It comes as somewhat of a surprise to me that Tiger Woods appears as the odds-on favorite—along with Phil Mickelson—to win the 2010 US Open at Pebble Beach. Granted, Pebble Beach is the site of his record setting 2000 US Open victory—when he lapped the field by 15 strokes—but this isn’t the same Tiger Woods. His driving has been horrible. He’s ranked 163 in Driving Accuracy, and 189 in Total Driving (Accuracy and Distance). Those aren’t the kind of numbers that make a US Open Victory likely, as being off the fairway is the kiss of death. Mickelson’s not better off, being 187 in total driving.
I’m also speculating that the new wedge grooves will place an even higher premium on driving accuracy. The top ten in accuracy off the tee right now on Tour are Brian Gay, Tim Clark, Omar Uresti, Heath Slocum, Nick O’Hern, Jim Furyk, Ryan Moore, Justin Leonard, Zach Johnson and Chris DiMarco.
After Tiger and Phil at 6/1, you have Ernie Els and Lee Westwood at 14/1; Padraig Harrington at 20/1; Steve Stricker, Anthony Kim at 22/1; Rory McIlroy at 25/1; and Ian Poulter and Jim Furyk at 28/1. I personally don’t like any of those. Kim is injured and won’t play. Els has slowed down after a hot start. Westwood won’t win a major on US soil. Harrington is 124th in total driving. Rory is too young. Ian Poulter is 81st in total driving, so I like him a little better, along with Jim Furyk who is tied at 81st.
I think the odds are, though, that it’ll be someone from much futher down in the pack.
|Miguel Angel Jimenez||100/1|
|The Field ( Any Other Golfer)||5/2|