As day one of the 2012 U.S. Open grows ever closer, Vegas is on the minds of many. While not the Super Bowl, or even the NBA Finals, the U.S. Open promises to raise some interest from squares and sharps alike.
With the 2012 tournament being played at The Olympic in San Francisco, the tournament promises to provide some exciting theater, as the course is used for the first time in a major tournament since 1998. Some of the players rated highest in the field weren't even born yet (actually, they were, but they were just young chaps).
Lee Janzen took the title over Payne Stewart the last time the U.S. Open was played at The Olympic. The course has a reputation as a tough course to play and promises to remain that way this week.
Here are the latest odds for the 112th playing of the U.S. Open.
All odds provided by VegasInsider.com.
Though Tiger Woods has crept back to No. 4 in the World Golf Rankings and has a win to his credit on Memorial Day weekend at the Memorial Tournament, it is quite surprising to see Woods as the obvious favorite in this tournament.
Odds are (no pun intended), the bookies are expecting square money to come in on Woods due to his name and the recent win.
Maybe you're unaware of this, but Luke Donald has never won a major tournament.
In fact, his best finish at any major is tied for third, which he did at the Masters in 2005 and the PGA Championship in 2006.
His best finish at the U.S. Open was tied for 12th in 2006. In other words, the No. 1 player in the world has had very little success in major tournaments, especially in recent years. His 12/1 odds seem shockingly high given his major performance record.
It is undoubtedly an ode to his world ranking and a shot in the dark that he may actually catch some kind of magic for a weekend in San Francisco.
It's a little odd to see Rory McIlroy, the player who won last year's tournament by eight strokes, set a U.S. Open record, shooting 16-under par and leading after each round of golf as a slight underdog.
Sure, he is still in the top three, but given the relative lack of success in majors that Luke Donald and Tiger Woods have had recently, one would expect the young Northern Ireland product to be the popular name among bookies and squares, if no one else.
Most likely, if you've heard of a golfer, he is not included in this list. There are posted odds for approximately 75 of the individual players in this week's field.
This group includes players such as Casey Martin, the well-known golfer who suffers from a devastating leg injury that prohibits him from walking the course and requires a golf cart.
It also includes teenage phenom Beau Hossler and many players who qualified through the U.S. Open's open qualifying tournaments leading up to the event.
Unlike Luke Donald, Lee Westwood has at least contended in recent majors.
No, he hasn't closed the door yet, but his game is sharp, and he has a great opportunity to do so this weekend, or very soon.
As the No. 3 player in golf, it's hard to disagree with Westwood's odds for this tournament.
Phil Mickelson has had a pretty good year as a golfer in 2012 thus far.
And he recently added his name to a group that is looking at buying the San Diego Padres. I'm not sure how much, if any, that tidbit affects his odds of winning, but it's a nice little factoid.
What is important is that Mickelson remains one of the top players in golf, even at his advanced age of 41. The Olympic Golf Club presents much of the same benefits to Mickelson as Pebble Beach did earlier this year. If you don't recall, he dominated that tournament.
His 15/1 odds sound about right for the San Diego native.
Matt Kuchar recorded the greatest victory of his career earlier this year when he captured the Players Championship at the TPC course in Florida.
While The Olympic Club is a bit different, Kuchar has the kind of game necessary to win a U.S. Open. With his big win, he now has the confidence as well.
Odds of 25/1 seem pretty fair for the No. 6 player in the world.
Jason Dufner has been spicy-hot the last two months leading up to the U.S. Open. Perhaps no one is playing better golf than he.
If Dufner, the No. 9 player in the world, can keep the magic going, 25/1 odds are looking pretty good for this Ohioan.
The bookies are quite wise. They take the name players and give them better odds than some players more likely to win the golf tournament.
Sure, Rickie Fowler has contended at a few majors and recently won his first PGA Tour victory.
But Fowler's 25/1 odds clearly have more to do with his flash and name recognition.
It's surprising to see the 2012 Masters champion coming in at just 30/1 odds given his name recognition and the fact that he is the most recent player to win a major.
While it is extremely difficult to go back-to-back in majors, at 30/1 he might be a wise bet.
Hunter Mahan has not won a major, but he is the No. 8 player in the world and a force to be reckoned with for sure.
At 30/1 odds, Mahan also appears to be worth placing a few dollars on.
Adam Scott is the 17th player in the world and a guy who many believe could break out in a major at any point.
For 30/1 odds (and the risk of sounding like a broken record), take a shot on this guy.
Broken record alert: Buy, buy, buy!
Justin Rose at 30/1 odds is a fabulous bet.
The seventh-best player in the world has contended at a few majors in recent years but is yet to triumph on golf's biggest stage.
Could this be the year? We'll see.
2011 PGA champion Keegan Bradley at 40/1 odds actually seems quite fitting, seeing as how he hasn't placed at either of the Open tournaments.
He is far from a horrible bet at those odds, though.
Coming off of an impressive victory at the St. Jude Classic in Memphis on Sunday, and regaining a spot in the top 10 of the World Golf Rankings, it is a bit surprising to see a long hitter such as Dustin Johnson at just 40/1 odds.
Jump on him if you have a hankering for gambling (if it were legal, of course).
As my childhood golf idol, I still hope Sergio Garcia will win just one major one day.
As an oddsmaker, it makes sense to place such low odds on Garcia.
At 60/1, Garcia isn't being given a fighter's chance to win the U.S. Open. Maybe that's what he needs.