By Jeff Skinner
OK boys and girls it’s time for us at Links Life Golf to dabble in a bit of prognostication and show the world exactly how little we know about golf. And how crazy a game this can be. Remember the last time the PGA came to Oak Hill Shaun Micheel won. I bet no one had any money on him.
Well this year none of us are picking Shaun for an Oak Hill repeat so that means he stands a good chance of contending.
Please be aware that these picks were made more with our hearts than our heads and that’s a scary thing. You’re better off buying Power Ball tickets than taking our advice.
We each pick three winners and a shocker to miss the cut…so here we go:
G. Rennie: Adam Scott : No one has a better record at the majors over the last couple of season than Scott. Oak Hill demands great ball striking and there is no better driver of the golf ball today than the 32 year old Aussie. He can work the ball both ways and has all the shots a major set up demands. Oak Hill also has sloping greens with plenty of subtle breaks and though Scott gets slammed when it comes to putting prowess with his anchored broomstick it’s useful to remember that he conquered the most testing greens in golf just this April.
Dustin Johnson: One of the game’s biggest hitters has contended in several majors but has never closed the deal, stepping on his Johnson at both a US Open and an Open Championship and getting blindsided by a Pete Dye bunker masquerading as a gallery viewing spot. He’s a streaky putter and he’ll need to get a hot streak going. This kid will be a Hall of Fame golfer by the end of his career but he’ll need a major or two to get there and this course is an ideal set up for his gargantuan long game.
Henrik Stenson: The big Swede has placed second in four tournaments this year, the last two coming at the Bridgestone and The Open. Like Johnson he’s one of the games bombers and a streak putter, as well, but he has demonstrated some great closing chops in taking a Players Championship and a World Golf Championship Match Play. Form counts for something and Stenson has it. Let’s just hope he doesn’t have to play a ball from a water hazard- we don’t want to see those boxers again.
Missing the Cut: Form counts for something but it’s not everything. So Tiger Woods will miss the cut. Yeah, I know he’s only missed about 8 cuts in his entire professional career but it would be as big a story as him winning, maybe even bigger, and the ongoing saga of his quest for 18 would be all the more interesting. You heard it here first.
Phil will struggle to make the cut, will squeeze in and then make a run on the weekend that shakes up the leaders. #6 comes but not until June 2014.
Rory’s struggles will continue culminating in his dumping his Nike equipment into a nearby water hazard.
And finally, David Feherty will, in the obligatory post round interview, ask the winner a question that isn’t preceded by a hundred word rambling preamble . Well, maybe not.
Lil’ Skins: Winners…Phil Mickelson because he is the man.
Miguel Angel Jimenez will prove that the Open Championship was no fluke and will finally put 4 rounds together
Ian Poulter… I think he is the only Englishman I haven’t picked yet, and Luke and Lee can’t handle the pressure like Ian can.
Tiger will miss the cut
Tiger Woods gets it…but it won’t be easy.
Sergio Garcia finally gets the monkey off his back.
Rory McIlroy is still lost and will miss the cut.
The Greek: A man of few words and many golf swings…picks Tiger, Hunter Mahan and Zach Johnson as his winners.
The Greek thinks Phil is spent and will miss the cut.
Big Skins: Yes, I’m picking Phil again because I am going to ride that pony all the way in. He’ll continue to strike while his irons…and 3-woods are hot.
While many of my colleagues are picking (hoping really) that Tiger will miss the cut I am bucking that trend. Is there any one playing better than Woods? He’s the favorite every time and everywhere he tees it up. And this week is no different.
G. Rennie may be on to something with DJ and the Swede and with the way Stenson is playing lately it wouldn’t be surprising if he won. DJ has threatened so many times and then stumbled in one way or another. But I think he’ll get his next year. So I will steer clear of those two picks. But I will double up with him on Adam Scott. This will be the breakout of breakout years for the likable Aussie. Remember I said its with my heart not my head.
We will see the Coolest Guy in Golf, Miguel Angel Jimenez, in the lead sometime during the week. But by Sunday that wine will catch up to him but he’ll still finish respectably.
The PGA of America has paired the 2014 Ryder Cup Captains, Tom Watson and Paul McGinley together with Darren Clarke, a certain future Captain. I say that Watson will open up an early can of whoop-ass on the Euros and beat them both.
Don’t be surprised if Graeme McDowell makes a run at his second major.
I have to give some props to a fellow Skinner, Sonny Skinner, a Club Pro that earned his way into his championship. Do the name proud Sonny!
Luke Donald will miss the cut and so will Vijay Singh…but no one will are about Vijay.