US Open Golf Odds 2014: Betting Guide for Pinehurst Tournament
The U.S. Open has traditionally been the most strenuous of the four majors, and this week's championship at Pinehurst No. 2 will be another of those.
That world-famous course in the Sandhills of North Carolina will put up a stern test for the 156 players who have either qualified or were exempted into the field.
Here's a look at some things to keep an eye on as the championship unfolds. Things like pretenders, contenders and even some players who might come from out of nowhere to be major factors.
And all in an effort to help those of you who might be considering a wager or two for entertainment purposes.
Bubba Watson — Yes, he's a two-time Masters champion. And yes, he's withstood the pressure of trying to win a major in a playoff. But we also saw his wheels come off in a big way in the final round of the Memorial. That won't fly this week at Pinehurst.
Dustin Johnson — He might qualify as the best player not to win a major who has led two on the final day. He can hit the ball as far as anyone and can work it with the best of them, but for a man with all that talent, Johnson hasn't been able to nail down a big trophy.
Jimmy Walker — This man has led the FedEx Cup standings since the beginning of the year and has won three times on the PGA Tour. In his first Masters appearance, Walker finished T8. He hasn't played in the U.S. Open since 2002 and missed the cut then.
Jim Furyk — The 2003 U.S. Open champion has played better recently, finishing second in the Players Championship and Wells Fargo Championship. He doesn't have the firepower to play in the nation's championship anymore.
Webb Simpson — It would be a great story if Simpson would be able to duplicate his U.S. Open championship of 2012 in his home state of North Carolina. But the young man just hasn't been able to get his game back to that level again.
Adam Scott — He's ranked No. 1 in the world for a reason. Of the top players in the game, he's playing the best recently, and he won the 2013 Masters.
Rory McIlroy — He's won two major championships and has made a nice comeback from a lousy 2013 season. It was a bit troubling that he blew a late Sunday afternoon lead at the Honda Classic, but he is playing well overall.
Henrik Stenson — There are no majors on Stenson's resume, but he finished second in the British Open and third in the PGA Championship a year ago. In the last half of the 2013 season, nobody was better than Henson.
Matt Kuchar — Perhaps the leader of that "best player to not have a major" category. He's had a really good season to this point, and Pinehurst might be a really good place for him to end all of that.
Jordan Spieth — This year's sensation on the PGA Tour, Spieth has finished T2 in the Masters and T8 at the Players Championship. With a better finishing kick, Spieth could have won either one of those or both. Not bad for a 20-year-old who seems destined for greatness.
Brendon Todd — It could be argued that Brendon Todd is the hottest player in golf right now. He won the Byron Nelson Championship, finished T5 in the Colonial and T8 in the Memorial Tournament. He'll be making his first appearance in the U.S. Open, and his top-flight short game will be sternly tested this week.
Harris English — Another Bulldog, English is the kind of player who should do well in a major champion. He's long off the tee and has shown great accuracy in hitting greens, ranking third on the PGA Tour in that category. He could come from the fringe of contenders and play a big part of the week.
Zach Johnson — While English is long off the tee, Johnson is certainly not. But that didn't keep him from winning the Masters in 2007. Don't count him out, even through Pinehurst No. 2.
Chris Kirk — The third Bulldog in the group plays the game on the other side of the ball (left-handed) and is doing it very nicely in 2014. He's made over $2.7 million this year and has won twice in four full years on the PGA Tour.
All statistics courtesy of PGATour.com.
Beating the Odds
Somebody has to be the favorite going into the U.S. Open and, to the oddsmakers at Odds Shark, Rory McIlroy is that guy.
The young Northern Irishman has been installed at 8-1, based no doubt on the comeback season he's had after a disastrous 2013 and the fact that he won the U.S. Open in 2011 at Congressional.
He's not an overwhelming favorite, however, and the odds of the other top players reflect that.
After McIlroy, it's Adam Scott (11-1), Phil Mickelson (14-1), Bubba Watson and Jordan Spieth (20-1).
Will Par Be Good Enough?
If you're looking for a side wager this week, how about this one.
The last two U.S. Opens at Pinehurst (1999 and 2005) were won with scores of one-under par by Payne Stewart and even-par by Michael Campbell, respectively.
The 2012 and 2013 U.S. Opens were won by Webb Simpson and Justin Rose and each of those finished one-over par. If the winning score this week is over par, it will be the first time in 45 years that three consecutive Opens were over par.
How would you bet that one?