First round match

The US Open seems heaven sent for Branden Grace, if you take his fourth and fifth place finishes in the last two years as a guide.

Kevin Kisner is the man of the moment on the PGA Tour.

But maybe that’s why Billy Horschel is 21/10 to win this first round three-ball at Erin Hills and it’s a price I’m happy to take.

The former FedEx Cup winner isn’t in shabby form, either. He won at the Byron Nelson and finished tied fourth last week at the St Jude Classic.

He does have a top 10 to look back on at the US Open – fourth at Merion. This is a tough trio to call but I’ll take the chance on a quality player at these sort of odds.

Missing the cut

US Open

He’s odds against to play the weekend, which tells you all you need to know about the form Danny Willett is in at the moment.

Masters: Cut. Players Championship: Cut. He did at least make the weekend at Wentworth but tied 58th at the BMW PGA Championship is nothing to write home about.

He seems in a general malaise at the moment and, having not played a lot since the Masters, it remains to be seen whether he’s been able to work that out in practice.

My feelings are that motivation is as much a key as anything. When you’ve worked your whole life for something, as golfers do to win a major, it does take some longer than others to reset their goals.

If he gets off to a good start, things might change. But add all the evidence together and the 8/15 on him to fly home after Friday’s exertions is a price worth considering.

Top Australian

US Open

I’m backing Jason Day to win this week but there’s still a lot to be said for backing Adam Scott in this market at 7/4.

With Marc Leishman, Wade Ormsby and Nick Flanagan the only other ‘runners’, it looks a two horse race and, in that kind of match-up, I always tend to lean to the underdog.

Scott’s US Open record was very ordinary but, since 2014, he has finished tied ninth, tied fourth and 18th.

It’s the top-five finish at Chambers Bay that interests me most – given it’s the only recent US Open course that might have any relevance to Erin Hills.

Scott, a former Masters champion, is yet to win on the PGA Tour this season but he’s been consistent in the very biggest events. Tied ninth at the Masters and tied sixth at the Players, he finished in a share of 10nth at the St Jude Classic last week.

If Day slips up, Scott could vacuum up a nice profit at a decent price.

Make sure to take a look at my outright bets too.

US Open