2014 US Open: Updated Odds After the Cut
The odds for the 2014 U.S. Open look like this right now: Chances are Martin Kaymer is going to win this thing.
The 29-year-old German is six strokes clear of the field after two rounds. He's carded a pair of brilliant 65s and is perched atop the leaderboard at 10 under. He's won a major in his career (the 2010 PGA Championship) and has won a significant tournament this year (The Players), so it's unlikely he's going to beat himself this weekend.
Brendon Todd, the only player better than three under after two rounds, is at four-under 136 after his second round.
Keven Na and Brandt Snedeker are in at three under, while pre-tournament favorite Rory McIlroy trails the leader by nine strokes entering the weekend.
Phil Mickelson, for his part, is three over through two rounds, 13 behind Kaymer.
Who has a prayer of catching the leader, and does the Kaymernator have an Achilles' heel? Click through to find out.
U.S. Open Title Odds: 140-1
Reason to Buy: Lefty had an abundance of confidence heading into Pinehurst. He seemed sure he'd play well at the course where he finished second in 1999.
Perhaps Mickelson knows something we don't and is saving his best play for the weekend. It's on this faint hope, and the fact that Mickelson has the most distinguished career of anyone in the field, that any bettor would consider wagering on Mickelson this weekend.
Reason to Sell: As you may have heard, Martin Kaymer is 10 under. Mickelson is 13 strokes off the German's lead.
Will win if...: He'll need a lot of help from Martin Kaymer, Brendon Todd, Kevin Na, Brandt Snedeker and company if he's going to have a prayer of winning his first U.S. Open. He'll need a scorching-hot putter, too, as he hasn't impressed on the greens through two rounds.
Brendon de Jonge
U.S. Open Title Odds: 60-1
Reason to Buy: It's a classic scenario: If he can do what he's been doing for the first two rounds in the last two, he could very easily win.
Through two rounds, the Zimbabwean is two under. It's not difficult to imagine a scenario where Martin Kaymer shoots 79, falls out of contention and the winning score for the tournament is four under.
Reason to Sell: de Jonge has never won a major. He found himself in a relaxed pairing with Kevin Stadler and Shane Lowry for the first two days with none of the pressure the afflicts a golfer on the first page of the weekend leaderboard at the U.S. Open. He won't be so fortunate this weekend.
Will win if…: Like every other golfer on this list, de Jonge needs Kaymer to make mistakes. It's unlikely that 64 or 65 will be out there for the taking during the third round of this tournament, so it's imperative that Kaymer drops shots. If this happens and de Jonge stays the course, he could very well become a U.S. Open champion.
U.S. Open Title Odds: 34-1
Reason to Buy: Keegan Bradley has carded two rounds of 69 to begin his 2014 U.S. Open campaign. Although he hasn't hit many greens, his short game has bailed him out. If he continues to produce the same results, he could end up at four or five under for the tournament.
Reason to Sell: Bradley's best finish in a U.S. Open is 68th in 2012. Although he's been steady through two rounds, he hasn't given any indication he'll take this tournament. And he hit just 11 of 18 during the second round. Thus, he's living dangerously.
Will win if...: He plays a little better (shooting 67 or 68 Saturday and Sunday) and Martin Kaymer plays a lot worse (shooting 73 or worse). Unfortunately, there hasn't been any indication so far that the latter will occur.
U.S. Open Title Odds: 30-1
Reason to Buy: He's the No. 1 golfer in the world. That means he should have something special in his bag of tricks, right?
Even though Scott has never finished inside the top 10 at a U.S. Open, he may now have some sorcerous powers as a result of his top-ranked status. Obviously a second-round 67 is an encouraging sign.
Reason to Sell: He's 10 strokes back of Martin Kaymer entering the weekend. Enough said.
Will win if...: Kaymer reprises last year's weekend performance, rounds of 77 and 74.
U.S. Open Title Odds: 30-1
Reason to Buy: If it weren't for double bogeys on the 11th hole both Thursday and Friday, Brandt Snedeker would be in the final group with Martin Kaymer. He's presently three under, seven strokes behind the German. Were it not for a pair of sloppy holes, he could easily be five or six under par right now.
Reason to Sell: If the pattern holds true and Snedeker continues to drop two strokes per round at Pinehurst's 11th hole, it's unlikely he'll be able to make up the ground he needs to. Additionally he's 131st in greens in regulation for the season, hitting just 63.6 percent. If he doesn't do significantly better than that this weekend, his chances aren't good.
Will win if…: Cut and paste from nearly every other golfer here. But really, if Snedeker continues his solid iron play, he could make enough putts to to get himself to six or seven under by the tournament's end.
U.S. Open Title Odds: 22-1
Reason to Buy: McIlroy is a past winner of the U.S. Open. Thus, he's well versed in what the weekend will bring. Even though he trails Kaymer handily, if the German were to fold, the tournament would be wide open.
Reason to Sell: Although he's turned in solid results as of late, including his win at the BMW PGA Championship and a strong showing at the Memorial, McIlroy has been wildly inconsistent from round to round. Thus, he could lay an egg Saturday or Sunday, which he can't afford given his position.
Will win if...: Anyone other than Martin Kaymer winning is premised on (you guessed it) Martin Kaymer losing significant ground over the weekend. If that happens, McIlroy will need to be better with his irons.
Obviously he has the tools to win and is a past major champion. If he displays the same form he did at the BMW PGA, a win is not at all unlikely.
U.S. Open Title Odds: 22-1
Reason to Buy: Johnson has only hit 50 percent of fairways through two rounds. His greens-in-regulation metric isn't much better, as he hit just 11 or 18 during the second round. Still, his putter has bailed him out, and he's managed to put together matching 69s and is two under for the tournament. If he finds a few more fairways and greens, who knows what could happen.
Reason to Sell: How long can we expect the 96th-ranked player in strokes-gained putting to continue to hole putts? Johnson's lack of accuracy through two rounds, particularly on approach shots, is troubling. It's difficult to think he'll turn in another under-par round with what are sure to be tough pins on Saturday with such untidiness from tee to green.
Will win if...: If Johnson is able to hit 14 or 15 greens and continues to hole putts, he will gain ground on Martin Kaymer. Obviously, like everyone else on this list, he needs Kaymer to backpedal to have a chance.
U.S. Open Title Odds: 20-1
Reason to Buy: Brendon Todd won less than a month ago at the HP Byron Nelson Championship, so he's accustomed to strong play on the weekend and dealing with the pressure of closing out a tournament. Additionally, he didn't make a bogey in his second round and hit 13 of 14 fairways (and 14 of 18 greens), so he's dialed in right now.
Reason to Sell: Brendon Todd has never played in the U.S. Open before. How many times have we seen a young player perform well Thursday and Friday in his maiden appearance and then wilt over the first few holes on Saturday?
Will win if…: Todd needs to beat Martin Kaymer by a stroke or two on each nine Saturday. If he does this, he'll be in excellent position to win the tournament entering the final round.
U.S. Open Title Odds: 1-2
Reason to Buy: Have you seen what he's done so far? Martin Kaymer opened with a pair of 65s. He's been brilliant from tee to green and leads by more than five strokes. Enough said.
Reason to Sell: Can you think of one? Kaymer plummeted in the Official World Golf Ranking in 2012 and 2013 while fixating on swing changes. If weekend pressure compels him to get too technical on the course, loose shots could result.
Also, he wasn't convincing down the stretch at The Players Championship, where he won last month.
Will win if...: he's able to average 72 over the next two rounds. The probability that any player is going to get to six under for the tournament is very low. Unless the USGA throws a bunch of water on the course and cuts some very accessible hole locations Saturday and Sunday to facilitate competition, that is.
Odds are my own. All stats via PGATour.com, USGA.org.