2012 US Open (Golf)

US Open 2012 Odds: Phil Mickelson and Wild Cards with Legit Shot at Open Title

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JUNE 12:  Phil Mickelson of the United States hits a tee shot during a practice round prior to the start of the 112th U.S. Open at The Olympic Club on June 12, 2012 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
Shaun ChurchContributor IJune 12, 2012

Against all odds, Phil Mickelson has a legitimate shot at winning his first US Open title. Lefty has come close in the past, finishing as a runner-up an astounding five times since 1999.

The favorite is likely Tiger Woods, and for good reason. He’s won The Open three times—the last coming in 2008—and is still fresh off his best weekend of golf in years.

But who else has a chance? Is there a wild card who can steal a victory on Sunday?

Odds provided by BankrollSports.com.

 

Phil Mickelson—22-1

Paired with: Tiger Woods, Bubba Watson

Thursday tee time: 10:33 a.m. ET

As B/R Featured Columnist Kevin Casey states, “Overall, despite zero victories at the Open, Mickelson’s most memorable moments at this event include the highest of highs and the lowest of lows.”

If Mickelson wants an Open championship he’d better do it now. He isn’t getting any younger, and the oldest winner of the US Open is Raymond Floyd, who did it at 43.

The recently bronzed Mickelson will spend his 42nd birthday weekend on the golf course at the Olympic Club, and what better way to celebrate than with his fifth Major Championship?

 

Matt Kuchar—30-1

Paired with: Steve Stricker, Ian Poulter

Thursday tee time: 4:36 p.m. ET

Kuchar won the Players Championship on Mother’s Day and finished tied for third at the Masters. He appears to be playing his best golf this year, and he could be on the brink of a big weekend.

The soon-to-be-34-year-old Kuchar is tied for the tour lead with five top-10 finishes in 2012. He is the current scoring leader on the tour, with a 69.39 average overall round. He’s also made the most consecutive cuts with 19.

He can do it, but he will need to convert his birdie opportunities and pray he has a strong gust of wind at his back for the par-5 holes.

 

Bubba Watson—50-1

Paired with: Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson

Thursday tee time: 10:33 a.m. ET

Big-hitter Bubba Watson won his first Major Championship earlier this year at The Masters and has four top-10 finishes in 2012. Being paired with Tiger could be intimidating, so getting off to a fast start will be important for Watson’s chances.

He is No. 1 on the tour in driving distance (314.5 yards), drive carry distance (307.0), average distance to the hole after tee shot (152.7) and going for the green (79.39 percent). Watson is also No. 3 on the tour with a 69.94 scoring average in 2012.

Where he will need to shine this weekend is in his putting and on Olympic's par-3 holes. Watson is plus-15 on par-3s this year, ranking him 90th in the world. Struggling on the course’s shortest holes could be devastating.

 

Prediction

The winner of the 2012 US Open will come from the Thursday/Friday pairing of Woods, Mickelson and Watson. The threesome will all find themselves inside the top-10 in the standings by Saturday, with Tiger initially pulling out to an early Sunday lead.

But this Father’s Day Sunday afternoon will belong to Watson as he wins his second consecutive Major Championship. Phil will falter and once again fall just short of his first US Open title.

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