US Open Field 2013: Players in Line to Capture PGA Major at Merion

Benjamin KleinContributor IIIJune 12, 2013

Will Luke Donald finally prove that he can play well at the U.S. Open?
Will Luke Donald finally prove that he can play well at the U.S. Open?Scott Halleran/Getty Images

While Tiger Woods is favored to win the 2013 U.S. Open, this year’s field is highly competitive and there are several solid players that have good shots at taking home the second major of the year.

There are a couple of big names in this year’s field that haven’t gotten a lot of respect from Vegas, though. Most of the main contenders at Merion Golf Club have 20-1 odds or better at this point. But some with worse odds still deserve some competition.

This year wouldn’t be the first where one of the favorites to win ended up losing. Webb Simpson was far from being favored a year ago, and he still managed to win it all—making those that took a chance on him extremely happy.

So, here are three golfers that you should keep an eye on even though they don’t have the best odds of winning the 113th U.S. Open. You never know what’s going to happen.

*All odds were obtained via Bovada and are up to date as of Tuesday, June 11 at 11 a.m. ET.


Lee Westwood, 28-1 Odds

Lee Westwood enters the 2013 U.S. Open with about as much experience as any other golfer in the field. He’s played the second major of the year 13 times throughout his career, but has never finished in first place. He’s gotten close the last four years, but has never been able to shut the door on the other contenders.

Westwood, the former No. 1 golfer in the world, finished tied for third at the 2011 U.S. Open and tied for 10th a year ago. He was five-over last time around, which was four shots off the victor, Webb Simpson. Despite the better finish at the 111th U.S. Open, he was 10 shots off the lead that year. 

Westy has never won a major tournament, but enters Merion playing pretty good golf. Excluding a withdrawal after an opening-round 76 at the Memorial last week, Westwood has finished in the top 10 in his last four events. If Westwood continues to play like he has over the last two months, he should be in good shape this week.


Luke Donald, 33-1 Odds

Luke Donald has played miserably throughout his career at the U.S. Open. He’s only made it into the top 20 twice in eight times—nine if you count 2008 when he withdrew. In his last four tries at winning the PGA’s second major, he’s been cut twice and has finished tied for 47th and tied for 45th. That’s not good at all.

Will Donald finally have a few good rounds at the U.S. Open this year? Well, based on his season thus far, one would have to say that he’ll likely finish in the middle of the pack. He tied for third at the RBC Heritage and for fourth at the Tampa Bay Championship, but outside of those events, most of his finishes are between 15th and 25th.

Donald has been one of the better golfers for the last few years, but has definitely taken a back seat in 2013. The U.S. Open will be a prime opportunity to turn his year around, but he must play better than he has. He has to hit more greens in regulation, as he’s currently ranked 149th on the PGA Tour in that category.


Adam Scott, 22-1 Odds

The U.S. Open is the major where Adam Scott tends to struggle the most too. He’s entered the tournament 12 times in his career and has been cut before the weekend on six occasions. He hasn’t played on Saturday or Sunday in two of the last three years. Last year, he finished in a tie for 15th.

Scott has never entered the U.S. Open after winning the first major of the year, the Masters, earlier in the season. He’ll do that this year. There have only been four players in the last 60 years to win both majors in the same year: Tiger Woods, Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Ben Hogan. That’s quite the group.

Scott has been playing out of his mind the last few months and aside from his Masters victory, he’s placed in the top 20 his last two events. He’s yet to struggle at any of the events he’s entered this year. He’ll be playing alongside Woods and McIlroy to start the tournament and you can bet a lot of people will be watching every shot he takes.