Besides, theres no way Rocco Mediate, as blue collar as they come, can hope for consecutive lightning strikes, and neither Paul Goydos nor Jason Gore qualified for this years championship.
Pick a Foursome: Tiger Woods may be the obvious choice. He may even be a bit of clich, but at this ballpark, with this trophy on the line, theres too much arithmetic to add up to anything but a Woods victory.
He won the 02 Open at Bethpage in clinical fashion, plays courses where par is important better than anyone and missed just seven fairways for the week in his Open tune up at Muirfield Village.
Picks: Tiger Woods, Zach Johnson, Angel Cabrera, Nick Watney
Note: One player from four categories based on the World Golf Ranking (1-10, A; 11-20, B; 21-30, C; 31-40, D). Points awarded on money earned ($1 = 1 point).
Salary Cap: Woods burns more than half your cap ($5.77 million) ' it is the way of a U.S. Open at Bethpage ' so the rest of your lineup has to be sleepers and long shots.
Mathew Goggin has been playing solid and has the same swing coach as Geoff Ogilvy, the Australian who won the last Open played in New York, while McIlroy, Tomasulo and Sim are young but full of major potential.
Picks: Tiger Woods, Mathew Goggin, Michael Sim, Peter Tomasulo, Rory McIlroy ($9.24 million)
Note: Five players with a $10 million cap based on 2008 earnings. Rookies without 2008 earnings will be priced at $250,000. Standings based on overall team earnings.
Pick One: Tiger Woods. Forget knee surgery, new swings, rehab or expectations run amok, the world No. 1 and the 109th U.S. Open were always going to be the closest thing to a lock in golf. Besides, with all due respect to Turnberry and Hazeltine National ' site of the seasons final two Grand Slam events ' they just dont move the needle like the Black Course.
Note: Players must be picked before the start of the season and used only once. Standings based on total earnings.
In addition to my picks, the GolfChannel.com staff will be offering up their picks. A player can be picked to win a maximum of five times. We will be keeping a running tally of the monies earned each week. The participants include: Jay Coffin, Editorial Director; Mercer Baggs, Editorial Manager; Brian Koressel, Senior Producer; Dena Davis, Assistant Editor; Erik Peterson, Travel Editor; Jerry Foltz, special contributor.
|If theres a better way to make a wheel, we havent heard about it. Bethpage may as well be Woods backyard and that Memorial tune up was too good to ignore.||$2,475,252|
|Forget that two-year title drought, the man with the phone-booth swing has an Open game and an Open title to show for it. Hes also on form with top-10 finishes in his last three starts.|
|The best player on the planet right now without a Tour card has been on a tear on the Nationwide Tour, finishing no worse than 30th in his last five starts that include two victories and a playoff loss.|
|Geez, werent we wondering what was wrong with this guy after The Players? Not anymore. Hes as overwhelming of a favorite here as hes ever been for a major.||$4,350,748|
|Hits it long enough to contend and has been fairly steady during the year. The falter at Bay Hill was disappointing but he backed it up with a solid victory at Quail Hollow.|
|Another guy who hits it a mile, which will serve him well. His success this week will be contingent upon the flatstick.|
|We get to pick him five times; this will be No. 3 for me. This is the safe pick ' and the proper one.||$5,192,461|
|He could take a mental break for the next couple of years after winning the Masters, but this course is right up his alley.|
|He made his way in through qualifying and I could see him making some noise over the first couple of days.|
|How is it that at each major Tiger seems to be more heavily favored to win than he was before?||$3,783,852|
|Thrives under the No one wants me to win tag.|
|This amateur is a tough competitor, which will serve him well at the ultimate Grinders tournament.|
|Big, bad golf course versus one cool customer. I'm taking the Aussie.||$4,792,225|
|The only problem with this pick is that he could easily be the winner.|
|Long golf course versus long off the tee. But in the end, sideburns just too long.|
|Seriously. Why are we even playing the tournament? We all know who'll win. Oh, because it's so much fun to watch him do it? Yep.||$3,465,372|
|This guy seems to rise to the occasion in big tournaments. He'll do it again this week.|
|Coming off a T2 at the St. Jude, DT is having a super year with six top-10s, bouncing back from his injury-plagued 2008 season.|
|No explanation necessary.||$2,760,957|
|Don't think he'll win, but it certainly isn't a stretch thinking he'll be on the first page of the leaderboard come Sunday.|
|He's ridiculously long and more accurate than most bombers, and won't be intimidated by the surroundings to which he's oblivious.|