US Open: The alternative betting guide to Chambers Bay

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Why you can throw the form book out the window

Rory McIlroy 8-1

I always like to dismiss any favourite given a general lack of cash flow so I will quietly tell myself that the boy wonder is hopelessly out of form based on bad rounds on Wentworth, which he probably dislikes despite last year, and a blustery Co Down where he was mein host for the week.
I’m choosing to overlook the fact that it’s a links and he’s the most recent Open champion – I was informed on the radio this week that McIlroy can’t really play links golf? – and that his last start in the States resulted in a seven-shot win and a 21-under total.
And that he’s a former US Open winner, and that there’s nowhere near the pressure there was at Augusta (when he was still 4th), that he’s by far and away the best player in the world, and he’s young and talented and friendly and has a lovely looking new girlfriend.
But he’s 8-1 and £3e-w on that type of price isn’t going to get the job done. 


Jordan Spieth 16-1

Other than Tiger Woods in 2002 we have to go back to Jack Nicklaus in ‘72 to find the last player to win the first two Majors of the year.
His caddy comes from this part of the world and knows the course as well as anyone, he’s finished 2nd and 3rd in two of his last three starts, he’s 21, putts like a god and is the second best player in the world.
But let’s dwell on the negatives; history says he won’t do it and he shot 83 in the US Amateur here.*

*glosses over the fact that he was only 16 at the time  


Phil Mickelson 18-1

Here we go again, six second places and needs a win to complete the career Grand Slam. His last two Majors another brace of runners-up spots, third last week…
Blah blah snooze blah.
He turned 45 on Tuesday, it’s not going to happen. Even on Father’s Day.

Get over it.


Justin Rose 18-1

Won in New Orleans a fortnight after his runners-up heroics at Augusta, the champion at Merion two years ago, lost a play-off at Muirfield Village last time out and is probably coming into his absolute peak.

But let’s hang our negativity on his Open record – no top 10s since his amateur days at Birkdale – and kid ourselves that this type of test won’t suit him.


Dustin Johnson 22-1

He’s back, he’s a dad, he’s a winner again, he’s the coolest dude at the party, he walks like a cowboy, he doesn’t get overly fazed and he hits it bloody miles. And he loves a bit of links and creativity.

He’s also, along with Sergio Garcia, the most infuriating person to ever place a bet on. And given that there will likely be some high numbers on certain holes I can’t bear the thought of watching DJ fanny about for five minutes too long on some novelty green.

‘Mickelson’s 45, it’s not going to happen. Even on Father’s Day. Get over it’ My Five To Follow
Patrick Reed 55-1

He likes it here having shot three under in 2010, he chips brilliantly (maybe better than anyone else) and he’s a winner. And I like the fact that he’s a bit porky. 

Martin Kaymer 66-1
I have watched highlights of his barnstorming win at Pinehurst on Sky Sports twice this week and have been easily swayed.

Adam Scott 45-1
I’ve got a bit of a man crush on him, Steve Williams is back on the bag and I can’t remember him being this sort of silly price before. 

Charley Hoffman 125-1       
He’s sorted his hair out, he’s still unfancied and he’s been rock solid for the last seven months. Hoping for a place.

Webb Simpson 100-1
Not the most obvious pick but I watched him chip from a terrifying piece of bare turf at Hoylake for 20 minutes and he’s didn’t knife or chunk one.



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