The US Open | Thursday 18 June - Sunday 21 June | Chambers Bay
The US Open is upon us and excitement has reached fever pitch as the world’s best golfers head to Chambers Bay for the second Major of the year. Located in Washington, this track resembles one you would find in Scotland and if the reports are to be believed, it is a full-on links course. Although there is debate surrounding this, there are a number of facts that are undeniable. The rough is atrocious and any wayward tee shots will be difficult to rectify. There are the fairways, which are wide and will assist those who struggle off the tee. With the wider fairways, focus can move away from accurate drivers and onto those accurate with their irons, as it seems the second shot will be the most important. The greens are also treacherous so keep an eye on those who are hot with the putter; a missed one-footer could mean the difference between winning and losing. Perhaps the most important stat to consider is the ability to play in the wind. At some stage it will get up and when it does things won’t be pretty. Finally, the winner will need to possess the ability to keep a cool head under pressure because as they head down the 18th on Sunday with little between themselves and their nearest competitor, it’s going to take a lot to avoid the deep pot bunker that’s been slapped in the middle of that fairway.
To Win Outright
Rory McIlroy 8/1
Jordan Spieth 9/1
Phil Mickelson 18/1
Justin Rose 18/1
Dustin Johnson 22/1
Rickie Fowler (22/1 a win, 44/10 a place)
For the past few seasons a popular opinion amongst the golfing fraternity has been that Rickie Fowler is one of the most overrated players on the Tour and although I disagree with this sentiment, given his lack of success in marquee events it’s not surprising he’s drawn that kind of criticism. However, earlier this year he romped home in the Players and I’m hoping that finish provided the confidence boost he needed to back himself on one of golf’s biggest stages, the US Open. The fact that he is one of the best putters on the Tour will go a long way to ensuring he remains in touch for most of the week and if he can hit his irons as well as he did in the Players he should be able to avoid any issues when hitting his approaches. I’m certain Rickie Fowler will win a Major one day, I’m hoping that day comes this Sunday. Each way on Fowler is the bet for me.
Justin Rose (18/1 a win, 36/10 a place)
Most of the bigger names in the game have taken a bit of a break leading up to this tournament but Justin Rose has been participating consistently and I’m hoping that will stand him in good stead as he arrives at Chambers Bay. The fact that he’s played well almost every time he’s stepped on the course gives me faith that he will arrive ready to dominate and improve on those second-place finishes that have plagued him over the past few months. He showed in the Masters he has what it takes to compete against the best; let’s see if he can go one better this week.
Webb Simpson (110/1 a win, 22/1 a place)
Webb Simpson will arrive here with fond memories of when he won the US Open and although that didn’t go down at Chambers Bay, he’ll find comfort in the fact that once upon a time he had what it took to beat the best. I say that because until recently he’s been in a bit of a slump but thankfully that seems to be behind him and over the past few weeks we’ve seen him play the kind of shots that had him on the top of almost everyone’s betting selections a few seasons ago. A runner-up finish in the Wells Fargo proved he’s moving onwards and upwards. Let’s hope he can finish inside the Top 6 at least and make us a tidy profit.
Phil Mickelson (18/1 a win, 36/10 a place)
It seems like everyone is complaining about how difficult Chambers Bay is and one of the main reasons for that is that it is a links layout unlike any a majority of this field are used to playing. This isn’t the case with Phil Mickelson. Over the years he’s dominated on links courses in Europe and this should stand him in good stead as he arrives here looking to win his first US Open after coming so close on so many occasions. There aren’t many players who deserve to win a tournament more than Mickelson deserves to win the US Open and with his ability to play tough courses in windy conditions, there’s little reason he’ll drop shots as he makes his way around this course. I’m backing him to go one better than he did in the Masters and walk away the winner here. At this price you should too.