Carnac, U.S. Open Style!
By Snyper on 6/10/08
By Matt Snyder, oobgolf contributer

First of all, let's review Carnac's performance at the Masters. I'm going to give myself a D+ on my picks that week. I had only four of my top tens finish in the top twenty. But, I did pick Tiger to finish exactly three strokes off the lead, which was correct. I also had Stewart Cink doing well and he managed a third place finish. My champion, however, failed to even make the cut. So, I arrive at a D+. I think that's fair.

Now, for the U.S. Open, I am looking to improve that grade. A D+ is a shame to Carnac! So here is what I see in the future for the 2008 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines:

10. Ben Crane has had little success on the PGA Tour, but he is on the verge of a break through. He is accurate off the tee and can get up and down with the best of them. I expect his ability to scramble to lead him to a top ten finish.

9. Bart Bryant is my dark horse for this major. The veteran hasn't won for three seasons, but has shown some flashes of brilliance this season. I'm looking for him to manage his game and steer himself into one of the final groups on Sunday.

8. Phil Mickelson is certainly not happy about some of the changes made to the course for this tournament. However, I think he will get past his displeasures and manage to put together at least two good rounds. That should be good enough for him to grab a mention on the leader board, but not to threaten for the title.

7. Justin Leonard is a major win away from reestablishing himself as a serious contender on the PGA Tour. He has earned almost three million dollars already on the Tour this year and I look for him to add to that total this week. I don't think he is ready to win the Open yet, but I do think people will be talking about his solid play all week long. I am not picking Justin to win, but I will be routing for him.

6. Jim Furyk won this major five years ago, and he is playing just as well now as he was then. Furyk is almost always a lock to be around the top the week of a major, and this year's U.S. Open will be no different. He was a disappointment in the Masters and is surely looking to redeem himself with a strong finish in the season's second major.

5. Stewart Cink, well, he's Stewart Cink. 6'4" tall + smart = a top five finish.

4. Tiger Woods will be asked all week if his knee or his lack of practice and play before the Open was a factor in his performance because he is not going to have a great week. And yes, a fourth place finish for Tiger is him "not having a great week". I see Tiger finishing five strokes off the lead and never really threatening after a rough first day.

3. Scott Verplank hits fairways like it's his job! Well, I guess it kind of is? Anyway, those fairways are going to lead him to the opportunity to win on Sunday. He's not quite good enough to pull out the W, but he will be in the thick of it on the weekend.

2. Geoff Ogilvy had a rough start to this season, missing his first three cuts, but he will forget all about that when he is battling to win his second U.S. Open. He is in his prime and he knows what it takes to win this major. Scrambling is second nature to him and he's going to scramble around the top spot all week, but at the end of the day on Sunday, he'll find himself to be the first loser.

1.Padraig Harrington will be your 2008 U.S. Open champion! He already has four top five finishes this year and I expect him to add his first U.S. Open title to that list. To win the Open, you better know how to get up and in when you miss the dance floor, and this guy is the best. He wants to be mentioned in the same breath as the best on tour and this win is going to start that conversation. This guy is hungry, and that's what it takes to battle Open conditions for four long days. Congrats Padraig on an impressive three stroke victory.

Now, let's mention a few disappointments this week. First, we have Vijay Singh. I've got absolutely nothing to back this up, but Vijay will not be anywhere near the top this week. Just not gonna happen for him. Next, my boy, Ernie Els. I LOVE ERNIE, but he is going to let me, and the rest of his fans who are waiting for him to fulfill that promise of being number one in the world again, down this week. His iron play is just nowhere near where it needs to be to compete in this major. Come on Ernie, get it together! And lastly, we've got K.J. Choi. He let me down at the Masters, and I'll be impressed if he is even around on the weekend at the Open. K.J. just doesn't hit enough fairways to compete for an Open title this year. So, sorry Mr. Choi, it is going to be another frustrating major for you.

Well, there you have it! Carnac has spoken! Look for me to be much improved over my dismal performance in the year's first major.

For those of you out there old enough to remember Carnac, here are a few of my favorite REAL Carnac predictions:

A: The Nestea Plunge.
Q: What does the president of Nestea use when his toilet is topped up?

A: A, B, C, D, E, F, G.
Q: What were some of the earlier forms of Preparation H?

A: Shoo-be-doo-be-doo.
Q: What do you look for when you're tracking a shoo-be-doo-be?

A: Zippo Marx.
Q: What do you get when something gets caught in your Zippo?

A: Touchback.
Q: What's the smart thing to do if a Dallas Cowgirl touches you?

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[ comments ]
furrier says:
Verplank - "in the thick of it"? Maybe in the "thin" of it, since you say he'll stay out of the "thick" rough :)

Mickelson - recently, he's finished 2nd in the US Open in even numbered yrs (2002, 2004, 2006). His advantages point strongly to that again, imho.

My 5 top possibilities:
klangdon says:
My dark horse: Jason Bohn

He set the course record last week during his qualifier.
falcon50driver says:
My dark Horse: V.J. Singh
jerdman says:
Stuart Appleby
watch for Stuey
Snyper says:
Stuey is definitely a good pick for a guy who is off the radar. I wouldn't be shocked to see him make some noise.
jerdman says:
I'm hearing the noise... unfortunately that next name on the leaderboard makes everyone a little jittery.
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