For the first time ever, The Chambers Bay course in Washington is set to host not only a PGA Tour event, but the US Open. The Major – which dates all the way back to 1895 – has a field of 156 players, so finding a solid punting investment is trickier than getting John Daly into a fashionable pair of slacks. Luckily at Power Tower, we’ve crunched the last 15 years of US Open data to bring you three tempting value bets based on 21st century trends.
Clearly when we say ‘trends since the year 2000’ we’re not talking Velour tracksuits, blonde highlights or playing Craig David on your phone at the back of the bus. Although if we were, we’d take a guess that Ian Poulter gets a tick in every box.
Rather, we’re looking at the winning form lines to see which stats you need to take note of based on the last 15 US Open winners. The five key figures we’ve used to cull the majority of the field are as follows:
- 87 per cent of winners have been aged between 26 and 37. Rory McIlroy in 2011 (22) and Tiger Woods in 2000 (24) being the only exceptions.
- 80 per cent of winners have previously played in at least three US Opens and 93 per cent of winners have had a previous top 30 finish in a US Open.
- 87 per cent of winners had already posted three top 15 finishes on Tour that season and 100 per cent of winners had recorded a top six finish on Tour that season.
So essentially, you’re looking for an experienced professional who has shown some form at the US Open, is in good form going into the tournament, and isn’t eyeing up a free bus pass, pipe and slippers. Sorry Montgomerie. This gives us a strong field of 29 players, but we can ditch another 12 from the list by looking at two further stand-out form lines.
- 87 per cent of winners were in the top 50 of the Official World Golf Rankings.
- Taking out the three Tiger Woods victories since the year 2000, 10 of the 12 US Open Champions were all winning their maiden Major
And that leaves us with a far more respectable field of 17 to pick our three best bets from.
Dustin Johnson 18/1
Since returning from his six month mini-break, Dustin Johnson has rediscovered some of his best form on the golf course. He’s registered seven top 15 finishes from just 12 events this year, including a tie for sixth in the Masters at Augusta. The boomer from the boxes finished in a tie of fourth in the US Open last year, a nice reward for each-way punters on at 33/1, and it’s not just his length off the tee which has seen him tweak our interest. On the dance-floor his flat stick has been red-hot, and DJ is ranked third on Tour for his putting average. On a course that is reported to be ‘a links course on performance-enhancing drugs’ it’s also good to know that Johnson is ranked in the top 40 for scrambling this year, and despite a skinny price, he’s worth a punt to break his Major duck.
Jimmy Walker 35/1
Jimmy had a year to remember last season, picking up three tournament wins, securing top 10 finishes in the Masters, US Open and PGA Championship, as well as securing his place on the Ryder Cup team for the first time in his career. And this train isn’t showing any signs of stopping just yet. The American destroyed a talented field to retain the Sony Open in Hawaii by nine shots, before beating Jordan Spieth by four strokes to win the Texas Open in March. Throw in another six top 15 finishes, and that means Walker is in the top 15 in more than half of the 15 Tour events he’s played this season. Walker is ranked ninth on Tour for his putting average this year, and he’s in the top 40 for his greens in regulation percentage. He’s a man in form and we’re willing to take a chance improving on his ninth place finish in this tournament 12 months ago.
Paul Casey 60/1
Despite not technically winning on the PGA Tour since April 2009 – the same time Lady Gaga released the biggest selling song of the year ‘Poker Face’ for all you stat fans – Paul Casey makes up our trio after some promising suggestions coming into Washington. The Englishman has finished in the top 10 in five of the 13 PGA Tour events he’s played this year, including a tie for sixth in the Masters. He’s previously finished in the top 10 in the US Open, although that was back in 2007, although the most promising piece of form is from the 2010 PGA Championship. He finished 12th there at Whistling Straits, a course that is believed to be very similar to the unknown Chambers Bay. Throw into the mix that he is in the top 10 for greens in regulation this year and Casey has more than enough potential to trouble the top of the leaderboard, as long as he can hold his bottle and sinks the putts.