U.S. Open Golf Championship Tees Off: Thursday, June 12
Pinehurst Resort – Pinehurst, NC
Odds to Win Tournament(For the latest Odds, connect to Sportsbook.com)
|Bo Van Pelt||160-to-1|
One of the PGA’s major championships begins this week in the 114th installment of the U.S. Open. Last year, Justin Rose was the player to make the least mistakes at Merion C.C. with a score of 1-over par, beating out both Jason Day and Phil Mickelson by two strokes. In the past, this has been one of the tougher championships to score low in, which places the elite golfers at the top of the leaderboard often, as each of the past four champions currently sit in the top-35 of the World Golf Rankings. Pinehurst No. 2 has hosted the U.S. Open twice in the past (1999 and 2005) and has really given golfers trouble with just one player (Payne Stewart) being able to shoot better than par in that time. In 2005, Michael Campbell pulled out an unexpected win as he held off a Tiger Woods effort while in his prime. In a season that has been dominated by newcomers, let’s take a look at a few players who could shine brightest at this very tough par-70, 7,214-yard course this weekend.
Golfers to WatchPhil Mickelson (13/1): Mickelson has certainly not been having his best season, as he has failed to place in the top-10 in any of his 14 events, but his past performances at this tournament and desire to complete a career major grand slam should be bigger factors here. This is the one major he has not been able to conquer despite being the runner-up six times; including placing second at Pinehurst back in 1999. His short game has continued to be solid, with a sand-save percentage of 61.3% (8th on tour) while he's scrambling at a rate of 61% (36th on tour). It is tough to bet on anyone who has failed to break the top-10 this year, but Lefty has the pedigree and drive to finally win this weekend.
Matt Kuchar (25/1): Kuchar has the even composure needed to grind out a victory at the always tough U.S. Open. He has yet win a major in his career, but is having a tremendous season with nine top-10 finishes in 15 events; including placing fifth at The Masters. His driving accuracy (61.2%, 21st on tour) and ability to scramble from the rough (63.6%, 9th on tour) have led to the second-best scoring average (69.53) on the tour this year. Kuchar seems poised to become the next top player to win the U.S. Open.
Hideki Matsuyama (50/1): Matsuyama already has six professional wins under his belt at 22 years old, five on the Japan Golf Tour and one on the PGA Tour, as he seems to have the even keel to be unaffected by the pressure of a major. He placed in the top-20 in each of the three majors that he played in last year, which included finishing 10th in this tournament. Matsuyama has converted a birdie or better 34.5% of the time (5th on tour) and this will be important as he tries to break par. This youngster has the looks of a big-time competitor and this is a great place to have a breakout performance.
Jason Dufner (35/1): Dufner has always looked calm on the golf course and that has led him to two consecutive fourth-place finishes at the U.S. Open and a victory at the PGA Championship last year. He has already finished in the top-10 four times in 12 tries this season, and has a major under his belt. The 16th-ranked player in the world is ready for the challenge of Pinehurst, and is a value pick with his odds.
Brendon Todd (95/1): Todd is one of the hottest players on tour with top-8 finishes in each of his past three tournaments which has placed him ninth in the FedEx Cup standings. He has not played in the U.S. Open before, but could use his great sand-save abilities (60.5%, 11th on tour) and strokes gained putting (.801, 7th on tour) to continue his recent success come Sunday.