By Sean Goff | U.S. Open betting
Storm Andrea has had her say but the US Open should tee off on Thursday at Merion Golf Course, Pennsylvania. Whether it finishes on Sunday is anyone’s guess.
With 16 of the last 17 Major winners joining golf’s elite club for the first time – we’ve run the rule over a few contenders who may be big-time Charlies on the Tour but still can’t get past security when the ‘Major winners only’ signs go up.
Australian Adam Scott finally got the Major monkey off his back at the Augusta Masters – erasing some pretty scary Open Championship memories from last year – and giving Paddy a bit of a caning in the process.
Paddy’s back for more though and is paying an extra 7th place for mobile and text bettors at the season’s second Major.
Here’s seven players who could keep the Trophy engraver on his toes come the final day – and get a life-time pass to wear ridiculous clothes in public by becoming a first-time Major winner this weekend.
1. Matt Kuchar 22/1
The World No4 is the highest ranked non-Major winner in the field on the back of wins at Memorial and earlier, Arizona. While Tiger Woods went AWOL a fortnight ago Kuchar put his impressive course form to good use to record his second win of the season and add to his four other Top 10 finishes this season. A leading fancy to make the breakthrough to the Major winner’s club after nearly 14 years on the pro-Tour.
2. Rickie Fowler 66/1
Hasn’t set the world alight this season – apart from his tangerine outfits – but Fowler is one of a few players with solid course experience. Won all his Walker Cup games for the US here in 2009 against Britain and Ireland before turning pro. Has three Top 10 finishes to date and finished T37 at Memorial. ‘White Faces of Merion’ bunkers shouldn’t bother him as he sits second in the ‘closeness to hole’ sand stats.
3. Dustin Johnson 50/1
Was quickest out of the traps when wining the season-opener Hyundai Tournament of Champions in January. Injuries have curtailed his season and has missed three cuts and W/D from two other tournaments but has bounced back with a Top 10 at the St Jude Classic last weekend. He led the Masters’ field at Augusta before finishing T13 and if he can align precision golf with his power game will give everyone a run for their money.
4. Sergio Garcia 40/1
If timing counts for anything – then Garcia’s couldn’t be much worse as he chases his first Major. An ugly spat with Tiger Woods got a whole lot worse when the Spaniard brought up the ‘fried chicken’ jibe before the BMW Championship at Wentworth. Was forced to eat his words and has apologised to the World No1. Now he has the partisan American crowd – as well as the world’s best players – to contend with. Four Top 10 finishes this season means his game – if not his attitude – is in good shape though.
5. Steve Stricker 50/1
If he can manage the layout of Merion as well as his playing schedule then Stricker (46) has a real chance. Three Top 10 finishes including two second places at Hyundai and the Cadillac Championship proves he’s still up for it. His short game, coolness under pressure and in particular, his putting, could mean he surprises a few and joins the Major’s club in the twilight of his career.
6. Brandt Snedeker 30/1
The reigning FedEx champ and third in the FedEx rankings this year after a blistering start to the season. A troubling rib injury – missed the US Open last year with a similar complaint – has flared up again due to a brittle bone condition. Has missed the last two cuts but on his day has all the form figures to deliver his first Major win come the final day.
7. Ian Poulter 80/1
Europe’s Ryder Cup star performer at Medinah should have paved the way for a stellar 2013 but things haven’t worked out as planned. Two early Top 10 finishes on the US Tour before hitting a speed bump and missed the cut at the Masters and the Players Championship. Was progressing nicely at the St Jude Classic last weekend before a final day 76 undid three sub-70 rounds when getting into contention.