US Open Golf 2011 Leaderboard: Predicting the Top 10 Lowest Scores
We are one day away from witnessing history, no matter what happens. Hopefully it's the historic win of Rory McIlroy, and not the historic choke of the year.
The leaderboard featured 22 players under par after day one. It now hosts 20 total names, one of them, Patrick Cantlay, who impresses as an amateur. However, don't expect Cantlay to finish in the top 10.
Let's look at who's going to show up with their A-game tomorrow, and who may falter a little bit.
Who Will Fall Off
First, let's determine who doesn't have a chance of being in the top 10 tomorrow. Robert Garrigus has been playing well, but he's not built to be a great golfer. His tee shot on No. 18 was 350 yards. Garrigus then left his 120-yard wedge shot short of the green.
Henrik Stenson had a revival this week, but it will end tomorrow with a round at a few over par.
Bo Van Pelt will have to deal with a top-15 finish, but no top 10 for him. Zach Johnson will be looking to move up tomorrow, but his efforts won't be enough. He hasn't shown any kind of potential to throw in a good number, and tomorrow's conditions are going to multiply his difficulties.
T10: Kyung-Tae Kim and Fredrik Jacobson
Both of these players have performed well above average, and tomorrow will be good for each of them, as they pick up a top-10 finish in a major.
Looking at where they currently sit, they should be at a tie at two under par. The weather is supposed to be good, and the course will play harder than it has tomorrow, so a few over isn't bad.
T8: Davis Love III, Heath Slocum
Davis Love has turned back the clock, and Heath Slocum, much like Kim and Jacobson, has performed above expectations.
Expect Love to shoot one under tomorrow, and for Slocum to follow suit to a T8 finish. Both players have played exceptionally, and get to cap it off at a total of three under par.
If Love could keep this up, he would be a lock on his own Ryder Cup team for next year.
No. 7: Matt Kuchar
I, along with Andy North, picked Kuchar for the championship. He hasn't quite played at Rory McIlroy's level, but he is up to his normal consistent play that he has brought in the last two years.
Expect a level par round to keep Kuchar locked in at four under par.
No. 6: Brandt Snedeker
The interesting thing about these two is how they will get here. Tomorrow, Snedeker will shoot a low number. He is capable of doing it in final-round pressure, and has nothing to lose.
If you look at it, he plays quite well when he's sitting in a high but not top position. It sets him up for a nice four-under round, I'd say. And I would also say that's the lowest of the day tomorrow, tying one other man on this list.
T4: Jason Day and Lee Westwood
Today, these two players reached third place by shooting six under par. Tomorrow, they'll fall to fourth, with still impressive one-under par rounds.
Westwood will yet again be the person to fall by the wayside after a heroic effort today, as Rory McIlroy will steal all the headlines.
Day's game leaves a lot to be thought about, but he is still a good, solid player. A one-under par shouldn't be outside his reach for tomorrow.
No. 3: Sergio Garcia
So this may be bias, but it's also logic. Garcia has nothing to lose. A good finish is exactly what he needs just to make it into the Open Championship, with his withdrawal from the qualifying already known.
Garcia needs to move up about 20-25 spots to get there and he will come out tomorrow with a purpose: shoot a 69 and be able to smile.
No. 2: Y.E. Yang
His win is still overrated, and he is overrated, but he won't falter tomorrow. Instead, he will shoot a boring two-under par, and finish at eight under par—still impressive for a US Open and a winning score in many other years.
On a Whole Different Planet: Rory McIlroy
He doesn't just win tomorrow, McIlroy will be on a mission to plunge lower into the scoring realm. It's easy to tell how McIlroy's confidence has translated to his swing tempo, and all through his putting. I'm going to say it carefully: zero three-putts in 54 holes.
With that and his greens in regulation on his side, McIlroy walks away at 18 under par, with a four-under par round for Sunday and a 10-stroke victory.
Prediction for No. 18: He goes to the back right on the back-left pin and taps in his second putt, much like Graeme McDowell did last year.