The US Open is about to tee off from Shinnecock Golf Course in the opulent Hamptons of New York. This tournament is well-known as the toughest golf major of the season, but most players are just glad to be here. The course is a very classic offering with firm, fast fairways, and greens, which is traditionally unforgiving. The last time the US Open was staged here was in 2004, and if anyone recalls the controversy caused by the USGA then hope it doesn't happen again.
All of the biggest names in Golf are here, with the world's best Dustin Johnson getting set to tee off with the likes of Tiger Woods and Justin Thomas. Many of the 156 starters that are scheduled to play have a compelling backstory regarding the US Open which will create a great feeling for the second major of the year.
Last year's winner, Brooks Koepke, who muscled his way to winning his first major, also set a scoring record in his first big win. This year, he is ranked 9th overall, but there are sure to be some surprises this time around. In 2004, the course was incredibly tight as the average fairway width was only 26.6 yards, with the widest approximately 30 yards, and, the narrowest at 25. This year they average 41.6, which is a full 50% wider. Last time around, players shot to the bunkers deliberately, because the USGA messed up the greens and were rock hard. They needed to water the greens in between groups and footers ran around to make the surface at all acceptable.
Moving forward, this year should not be at all like 2004, except for some of the older players that were there. Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson (runner-up in 2004) still pose a significant threat to the younger guns. Those being Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson, Jordan Speith, and the Masters' winner Patrick Reed.
One of the lower ranked players, Paul Waring has improved much over the year, but the US Open is a different kind of monster, "For a US Open I always felt you needed to have your golf game in a certain place and I never thought over the last few years that I was in a place to really compete," he admitted.
"Now I have a more mature head on my shoulders and feel I can get it round most golf courses these days. I'm looking forward to the challenge of it."
Outright Betting Markets
Two of the biggest online sportsbooks that are providing full pre-tournament, and live in play betting odds are 888Sport and Betfair Sports. The odds offered by both are incredibly competitive. For example, at Betfair, the tournament favorite, Johnson is at 9.00 to win, while 888 Sport offers 8.00. But, moving down the line and 888 Sport takes over offering 17.00 for Rory McIlroy to win, while over at Betfair the odds on him winning are 13.00. For the entire top ten players to win, odds range from 9.00 as mentioned, to 21.00 for Jordan Speith. 888 Sport sees it differently and has Brooks Koepke in 10th at 23.00 for the outright win. One of the fan-favorites and 3-time US Open winner Tiger Woods is still searching for his first major win in five years. He has gotten a lot of his stroke and accuracy back, but, at 888 Sport he is at 21.00, and, at Betfair Sports, the odds are 19.00.
Both sportsbooks have posted hundreds of markets for the tournament, but, for punters seeking a more interactive gambling experience should check out the live in-play odds which will be offered throughout the four days of PGA action.