Golf’s third major tournament takes place this week at the Country Club in Brookline, Massachusetts. You can’t expect to use any course history here given that the last event on this course was in 1988 and has since seen two major restorations.
The Country Club is par-70, for 7,200 yards, but because of heavy rain this week, it could play longer. Typical of that of large events, this course has very thick greens, very small greens and undulating fairways. There are two versions of the US Open – those that use a bit more precision off the tee like Torrey Pines or Pebble Beach and others that benefit long hitters but perhaps less precision like Winged Foot. I’m looking to use a bit of both because of the small greens, but the bombers have a bump from the rain.
There are two players I like to fight for a top 40 spot.
Patrick Rose +100
As expected, Reed is now part of the LIV Tour. However, last week the USGA released a statement that qualified players will still be able to compete in the US Open. Reed hasn’t been doing his best lately, with just seven top-40 finishes this year. Two, however, came in comparable events with small greens or the need to keep it in the fairway. Both of those events were back-to-back top 40s with a 34th at the PGA Championship and a T7 at the Charles Schwab Challenge, where Reed won on ball strikes, around the green and putting.
Since 2018, Reed has played in 17 majors and only missed three cups without ever finishing worse than T36.
Aaron Sage +100
A while ago, I stopped supporting Wise in the top 20 market and moved to the top 40 instead. It was a good plan. Over the past 20 rounds, Wise is the top 20 in shots won from tee to green, has won ball shots in eight consecutive events since March, and perhaps more importantly given this course layout, he has won shots around the green in six of his last eight. events, an area of his game that he previously lacked. It all led to a 23rd-place finish at the PGA Championship and a second-place finish at Memorial. Typically on the “no-putt team,” Wise has also earned shots with the flatstick in four of his last five events, so there are some upsides.
He also has a T35 at the 2019 US Open at Pebble Beach, a course that requires a bit more precision off the tee with smaller greens to target and I would definitely consider Wise a much improved player now compared to era. Confidence lies in his ability to hit the ball.