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)