U.S. Open Prop BetsTees Off: Thursday, June 13
Merion Golf Club – Ardmore, PA
The Tour returns to Merion for the first time since 1981, and this has the makings of a unique tournament. The par-70 course will play at less than 7,000 yards, and the forecast is calling for a soggy week in the Philly suburb. With that in mind, here are the best prop bets for the second major of the season…
Phil Mickelson, Matt Kuchar or Brandt Snedeker WIN (+500)
These are three intriguing names to package. Merion doesn’t profile as a Mickelson-friendly course, but Lefty has collected five runner-ups at U.S. Opens and is coming off a runner-up at last week’s St. Jude Classic. Along with Tiger Woods, Kuchar is the only other player with multiple Tour wins this year. And while Snedeker has been a mess of late, when he’s on, his short game is as good as anyone’s. If he can turn things around, he can make a run this week.
Adam Scott finishing position, UNDER 20.5 (-115)
Scott’s only made seven stroke-play starts in 2013, and he’s finished top-20 in six of them. On top of that, his win at Augusta made it six consecutive top-15 finishes at majors. It would be stunning if he fell out of contention this week.
Phil Mickelson finishing position, UNDER 22.5 (-135)
If the grounds remain soggy, Mickelson’s often over-aggressive approach off the tee won’t hurt him (otherwise he’s bound to spend time in Merion’s punishing rough). That, combined with a strong runner-up showing at Southwind last week, should allow Mickelson to hang around through Sunday.
Winning score for 72 holes, UNDER 270.5 (-105)
The weather should play into the golfers’ hands this week, even if Merion does dry out in time for the weekend. Merion is short, and the biggest obstacle will be the thick rough surrounding narrow fairways. Soft fairways should keep borderline errant tee shots on the good stuff. That should be enough to allow a few players to move within striking distance of 10 or more under par by the time Saturday rolls around, and odds are someone will break 270.