US Open Odds: Golf Futures Betting
by Dave Schwab - 5/18/2011
This year’s US Open, the second Major of the season, will be contested at the fabled Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Maryland, just outside the Nation’s Capital starting with first round action on Thursday, June 16.
The US Open is often referred to as the toughest test in golf as the courses are set up in a fashion as to keep the scores as close to par as possible. This year’s tournament should be no exception as Congressional will play to close to 7,300 yards and perfectly setup to embody the stringent requirements of the USGA. Only golfers bringing their A-game will have a chance in this one, so let us take a look at a few of the favorites to win this year along with their current US Open odds as provided by Bodog.
In light of past performance and public perception, it’s little wonder that Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods are currently co-favorites at 10/1. This is based less on current form, especially in the case of Woods, who recently had to withdraw from last week’s Players’ Championship after playing just nine holes due to both a knee and Achilles heel injury -- It remains questionable as whether or not he will even be able to play in this event, let alone win it. Everyone remembers his gutsy performance in the 2008 US Open when he beat Rocco Mediate in an 18-hole playoff with a torn ligament in his knee. That was then and this is now and unfortunately Tiger is currently a mere shell of his former self at this point in time.
Mickelson is much more believable as a favorite, but finishing tied for 33rd last week certainly does not add value to his current odds. He still has the game to win at Congressional, but it remains to be seen if he can improve on his current form over the next month. He won the Shell Houston Open earlier in the year and finished second in the Farmers Insurance Open, but he is currently lacking the consistency that a US Open demands.
The third favorite to win is Lee Westwood at 14/1. The big question here is can Westwood finally break through the pack to shake off the title of ‘best golfer never to win a Major’ in a US Open? Westwood continues to spend the majority of his time on the European Tour and has not played in America since finishing 11th in the Masters. He recently won the Ballatine’s Championship at Blackstone Country Club in South Korea, but it was his only Top-10 finish in nine events this year.
Luke Donald offers some solid value as the fourth favorite at 16/1. He is currently ranked No.1 on the PGA Money List after a fourth-place finish in the Players Championship. Donald has played in eight PGA events this season and has seven Top-10 finishes, including a victory in Accenture Match Play Championship. He finished fourth in this year’s Masters, but was a disappointing 47th is last year’s US Open at Pebble Beach.
The fifth favorite at 18/1 should be one of the more interesting players to watch in this year’s tournament. Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy had this year’s Masters well in hand after leading for the first three rounds, but imploded on the back nine at Augusta in the final round to wind up 15th. The 22-year old has only played once on the PGA Tour since then, failing to make the cut in the Wells Fargo Championship. There is little doubt he has the game to compete at Congressional, but his recent form along with his questionable mental state after the meltdown in his last Major tends to sap most of the value out of these golf futures odds.
The player to watch who may offer the best value at 33/1 is Bubba Watson. He will bring a long game and a lack of fear into this tournament as one of the best young guns on the Tour, but the big question with Watson is does he have the poise to battle this course for four full rounds? He has two victories this year in 12 events, including the Zurich Classic a couple of weeks ago and is second on the money list.
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