S. Senior Open at Newport Country Club and the U.S. Senior Women's Open at Brooklawn Country Club in Connecticut have been canceled.

The PGA Championship, which last year moved to May for the first time in some 70 years, returns to August at Harding Park in San Francisco.

The British Open last was canceled in 1945 because of World War II. Slumbers said those with tickets or hospitality package can use them in 2021 or get a full refund.

Meanwhile, the claret jug stays with Shane Lowry of Ireland, who won last year at Royal Portrush. He won't have possession as long as Dick Burton, who won in 1939, the year before it was canceled because of the war.

Lowry said in a video tweet he understood and supported the R&A's decision.

"You can trust me when I say the claret jug is going to be in safe hands for another year," Lowry said.