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U.S. Open predictions

- - Monday, June 13, 2011

With the world's best golfers teeing it up at Congressional Country Club this week, we talked to some of the area's top pros to get their top three picks for the U.S. Open. Nick Eilerson has their predictions:

Brad Myers, Congressional Country Club

Top Three: Steve Stricker, Hunter Mahan, Lucas Glover

Picking Stricker: "He's hot right now, and he's played well here in the past."

Jim Fitzgerald, Chevy Chase Club

Top Three: Luke Donald, Matt Kuchar, K.J. Choi

Picking Donald: "He's very straight, and he's been playing very consistently, just like Kuchar. They're very steady. They've been playing well all year, and that's what is necessary out here in the U.S. Open. Keep the ball in play, and have a good short game."

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Rod Thomson, Kenwood Golf and Country Club

Top Three: Matt Kuchar, Rory McIroy, K.J. Choi

Picking Kuchar: "He drives it straight and hits his irons closer than anybody else."

Steve Danielson, Belle Haven Country Club

Top Three: Steve Stricker, Dustin Johnson, Bubba Watson

Picking Stricker: "He's not real long, but in the Open you've got to keep the ball in the fairway."

Bob Dolan, Columbia Country Club

Top Three: Phil Mickelson, Sergio Garcia, Steve Stricker

Picking Mickelson: "I think the course is going to fit him pretty well. And it might be his turn to win the Open."

Greg Scott, Army Navy Country Club

Top Three: Rory McIroy, Steve Stricker, Phil Mickelson

Picking McIlroy: "I think he's going to break through, and I think he's going to win a bunch of them when he finally breaks through."

Tom Melideo, International Country Club

Top Three: K.J. Choi, Steve Stricker, Geoff Ogilvy

Picking Choi: "He plays tough courses very well. He hits a lot of fairways and greens, he won Tiger's tournament there, and I think he's due to win a major."

Dennis O'Donovan, Robert Trent Jones Golf Club

Top Three: Steve Stricker, Matt Kuchar, K.J. Choi

Picking Stricker: "He's just so solid. He's probably the best putter out there at the moment. He keeps it in play and has a great short game; he's got all the tools and he doesn't get rattled."

Ted Pogorelc, Bethesda Country Club

Top Three: Steve Stricker, K.J. Choi, Matt Kuchar

Picking Stricker: "I grew up playing junior golf against Stricker and he won at the Memorial; Choi's having a great season, and he's won at Congressional before; and Matt Kuchar just plays well week-in and week-out."

Matt Gallagher, Country Club of Fairfax

Top Three: Luke Donald, Jim Furyk, Steve Stricker

Picking Donald: "His game is made for an Open because he hits a lot of fairways and he's so steady. And it's nice to root for the guys who don't hit it 350 yards every time, more like the average Joes."

Jeff Jankowski, Washington Golf and Country Club

Top Three: Phil Mickelson, K.J. Choi, Ricky Fowler

Picking Mickelson: "I think he is due to win an Open."

Glenn Brown, Westwood Country Club

Top Three: Rory McIlroy, Lucas Glover, Phil Mickelson

Picking McIlroy: "He's got a great golf swing. I think he's certainly done enough to survive that situation at Augusta where I think this might be the right stage for it."