2010 US Open Odds: Handicapping the Pebble Beach Field
After a 10 year break, the US Open returns to Pebble Beach.
You may remember the last time this tournament was played here, Tiger Woods won by a record 15 strokes by shooting 12 under par.
Despite his recent struggles, Woods should still be considered one of, if not the favorite to win this week.
However, there will be a great number of challengers to Woods this week.
Players like Dustin Johnson, David Duval and Lee Westwood have all shown signs that they could win this weekend.
Typically with the US Open, an unknown player often comes from out of nowhere to make some serious noise throughout the weekend. Lucas Glover did just that by winning the tournament last year at Bethpage Black.
Here are my top 10 favorites to win the US Open at Pebble Beach this weekend.
10. David Duval
Although Duval has only made five cuts this year, he should still be expected to perform well in this year's second major.
Duval finished second at the AT&T National Pro-Am in February by finishing just one shot behind champion Dustin Johnson.
Duval is also looking to cap an otherwise tremendous career turnaround.
He has shown flashes of past brilliance that made him the top player in the world over a decade ago, and he will try to put it all back together again for what could be a very special US Open for him.
Odds of winning: 40:1
9. Rory Mcllroy
McIlroy has already broken though this year by winning his first career PGA tournament at the Quail Hollow Championship.
McIlroy shot a course-record 62 on the final round to overcome some of the best players in the world en route to winning by four shots.
Therefore, stage fright should not be a problem for this young phenom from Northern Ireland.
Many people have compared McIlroy to a young Tiger Woods. Although that comparison carries a lot of weight, McIlroy appears ready to to live up to those expectations.
Odds of winning: 35:1
8. Steve Stricker
The fourth-ranked player in the world will be looking to breakthrough and win his first major championship this weekend.
Stricker has four top 10's this year, and his victory in the Northern Trust Open vaulted him to second in the world rankings at the time.
Stricker currently ranks fifth on the tour for putts per round, and he will need to be rolling the rock smoothly if he wants to be in contention on Sunday.
Odds of winning: 32:1
7. Ernie Els
The "Big Easy" is swinging a hot stick right now.
Els currently sits atop the leader board in terms of winnings this season, and he ranks second in scoring average as well.
Els has won twice this year already by claiming victories at the Arnold Palmer Invitational and the WGC at Doral.
In that infamous 2000 US Open won by Woods, Els finished in a tie for second, so you can bet that he wants to win here badly.
Odds of winning: 27:1
6. KJ Choi
Despite not winning this year, Choi has had a great season.
Choi became a household name during the Master's when he finished fourth. Choi was paired with Tiger Woods in every round that week, and he went shot for shot with him as they both finished at 11 under.
Choi has made 13 consecutive cuts this year, and he will look to use that consistency as a weapon at Pebble Beach.
Although his best US Open result came in 2005 when he tied for 15th, Choi appears determined to finish what he started at the The Master's.
Odds of winning: 25:1
5. Dustin Johnson
Johnson already has three career victories in his short time on the PGA Tour.
Fortunately for this 25 year old, two of those victories have come at Pebble Beach. Johnson has won the AT&T Pro-Am at Pebble Beach the past two seasons.
Johnson is hopeful that translates into success on the big stage at the US Open.
Johnson currently ranks second in driving distance on tour, but 162nd in driving accuracy. If he is able to keep those long drives in the short stuff, he could definitely contend for the US Open title.
Odds of winning: 22:1
4. Jim Furyk
The fifth-ranked player in the world always seems to be near or at the top of the leader board no matter what tournament he is playing.
Furyk has already won the Transitions Championship and the Version Heritage this year.
Furyk has a history of success of the US Open. He has finished in the top-five five times already, which included a win in 2003.
If Furyk is to find success again at this year's championship, he will have to improve on his short game.
Despite ranking sixth in driving accuracy, Furyk sits 58th in hitting the greens in regulation.
A solid week with the irons and wedges should give Furyk a great opportunity at winning this years national championship.
Odds of winning 18:1
3. Lee Westwood
Lee Westwood is on the verge of greatness.
He won last week's St. Jude Classic, and he has recently been as close to winning a major as you can possibly be.
Westwood has finished in the top three in the last three major championships, and that included a second place finish at this year's Master's.
A victory in the US Open would certainly cap off a career for Westwood that has been defined by great success in the Ryder Cup and on the European Tour.
Despite winning twice on the PGA Tour, he needs a major championship to solidify his place amongst the best golfers in the world today.
A victory at Pebble Beach would certainly do that.
Odds of winning: 10:1
2. Tiger Woods
There is no middle ground with this pick.
Woods could either win the tournament in a route, or he could not even be close to making the cut.
Despite his struggles, I'm still betting that he will be in the hunt on Sunday.
As I've already mentioned, Woods won the last US Open played here by a mind numbing 15 shots.
Certainly a lot has changed since that tournament a decade ago, but Woods will still be dangerous this weekend.
Much was made of Woods signing multiple pairs of gloves for fans he hit at the Memorial recently, but those autographs will stop quickly.
Woods will find a way, just like he did earlier this year at the Master's, to overcome adversity and to be in contention on Sunday.
Look for Woods to begin using his irons and 3-wood off the tee very quickly if he struggles early with the driver. If he does this, and he begins to make some putts, he will be very tough to beat.
Odds of winning: 8:1
1. Phil Mickelson
Lefty is my favorite to win the 2010 US Open at Pebble Beach.
The 2010 Master's champion will try and build on that momentum gained from winning at Augusta.
As always with Mickelson, he will almost certainly struggle to find the fairway off the tee.
However, if he can continue to produce those miraculous shots from trouble like he did at the Master's, there is no reason to believe why he can't win this weekend.
Mickelson has finished in second place five times in this tournament, but this is the year he will finally bring back the US Open Trophy.
Odds of winning: 5:1