By Mike Cuddy on June 11, 2014
As we approach the start of the 114th U.S. Open at Pinehurst Resort & Country Club, Course No. 2, it is time to start evaluating just who will be in contention on Sunday. Here is a list of 5 golfers who will definitely not be able to win this major.
With a record six second-place finishes at the U.S. Open, Mickelson only needs a win in this major to complete the career grand slam, though it is becoming increasingly unlikely that he will do so. Since 1999, no U.S. Open winner has been older than 38 years old, and Lefty will turn 44 on Monday. This major is certainly a test of will, and with plenty of young up-and-comers in the field, it just doesn't seem likely for Mickelson to win this year.
The U.S. Open has not produced back-to-back winners since Curtis Strange pulled off the feat in 1988 and 1989. Rose, the 2013 U.S. Open Champion, will be facing one of the deepest talent pools in a major this year, which will hold him back and keep him out of contention heading into Sunday.
Although Kuchar has nine Top-10 finishes in his 15 tour events this season, he has never finished higher than 6th at the U.S. Open. While he is showing great consistency so far this year, Kuchar will falter again during this major. With plenty of rough and waste areas on this course a great short game will be needed to win. Kuchar is 43rd overall when it comes to hitting greens in regulation this year, which will be his downfall this weekend.
Watson has been playing with incredible confidence this year after his second Masters win, though it is that confidence that can be his undoing this weekend. With plenty of rough and sandy areas, if Watson misses the fairway he will need to rely on some magical shots to keep his name near the leaders. Though Watson is very capable of this type of magic, it will definitely be difficult to win playing this style of golf.
While McIlroy has been playing some inspired golf as of late, history will not be on his side this weekend. Each of the past five U.S. Open Champions has never won a major previous to their U.S. Open victory. McIlroy does not fit this mold with his past major wins, and with no PGA Tour victories this season, it is doubtful that he can pull it all together this weekend.
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