13 Picks To Win The 2016 U.S. Open

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13 Picks To Win The 2016 U.S. Open

May 25, 2016

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Photo By: US PGA TOUR

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1.) Jason Day

U.S. Open history: A pair of runner-up finishes in 2011 (Congressional) and 2013 (Merion).Current Vegas odds: 6/1 (Tournament favorite -- Lines from golfodds.com)Reason to pick: He’s Jason Day. He’s the clear No. 1 player in the world and he’s won seven of his past 17 tournaments.Cause for concern: He’s sensitive about criticism of his "neckbeard"? Sorry, there’s not much else we can think of.

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2.) Jordan Spieth

__U.S. Open history: __ Defending champ.__Current Vegas odds: __ 8/1Reason to pick: So much for that "slump." Spieth is pushing favorite status once again after his win at Colonial. His short-game magic around Oakmont's ultra-slick greens doesn't hurt.__Cause for concern: __ Has Spieth put too much pressure on himself to follow up his incredible 2015 campaign? After missing the cut at the Players, Spieth acknowledged he needs to have more fun on the course. Then again, that's easier said than done at a track as tough as Oakmont.

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3.) Rory McIlroy

__U.S. Open history: __ 2011 champ.__Current Vegas odds: __ 7/1Reason to pick: We'll keep the Big 3 theme rolling with Rory. As he showed at Congressional in 2011, McIlroy has the capability to blow any field away. A victory in Ireland ended a winless drought of more than a year and he's posted four top-four finishes in his past seven PGA Tour starts. The last of which was a T-4 at the Memorial, where statistically, he had the best putting week of his PGA Tour career after changing back to a conventional grip.__Cause for concern: __ McIlroy just can't shake that one bad nine per tournament. And at Oakmont, there's even more chance of that happening. Also, switching putting grips a couple weeks before a major isn't usually a winning formula.

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4.) Dustin Johnson

__U.S. Open history: __ T-2 in 2015; 54-hole leader in 2010.__Current Vegas odds: __ 15/1Reason to pick: With a third-place finish at the Memorial, Johnson makes a huge move from No. 10 in our ranking. Despite his history of heartbreaks in major championships, there's too much talent to overlook, which is reflected by his Vegas odds. At least, Oakmont isn't a site of one of his close calls.__Cause for concern: __ In addition to DJ being seemingly cursed in majors? He's gone more than 15 months without a win anywhere.

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5.) Bubba Watson

__U.S. Open history: __ Five missed cuts in nine tries.__Current Vegas odds: __ 40/1 (Down from 30/1)Reason to pick: With such an awful record, why would we rank Bubba this high? For one, he's No. 4 in the Official World Golf Ranking. And secondly, his lone good performance in this event came at Oakmont in 2007 when he finished T-5.__Cause for concern: __ If Watson has an off week with the driver, he will quickly get frustrated with Oakmont's notoriously thick rough. And after a fast start to the year, Watson doesn't have a top 25 in more than three months.

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6.) Adam Scott

__U.S. Open history: __ Just two top 10s, but both have come the past two years.__Current Vegas odds: __ 30/1Reason to pick: Before Jason Day took over, no one was hotter than Scott who went runner-up, win, win in a three-tournament stretch earlier this season. Scott's relative lack of success in this event is scary, but again, he seems to be trending in the right direction.__Cause for concern: __ The Aussie missed the cut at Oakmont in 2007. But he didn't have a major under his belt -- or Steve Williams on his bag!

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7.) Danny Willett

__U.S. Open history: __ A T-45 and a MC in two appearances.__Current Vegas odds: __ 40/1 (Down from 30/1)Reason to pick: The reigning Masters champ showed how well he can play -- especially with the putter -- under the ultimate pressure at Augusta National. It's been a whirlwind since, but Willett should be focused and ready for the year's second major. The 40/1 odds might not be the 60/1 some books were offering before the Masters, but that's still pretty good value for the only golfer with a shot of winning the Grand Slam this year.__Cause for concern: __ Winning the U.S. Open is difficult. Winning back-to-back majors is even tougher.

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8.) Zach Johnson

__U.S. Open history: __ 12 appearances, five missed cuts, no top 25s.__Current Vegas odds: __ 60/1 (Down from 50/1)Reason to pick: A look at the final leader board at Oakmont in 2007 shows you don't need an excess of power to contend here. Also, those 50/1 odds were the same Johnson had ahead of last year's British Open at St. Andrews.__Cause for concern: __ Johnson's U.S. Open track record is horrifying -- and surprising.

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9.) Branden Grace

__U.S. Open history: __ T-4 in 2015.__Current Vegas odds: __ 30/1Reason to pick: Grace was a bit of an unknown when he contended at Chambers Bay until hitting a tee shot onto the train tracks on No. 16. But he's more than backed up that effort since with a solo third at the PGA Championship and a recent maiden PGA Tour title at Hilton Head.__Cause for concern: __ There are no train tracks at Oakmont, but there are a lot of bad places you don't want to find off the tee. And Grace ranks near the bottom of the tour in driving accuracy.

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10.) Rickie Fowler

__U.S. Open history: __ T-10 in 2013; T-2 in 2014.__Current Vegas odds: __ 25/1Reason to pick: Fowler won four events in eight months, including the Players, and he's climbed into the top five of the Official World Golf Ranking with added power and ball-striking consistency to go with a great putter.__Cause for concern: __ After establishing a reputation as a great closer, Fowler has failed to finish off several tournaments in the past few months. And he's missed the cut in his last two starts, causing us to drop him down three spots. He's also carrying around added pressure as the current best player to never win a major. And we're pretty sure no one has ever won the U.S. Open wearing joggers and high tops.

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11.) Justin Rose

__U.S. Open history: __ Three top 10s, winner in 2013 at Merion.__Current Vegas odds: __ 25/1 (Down from 15/1)Reason to pick: Rose has been there, done that in golf's toughest test. He's struggled with his putter this season, but still has five top 10s, including a recent third at the Wells Fargo.__Cause for concern: __ Rose takes a huge drop from No. 4 due to a lingering back injury that forced him to withdraw from both the BMW PGA and the Memorial. And again, the putter. Through the Players, Rose ranks just 115th in strokes gained putting on the PGA Tour.

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12.) Phil Mickelson

__U.S. Open history: __ Six-time runner-up. That's not a misprint.__Current Vegas odds: __ 25/1Reason to pick: He's got to win this thing eventually, right? Mickelson would be the oldest winner of this event if he can pull it off this year, but he's already showed he's far from a ceremonial golfer at this point with five top fives in 2016, including a runner-up last week in Memphis.__Cause for concern: __ The 25/1 odds are a bit generous. Also, Oakmont is about the only U.S. Open venue where Mickelson hasn't fared well. He finished T-47 in 1994 and missed the cut in 2007.

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13.) Jim Furyk

__U.S. Open history: __ 2003 winner, six top-fives.__Current Vegas odds: __ 80/1 (Down from 60/1. . . value!)Reason to pick: The ultimate grinder, Furyk would love nothing better than to win his national championship for a second time. And for the Pennsylvania native, Oakmont, where he finished runner-up to Angel Cabrera in 2007, would be the perfect place.__Cause for concern: __ Furyk just recently returned after missing eight months due to a wrist injury. He's only managed a T-35, a T-52 and two missed cuts in four starts since coming back. And like Mickelson, he's also trying to become the oldest U.S. Open champ. Still, he might be worth a flyer at 80/1.

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