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Favorites, Dark Horses, Last In and Cinderella

Written on June 18, 2015 by

As the 2015 United States Open Championship begins today there are many interesting topics to discuss.  Some of the ones I like are … favorites, dark horses, last ins, and Cinderella.  Chambers Bay will prove to be the ultimate challenge, biggest thrill ride, greatest fortune and grandest ball for all who dare  to venture into her grasp.  So lets start at the top…

The new triumvirate; Rory McIlroy, Rickie Fowler, and Jordan Spieth, are all at the top of the list.  These three already have 5 wins and 10 top 10’s in the last 16 majors.  All are hot coming into this week.  All have proven the ability to close out major tournaments… Rickie did when won the Players Championship this year, which is the fifth major.  All know how to rise to the occasion on the grandest of stages.  So Chambers Bay should be the perfect setting for high drama and great viewing!

As in every major championship there are dark horses that come out of nowhere to gallop past the favorites to the winners circle.  In the US Open its a common occurance… 6 of the last 10 Champions Crowned have been just that.  All were ranked somewhere between 30 and 100 in the OWGR.  All we playing well before they arrived and all were optimistic, very positive thinkers.

Speaking of positive thinking, four players in the field have to believe in destiny this week… Kevin Chappell, Jimmy Gunn, Steve Marino and Josh Persons all got in as alternates.  That means that four other players fell out of favor with the Golf Gods and these four are the lucky benefactors.  With that in mind, this fortunate foursome certainly have to feel momentum is on their side before they even tee it up.  A great way to begin a major championship like the U S Open.

And as usual in all Open championships there are cinderella stories and sentimental favorites.  Two such participants this week are Michael Putnam and Cole Hammer.  Putnam lives in the neighborhood .. literally!.. a mile and half away.  He was the first person to play Chamber’s Bay when it opened and the first off the first tee this morning.  With all that local knowledge maybe Mike can find the Magic this week and thrill the crowds with an exhibition of his talent they won’t soon forget.  On the other hand, Cole Hammer, who should have been a long drive champion with that name, is the third youngest in history to qualify for our national championship at 15 years 9 months and 21 days old.  Both will be crowd favorites and great stories for us to follow.

So lets sit back and enjoy watching the best players in the world suffer as we do with the frustrating feeling of hopeless inadequacy and embarrassing shots… Big Nuggets