The Sideline Observer

Sports and Culture Commentary

Summer at Shinny: The Official 2018 US Open Preview

Ah, Shinecock Hills, or commonly referred to as “Shinny” by local DMV country club hooligans. It’s been 14 years since this renowned course has hosted a US Open and it’s safe to say golfers everywhere are pumped to have the open back at one of America’s most classic courses.

Everyone can agree it’s much more comforting having the nation’s open at a classic venue like Shinnecok Hills, rather than the new and utterly disappointing USGA promoted courses like Chambers Bay or Erin Hills.

As we all turn on Fox Sports to listen to Joe Buck try to talk about golf, the memories will come back into golfing minds alik

Before I get to excited here, let’s break down the 118th US Open piece by piece.

The Course :

Made in 1892, this Long Island course is considered one of the oldest and nicest courses in the country. A 7,445 yard thing of beauty, the course will play even more difficult considering the USGA grew back tons of fescue on a variety of holes (CROOKED USGA).

The wide yet unforgiving fairways and the unpredictable greens leave players having to put the ball in right spot or else the bogeys will pile up quicker than Chick-Fil-A hitting you up with their sauce.

Guys who hit the long ball off the tee with definitely have an advantage this week if they can keep the ball in the fairway as the approach shots to the tricky greens will only get easier the closer you are.

Despite previous USGA mishaps at US Open courses, it seems like the players are satisfied with the way the course is playing unlike previous years where there was a lot of irritation directed at the courses conditions.

Players to Watch Out For :

The 156-player field is filled with the most exciting pros and amateurs in golf today. From World #1 Dustin Johnson to highest ranked amateur Doug Ghim of UT-Austin (Hook Em Horns), there’s a lot to look forward too over the next few days.

Let’s break down a few of these names.

Dustin Johnson –

After the walk-off eagle to secure the win at last weeks Fedex St. Jude Classic, the World #1 is the favorite to take home the trophy at Shinnecock this week. If he were to pull this off, it would be his second US Open title.

As all golf fans know, Two majors is a much bigger deal than just one and if he plays the way he did last week in Memphis, I don’t see why he wouldn’t be crowned champion on 18 at Shinnecock this Sunday.

Tiger Woods –

I AM NOT A TIGER FAN. Never have been, never will be.

However, I must admit that I have been impressed with some of his performances over the last few months like his 2nd place finish at the Valspar and his tied for 5th at Bay Hill .

Even though he pulled up to Shinnecock in style in his 20-million dollar mega yacht, I think he’s going to have a hard time this week and would be surprised if he finds himself playing this weekend.

Yes, I am aware of my bias against the man. I just don’t see him making the big shots needed to compete on a course as brutal as Shinnecock. We’ve seen Tiger at times yank the ball all over the place off the tee and miss some putts that leave us scratching our head.

Rickie Fowler –

Wouldn’t it just be perfect if Rickie could knock in a birdie on the 18th hole at Shinnecock to win his first major.

If, and this a big if, Rickie could stay away from that one disastrous hole or that one sub-par round, I could see him leaving Long Island as a major champion. Rickie has a tendency to hit the big putts when needed but it’s never enough to get him over that major championship hump.

The part of Rickie’s game that needs to be there the most this week is definitely his ball striking and wedges. The man just got engaged so maybe the golf gods will show some love to the man in orange.

I don’t expect for a Lucas Glover random winning it this week. The course plays too harsh for somebody who isn’t playing some of the best golf his life.

The cream of the crop will definitely come out on top at Shinnecock, that’s the beauty of the course as a whole. The forecast looks nice and the USGA hasn’t messed up too badly… yet.

Whatever happens this week, get comfortable, I do really believe we’re in for one of the best US Opens in a long time.

– Coby

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *