Written by: Scott Schaeffer
I'm excited to pass along the crew's picks for what will hopefully be the most difficult test of the year in professional golf. The potential for major swings in the standings is here, and is all highlighted below:
"THE READ": If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Riding with Chez paid off for Neil last year and has already granted Neil an early lead in the standings (if you exclude my expertise). While the oddsmakers continue to disrespect the veteran grinder, Neil will continue to bank his nugs. A top 20 from Reavie this week would put a smile on St. Rappeo's face up above.
Top 10 plays ruled Neil's remaining plays. Opting for accuracy over distance, Neil has chosen Matt Fitzpatrick, Jaco Niemann and Brendon Todd to overcome the length disadvantage they may have at Winged Foot and finish in the Top 10. The firmer the course gets, the more I like the chances for those three.
Tommy lad has gone under the radar for the most part since the Tour's restart. While most were snoozing on the professional golf scene last week in favor of NFL week 1, Tommy turned in a Sunday 64 in Portugal to give eventual champion George Coetzee a scare. After a bit of a flight across the pond, Neil will hope the form Fleetwood flashed last Sunday will translate to the big apple.
"THE READ": As simple formula will remain this week for Randy. Typically though, Randy doesn't take the big swings as he is this week with his decision to choose Patrick Cantlay to win. Cantlay hasn't had his best stuff of late, but profiles well to capture his first major at a difficult U.S. Open venue.
Phil had a mediocre week at Safeway, but Randy is hoping for a quick bounceback in Westchester, where Phil is likely feeling some mixed emotions this week. To finish as the low lefty, he will need to best Brian Harman, Bubba and Big Bob Macintyre. J-Day's form was much improved around the time of the "Jack Nicklaus swing", falling off lately during the oh-so-prestigous FEC playoffs. Hopefully the hellish Winged Foot back won't cause the 'ole backside too much harm.
"THE READ": After cashing a Canadian last week myself, I love to see TC chasing the dream yet again. The theme of the picks? No theme, really. In fact, he admitted to hating a couple of his picks, notably Harris English over Hatton. He has been flushing it, however.
Feels silly not to endorse DJ's chances, even if its odds are pretty short. To boil Soly's blood, I'm going to point of DJ is the "odds on" favorite. A couple of Aussies round out Tron's picks, as he's taking a flier on J-Day as Randy did as well as Adam Scott.
Worth noting that in the very same video where TC clowned Randy for not using all 100 of his points in a week last season, TC has only alotted 90 of his points to this week's picks. The you hate to see it of the week before the week has even begun.
"THE READ": Much like Jason Kokrak, DJ is going all-in with pocket everything this week, putting almost all his eggs in the JT basket. A JT win could be a killshot to the rest of the crew as it could net up to about 1,900 potential points for DJ if all falls into place. If not, he could cement his spot at the bottom of the standings in the earlygoing.
The cocaine train will have at least one passenger this week, as DJ is throwing a trivial 10 nuggets on Spieth to Top 20. His thinking is that if the course plays as difficult is advertised, Jordan may be able to grind it around as well as anyone. My thinking is the exact opposite. A wild Spieth does not sound like a healthy mix for a brutal test at Winged Foot.
"THE READ": Soly's approach in the new season seems to be much different than last season. Unfortunately, last week yielded similarly disappointing results. Smaller plays and some round 1 bets are the bones of Soly's off-speed approach for this week's U.S. Open.
Rahm and DJ are the favorites and also the plays for Soly. Anticipating Olympia Fields was a good indicator for what Winged Foot will play like, Soly is expecting DJ and Rahm to have similar results. Also profiling as a grinder who won't be intimidated by U.S. Open conditions is dbstraitvibin', coming off an extremely sound rebound season. One might say Berger may have been a prime candidate for Comeback Player of the Year...
"THE READ": X-man seems to be ready to break through and finally grasp his first major this week. At least that's what Poppa Schauffele and I think. Speaking of Pops', watch out for the baby bump from Rory this week. And I don't mean fat Rors is coming back. Fitzy always seems to play well on these firm, fast and difficult tests as he did at Bay Hill, Memorial, Olympia and even Brookline at the U.S Am. I expect more of the same from him here. If all else fails, I expect Ben An and Chez to be sleepers this week and cash that little parlay.
The standings below are as of completion of play last week. If you like my perspective and want more content related to the crew's picks and year-to-date status, I can be found on twitter and instagram @total_misread.