Title: With U.S. Open approaching, many top players are off their games
Description: Tiger Woods (1) You’re allowed to have a blip every so often. Tiger and his third-round 79 in gusty wind at the Memorial was a blip. Wait a sec, the phone’s ringing. Hey, if that’s Met Life, tell them I said blip, not blimp. Anyway, Tiger’s recent run of finishes looks like this: 1st, 1st, 4th (Masters), 1st, 65th. Even with that garish 65th in there, I detect a trend. No reason to be worried about Tiger. He’s the best shotmaker (by a mile) heading to a course where shotmaking will be at a premium. Thumbs up. Rory McIlroy (2) The Boy Wonder’s list of woes include a 79 at the Masters, a 78 at the Memorial, a 45th-place finish Houston and two other finishes outside the top 30. Yes, he squeezed a back-door second out in San Antonio with a closing 66, but at Wells Fargo, when he was in contention at a course where he’s won, he shot 73-73 on the weekend. He and Tiger didn’t rank among the top 70 in putting stats last week (out of 73 players). The former No. 1 is changing his management team again and hasn’t won anything of note since last August. Two thumbs down. Adam Scott (3) There’s nothing bad to say about Scottie. He’s striking the ball well enough that he’s always hanging around the lead. He’s 50th in strokes gained putting but 180th in total driving on account of his fondness for the left rough. His only win since Firestone in 2011 was a good one, the Masters. So he’s made a mark. Two thumbs up. Matt Kuchar (4) The Mr. Consistent tag may not stick if he plays the way he did at Memorial. It was an impressive win. Every part of his game is solid. He’s your new No. 2 Merion favorite behind you know who. Two thumbs up. Justin Rose (5) The lanky youngster who holed out on the 72nd hole at the British Open was a great putter and a shaky ballstriker. At 32, he’s turned that around. His ballstriking skills are among the best. He leads the tour in total driving (accuracy and length), and is eighth in greens hit. Ah, but his putting is streaky and I don’t mean that in a great way. He doesn’t look as confident as he once was and he ranks 156th in strokes gained putting. That’s why his last victory was 15 months ago. But with a runner-up, a fourth and a pair of eighths at least he’s consistent. One thumb up.