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15 Bold Predictions For The 2014 US Open

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15 Bold Predictions for the 2014 U.S. Open

Pinehurst U.S. Open
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The U.S. Open is an annual reminder to the average person just how difficult the sport of golf is. The world’s greatest players struggle to get up and down and save par, making scratch golfers timidly laugh at the thought of how poorly we’d preform. If there’s one thing history has taught us about the U.S. Open, it’s to always expect the unexpected. Here are my 15 bold predictions for the 2014 U.S. Open.

15. Tiger Woods Won't Win

Tiger Woods
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15. Tiger Woods Won't Win

Tiger Woods
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Crazy prediction, right? In case you haven’t heard, Tiger Woods is not participating in the 2014 U.S. Open. That being said, I can say with 100 percent certainty that Woods will not be winning major No. 15 at Pinehurst. You’re welcome.

14. Somebody Birdies 18 Over Weekend

Pinehurst Hole 18
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14. Somebody Birdies 18 Over Weekend

Pinehurst Hole 18
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I know it doesn’t seem like a bold prediction. It seems like a no brainer that out of 60+ golfers who make the weekend cut, one of them will make birdie on hole 18. But nobody did it last year...

13. Lowest Ratings in Years

Tiger Woods Signing
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13. Lowest Ratings in Years

Tiger Woods Signing
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It’s crazy to think how big of an influence Tiger Woods has on the game of golf, especially from fans’ perspective. Last year, a four-day pass for the U.S. Open cost around $1,000 on StubHub. Tiger Woods won’t be playing this year due to injuries, and as a result, a four-day pass is only about $550. If ticket prices have any correlation to fans’ interests (which they do), you can expect TV ratings to plummet.

12. A Not-Top 10 Player Will Make a Run for the Cup

Golf Leaderboard
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12. A Not-Top 10 Player Will Make a Run for the Cup

Golf Leaderboard
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Only four of the last 10 U.S. Open winners were ranked as a top 10 golfer going into the tournament. The U.S. Open is a crap shoot, especially this year with the way Pinehurst No. 2 was renovated. Everybody’s scorecard looks the same going into Thursday -- it’s anybody’s game.

11. More Bogies Than Birdies

Putting at Pinehurst
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11. More Bogeys Than Birdies

Putting at Pinehurst
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In 2005, Pinehurst hosted the U.S. Open. Michael Campbell won after shooting even through four rounds. The course is playing even tougher now that it was then, so you can bet there will be more sixes and sevens than there will be threes and fours. You’ll probably see more players shoot in the 80s than you’ll see shoot in the 60s.

10. Less Than 50 Percent of Greens in Regulation

Pinehurst Tee off
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10. Less Than 50 Percent of Greens in Regulation

Pinehurst Tee off
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Pinehurst is designed to play incredibly long. Players that are good with their long irons will have a chance to debunk this prediction, but a majority of the field will be using a lot more wedges than we’re used to seeing.

9. Tournament Will End Monday

Leaderboard
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9. Tournament Will End Monday

Leaderboard
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If you take a look at the weather forecast, you’ll see that rain is expected throughout the weekend in Pinehurst, NC. Between this and the fact that the U.S. Open usually comes down to the wire, I predict the tournament not ending until Monday. There will either be rain delay(s) or a draw.

8. Justin Rose Will Not Repeat

Justin Rose
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8. Justin Rose Will Not Repeat

Justin Rose
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It’s highly unlikely that Justin Rose will repeat last year’s success with another U.S. Open victory. In fact, the last person to win back-to-back U.S. Open Championships was Ben Hogan way back in 1950-51. It’s just not happening. Sorry, Justin.

7. Jordan Spieth Won't Make the Cut

Jordan Spieth
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7. Jordan Spieth Won't Make the Cut

Jordan Spieth
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Jordan Spieth is one of the PGA’s youngest stars. Currently ranked No. 10 in the world, he’s come close to winning a major several times, but keeps falling short. The future looks bright for the 20 year old, but I think his lack of experience will show at Pinehurst and he’ll miss the cut.

6. Leader Going Into Sunday Won't Win

Phil Mickelson Rickie Fowler
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6. Leader Going Into Sunday Won't Win

Phil Mickelson Rickie Fowler
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Just a hunch here. As players become more familiar with Pinehurst over the weekend, strategies will change. Whoever is leading the tournament after the third day won’t win on Sunday because the pressure of winning a U.S. Open will be too much to handle. I expect somebody to choke, and no, it won’t be Phil Mickelson.

5. Hideki Matsuyama Will Finish Top 5

Hideki Matsuyama
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5. Hideki Matsuyama Will Finish Top 5

Hideki Matsuyama
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The 22 year old will shine under the bright lights of the U.S. Open. He’s already finished Top 10 in four of the 15 events he’s played in since turning pro. After winning the Memorial Tournament last month, I’m buying in on the young talent from Japan.

4. Bubba Watson Will Finish Outside Top 10

Bubba Watson
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4. Bubba Watson Will Finish Outside Top 10

Bubba Watson
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I’m going out on a limb here, but my gut tells me that Bubba will struggle at Pinehurst. The fairways are wider than we’re used to seeing at a U.S. Open, which will entice Bubba to pull out his driver. Watson’s 314.22 yards per drive is the longest of anyone on tour, but his accuracy is questionable at times. I think Watson will take a gamble with the wider fairways and lose that bet.

3. Adam Scott Will Lead After Thursday

Adam Scott
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3. Adam Scott Will Lead After Thursday

Adam Scott
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The No. 1 golfer in the world will start the tournament off with a bang. I expect Adam Scott to lead the U.S. Open after the first round. Will he hang on to that lead? Who knows, but he should be in contention for first place come Sunday.

2. Rory McIlroy Will Finish Top 3

Rory McIlroy
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2. Rory McIlroy Will Finish Top 3

Rory McIlroy
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After falling off for a while, McIlroy’s game has shown resurgence since breaking up with his girlfriend. He’s re-dedicated himself to the sport that’s given him everything, and it will show this weekend.

1. Lefty Finally Wins

Phil Mickelson
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1. Lefty Finally Wins

Phil Mickelson
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Part of me is biased, part of me thinks Phil is long overdue, and part of me just wants to see this story unfold. Pinehurst is the perfect course for Mickelson -- he hits long irons well and his short game is second to none. Mickelson finally gets over the hump and wins his first U.S. Open.