The 2014 U.S. Open is the second major of the year for golf’s biggest names, and this year’s tournament will take place on the well-known surfaces of Pinehurst Resort in Pinehurst, North Carolina.
While many fans have focused their attention on defending champion Justin Rose or American Phil Mickelson, plenty of players flying under the radar will be looking to make a splash at the major.
One of the biggest names trying to make history is betting long shot Rickie Fowler.
Here are the updated odds for the 2014 U.S. Open.
|Charles Howell III||35-1|
Long Shot Worth a Wager: Rickie Fowler (50-1)
Many players come into the 2014 U.S. Open with a chance to steal the show, but the betting long shot with the best opportunity to win the major tournament will be fan favorite Rickie Fowler at 50-1 odds.
At just 25 years old, Fowler has spent the first several years of his career learning the tricks of the PGA Tour the hard way. After struggling to find consistency at times, the California native has gone back to the drawing board with his swing and looks to be finding a rhythm.
When asked about his work with golf instructor Butch Harmon, Fowler told Eric Zarate of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram in late May about his swing and his struggles at times this year:
Been working on a lot of swing stuff with Butch, working on all the right things. It’s just that some weeks it feels better than others. I felt good out there today, definitely like where I’m heading. It’s kind of been an up-and-down year. I’ve been hitting the ball kind of center of the face, which is a good thing, so really I just have to get in there and trust it. It’s definitely a different feeling with the swing that I make now than my old swing.
While there are still concerns about his consistency, the young player has thrived in big moments, such as the 2014 Masters. After finishing sixth at the Shell Houston Open the week prior to the Masters, Fowler showed why he is so beloved by finishing fifth overall in the major.
For the record, Fowler has once again built momentum heading into a major by finishing 13th in the FedEx St. Jude Classic the week before the U.S. Open.
There will be less pressure on Fowler this week than usual, though, as Shane Bacon of Yahoo Sports and Jason Sobel of GolfChannel.com shared who his partners for the tournament will be and just how young the trio is:
Jordan Spieth, Rickie Fowler and Hideki Matsuyama paired together at Pinehurst. I’m assuming a couple of kids will be following this group— Shane Bacon (@shanebacon) June 6, 2014
Young guns Rickie Fowler, Hideki Matsuyama and Jordan Spieth in one U.S. Open featured group. They're a combined 66 years old.— Jason Sobel (@JasonSobelGC) June 6, 2014
The group's youth and lack of long-term experience should help keep the golfers relaxed and focused on the task at hand without forcing the players to make mistakes in pivotal moments.
Some young players find it difficult to play with veterans. Even players like Mickelson, who are incredibly receptive to helping rising stars, can add unnecessary pressure to a group with their mere presence.
With Fowler relaxed and able to concentrate on the course, this could be his chance to shine.
Predicted U.S. Open Finish for Fowler: Tied for Third Place
*Stats via PGATour.com.