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The 118th US Open will begin Thursday at Shinnecock Hills in New York and will feature the world’s best golfers vying for the second major on the PGA & European Tours this year. Let’s check out which players have the best chance at claiming the title and see what the oddsmakers have to say.
Showdown at Shinnecock
James Foulis, a name familiar only to ardent students of the game of golf and its history, was the second US Open golf champion and the first to do so at Shinnecock Hills way back in 1896. The Scotsman received the princely sum of $200 as his reward, an amount that would barely get you a decent driver today.
It wouldn’t be until 1986 that the US Open would return to Shinnecock when Raymond Floyd emerged the victor and earned a much more lucrative $115,000 for his first-place performance. In 1995, Corey Pavin drew away from the field by shooting par over four days and pocketed $350,000 for his efforts. The last time the US Open was held at Shinnecock, Retief Goosen of South Africa outdueled Phil Mickelson by two strokes and shot a 276 in 2004 to fetch over $1.1 million. Goosen and Lefty were the only players under par.
After 14 years the US Open has returned to Shinnecock Hills, only now the course is 449 yards longer than it was back in ’04 and the prize has swelled to $2,160,000 for the winner. The sun will be shining throughout the four-day stint with temperatures in the upper 50s for the morning tee times and rising to the low 70s by the afternoon. The weather will be ideal for spectators and players but the greens may be a bit on the fast side with no moisture to slow the roll when the short game comes into play. Aggressive putters may find this a bit vexing but those who consider themselves a boss of the moss will adapt and perhaps thrive under the challenging circumstances.
The Fab Five
Dustin Johnson (860) – The winner of the 2016 US Open held at Oakmont failed to make the cut last year when the venue shifted to Erin Hills. That said, Johnson is a big hitter who should get plenty of roll when the ball meets the fairway under these fast and firm conditions. The big question mark concerning the odds-on-favorite and currently No. 1 ranked golfer in the world is whether he can win another major after enjoying success in the smaller tournaments but capturing just one major over a PGA career that has spanned a decade.
Rory McIlroy (+1225) – The volatile McIlroy roared to an eight-stroke win in the 2011 US Open with a sizzling 16-under-par performance. But since that time the mercurial native of Northern Ireland has missed three US Open cuts and has done no better than a ninth-place tie in the event.
Justin Rose (+1395) – Terrific betting value on a golfer who has dazzled with seven top 10 performances over his last 12 events, including victories at the World Golf Championships-HSBC at Sheshan and most recently took top honors at the Fort Worth Invitational in May. Rose has one US Open championship under his belt, in 2013.
Justin Thomas (+1395) – The current money leader on the PGA Tour with over $5.7 million this year, Thomas is slated to be a bona-fide contender this week but with only one major to his credit there are questions as to whether he can hang with the big boys on one of golf’s grandest stages.
Jason Day (+1495) – The 30-year-old Aussie blistered the pace in 2015 with a 20 under par showing to best Jordan Spieth by three strokes and claim his first and only major by winning the PGA Championship at Whistling Straits. This year Day has victories at the Farmers and copped the top spot at the Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow before finishing fifth at The Players Championship in May before flaming to 44th at the Memorial on June 3. When he is on, there are few better but the moon and stars must align in order for Day to be at his best.
The Best of the Rest
Let’s not forget that this is a packed field full of talent with Jordan Spieth (+1675), Ricky Fowler (+1675), Tiger Woods (+1790), Jon Rahm (+1860), and last year’s winner Brooks Koepka (+2110) to name a few. If you are inclined to put your money where your mouth is then there is no better resource than Sportsbook Review, where you will get updated US Open odds from all the best online sportsbooks delivering prices on all the golfers in the tournament as well as offering head-to-head matchups. Don’t miss out because the tourney starts this coming Thursday and will give you action all the way through Sunday. It’s the perfect time to watch the best golfers on the planet do their thing and make a few bucks while you enjoy all the action.