A year ago, Dustin Johnson faced a 12-footer to win the U.S. Open and. . . well, you know. Fast forward 12 months and not much has changed. Johnson remains one of the game's best talents and arguably the best current player without a major championship on his resume. But will that finally change at this year's U.S. Open at Oakmont? Take a listen as Joel Beall and I break down DJ's chances and the rest of the field:
And if you're more old-school and would rather just read my normal weekly picks, here's who I'm taking on my PGA Tour Fantasy Golf team at Oakmont:
Dustin Johnson: This has to happen at some point, right? So why not at a venue that should reward great driving as much as any. Not only on the brutish holes, but also the short ones (Oakmont has five par 4s under 385 yards). For a man who is third in strokes gained: off the tee, and who comes in with five top fives in his past eight stroke-play starts, DJ seems a pretty safe bet -- at least, to contend.
Rory McIlroy: The best player off the tee in the game today is also set up well at Oakmont, especially if the rain that's in the forecast comes. McIlroy has said he doesn't plan on hitting too many drivers, but he's also a guy who hits 2-irons as far as many hit the big dog. Also, to use a gambling term, I'm kind of pot committed to the guy having placed this bet in Vegas last month:
Zach Johnson: Speaking of getting favorable odds, how is the reigning British Open champ a 60-to-1 long shot? Oh, right, his abysmal U.S. Open track record. Still, Oakmont is a course where a shorter hitter can thrive and we're talking about a gritty, gutty two-time major champ.
Brooks Koepka: I touted him last week and he came through with a second consecutive runner-up finish. Koepka first made a name for himself in this event two years ago with a T-4 at Pinehurst.
__ Bench:__ Jason Day and Jordan Spieth. You know, just in case I need to plug these other Big 3 guys into the lineup if they get hot. After all, Day is the best player in the world, and Spieth has seriously contended in the past five majors.
And for those of you playing other fantasy golf formats:
Yahoo! lineup: Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy, Brooks Koepka, Matt Kuchar (starters); Jordan Spieth, Patrick Reed, Zach Johnson, Charl Schwartzel (bench).
Knockout/One-and-done pick: Dustin Johnson.
Previously used: Bryson DeChambeau (Valero), Luke Donald (Valspar), Jason Dufner (RBC), Matt Every (Bay Hill), Tony Finau (Frys.com), Sergio Garcia (Riviera), Bill Haas (Farmers), J.B. Holmes (Wells Fargo), Dustin Johnson (Doral), Kevin Kisner (RSM - winner!), Russell Knox (Honda), Brooks Koepka (St. Jude), Matt Kuchar (Colonial), Anirban Lahiri (CIMB), Graeme McDowell (Hyundai), Kevin Na (Phoenix), Ryan Palmer (CareerBuilders), Scott Piercy (Byron Nelson), Patrick Reed (HSBC), Patrick Rodgers (Shriners), Brandt Snedeker (Pebble), Brendan Steele (OHL), Henrik Stenson (Players), Justin Thomas (Sony), Bubba Watson (Masters).
And one more time, if you feel like listening to Joel and I jabber, here you go: