Professional golf’s second major of the season and perhaps its most stringent test of skill all year long gets underway this Thursday with the first round of this year’s US Open. This year’s four-round event will be staged at the venerable Pinehurst No. 2 located at Pinehurst Resort and Country Club in North Carolina.
US Open betting odds have been released for this year’s event, and despite the fact that the world’s most popular golfer Tiger Woods in not in the field, there are five golfers that should be at the top of everyone’s list when it comes to wagering on the outcome.
Graeme McDowell turned pro in 2002, and he is one of the new breed of players from Northern Ireland that has put that country on the map with their play in majors over the past few years. He comes into this year’s US Open looking for his second title in this event after winning in 2010 at Pebble Beach. His current form is solid with five Top-10 finishes in 10 previous PGA events this season, with his best finish coming in the World Golf Championships this past November. He did miss the cut at this year’s Masters, but he still offers some solid value at 40/1 odds to win this week.
As part of an exciting new crop of players that should begin to dominate the sport of golf for years to come, Jordan Spieth is leading the charge. He is currently ranked fifth on the PGA Tour’s money list with over $3 million in earnings. He has already played in 17 events this season, and through the Memorial Tournament at the end of May he had made the cut 15 times and finished in the Top 10 in six events. While Spieth is still searching for his first win of the season, he is coming off a second-place finish in the Masters and a fourth-place finish in The Players Championship. He has been listed at 25/1 odds to win this week.
Henrik Stenson comes into this week’s US Open at 25/1 odds to win his first career major after coming painfully close in last year’s Open Championship at Muirfield with a second-place finish behind Phil Mickelson. He has appeared in eight PGA events this season, and while current form may drain a bit of value from his odds it’s hard to deny that he is a legitimate contender given his overall performance in 2013. The Swede won both the PGA’s FedEx Cup and the European Tour’s Race to Dubai, and at one point he had climbed all the way to No. 3 in the World Golf Rankings.
Confidence is one of the biggest factors to winning a US Open given the grueling conditions these players must face in a course set up by the USGA. Adam Scott has already claimed the Crowne Plaza Invitational title this season at Colonial CC, and he is coming off a fourth-place finish his last time out in the Memorial. His confidence level has to be running high this week. In nine PGA events this season, he has made the cut in every event while posting another four Top-10s to go along with his one win. Scott’s drought in majors ended with a victory in the Masters in 2013, but his motivation to win a US Open has to be through the roof after failing to crack the Top 10 in 12 previous tries. He has been opened as a 12/1 second-favorite to get it done at Pinehurst.
Joining McDowell as one of Northern Ireland’s young guns on both the PGA Tour and the European Tour, Rory McIlroy comes into this week’s US Open as the odds-on favorite to win at 10/1. Betting on McIlroy in majors has been hit-or-miss ever since he claimed his first title in the 2011 US Open at Congressional with a score of 16-under par. However, it is hard to deny that his current form makes him a very attractive bet to win his third career major this week. He followed up his stirring come-from-behind victory in the BMW PGA Championship in late May on the European Tour with a 15th-place finish in the Memorial. This broke a string of five straight finishes in the Top 10 of either tour.
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