Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Expert picks: 2016 U.S. Open

The U.S. Open is almost here, and the field is making their final preparations at Oakmont Country Club on Wednesday for the most trying test in golf.

There are a lot of names on the tips of tongues of folks on the grounds here, including the defending champion Jordan Spieth, world No. 1 Jason Day, Rory McIlroy, the snakebitten Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson and plenty of under-the-radar picks for the "I told you so" set.

But who does the Yahoo Sports golf superteam like? We'll tell you now.

Jay Busbee: I’ll go with Jordan Spieth. He proved with a win at the Colonial that he could shrug off the Augusta National jitters, and now we get to see if that vaunted touch with the putter can match up with what’s looking like a greasy-skillet set of greens.

Jay Hart: SPIETH!!!!! Oakmont is apparently really hard, so you'd think the winner would have to be a known quantity. Not, say, a Webb Simpson or a Lucas Glover or a Steve Jones. The greens are a killer, but you have to get to the greens first, and whoever can do that with the least amount of damage will likely win. Jordan Spieth is the No. 2 player in the world, so he's a known quantity; he can scramble with the best of them (when he needs to) and he's the best putter of the bunch at the top. The 116th U.S. Open will be his redemption song ... probably. Okay, maybe. Okay, maybe probably.

Ryan Ballengee: I know I'm really going out on a limb here with my pick...the No. 1-ranked player in the world, Jason Day. Day has the complete package for a U.S. Open and the track record, short of a win, to back up the pick. He's long and reasonably accurate off the tee, and he'll rarely need driver on this course, allowing him to get into ideal position off the tee. He's a strong ballstriker with a vastly improved short game. He also leads the tour in strokes gained puttiing. What's not to like?

Ryan Ballengee is a Yahoo Sports contributor. Find him on Facebook and Twitter.

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