I can also be found at Rotoworld.com and on Twitter @RyanGolfBlogger.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

U.S. Open - Round 3

Phil Mickelson has a chance to finally breakthrough and win his first U.S. Open at Merion in Sunday's final round, but he'll need to make sure he learned from Charl Schwartzel and Luke Donald's third-round mishaps if he hopes to do so. Here are a few thoughts from the third round.

  • The last five holes at Merion are a completely different golf course than the first 13. It's hard to gather that during the first two rounds when play is going off both tees, but much easier to pick up on the differences when all the leaders are going through them at the same time.
  • Whoever wins the U.S. Open will likely have to hold on for pars over the last stretch. Luke Donald played his final two holes at 3-over. Had he played them even, he would hold a one-stroke lead over Phil Mickelson. Charl Schwartzel played his final two holes in 2-over. Had he played them in even, he would be one up on Phil. But, Phil played them in even par.
  • Mickelson's been around the top of the leaderboard from Thursday morning on. It would be a shame if he didn't win his first U.S. Open, and likely would mean he never will. The 18th at Merion reminds me of the 18th at Winged Foot, in that both holes offer plenty of chances for bogeys or worse. It provides the theater for an epic Phil collapse. 
  • I really liked the way Luke Donald and Charl Schwartzel played for most of the day, and I think Schwartzel might have the best chance to take down Lefty in the finale. I worry that Luke's length could be a factor on the closing holes.
  • Hunter Mahan may have caught a bad break by ending up in the final pairing much like Billy Horschel did today.
  • Speaking of Horschel, he played the final four holes in bogey-free even par. I get the feeling he isn't exactly toast yet, but I worry he might try and force it like a young Mickelson. 
  • And then there's Justin Rose. Can he make a few putts?
  • And who haven't we mentioned? Oh yeah. Steve Stricker's tied for second. He's got the right demeanor and the skills to pull this off.
  • I have no idea how this will shake out, but I wouldn't mind being a guy like Jason Day (currently 2-over and three back) and post a 2-under while the leaders still have a few holes to go. Could be one of those situations. 
  • Yahoo! lineup (Woods, Stricker, Donald, Schwartzel) stays the same.
I get the feeling (which means run for the hills, I'll be wrong) that a long-time wrong will be made right on Sunday. Phil may get his first U.S. Open. Stricker, or Donald or Mahan or Rose may finally get their first major. Either way, there will be a box beside a prominent player's name that will receive a check mark tomorrow evening. Unless of course, there is an 18-hole playoff on Monday.

No comments:

Post a Comment