Backswing RoundUp

Who is your favorite to win the U.S. Open this week? What makes you believe they have a good shot to win?

Who is your favorite to win the U.S. Open this week?  What makes you believe they have a good shot to win?

The US Open is typically one of the toughest tests of golf. This year, with the event being played at Winged Foot Golf Club, it's going to be interesting to see who can withstand the difficulties of high rough and fast greens.

Justin Thomas

Justin Thomas has been one of the hottest players in the world recently and has been close to winning multiple times. Also his experience from winning a major championship before if invaluable.

Jason Robinson

Head Golf Professional

Wheeling Country Club, Wheeling, WV

Two in a Row?

I like Colin Morikawa to win, he’s played well on tough courses this year and is one of the best ball strikers out there. If Colin gets the putter rolling he’s hard to beat that was the difference maker at the PGA Championship.

Nick Duffy Golf

Nick Duffy

PGA Golf Professional

Director of Instruction

Nick Duffy Golf, Winter Garden, FL


Xander Schauffele. He’s gonna do it eventually. Why not now? Really nice young man too.

The Rookery At Marco

Dennis Clark

PGA Master Professional

The Rookery At Marco, Naples, FL


I have not been able to watch much golf this year but I am going to go with another young player that I think is due.

Xander Schauffele has been playing very well for a least a couple of years now. I think he has made almost every cut and has had some high finishes, I believe he came in second at the Tour Championship.

To me his biggest asset is he doesn’t have any real weakness in his game which I believe can be very beneficial at a US Open.

Here’s hoping I didn’t just put the jinx on him.

Flagler Golf Academy

Rick Flagler

PGA Certified Professional

Five Ponds Golf Club | Flagler Golf Academy, Warminster, PA

Distance and Recovery

Length and power will be paramount for the week with this ywar’s set up. Length to literally compete with the courses added length since 2006 and power to advance ball from rough. This years open won’t be solely about who shoots the lowest but who makes fewest mistakes on approach and around the expanded green complexes. Look for proven winners this week and those who have the length and great scrambling skills. In no particular order: Rahm, Schauffle, Johnson, Thomas, Simpson, Finau

Scott Spector

PGA Golf Professional

Timberline Golf Club, Calera, AL


My pick for this years U.S. Open is Matt Kuchar. The biggest reason why is because Winged Foot is a good course for average length players, and the rough looks, well, rough! Matt has been solid throughout his last several years with his performance largely due to the fact that he doesn’t hit many foul balls and is a fierce competitor.

Interestingly, the reason he doesn’t hit many foul balls is because he has an incredible low rate of closure in his downswing. What does that mean? It simply means that during Matt’s downswing, he squares the club to it’s path earlier in the downswing than most. This limits the amount of timing that is needed to hit good golf shots. Most players, especially recreational golfers have a high rate of closure during the downswing because they pull the handle outward towards the ball and render the clubface wide open till the last second then twist the club closed. So, most rec golfers have a clubface that goes from around 90 degrees open to the path to around 90 degrees closed to the path within a foot of the ball. By squaring the club earlier in the downswing with a throwing motion, Matt’s clubface is square to the path it is traveling on well before and after impact.

That’s my pick, and whether he wins or not, Winged Foot should make for a great U.S. Open!

Senior Director, Academy Development U.S. Kids Golf, Longleaf Golf & Family Club

James Hardy

Senior Director, Academy Development

U.S. Kids Golf, Longleaf Golf & Family Club

Longleaf Golf & Family Club, Southern Pines, NC

Long and straight

Hitting fairways deep, is always the history of the Open. Dustin Johnson seems likely, but I think somebody that may rise like Simpson or Day might surprise. When all in it will be fairways hit.

John Barge

Gateway PGA, Life Member

Hidden Trails Country Club, Dexter, MO

Colin Morikawa

There are many who could win this week, but I would pick Colin Morikawa to win the US Open at Winged Foot. I think his golf swing and game are a nice match to Winged Foot. Winged Foot is a straight drivers course which he does well and his game is built for Majors.

Mattawang Golf Club

Mahlon Dow

PGA Golf Professional

Mattawang Golf Club, Belle Mead, NJ

Grand Slam for Phil...Fairways only!!!

I think Phil will win…He will forget about 2006 and do what he needs to do to win…Put that Driver in the trunk and 3 wood it around Wing Foot…He is long enough not to use driver…USGA does not care about your fairway wood shots, irons, chipping , bunker, or putting…All they care about it your tee shot!!!

Frank Panetta

PGA Golf Professional

Teaching Professional

CordeValle Golf Club, San Martin, CA

DJ until someone stops him

Hard to bet against DJ and the roll hes been on. I would love to see Xander break through on such an iconic rest this week.

Canyon Springs Golf Course

Zachary Abels

PGA Golf Professional

Canyon Springs Golf Course, Twin Falls, ID

Who can get it up and down the best.

It is always tough to be a single player as a favorite. Only during the days of Tiger’s dominance was that possible.

Winged Foot is going to be the toughest test the players will face in quite a long time. Common sense would say that driving the ball in play will be at a premium which it will, however with some of the fairways only 20-28 yards wide and it looks like they will be running fast even the best driver of the ball is going to miss fairways. Winged Foot also has incredibly difficult greens and green complexes so if you miss the fairway you are going to probably miss alot of greens and have to deal with insanely hard up and downs. I don’t know the exact number but the last winner of the US Open at Winged Foot was Geoff Oglivy and he did not hit alot of greens on the weekend but pitched, chipped and putted beautifully.

So my pick is kind of a dark horse but another Aussie. Jason Day is near the top of strokes gained around the greens. Also, he has altered his swing to the point of not going at it so hard. Day just might keep it in play more and we already know he is wonderful around and on the greens. So I will go with Jason Day.

Tim Terwilliger

PGA Head Golf Professional

Brookside Golf Club, Pasadena, CA

You don't win the Open, the Open wins you!

I’ve been waiting for a ‘major’ breakthrough for Xander Schauffelle. This may be his time after a very solid playoffs!

Arsenal Island Golf Course

Todd Fowler

PGA Member

2015 Iowa PGA Professional of the Year. 2004 Iowa Golf Association Professional of the Year

Golf Galaxy, Davenport, Iowa

Rahm and Finau playoff continues on Monday!!

I already have my VCR set to record the 2 hole playoff between Jon Rahm and Tony Finau! I had it set for Monday , but they changed the rule in 2019 from an 18 hole playoff to a two-hole aggregate ( I disagree with the decision to abandon the tradition!).

I love to see solid , compact, and aggressive golf swings on demanding golf courses that require driving it in play and consistent iron play under pressure!
( (big long swings and too much time for thinkin’ makes for stinkin’)

In addition, they both have developed their short games, creativity, and ability to focus and grind when necessary.

It is part of the progression and development GREAT players go through. I believe it is their time! More important if you follow either of them, THEY both believe this is their time!

In the event it is not this year or event, I will be willig to wager all $17 dollars I have in my retirement fund that Jon Rahm and Tony Finau will be battleing each other for several Major titles. Their games are built or majors, and performance under pressure!

Olde School Golf School

Bob Kotowski

PGA Golf Professional

Director of Instruction

Olde School Golf School, Buellton, CA

Tiger Woods

I’m thinking the rough will be tougher than ever with no fans to trample it down. Patience, putting and experience will win the 2020 US Open.

Prospect Golf

Jeff DelRosso

Head Golf Professional

Prospect Golf, Prospect, CT

Winged Foot

The golf course is going to be the winner. Whoever comes in first is still going to be second to this incredible masterpiece.

Kevin Dorsch

PGA Golf Professional

Gateway Golf & Country Club

NBC Golf Channel Academy w/ David Impastato, Ft. Myers, FL

Adam Scott

Driving will be a big factor as the rough at Winged Foot is brutal;Scott has streaks where he drives the ball beautifally. Maybe like the victories of Orville Moody and Ed Furgol, it might not be short game artist that wins.

Frederick Elliott

PGA Teaching Professional

NCPGA professional of the year 2006

Hidden Valley Country Club, Reno, NV


Collin Morikawa will win The U.S. Open
His ability to fade the ball off the tee to keep it in the fairway is one reason.
The second reason Is his short game which is required at a U.S.Open layout
The third reason is his putting
The fourth reason is he doesn’t have any scar tissue from previous majors .

Delray Dunes Golf & Country Club

Gino Composto

Assistant Golf Professional

Delray Dunes Golf & Country Club, Boynton Beach, FL

Louis Oosthuizen

A perennial contender in Majors, Louis has the ideal combination of driving accuracy, iron play, and with a steady putter he can get it done at Winged Foot. Also- a fantastic bunker player!

Pinehaven Country Club

Matthew McPhillips

PGA Professional

Pinehaven Country Club,

Tony Finau

It seems that he’s ready

DragonRidge Country Club

Mike Davis

Director of Instruction

DragonRidge Country Club, Henderson, NV

US Open Champion!

Xander Schauffle

Donald Sargent

Director of Instruction

Golf Magazine Top 100 Teacher in America

Scioto Country Club, Columbus, OH

Collin for the Win

Looking for a solid bet to win the U.S. Open? Look no further than Collin Morikawa. His golf swing is simplistic, repeatable, and with a calm and winning mentality, he will be tough to beat. His dispersion rate (distance missed left to right from the target) with a 6-rion is that of most touring professional’s wedges. Given Winged Foot’s tight fairways, tough greens, he is a terrific pick to win the U.S, Open this week. If he has a good week with the driver, his iron play will put him next to the flags, and with this winning formula, it wouldn’t surprise anyone if he lifted the trophy.

AJ Nelson is the Founder of the Swing Essentials golf app

AJ Nelson

PGA Golf Professional

Swing Essentials Golf App, Centreville, VA