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Alex Myers, Senior Writer Golf Digest

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June 12, 2024 6:04 pm

Alex Myers, Senior Writer Golf Digest

Zach Gelb Show / Zach Gelb

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June 12, 2024 6:04 pm

Alex Myers, Senior Writer Golf Digest joins the show to discuss the U.S. Open and who should be the favorites.

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And that is Alex Myers. Alex, thanks so much for doing this as always. How you been, my friend? I'm doing great. How are you? I'm doing fantastic. Little Birdie, by the way, told me that you got a hole-in-one.

Is that accurate? Tell us about it. Well, yeah.

I mean, I thought that's why you were having me on the show. Alex Myers, Tiger Woods, Scottie Scheffler. It's pretty crazy, Zach. Not only did I make a hole-in-one at Oak Hill on the Michael Block hole.

Wow. I was having a shout-out from Michael Block himself. I happened to be playing in the Coaches vs. Cancer golf outing. And I was playing with Carlos Boozer, of all people, and Sean Farnham from ESPN. And he started working his magic. And he got me on SportsCenter that night, not only as a segment.

And then they come back. I was in the top 10 plays of the day, number 10. So I have officially made it. It's been about 48 hours. I still can't believe it happened.

It's been pretty crazy. Right away, did you realize that it went in? Or were you like, oh, we got to drive up and see if it actually happened?

What was the immediate reaction? Yeah. So again, obviously I would take any hole-in-one ever. But you always want to be able to see it. And we got to this hole. And I wasn't even thinking, oh, this is the Michael Block hole. I was just thinking, oh, it's a downhill par 3. It's relatively short. It was playing dead into the wind.

But it was relatively short. And I said, I go, this is an ace hole, guys. I'm going to take out my phone and video everybody. And so I videoed Sean. I videoed Carlos.

I videoed my buddy Steve at work. And then I handed him the phone. Shank, Shank, Shank, probably of the first three, right?

And what now? Shank, Shank, Shank. Bad shots for the first three. Well, two of them hit really good shots. And the wind was so severe that they came up short.

So when I hit it, we started celebrating just that I hit the green because the conditions were that tough. But look, my eyesight is horrible. I probably should have glasses or contacts. I've been just lazy.

I've never gotten them. Even I could see this. The ball landed in the middle of the green and just started trickling, trickling. And then it just disappeared. And so it was a no doubters act. It was not, you know, I have friends who made them and they thought the ball was lost. And they checked the hole and, you know, like it was not. I got to see it go in. I got to see it on video and I got to make SportsCenter and it was an open bar already. So I didn't even have to pay for drinks for anybody.

So just a job. Perfect storm. Yeah, perfect storm.

Awesome. Alex Myers here with us. So when we had you on for the PGA Championship, we talked about how there was no buzz going into the tournament. Then Scottie Scheffler gets arrested and we ended up having a tremendous leaderboard on that Sunday.

It ended up being a good tournament considering the circumstances. If I didn't work in the sports world, I would have no clue that this weekend was the U.S. Open. It seems like there is no buzz once again with this golf major championship.

What does that mean? Yeah, I I'm not I wouldn't disagree with you, of course, from a national sports landscape. I agree. There hasn't been I mean, you know, all the talk is Danny Hurley or Caitlin Clark or whatever else is going on within the golf space. There's there's a lot of buzz just because, you know, you do have Scheffler doing historic things.

Now you have Shoffley with the major off his back, the monkey off his back in a major. And now you get to go to Pinehurst, which the most exciting thing to me. Look, I've played Pinehurst. I I think it's a great course. It's not I think it's a little overrated, but in terms of a championship level course to watch a tournament on, I think it's going to be one of the most complete tests that you could have for golfers out there. And so I'm excited to see the players challenge in so many different ways. And, you know, look, over time, I guess I will agree the Masters is the best tournament, but I've always had a particular soft spot for the U.S. Open. Actually, ever since 1999 at Pinehurst, when Payne Stewart won with that walk off putt against Phil being the only person to shoot under par.

He was one under to win. I just loved the struggle and the grind of everything with this event. And I think it's going to be like that this week's act. The conditions are, you know, not there's no rain in the forecast. It's going to be fast. It's going to be firm. There's going to be balls running all over the place off these crazy greens. So I get what you mean from a national sports landscape. But within the golf community, I think a lot of people are really excited about this week.

Alex Myers here with us. So John Rahm had to withdraw because of a foot infection. What can you tell us about that?

And is there any takeaway from it? Because I don't know what to expect out of John Rahm going into the U.S. Open, which is crazy how great of a golfer he's been throughout the last few years. Yeah, well, I mean, you know, the big takeaway for me is that this has just been a disastrous year for him.

I mean, let's be honest. You know, he goes to live in December. He kind of avoids the public backlash that maybe the other stars did that went to live. He'd bought, you know, some credibility or whatever with people.

And most people are done with the live golf PGA stuff. Like three years ago, he would have got slammed. Now, who cares? Exactly. So he kind of he did a good job there.

He kind of got away with that. But then, you know, he's played well. But he hasn't won a live event, which you would assume, you know, he could pick off one or two by this point. And then defends his title at the Masters is horrible. You know, makes the cut.

But making the cut there is pretty easy. Wanted no part of the green jacket ceremony. Right. Looked miserable, as many people pointed out.

Looked like he was getting root canal for being serious. Right. And then PGA Championship plays even worse. Misses the cut and now withdraws last week from the live event. You're like, OK, well, we've seen guys withdraw from a live event, but then they play the major the next week. I mean, he it must be really bad for him to withdraw from the U.S. Open as a former U.S. Open champ and everything else. And now you have to wonder if he'll even be healthy for the Open championship. And, you know, this is a guy who, yes, he's now cashed out and taking this big paycheck. But he's the guy who's on the record as saying, I want to win more majors than Tiger.

I think I can do it. I think I can play till I'm 50, picking off a major every year. Well, this is going to be a completely lost year for him in terms of majors in the prime of his career. So other than the bank account, it's been a twenty twenty four has been a disaster for Jon Rahm. And I was reading today on the ESPN, Alex Myers, and obviously we have no expectations for Tiger Woods anymore, but he's plus two hundred to make the cut and then to miss the cut. I was reading he was minus three hundred.

So what do you like? That's that's kind of crazy. Plus two hundred for Tiger to make the cut. It kind of tells me that people don't expect them, obviously, to make the cut here. Yeah.

And you know what? I've been going back and forth on it, but I don't expect him to either. And I thought he would do it at the Masters. He did. I thought he would miss it. PGA did. This one's a little tougher because, you know, Pinehurst is a relatively flat course, which should help him and his, you know, his ankle and everything else.

It's going to be hot, which, you know, he likes for the back and everything else. But then I just his short game is so rusty, he just doesn't play. And, you know, that used to be what would you know, even when he was off, he could save himself with that short game.

I just don't know if he can do it anymore. And especially around here, you know, where if you miss it, even if you hit greens, if you're in the wrong spot on those greens, it's so difficult to put. I just I just see him, you know, making some sloppy doubles, some sloppy bogeys. We saw him make two triple bogeys at the PGA. I mean, that's just unfathomable.

I mean, it's kind of tough to watch, really. So and the fact now you tell me about the odds there, I didn't even know that. I would have to say that I would lean with him missing the cut once again and not be sticking around for the weekend.

Hope I'm wrong. He won. You know, he accepted the Bob Jones Award last night, which is a big award from the USDA, gave a tremendous speech. He's had two good finishes at Pinehurst. He never won here at the U.S. Open. But I just don't think it's going to be a long week for Tiger Woods, unfortunately. In golf, this player or the field is always a stupid conversation outside of Tiger Woods in my lifetime.

Now we've entered that territory for Scottie Scheffler. He is plus three hundred to win the U.S. Open. Do you go Scottie or the field in this PGA in this U.S. Open championship? Yeah, I mean, honestly, it's a it's a very tough call.

I would I would lean towards the field, but only slightly. You know, it'd be it'd be stupid to say that that he's not the overwhelming favorite. I mean, obviously is by the books, but I mean, just if you were picking someone, I it would it would actually be I would say it'd be stupid to pick anyone other than him if you weren't looking at odds. Now, I'm not going to bet on him again because, you know, the numbers just so ridiculous. But I do know people who are betting on him and put in just huge amounts.

And it's not the craziest thing. I mean, again, because of the way this course is going to play, it's going to challenge these guys on all aspects of their game. And other than putting, you could probably make a case he's the best at all aspects of the game. So I think it gives him an even better chance to stand out from the competition, even versus other courses.

So, you know, again, a lot of things have to go your way. You have to make some putts. He's been making a good amount since March, since he's been winning. He's not he's not the greatest putter.

But as long as he's above average, he wins these tournaments and you've got to get some breaks. And this is going to be a little more like an open championship where you're going to get some, you know, you miss a fairway and you're going to be out in this kind of waste area. It's not just a thick rough where you're going to have the same lie as everybody else. You could be in a bush. You could be in a clump of sand.

You could have a perfect lie. So you're going to have to get some some good breaks as well. He's going to have to avoid maybe some crazy, funky situations. I think you're going to see some guys, you know, hitting balls that come back to their feet or over the green.

You know, you have to avoid some of all that. But if he plays well, I think he not only would win, but win by a wide margin. That's the opportunity he has here as he continues on this historic March. Let's say we take Scottie Scheffler out of it. You've got to give me three names you're most confident in to win the U.S. Open.

Who are those three names? Alex Myers? Yeah, I mean, it's hard not to look at Zander, of course, after winning the major. He's playing so great, like Scheffler, so consistent, hasn't missed a cut in over two years. You know, Brooks Koepcke is sitting there at twenty two to one with his pedigree at U.S. opens, especially difficult U.S. opens.

I love that. And then you said three. I mean, the two guys who have actually bet on. And it's again, the odds just are screaming at me.

Cam Smith down at fifty to one. You know, an Aussie from the famous Sandbelt region where they play those great courses. This is the sand hills of North Carolina where all these tracks are very similar terrain that he's used to. Of course, we all remember him winning the open at St. Andrews. That amazing two putty ad from off the green around the road hole bunker.

You're going to need that kind of creativity around here. You're going to see guys putting it from well off the green. So I like Cam Smith. He loves this course.

And then the other guy. Start your summer road trip at Midas and get up to thirty dollars off your next repair service. Plus, get a free closer look vehicle check to make sure your road trip ready. So if you need a break service, an alignment check or tune up, hit up Midas for up to thirty dollars off.

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Go to Tune in dot com or download the Tune in app to start listening. Zach, 70 to one odds. The defending champion, Wyndham Clark. I just I know he missed the cut at the PGA, but what are we doing here? Like this guy not only wins golf tournaments, he wins big tournaments. And if it weren't for Scottie Scheffler, he would have won Bay Hill and the players. And he's the defending champ at the U.S. Open.

He's got all the power and all and he's one of the best putters out there. I just I'm just stunned at him being 71 and the disrespect that the that the bookmakers are putting on Wyndham Clark. Two odds that stand out to me. Hideki Matsuyama at thirty five to one.

And then Zala Taurus is at one hundred to one. What's your your preview on those two going into this one? Well, I love I love Hideki this week. Maybe I don't know if I'm going to bet him. I'm in a pool where you pick two guys. He was my I had the 10th pick and he was my 10th pick.

So I do really like him. I think I'm going to bet him top 10. I had his short games much improved. We all know what a great iron player is.

Zala Taurus. I mean, one hundred to one. It's tough not to throw a few bucks on him, but it's just the injuries in the back. And since he's come back and the putter and all that, he's he's shown the flashes, but nothing. He hasn't been able to consistently do it.

So you could be buying incredibly low on Zala Taurus. I mean, last year he would have been, you know, 20 to one, probably, you know. So in that regard.

Yeah, that's a crazy number. But of those two, of course, I would I would lean on on Matsuyama. And then last thing I'll ask you, Alex Myers, DeChambeau, he was phenomenal at the PGA. That was your outright winner pick.

I was with you as well on that. And we came close. But yet so far. How about DeChambeau, big bomber Bryson going into this one?

Yes. So, you know, normally a place like this that did such a demand on the short game, I wouldn't love him. But again, you're going to be able to you're going to see guys putting from all over playing these like bump and run shots. I think that plays into his advantage.

You go back to twenty fourteen. Martin Keimer won this event by eight shots. He not only was a bad chipper, he had the chipping yips. And he was able to win a freaking U.S. Open because he was able to use his putter and kind of guide his way around. And I think you could see DeChambeau kind of do that as well. He said, you know, he's he's he's not an amazing putter, but he's a very good lag putter. And I think he might really benefit from that around the greens. So, yeah, he's probably if I were to name six guys, he'd be like my number six, number seven around there. So certainly a guy I'm interested in, intrigued, especially after the first two major showings from him this year have been very impressive. He's Alex Meyer, senior writer from Golf Digest. Alex, always appreciate when you able to jump on board with us and preview these major championships. You got it. Thanks for having me on. Enjoy the golf. You got it. There he is.

Alex Myers, who just had a hole in one. How about that? Joining us on the Zach Gelb show on the Infinity Sports Network. Start your summer road trip at Midas and get up to thirty dollars off your next repair service. Plus, get a free Closer Look vehicle check to make sure you're road trip ready. So if you need a break service, an alignment check or tune up, hit up Midas for up to thirty dollars off.

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Whisper: medium.en / 2024-06-12 19:13:33 / 2024-06-12 19:22:39 / 9

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