Tom Patri: Golfers like Dufner, Zach Johnson showing U.S. Open mentality

TOM PATRI

Well, Jason Dufner didn't hang on Sunday, but Zach Johnson did on a day at Colonial that produced some tough scoring conditions.

Although both players hit it adequate distances, neither is a bomber by tour standards nowadays. Both players are shot-makers, and both have a bit of that grind mentality.

The reason I mention all this is the U.S. Open lurks just around the corner.

Dufner may be hotter than the South Florida sun in July right now. Luke Donald just won in Europe on a tough Wentworth layout over fellow world-class player Justin Rose. Rickie Fowler, Matt Kuchar, and old Ironsides Jim Furyk have all been playing solidly the last few weeks.

I have played The Olympic Club a couple of times. Trust me, it's a bear. It seems on every dogleg, the fairway slopes the opposite direction. The player has to be able to shape his ball both ways. A wonderful driver of the ball will win around that track.

Let's remember the wonderful performance Lee Janzen put on around that layout. He drove it beautifully to edge out fellow American Payne Stewart Payne would later get his sweet revenge at Pinehurst. A few weeks later, he would be dead.

Many years before at Olympic, a relative unknown named Jack Fleck took the great Ben Hogan to an 18-hole playoff and won.

Olympic has produced so many great champions. Surely this year will be no different. First, however, a quick stop at the Memorial at the house that Jack built.

Tom Patri gives lessons at the Quarry on Immokalee Road, and is at Friar's Head in New York from May-December. Patri is a Golf Magazine Top 100 Teacher. Visit Patri's website at www.tompatri.com, www.facebook.com/TomPatri or email him at tpatri@mindspring.com.

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