Prop – Golf – Mahan vs Fowler – Lower Front 9

I don’t like these “sprint 9-hole props”, but if you’re going to increase your streak quickly, they sure help a lot if you can get them right.  Both Fowler and Mahan have both played fairly well this year, but no one is going to blow this course away this year.  If anything, the course will blow up the players.  This 9-hole prop is very difficult to call, but I would tend to suggest taking the older Hunter Mahan.  He may not drive the ball as far, but he hits more fairways and that’s what you need on a US Open course.  Straight and easy.  He should win this with probably even par or one under.

Pick: Hunter Mahan

Prop – Golf – Phil Mickelson’s First Round

All reports and notions point towards Phil Mickelson playing very good golf right now.  After yesterday’s visit to the White House, he should be inspired and ready to take the Congressional head on.  He’s finished in 2nd place 5 times and had a great T-4th last year.  Based on the scores so far today, I can imagine that he’ll salvage par or better.

Pick: 71 or Lower

Prop – Golf – Choi/Kuchar Combined Score on 18th

The 18th is a very demanding Par 4 standing at a long 523 yards and has a guarded green with water all around it.  There aren’t many stats on the history of this hole when under US Open conditions, but I can say that it isn’t easy.  Gathering two pars from Choi and Kuchar could be a lot harder than it looks.

If it were me, I’d check the course stats before they get to the 18th hole and see what other players are doing.  If the pin is in an accessible location on this expansive green, I’d recommend the under, but depending on what the trends are, it could be an easy bogey for one of these two players.  I have to assume two PGA Tour players can par without that knowledge.

Pick: 8 Strokes or Fewer

Golf – Els vs Furyk – Lower Front 9

Jim Furyk has outplayed Ernie Els this year in just about every aspect.  Els has never been the kind of guy to stun anyone with his low scores, but he’ll find himself making the cut and lasting somewhere up at the top. Els actually won the US Open when it was held at the Congressional in 1997.  Furyk will do the same thing, but has a good history at US Opens. Here come the stats:

Jim Furyk
2009*: 66-67-69-72
2008*: 70-68-67-66
2007*: 66-74-68-69
1997: 74-68-69-71

Ernie Els:
2009*: Did Not Play
1997: 71-67-69-69

* – Denotes AT&T National (Played at Congressional)

As you can see, Ernie Els hasn’t played there as often, but has had prior success at Congressional.  Furyk’s tournament results may be slightly skewed because the course wasn’t set up for US Open difficulties, but it’s impressive nonetheless.  I think I’ll take mentally sound Jim Furyk.

Pick: Jim Furyk

Golf – Kim vs Goosen – Lower 2nd Round

Again, the only main difference between Anthony Kim and Retief Goosen has been the number of events played.  Kim nearly doubles Goosen in rounds played.  Here comes the stats.

Anthony Kim: 75
2010: Did Not Play
2009: Did Not Play
2008: Did Not Play
Average: 75

Retief Goosen: 68
2010: 72/68/68/68
2009: 68/67/71/70
2008: 75/78 – CUT
Average: 70.27

Anthony Kim clearly hasn’t had the experience at this course that he needs.  Goosen has played here well as of late, scoring a 68 in his last 4 rounds there.  Given those odds, and the fact that Kim played terribly yesterday, I’d say Goosen’s consistent basis will be shown today.

Pick: Retief Goosen

Golf – Bohn vs Trahan – Lower Front 9

These two golfers have almost identical seasons going on right now. In fact, they both carry a 71.4 scoring average throughout this season. Let’s cut to the chase in this week’s St. Jude Classic.

Jason Bohn: 35
2010: Did Not Play
2009: 36/35/34/36
2008: Did Not Play
Average: 35.2

D.J. Trahan: 36
2010: 35/32/36/34
2009: 34/34 – CUT
2008: Did Not Play
Average: 34.43

Another week that we have a Par 35 9 holes, which makes these picks very difficult to call.  The Tie is an incredible advantage having such a tough 9 to score on.

Pick: Jason Bohn/Tie

PGA – Johnson vs Garcia – Lower 2nd Round

Dustin Johnson has played more rounds this year, but also has had more success than Sergio Garcia.  Sergio hasn’t found his swing for a few years, but has been putting the ball phenomenally as of late.  He might need that today in order to beat Johnson’s booming drives.  Dustin isn’t always the most accurate, which can hurt him on this course.  Let’s see how they’ve done:

Dustin Johnson: 66
2010: 67/68/72/67
2009: 68/65/66/66
2008: 68/73/73/76
2007: Did Not Play
Average: 68.85 (Average 2nd Round: 68.67)

Sergio Garcia: 66
2010: Did Not Play
2009: Did Not Play
2008: 71/70/65/75
2007: 71/70/71/75
Average: 70.44 (Average 2nd Round: 70)

Sergio got a little lucky yesterday with an eagle 2 on 11, and I doubt that will happen again.  Dustin booms the ball down the holes, which makes this course a lot smaller for him and much easier for him to post low numbers.  He has had great results at the Byron Nelson and only 3 rounds above a 70, compared to Sergio’s 5 with less rounds played.

Pick: Dustin Johnson