US Open Betting Preview
As the second Major of the year is set to tee off tomorrow, here’s where we think your hard earned money should go.
Between the Lions tour, the GAA, Ireland’s endless stream of soccer internationals and the weather the second golf Major of the year has appeared on the doorstep with very little fanfare.
But this week’s duel between the world’s best in Philadelphia has the makings of the best tournament you will see all year.
To be played at Merion Golf Club, the site of some of the US Open’s most famous days, this short but tricky track throws up a whole host of contenders.
So to help you whittle down the 156-player field to a few who might make you some money, here’s our betting preview.
With five Irish players in the field it is no surprise to see world number 2 Rory McIlroy at Evens to be the top Irish player of the week. Reading the papers you could be forgiven for thinking the Holywood man is in a David Duval-like slump. He didn’t play well at Memorial last time out, finishing in a tie for 57th, but his four previous results on Tour read: 8, 10, 25, 2. That’s not too shabby and as a former winner of the US Open he has to be treated seriously.
That said, we won’t be backing him as we fancy another Irish player to go all the way. More on that later but if you do want to make a patriotic punt, try Kevin Phelan at 9/1 to be top amateur.
This tournament has a history of producing shock winners. From Michael Campbell to Lucas Glover to last year’s winner Webb Simpson, this event is one that the bookies often make a killing at.
So, who are the long shots this time who could come good?
South African Tim Clark is the name that immediately springs to mind. With fearsome rough just off the narrow fairways, Clark’s straight shooting is ideal for this course. Second in driving accuracy on Tour, Clark is an ideal candidate here and when you add in the fact that he is 20th in putting, another key skill at Merion, then we really like the look of him at 90/1.
At 66/1, Rickie Fowler is not a true outsider but he played really, really well at Merion in the Walker Cup in 2009. His brilliant early season form has slipped but he could be worth a few quid each way.
The big cat stalking the course this week is, of course, Tiger Woods. At 6/1, he is pretty much unbackable, even if he is looking as good as he has looked since his last Major win in 2008. Four wins and no missed cuts in 2013 make Tiger the man to watch and partnered with McIlory and Adam Scott (plus Steve Williams) for the first two rounds, his rounds will be must-see TV.
But we’re here to make some money and those slender odds won’t do it for us.
Matt Kuchar, at 22/1, is second in the market and after carrying our Major bets for a few years now, we will be investing a small amount in him again, especially as he comes in on the back of winning at Memorial and a second place at Colonial. Always super consistent, he might just have the game and temperament to cope with a course that can frustrate with its quirks and closing holes.
But it is an Irish man we’re backing to take this Major. At 22/1, Graeme McDowell isn’t a great price but if you have a tenner on him and he does the business on Sunday, that’s a decent little boost to the pocket. His last three tournaments have been uneven to say the least. Cut at the Masters, he then won the RBC Heritage and then last time out missed the cut at the Players.
Still, with the course looking ideal for his eye, with his famous dogged determination, and his super record in US Opens, G-Mac looks well set to add a second US Open crown to his CV.