Picks and Thoughts on the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach

My StarNews golf column has been cut back to every other week, for reasons beyond my control.

Not a problem.

I’ll use this space to fill in the gaps of local coverage and offer my weekly PGA Tour Fantasy Golf selections. I’m certain there are three or four folks out there who read them religiously. With only an hour or two before the first tee shot is struck at Pebble Beach, here goes.

The Greensky Shortgrass boys have fared well, ranking 17th (out of 864) in the 2018-19 PGA Tour Fantasy Golf season. We finished 18th in the most recent segment, which ended last week at the Canadian Open where Rory McIlroy was not on the roster but Webb Simpson, Matt Kuchar and Henrik Stenson were and delivered good weeks.

This week, it’s the third major of the season and a new segment. The U.S. Open at Pebble Beach evokes incredible memories from across the decades, and it certainly feels like we’ll enjoy a strong leaderboard Sunday night in prime time on the East Coast as Father’s Day comes to a fitting close.

Tiger Woods is an obvious choice. Not only does he lead the PGA Tour in greens in regulation. He also won by 15 shots here in 2000 and was T-4 in 2010. Anytime it’s a second shot competition, Woods is a smart pick. Ditto, Dustin Johnson at Pebble Beach. He loves the course and has a bad taste to rinse away after whacking up a final-round 82 in 2010 to squander a three-shot lead. Jordan Spieth has shown life after a disappointing 15 months or so. He’s won at Pebble before and won a U.S. Open on the west coast. Tommy Fleetwood seems to always appear at the majors and we have reason to believe he’ll be on form early this week.

Where’s Brooks Koepka, you might ask? On the bench with Webb Simpson. Only because each tees off late in the first round. They’re likely starters in round two.

Tyndall wins North Carolina Open; Taylor ties for 2nd

Ryan Tyndall, a pro at the Reserve at Pawleys Island, shot 7-under at Trump National in Mooresville last week to win the North Carolina Open.

East Carolina golfer Blake Taylor, of Atkinson, tied for second at 6-under. It was the second consecutive runner-up finish for Taylor, who paired with ECU teammate Logan Shuping to reach the finals of the U.S. Amateur 4-Ball at Bandon Dunes in late May.