The US Open is well known for being the toughest and most sadistic of all the majors. The rough is neglected and the greens lightning quick, it challenged players to play long and accurately which based on my last round doesn’t come easy… This year the US Open is being held at Pinehurst No. 2, the last time the US Open was played here New Zealander Michael Campbell won the crown, I think it’s safe to say he won’t be challenging this year.
My tips are based upon value, not necessarily who I think will actually win the tournament. I’d recommend betting each way because it gives better value overall. The odds are a bit all over the place again because Tiger Woods still hasn’t returned from injury and the bookies clearly are scared because it is a very open tournament.
Henrik Stenson 28/1
Over the last year there probably isn’t a player who has been more consistent than Stenson. Stenson has the perfect game to win at Pinehurst (long and accurate) and has consistently contested for majors over the last two seasons. Everything about Stenson makes you think that he will be a genuine contender, heck the guy’s number two in the world, but it easy to compete for majors, it is another thing to actually win one. Stenson historically isn’t really a winner (more of a player who places well) and also has a history of choking a bit, however this past year he took the Tour Championship (along with some other crowns) and I think this is where he will take that next step and that is why he is my personal pick to win the tournament.
Lee Westwood 40/1
This may be a bit contentious because Lee Westwood is one of the biggest chokers in the game when it comes to majors but at 40/1, with the game he has and his recent record in US Open’s Westwood is too good to ignore. Westwood hasn’t had a classic season but a good performance in the Masters (7th) shows that he is capable of raising his game for the big occasion. Westwood arguably has the best tee to green game in golf and that sort of play will be vital at Pinehurst, it isn’t who can make the most birdies but who can make the least mistakes, that is Westwood’s game.
Martin Kaymer 40/1
I’m amazed that Kaymer is sitting at 40/1 off the back of winning the Players Championship; I would have thought that he would have been one of the favourites. Then I looked at Kaymer’s record in majors since winning the USPGA (2010) and he hasn’t made one top 10 and it all makes more sense. Although his recent major record isn’t good you have to look at Kaymer as a guy who has previous experience of winning a major, is on form and has the game to be successful at this course; at 40/1 he seems like a steal.
Graeme McDowell 50/1
I couldn’t decide on a fifth pick (I write them in order of odds rather than selection), so I decided to go with McDowell. I don’t think McDowell is good enough to win two majors in his career but then again I thought that about Bubba Watson. You look at McDowell’s record this year and although there aren’t really wins, there are lots of top ten’s and they’re in big tournaments. Although he missed the cut at last year’s US Open he does generally play very well in this competition. You have an ex-US Open champion, who has the perfect game for this tournament and he is sitting at 50/1, it’s a good price.
Brandt Snedeker 75/1
I always seem to tip Snedeker because I think he is one of those players who is so close to winning their first major but haven’t quite made the step yet. I haven’t been tipping American’s because only three of the last ten US Opens have been won by American’s which isn’t a very good ratio. Sned’s has the game to win at this course (feel like I’ve said that a lot) and at 75/1 is a great outside bet.
There you have it my five tips for the US Open! I’m pretty pleased with all five of the players I picked and think that each one has a good chance of challenging for the title. The US Open recently has had a tendency of throwing up an odd winner and the last time it was played here it did exactly that (I mean Michael Campbell…).
Enjoy the golf and hopefully it is a good contest (doubtful at the US Open) and we get a deserved winner. Leave a comment about who you think will be winning the US Open or guys who you believe are sitting at favourable odds.