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Where the money’s going: 7 players you’re backing for the US Open

by Sean Goff | June 12, 2013

Sean Goff | US Open

The wheels came off Tiger Woods’ game at Memorial two weeks ago as he was hurtling to what looked like his first Major since he last won the US Open in 2008. The World No1 may have never played Merion Golf Course competitively – but he’s in good company as neither have the majority of the field.

World No2 Rory McIlroy’s game is in the doldrums but the 2011 champion at Congressional will hope that he can become the eighth multiple winner of this tournament since it last visited the Pennysylvanian course in 1981.

Paddy was busy skating round the roller disco to Smokey Robinson’s ‘Being with You’ back then and could get a little more unbalanced this weekend as he’s gone seven places on mobile and text betting and six online ahead of the season’s second Major.

Here’s who you’ve latched onto for the US Open.

1. Graeme McDowell 22/1

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MAC ATTACK: The 2010 US Open winner has got the game to deliver  (pic: Inpho)

The man with the distinctive mid-Atlantic drawl has attracted bucket loads of your cash and it’s not hard to see why. GMac – as we’re sure he loves to call himself – won the US Open in 2010 and finished T2 in 2012. Add to that his two wins this season (RBC Heritage & and World Match Play in Bulgaria) and you have a guy at the top of his game. Steve Palmer’s tip in the Racing Post based on his accuracy off the tee and scrambling ability, the Portrush man hasn’t missed the cut in seven US Opens as he tries to win his second Major.

2. Dustin Johnson 45/1

D-day:

BOMBS AWAY:  DJ need to find the fairways to justify support

Loves to boom it long from the tee-box but DJ will have to temper his driving for show instincts here. Niggling injuries have curtailed his season after winning the first tournament of the year in January. Looked to have a big chance in the Augusta Masters before throwing shots away on day two and eventually finished T13. Returned as defending champion at the St Jude Classic to T10 and work out some of the rustiness in his game. Storm Andrea may help his cause by drenching the fairways – but he needs to find them first.

3. Matt Kuchar 22/1

Matt Kuchar  (pic:Inpho)

MATT FINISH:  The in-form player on the Tour in recent weeks (pic: Inpho)

Kucher’s two wins and four Top 10 finishes this season hasn’t gone unnoticed by punters who’ve been piling into the World No4 since his win at Memorial a fortnight ago. The highest-ranked played never to have won a Major but his ultra-consistency – ranks 1st in the number of consecutive cuts made on Tour (18) – and the all-round strength in his game should see him bang in contention this weekend.

4. Kevin Chappell 90/1

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LET US PRAY:  Chappell looks a lively outsider with his US Open record

A out of left-field pick for many who are going on his US Open pedigree rather than his overall form this season. Chappell has three Top 10 finishes including a second place to Kuchar at Memorial but has missed the cut in seven of the 15 tournaments he’s played this year. High up in the approach shots rankings but if he’s not accurate off the tee won’t get the chance to let this part of his game shine. Chappell was third to McIlroy at Congressional in 2011 and only two of the last eight winners of this tournament started at less than 80/1.

5. Lee Westwood 33/1

Lee Westwood:

NOW OR NEVER:  Westwood needs to make his Major challenge count very soon

A solid US Open performer – his worst finish being T23 in 2009. But Father Time is catching up with the Englishman. Westwood’s move to Florida has paid dividends with five Top 10 performances in 13 starts but will it deliver the Major title he craves?  Eight of the last nine US Open’s have been won by a first-timer and you’d struggle to find a more popular European winner and at least one European has finished in the in the place money in the last eight US Opens.

6. Phil Mickelson 22/1

SANDMAN: Can Leftie win his 5th AT&T title? (pic:Getty)

SANDMAN: Can Leftie use his short game to win his fifth Major at Merion? (pic: Getty)

A US Open specialist Leftie has filled the runner-up berth five times among his nine Top 10 finishes. Was flawless when wining the Phoenix Open in March and warmed up for his fifth Major bid with a T2 in the St Jude Classic last weekend. The wrong side of the age where life begins but needs to curb his enthusiasm off the tee and work the magic with his short game.  Write him off at your peril.

7. Sergio Garcia 40/1

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MARKED MAN: Has to silence the galleries and the world’s best players (pic: Inpho)

Handing over a letter of apology to Tiger Woods is probably not in the ‘How to Win a Major manual’  but Sergio’s made his bed and now he’s going to have to hide under it. The galleries will be merciless but the Spaniard just has to keep his head down and rely on his Open form of four Top 10 finishes in 13 appearances. Four Top 10 finishes on the US Tour this season is a better place to start from as El Nino tries to win the first Major of his career.

US Open

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