Dusek: Rose, Mickelson U.S. Open Favorites

David Dusek believes Justin Rose and Phil Mickelson will be in the mix Sunday

June 14, 2018 - 8:31 am

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The 2018 U.S. Open begins at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club in Southhampton, New York, on Thursday, and several golfers have a legitimate chance to win.

“I think a lot of people right now are looking at Dustin Johnson, and obviously Tiger Woods gets a lot of attention,” Golfweek senior writer David Dusek said on Ferrall on the Bench. “I think personally it’s going to be (Justin) Rose and (Phil) Mickelson. I think those are the guys that are going to come through here and have enough good putting, enough creativity around the greens. I think (Mickelson) and Rose might be the two guys to beat.”

Rickie Fowler, who has finished in the top three at every major, will also be in the mix – if he can correct his recent putting woes.

“Fowler has been putting lousy,” Dusek said. “If he putts well, then he’s certainly got a chance. He’s one of the best foul-weather-playing golfers out there. But for the most part, the weather forecast is great. High winds, though, are expected Thursday – 20- or 30 mile-per-hour gusts. It’s going to make it really difficult to control the ball trough the air. Fowler is good at that. So if he can putt well enough and right the ship with hat, he’s got a chance.”

Fowler, 29, finished runner-up at the U.S. Open in 2014.

All in all, Dusek believes the U.S. Open will offer compelling drama and great theater, even if it doesn’t have the majesty of the Masters.

“I think the Masters, to me, is always the one,” he said. “If I were blessed to be able to win one of these things, I would want the Masters. That one, to me, is the one. This one, to me, is No. 2. Being an American, to win our country’s national championship (would mean a lot). . . . I think we’re set up for something that I think is going to be great. It’s going to be special. It’s going to be awesome theater. We’ve really got so many good players playing well right now. Rory McIlroy looks like he might be righting the ship and coming around. So many good players out there that have a chance. Everything is shaping up for this to be a fantastic major.”