Professional golf’s second major of the season starts on June 17 with the first round of this year’s U.S. Open at Chambers Bay Golf Club in University Place, Washington. Docsports.com will have full-blown coverage of this event on its site in the coming days, but we wanted to start things off with an early look at five players to watch along with their futures odds to win.
Rory McIlroy 4/1
McIlroy is widely considered the best golfer in the game today, so it is little wonder that the 2011 U.S. Open Champion and winner of three additional majors is the current favorite to win at Chambers Bay. McIlroy last played in the Wells Fargo Championship in mid-May, and he came away with that title. So you know that is current form is where it needs to be.
The 26-year-old will be making his seventh-start in a U.S. Open after winning this event as the youngest champion since Bobby Jones in 1923. He is currently No. 1 in the Official World Golf Rankings. Along with his win last month, he also won the 2015 WGC-Cadillac Match Play Championship after finishing fourth in the Masters.
Jordan Spieth 7/1
With this year’s Masters’ title already under wraps, Spieth will now set his sights on winning a second consecutive major as the second-favorite to win the U.S. Open. At the tender age of 21, he became the second-youngest Masters Champion behind Tiger Woods with his wire-to-wire run around Augusta. He tied Wood’s 72-hole scoring record with an 18-under total of 270.
Since that dominating victory, he has placed second in the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial CC, and just this past week he posted a 275 13-under score to finish third in this year’s Memorial at Muirfield Village GC. This will be his fourth start in a U.S. Open, and his best finish was 17th in last year’s event at Pinehurst No. 2.
Dustin Johnson 14/1
The betting odds start to drop off rather steeply from here, but there is still some solid value to be found in Johnson at 14/1. This is a golfer that has suffered some setbacks in his personal life off the course, but he still has the game to be a factor in any major he plays in.
He has come close a few times to ending his drought in majors during his professional career, and with a victory in the WGC-Cadillac Championship in March of this season he now has 11 professional victories to his credit. His best finish in a U.S. Open came in last year’s U.S. Open with a tie for fourth. He also had the lead in the 2010 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach heading into the final round, but he ended up eighth.
Adam Scott 16/1
Scott was able to shed the dubious title of “best player never to win a major” with his breakthrough victory in the 2013 Masters, and he remained in contention in last season’s U.S. Open with a tie for ninth. He continues to play all over the world, and over the course of his career Scott has laid claim to 27 tournament victories
Looking back at his recent play in the United States, Scott has played in nine events, with his best finish coming in the WGC-Cadillac Championships (fourth) in early March. This past week he finished 24th in the Memorial after missing the cut in the Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow Club the week before.
Rickie Fowler 18/1
Fowler has quickly established himself as a crowd favorite for his colorful attire and stylish play, but at 26-years-old he knows that it is time to get serious about adding a major to his golfing resume. In what many golf experts consider the fifth major tournament, he did claim the top spot in this year’s Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass in a three-way playoff.
This will be his seventh start in a U.S. Open, and he came as close as you can without actually winning this event with a second-place finish at Pinehurst in 2014. The year before at Merion Golf Club, he was also in contention for a U.S. Open title with a 10th-place finish.
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