9 Sneaky U.S. Open Picks

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9 Sneaky U.S. Open Picks

June 09, 2019

Photo By: Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Photo By: Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

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Tommy Fleetwood (30-1)

OK, so maybe it’s hard to be sneaky pick when you’re 18th in the World Ranking and the last score you shot in a U.S. Open was a 63. Still, the 28-year-old from England goes into Pebble Beach with less pressure than other elite players, which makes him that much more dangerous. A fourth-place finish at Erin Hills in 2017, followed by his runner-up in 2018, says he’s more than capable of contending this week. Moreover, he’s fourth on the PGA Tour in strokes-gained/off the tee, eighth in sg/tee-to-green and eighth in sg/total. Most think a major is in Fleetwood’s future. Perhaps the future is now.

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Jim Furyk (125-1)

A career renaissance at age 49? It seems hard to believe, but Furyk’s 2019 season has been awfully impressive with three top-10s, eight top-25s and a 69.8 scoring average, 13th best on the PGA Tour. His track record at the U.S. Open is more impressive than merely his 2003 victory at Olympia Fields, as it includes three runners-up (2006, 2007, 2016) and three other top-five finishes. Plus, he’s missed the cut just three times in 24 U.S. Open starts. For the season, Furyk leads the tour in driving accuracy, which will be far more important at Pebble than the fact his 274 yards off the tee is tied for 203rd.

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Kevin Kisner (100-1)

Until he missed the cut at the PGA Championship, the 35-year-old seemed to find his way on many major leader boards of late, his best result being a T-2 at Carnoustie last summer in the Open Championship. Kisner is not long off the tee, but is relatively accurate, which will serve him well at Pebble Beach. Since his win at the WGC-Dell Match Play in March, Kisner has only shot four sub-70 rounds in individual stroke-play events (16 rounds) on tour. But we like the clutch factor he’s showed and figure there’s more of it to come.

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Luke List (150-1)

He hasn’t made the cut in four career U.S. Open starts and has played only once (2018) in the previous 11 years. Still, his sixth-place showing at the PGA at Bethpage showed something we hadn’t seen out of the 38-year-old who is having one of his best season on the PGA Tour with four top-10 finishes.

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Shane Lowry (100-1)

He won on the European Tour in January and has had back-to-back top-10s at the 2015 (T-9) and 2016 (T-2) U.S. Opens. And his T-8 finish at the PGA Championship last month was his best major showing in three years. There’s an intangible about the 32-year-old Irishman that’s giving us the hunch that he’ll be in the mix at Pebble.

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Graeme McDowell (125-1)

He’s won a U.S. Open at Pebble Beach before (in 2010), and is having his best season in years. So why can’t he do it all again this time around? Many figured the 39-year-old from Northern Ireland’s best days were behind him, but the win at Punta Cana in March gave him new life. His biggest goal this spring has been to qualify for the Open Championship at Royal Portrush. A U.S. Open win will certain take care of that.

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Kevin Na (125-1)

Start with the fact that he’s won on the PGA Tour in the last month at the Charles Schwab Challenge. Add in that his best finish in 34 major starts was his seventh place showing at the U.S. Open at Oakmont. Confidence in his recent play will offset his averageness in driving accuracy and greens in regulation. We like riding a hot hand.

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Brandt Snedeker (60-1)

A confluence of factors makes the 38-year-old worth a look. Start with the fact he’s got a pretty underrated U.S. Open record: In his last 10 starts in the national championship, he’s had five top-10 finishes, two other top-25s and just two missed cuts. Plus two of his nine PGA Tour wins have come at Pebble Beach n the AT&T Pro-Am. Add in he’s had top-20 finishes in his last two PGA Tour starts (and looks like he’s going to get another on Sunday at the RBC Canadian Open), and what’s not to like about Sneds.

Photo By: Stan Badz/PGA Tour

Henrik Stenson (80-1)

The Swede has yet to have a standout performance on the PGA Tour in 2019 even if he’s made missed just one cut in 11 starts. But his ball-striking makes him a perennial U.S. Open threat, even at age 43. A year ago at Shinnecock, Stenson finished T-6, his third career top-10 at the U.S. Open. He ranks seventh in driving accuracy so far this season.

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