Call Me An Idiot. I Believe In Tiger.
Call me whatever you’d like. I think that Tiger has a definate chance to content in this year’s US Open. Here’s a laundry list of reasons why:
First of all, the guy can close. 14 majors and 3 US Opens don’t just happen. Wherease many great players freeze up on major week, Tiger thrives, because he’s fearless and he generally enjoys the competition. The competiton lifts him out of any mental ruts he faces. Tiger also practices for the majors differently, and it shows in his performance. It’s no surprise that tiger finished in the top-20 in the Masters, and in last place at the Memorial Tournament. Majors are about winning, and Tiger works incredibly hard to develop consistent, solid game. Other tournaments are about experimentation right now, and he doesn’t condition himself nearly as hard for them. Tiger plays better in the majors than he does in most “regular” tourneys.
In 20 starts at the U.S Open, Tiger has eight top tens including three wins, two runner ups, and two other top fives. In his professional career, he’s only finished outside the U.S Open top-20 three times, one of which was a tie for 21st.
Chambers Bay, from my understanding, also sets up particularly well for Woods. He’s a smart shot-maker, and Chambers Bay rewards players who think. It is a complicated golf course, and no one excels at complication more than Tiger. He’s gone over the course with a fine-toothed comb, with that Woods thoroughness.
The course is a bit long for Woods, but it also has some generous landing areas for drives, helpful given that Woods’s biggest weakness right now is driving. Woods’s irons, wedges, and putter are sharp and smart right now, according to reports from people like Jordan Spieth, and that’s a real advantage at Chambers Bay because the green complexes are perhaps the most tricky part of Chambers.
Many people compare Chambers Bay to a links course, similar to what the British Open is usually played on. Tiger also has three of those (and a few more top-5s to go with it).
Lastly, this isn’t a course where the winner needs to go low. One source, a rules official, said that he believed the winning score would be at or near two over par. Smart, solid golf will win this tournament. Tiger can afford to make bogeys, so long as he can balance it out with a few birdies.
End of 2AM laundry list.