What it Takes to Win the US Open at Torrey Pines

By: SimpleGolfigist

During recent years, you could speculate on who was going to win the USGA's U.S. Open. Many variables would need to be considered. But when it all comes down to it, one name jumps out. That would be Tiger Woods, of course.

With Tiger recovering from knee surgery, this year's picks might be a little more difficult. Who can handle the pressure of our national championship? Who has the game to conquer difficult terrain? It will take an all around game to determine this year's winner.

First off, driving accuracy is of the utmost importance at any U.S. Open venue. We all know how Phil Mickelson fared in 2006. One player that has a distict advantage would be Sergio Garcia. His skills with the driver were never more apparent than with his victory at the Players. Ernie Els and Retief Goosen are also fairly decent drivers. Ernie has struggled lately, but he always seems to step up to the plate at our national championship.

Another factor will be the rough. If the rough is escapable, some of the weaker players may go for shots that they wouldn't otherwise try. That could play havoc with their scoring.

Putting: the one factor that always brings the best players to the top of the leaderboard. If the USGA sets up Torrey Pines for the 2008 Open like it has in past years, the player that can keep his cool on the greens stands a great chance of winning. Four to five foot putts will not mean gimmies, even to the best putters in the world. If Tiger can get his putting going, after being off for the past few months, there may not be any competition. He is the world's best putter, no doubt.

The Scramble Factor. There is no telling right now exactly how important it's going to be for the players to be able to get the ball up and down. If Torrey Pines plays anything like Shinnecock did a few years back, it might just be survival of the fittest. Or best at scrambling. Everyone knows that Woods is great around the greens, but is his lack of playing time going to hurt him in that area. Sergio, Phil, Retief and other top ten players all have excellent short games.

The Pressure Cooker: final day rounds in the U.S. Open have often determined winners or losers. Many of the top players in the world have succumbed under the heat of battle during the final round. How a player performs on Sunday is most likely going to be the determining factor on if he takes home the trophy or not.

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