When scouring the options for the U.S. Open one-and-done, it became obvious that many of the top guys in my Power Ranking are unavailable. That said, I found three options that I felt very comfortable with. They are Henrik Stenson, Jordan Spieth and Steve Stricker.
If you look at Stenson's record in only PGA TOUR events, you'll likely come away rather unimpressed. If you dig deeper, his last three worldwide starts you will find that his T34 at THE PLAYERS was followed by a T7 at the BMW Championship and a solo fifth at the Nordea Masters. While he isn't as hot as he was in the July-September run of 2013, he's rounding into form. One concern that has nothing to do with Pinehurst is his quest to reach the top spot in the Official World Golf Ranking. Currently second, I wonder if that will weigh on him if he's sleeping near the lead on Saturday night.
Jordan Spieth is a concern off the tee, but he's proven to be a very capable scrambler and an above-average putter. He also continually shows up on big stages. That said, he missed the cut in last year's U.S. Open in the midst of a nice run. I've held onto him for this long, and I'm not sure at this point that I won't just hold onto him for East Lake and the TOUR Championship.
Steve Stricker is penciled in for the John Deere Classic by most people, me included, but pencils have erasers. Zach Johnson was also penciled into many people's Colonial lineup and he laid an egg. Stricker is about as close to a sure thing at the JDC as anyone can be, but he's also a very solid option at Pinehurst this week where the purse is bigger. I really like his current trend, with a T31 at the Masters followed by a T13 at THE PLAYERS and a T6 at Memorial. For those that say he isn't playing enough, he's played exactly the same number of events since Augusta National as Bubba Watson. He finished fifth in the 1999 U.S. Open at Pinehurst.
Ultimately, my pick came down to Stenson and Stricker. I'm going to hold out hope that Stenson gets hot like he did in 2013 and I can burn him on a sure thing in a month or two and dub Stricker the one-and-done this week.
We will return with our Yahoo! starters tomorrow. Check out Rotoworld for Playing the Tips to check out my Yahoo! and Golf Channel lineup, as well as Ned, Mike and Rob's.
Best of luck to all!