US Open 2016 - Oakmont Country Club

PGA Tour - US Open 2016

Our Golf scribe previews this week's co-sanctioned golf event, the US Open.

The US Open has a history of turning suave, confident golfers into quivering husks of their former selves. This year’s tournament at Oakmont will look to continue that proud tradition. It’s been nine year’s since Oakmont has hosted the US Open and not too much has changed in that time. The rough is still long enough for a Bengal Tiger to lurk within, while putting on these greens is like trying to wrangle a vicious snake - they’re slippery, you’re unsure of how to approach them and if you make a mistake you will be bitten. This is championship golf and only a champion golfer will succeed here.



When it comes to the tournament itself, pedigree and form are two major factors in determining a winner. Four of the last five winners have ranked inside the top-15 of the Official World Rankings. Six of the last ten had won somewhere and the four that hadn’t had finished at least third in a top quality PGA Tour event.

Previous Winners 
2015 Jordan Spieth -5 | 2014 Martin Kaymer -9 | 2013 Justin Rose +1 | 2012 Webb Simpson +1 | 2011 Rory McIlroy -16

To Win Outright
Jason Day 7/1 | Rory McIlroy 7/1 | Jordan Spieth 9/1 | Dustin Johnson 16/1 | Justin Rose 30/1 | Phil Mickelson 30/1

Value Bets
Jordan Spieth first round leader (12/1)
I’ve been playing with the idea of backing Spieth for the win, but I feel the first round leader offers more value and less risk. His Masters' meltdown has certainly influenced my thinking here. Before that terrible implosion at Augusta, he’d played some sterling golf, though. There are no better players with the flat stick than Spieth when he’s running hot and if he can dial in his irons he’ll be near the top of the leaderboard come Friday morning. If he is, we’ll have some float to punt the rest of the weekend away.

Russell Knox (100/1 Win & 20/1 Place)
There’s just something about British golfers this year. Danny Willett surprised in the first major of the year and there’s no reason why Knox can’t do the same here. He may have failed at Augusta, but that hasn’t dampened my expectations for the Scot. Knox has had a fantastic season, tallying one win, two second-place finishes and five Top-25’s in 16 events. He’s one of the most accurate players on the tour, ranking fourth in GIR percentage and 10th in driving accuracy percentage.  He has the ideal skillset to do well here and at that price, you can’t get hurt.

Retief Goosen (200/1 Win & 40/1 Place)
What is major golf without backing a South African? Sure I could’ve gone with any of Grace, Schwartzel or Oosthuizen, but Goosen gets the nod based on those massive odds. “The Goose” is a former US Open champion and enters on a run of three consecutive top-14 finishes on the PGA Tour. He’s been putting brilliantly of late and ranks first in three-putt avoidance – a vital stat on the blisteringly quick greens of Oakmont. The 20/1 for a Top 10 finish and 7/1 for him to be Top South African also look decent value to me. I’m casting the net wide and hoping for the best.

Best Bet
Phil Mickelson top 10 finish (3/1)
It was a toss up between this and Jason Day to win the tournament at 7/1. Now I’m no favourite backer, but it’s hard to look past Day for the win here. However, it is “Lefty” that gets the nod for the best bet of the week thanks in part to his remarkable record at the US Open. Mickelson will be playing in his 23rd consecutive US Open this week and 26th overall. It is the only major that eludes him and if he were to win, he’d become the oldest winner of all time. He’s finished runner-up a record six times and has numerous other top 10 finishes to his name. Will he win it? Probably not. But I have little doubt he’ll be in the running come Sunday. Many might shirk at 3/1 on a golf bet, but those who do so this week obviously haven’t watched much of Mickelson at a US Open.

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Written by Brenton Chelin for @Hollywoodbets.

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