The US Open returns to Oakmont Country Club in Pennsylvania for the ninth time and the consensus is that the 116th edition will be one of the toughest tournaments ever.
In 2007, Angel Cabrera took out the eighth US Open contested at Oakmont Country Club with a five-over-par total that was the worst winning score since Hale Irwin’s victory at Winged Foot 33 years earlier. Oakmont Country Club has earned its reputation as the most difficult course in the United States of America and, while a forecast thunderstorm may soften the lightning fast greens at the beginning of the competition, the track is likely to bear its teeth in the later rounds.
Jason Day has won seven of the last 18 events in which he has played and he is a US Open specialist with form figures of 2-59-2-4-9 in his five appearances. One understands that punters are reluctant to back golf favourites at relatively short prices but it is hard to find fault with Day’s data and he looks set to go close to his second major title.
However, one’s idea of the best US Open bet is backing one of the world’s most frustrating golfers to finish in the top 20. Matt Kuchar is the golfer to whom one refers because the American who will celebrate his 38th birthday next week is one of the finest golfers not to win a big tournament having gone close on many occasions. Kuchar has won 12 professional events, including seven on the PGA Tour, and he was the PGA Tour’s leading money winner six seasons ago. But Kuchar has not broken through to clinch a major title, although seven times he has finished one of the big four competitions in the top 10. Kuchar has a reputation of being a non winner.
Thankfully, one does not need Kuchar to win the US Open to make a profit because Coral is offering odds of +162 about him finishing in the top 20. Kuchar has made the cut in each of his 12 major appearances and, since his breakthrough 2010 year, he has played in 24 such events for two top fives, seven top 10s, 12 top 20s and 19 top 30s. You would be hard pushed to find another US Open competitor available at odds against for a top-20 result with better numbers than Kuchar.
Kuchar will tee it up at Oakmont Country Club having placed 3-3-6-4 in his last four tournaments and his skill set is ideal for the US Open challenge on its most frequently used track – he is very accurate off the tee and his short game is very sound. Kuchar may never be a favourite of win-only punters but he is well worth supporting in exotic markets.
US Open 72-hole matches are a popular way to have a bet on the event and bookmakers have paired Kuchar with Rickie Fowler and Sergio Garcia. Kuchar is available at odds of +100 with Sportingbet to beat Fowler and that is a second wager worth striking. Fowler’s US Open record is not as impressive as that of Kuchar, with the former having two good results and five bad results, including three missed cuts. Fowler failed to make it through to the weekend in each of his last two PGA Tour appearances and his data points to the Open Championship being his best major.
Matt Kuchar to Finish in the Top 20
US Open, 16th – 19th June
Matt Kuchar to beat Rickie Fowler
US Open, 16th – 19th June