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They said it: Local golfers predict the U.S. Open winner

The Journal asks: Who do you think will win the U.S. Open and why?

J.V. MARTINEZ

53, Tome

(Shopping at The Golf Mart)

“I’m going with Rickie Fowler. I think he’s due. He hasn’t won a major yet and I think it’s about time. I think he’s pretty straight with his driver, which will help because you have to hit fairways there (at Shinnecock Hills). And, good putter. You need to putt well, also.”

QUENTIN RHUTASEL

24, Albuquerque

(Shopping at The Golf Mart)

“My pick is Tiger Woods. Patrick Reed, I think, is a sleeper. He’s been hitting a lot of fairways lately. If he can turn the putter on, Patrick Reed is going to be fun to watch. He’s got a good chance. But if Tiger could pull it off this year that would be the most exciting thing. Tiger has that killer mentality. If he can believe in himself like he used to, there’s nobody in the world who can beat him. It’s not the ability that would stop him from winning, it’s his self belief. I don’t know if he has enough self belief, but if he can prove it to himself, he will beat anybody. I’m excited to see that.”

BRANDON GENTILE

34, Albuquerque

(Sales associate at The Golf Mart)

 

“I’m going to have to go with Jason Day. He’s just been so hot lately. It’s kind of hard to go against him. Even last month when he was playing and ended up winning (the Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow), he was not even 100 percent. He’s one of the hottest golfers out right now. It’s hard to go against that. I like his short game. When you get to that level everyone hits it well, but being able to get it up and down from anywhere, and making those crucial putts, that kind of stuff, I think that’s where he stands out right now.”

BRIAN MALONEY

46, Albuquerque

(Hitting at the Los Altos driving range)

“You know what? I’ve always been a Tiger Woods fan. I would love to see him take it one more time. I think he’s found the love for the game again. There was a lot going on in his life. I just think that he’s back in his sport and he’s healthy. You can see it. I’m rooting for him.”

JORDAN MARTINDALE

18, Albuquerque

(After playing a round at Los Altos)

“Phil Mickelson. It would be a good story for him to win. I just think he’s worked hard this season and he deserves that win, that big win. I like his short game a lot. He has a very good short game. I look up to him just because my short game needs to get better. I’ve watched a lot of his videos and seen what he does.”

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