US Open punters have very little course form on which to base their bets because Chambers Bay, venue for the 2015 edition of the major championship, has hosted just one significant event since it opened eight years ago and it was the 2010 US Amateur Championship that Peter Uihlein won.
Uihlein did not make the US Open field so punters can not back him to have another Chambers Bay moment but there are US Open qualifiers who did take part in the 2010 US Amateur Championship, one of which is Brooks Koepka. Winner of the Phoenix Open earlier this year, Koepka has commented that Chambers Bay will suit the big hitters because the fairways are wide. Paradise the word that Koepka has used to describe Chambers Bay for golfers who drive the ball more than 300 yards and one thinks it is well worth copping the tip.
Other golfers with Chambers Bay experience, including local star Michael Putnam, have said that the Washington course will play like an Open Championship track. So one is on the lookout for a slugger who has performed well in both the US Open and the Open Championship. Obviously, the ability to convert opportunities on the big stage is importance since one is talking about a major tournament and, based on what one has read about the Chambers Bay greens, it would be ideal to identify a golfer who is a good scrambler, too.
According to this season’s PGA Tour statistics, there are eight golfers who are ranked in the top 50 for both driving distance and scrambling. Only four of those big hitters who can scramble well are in the US Open field and two of them – Jason Day and Bubba Watson – do not pass one’s test about good results in both the US Open and the Open Championship, although one could argue that the Australian is unlucky not to make the grade. That leaves one with two golfers on whom to focus for what promises to be an unforgettable US Open.
One’s US Open top pick is Hideki Matsuyama, who is trading at odds of +3500 with PaddyPower. Matsuyama ranks 35th for driving distance on the PGA Tour this term – he is averaging 295.6 yards off the tee with his biggest club – and he ranks seventh for scrambling with a 65.45 percentage. Matsuyama is ranked 14th in the world, which is a superb achievement for a 23-year-old who turned professional just two years ago, and he has finished in the top 40 in seven of the last eight major events, including a tie for 10th in the 2013 US Open and a tie sixth in the 2013 Open Championship. Putting is the weakest part of Matsuyama’s game but one expects that skill will not be the difference between winning and losing at Chambers Bay, where putters will require some good luck.
Dustin Johnson is one’s idea as the biggest US Open danger to Matsuyama, with the American quoted at shorter odds than the Japanese – DJ is available at odds of +2200 with several bookmakers, including Bet365 and Betfred. Johnson is the longest hitter on the PGA Tour this season – he is averaging 317.6 yards off the tee when he lets loose, 10.2 yards farther than anyone else – and he is ranked 31st for scrambling 63.16 percentage. Johnson is the world’s number seven golfer and, while he is yet to break his major duck, he has eight top 10s, including in two in both the US Open and the Open Championship. Johnson has won a couple of World Golf Championships titles so he is a proven performer when the heat is on and there are millions of bucks on the line.
Stakes on the US Open should be kept to a minimum because of the absence of course form, which is a key part of the golf betting toolkit. However, Matsuyama and Johnson are logical punts and dutching them produces odds of around +1300 .
Matsuyama has been drawn to play with Matt Kuchar and Graeme McDowell in the first two US Open rounds, while Johnson will be in the group directly behind the Japanese youngster as he hits balls in tandem with Sergio Garcia and Adam Scott.
Hideki Matsuyama to win US Open
18th June 15:00 GMT
Where to Bet: PaddyPower
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