US Open: Betting Tips

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2018 US Open Betting Tips: What you need to know about this year's US Open course, and who you should back to win

Shinnecock Hills is the only course to host the US Open in three different centuries and is rightly regarded as one of the championship’s great venues. Its first US Open, in 1896, was conducted over a course measuring just 4,423 yards. This year, it will be a cool 3,022 yards further at 7,445 yards, 446 yards more than it measured in 2004.

And the USGA are already keen to make sure the 2018 version of Shinnecock Hills will be very different to that of 14 years ago.

“We are mindful of what happened in 2004,” Mike Davis said during last year’s championship at Erin Hills. “That will not happen again. If it does, I’m retiring.”

What happened? After 36 holes of the 2004 US Open, Phil Mickelson and Shigeki Maruyama led the way on six-under, with 9 further players under par for the tournament. In response, the USGA beefed up Saturday's challenge, and the glass-like putting surfaces saw players putting from the green in to the bunker on a day where the 66 players remaining could average no better than 74.6.

Despite a review of pin placements, warm winds dried out the course and Sunday's test was even more exacting. Just one player managed level par as the field averaged a miserable 78.7, but it was no surprise given that the green staff had to water the par-3 7th hole between each group to stop tee shots sliding off the baked putting surface. 

US Open Betting Tips: Whose game is best-suited to Shinnecock?

Asked to predict a winner, or at least describe the sort of player the new-look Shinnecock might favour, Coore mentions says Flynn did such a masterful job that no one is automatically eliminated. Shinnecock Hills, Coore adds, really is a complete test that will expose any weaknesses, and where only the player in total control of all parts of his game can prevail.

“It’s just a great course that sets a stern examination,” he says. “The players will de nitely need to think their way around, and wind will probably be a factor. Long hitters will have an advantage certainly, but I don’t think it will be as pronounced as at other courses.” 

US Open Betting Tips: What does history at Shinnecock tell us?

The winners of Shinnecock’s three US Opens since 1986 were Ray Floyd, Corey Pavin, and Goosen. Floyd was an all-rounder combining both power and touch. His and Pavin’s short games were among the best of their day, while Goosen is/was known primarily as a great ball-striker.

It’s hard to identify a common characteristic besides the fact they were all well above the average age for a major winner. Before 2015, the average age for champions of Grand Slam events was 32. From 2015-2017, that dropped to 29.6 thanks largely to Jordan Spieth’s exploits.

It’s a small sample size, but the fact Floyd, Pavin and Goosen’s average age was 37.6 hints that Shinnecock Hills demands an elevated level of maturity, experience, and know-how.

US Open Betting Tips: How will the set-up affect the leaderboard?

While Coore and Crenshaw expanded Shinnecock’s fairways for the members, it’s unlikely the USGA will allow them to remain so wide for the US Open, especially after they received criticism for the width of the fairways at Erin Hills in 2017. The word is fairway landing areas will be between 28 and 34 yards wide – more generous than in ’86, ’95, and ’04, but not quite as charitable as they were last year when Brooks Koepka battered windless Erin Hills into submission.

Mike Davis has said he wants accuracy off the tee to be a big part of the US Open, but it appears he’s still giving the players a little wiggle room. If the wind doesn’t blow and there is a little moisture in the ground, expect plenty of rounds in the 60s. If the wind rises, and the same warm winds that impacted 2004’s nal round arrive, level par will be a good score and patience will be rewarded.

Taking all that into account, we’ve narrowed the field down to the men who should be in the conversation at Shinnecock Hills. 

Betting Tips: 2018 US Open

Dustin Johnson - 8/1
Best Result at US Open: 1 (2016)
Result at 2004 US Open: DNP

DJ's year includes two victory and five other top 10s in just 11 starts, having regained the World No.1 spot the week before the US Open with a convincing win at the FedEx St. Jude's Classic. He's ranked inside the top 10 on Tour in nine different stats categories, including 1st for SG: Off the tee, SG: Tee to Green and Scoring Average. He might have missed the last three cuts at the US Open, but he went T4-T2-1 from 2014-2016 as he claimed his first major title - and he's in a good position to add another. 

Rory McIlroy - 12/1
Best Result at US Open: 1st (2014)
Result at 2004 US Open: DNP

Has gone T2-T8 in his last two starts at the BMW PGA Championship and The Memorial Tournament, giving him a lot of confidence heading in to the second major of the year after the disappointment of his Sunday at the Masters. Victory earlier this year at the APInv, and despite MC at both the last two US Open's, Rory looks poised to do well. Ranks 11th Scoring Average, 8th Overall Putting Average and 4th for Driving Distance. 

Justin Thomas - 14/1
Best Result at US Open: T9 (2017)
Result at 2004 US Open: DNP

The World No.2 hasn't finished finished worse than T22 this season, including a T8 at Memorial in his last start. Looking for his second major title, and shot a 63 in the US Open last year on his way to a T9 at Erin Hills. Ranks 2nd SG: Tee to Green, 3rd Scoring Average, 7th Putting Average and 6th SG: Approach The Green.  

Justin Rose - 14/1
Best Result at US Open: 1st (2013)
Result at 2004 US Open: MC

Heads to Shinnecock with a lot of confidence, having finished T6 at Memorial and picked up his ninth PGA Tour victory at the Fort Worth Invitational. MC in his last two US Opens and when he played here back in 2004, but his form and tour stats suggest he's a good bet. Ranks 1st for Birdie Average, 2nd for Scoring Average, 5th for Putting Average and 7th SG: Tee to green. 

Jordan Spieth - 18/1
Best Result at US Open: 1st (2015)
Result at 2004 US Open: DNP

MC in his last start at Memorial but we still wouldn't write off Jordan Spieth's chances in a major. A bit of a mixed bag of results this year down to mistakes on the greens, but if he can get the putter going could do really well this week. Ranks 4th SG: Tee to Green, 2nd GIR, 6th Birdie Average, 8th Proximity to the hole and 7th in Par 4 scoring - which will be important this week. However, currently 186th in SG: Putting stat. 

Jason Day - 18/1
Best Result at US Open: T2 ('11, '13)
Result at 2004 US Open: DNP

Four top 10s and two victories already this year. Day finished T44 in his last start at Memorial, but was T5 at The Players in the tournament before. Has a good record at the US Open, with five top 10s in seven starts - including two runner-up finishes. Ranks 1st SG: Putting, 3rd for SG: Around-The-Green and 6th for both birdie average and scoring average. 14th SG: Off the tee. 

Rickie Fowler - 18/1
Best Result at US Open: T2 (2014)
Result at 2004 US Open: DNP

Another player looking for that elusive first major title, Fowler came up a shot short at The Masters to eventual winner Patrick Reed, and comes in to the second major of the year off the back of a T8 at Memorial and a T14 the week before at the Fort Worth Invitational. Ranks 9th Scoring Average. 

Jon Rahm - 20/1
Best Result at US Open: T23 LA (2016)
Result at 2004 US Open: DNP

The World No.4 has had two top 5s and a victory in his last four starts, following up a T4 at The Masters with a victory at the Open de Espana and a T5 at the Fort Worth Invitaitonal a couple of weeks ago. Looking for first major title and ranks 2nd SG: Off the tee, 1st for Birdie Average, 8th for Scoring Average, and 9th for Putting Average. 

Brooks Koepka - 22/1
Best Result at US Open: 1st (2017)
Result at 2004 US Open: DNP

Hoping to become the first person to successfully defend the US Open since Curtis Strange in 1989, and is in a good position to do so. Returned from a wrist injury and has since gone T11-T2-T30 in his last three starts on Tour. Hasn't played enough rounds to qualify for stats.

Tiger Woods - 22/1
Best Result at US Open: 1st ('00, '02, '08)
Result at 2004 US Open: T17

Put on an impressive display at Memorial with every part of his game but the flat stick, and like Spieth could be a real factor if he can sort out the putter. The three-time US Open champion has gone T11-T23 in his last two starts, and was T17 here in 2004. Ranks inside the top 10 on Tour for SG: Tee to Green, SG: Around The Green, SG: Approach The Green and 14th for Scoring Average. Best results this year are T2 at the Valspar and T5 at APInv.

Henrik Stenson - 28/1
Best Result at US Open: T4 (2014)
Result at 2004 US Open: DNP

Three top 10s in his last five starts, with a worse result of T23 at The Players. Also looking for his second major title, and the stats indicate he has a really good chance. Ranks 1st for Greens in Reg, Driving Accuracy, 3rd SG: Approach the Green and 5th for Scoring Average. 33rd for SG: Putting. 

Phil Mickelson - 28/1
Best Result at US Open: T2 (Six occasions)
Result at 2004 US Open: 2nd

Could complete the grand-slam this week, and has the best record at Shinnecock of anyone else in the field. In addition to double-bogeying the 17th to lose by two shots in 2004, he was also T4 in 1995. Carded his first victory in almost five years earlier this year at the WGC Mexico, and has gone T5-MC-T13-T12 in his last four starts. Ranks 2nd SG: Putting, 3rd Birdie Average and 5th SG: Total. 

Hideki Matsuyama: 33/1
Best Result at US Open: T2 (2017)
Result at 2004 US Open: DNP

Finished 2nd to Brooks Koepka at last year's US Open, and still looking for his first major title. Has started to look in good shape having returned from wrist injury earlier in the season, posting a T16 at the AT&T Byron Nelson followed by T13 at Memorial. Ranks 7th SG: Around the green and 9th for Par-4 scoring.

Tommy Fleetwood - 40/1
Best Result at US Open: 4 (2017)
Result at 2004 US Open: DNP

The World No.11 is looking for his first major title. He has three top 10s and a victory in 2018, and has finished T7-T20-T23 in his last three starts. Ranks 9th SG: Off the tee, 10th Scoring Average, 11th SG: Tee to green and 12th Birdie Average. 

Ian Poulter - 100/1
Best Result at US Open: T12 (2006)
Result at 2004 US Open: MC

A good outside bet this week. Hasn't teed up in a US Open since 2015 but has moved up to World No.27 and has three top 10s and a victory in his last seven tournaments, finishing T8 in his last start in the Italian Open. Ranked inside the top 30 on Tour for Total Putting, SG: Approach The Green and Driving Accuracy.