Tomorrow sees the start of the 120th US Open at Winged Foot. The course is notoriously difficult, and if you’re expecting to see the world’s top players consistently scoring under par, think again. The last time it was here was 2006, and the Tillinghast-designed course will play over 7,400 yards, or what is known as bloody-long. The Fairways are tight with very thick (and cruel) rough, and the way onto the heavily contoured greens surrounded by traps everywhere, would make a socially distanced Lidl shopping expedition in full PPE in 30 degrees of summer heat, with three children and uncaring trolley, look like a cakewalk.
When Johnny Miller won the US Open in 1973 at Oakmount, with a final round of 63, the good ol’ golfing boys at Golf HQ decided to make sure that the chosen course for the 1974 classic, played as hard as it could be made to be. In that task, they were supremely successful. As one writer put it, “…the course was set up with fairways so narrow you had to walk sideways and rough so deep that just getting it back in the fairway was a good shot.” The four past U.S. Open champions in the field, who made the cut, all finished double-digits over par: Palmer was 12-over, Gary Player 13-over, Jack Nicklaus (whose first round started with him putting off the green) 14-over and Miller 22-over. Two-time champ Lee Trevino missed the cut after opening 78-78. There is a book you might be able to find, by Dick Schaap called Massacre at Winged Foot and is a minute by minute account of the tournament. Of course, you won’t know many of the names, but this was a time when $35,00 was the first prize; when a Hybrid was some sort of rose; when a wood was just that. It will also provide you with great insight into the American psyche.
Before you bet, however, discover HERE what odds and more important terms, your favourite bookmaker is offering. For example, Skybet is offering 11 places at a 1/5 odds – while another is offering 6 places at ¼ odds.
So who might win this weekend’s magnificent journey?
35/1 for 9 places with William Hill seems right for PATRICK REED whose LTO figures were first for Scrambling as well as Total Driving, and ranked 2nd for SG: Off-The-Tee and fourth for SG: Ball-Striking. His figures overall are 27th in scrambling, 16th in SG (strokes gained) Around-The -Green, and 27th in SG Putting. He’s won the Masters, and several Fed-ex playoffs, he looks solid – but I am concerned that he is going out with Speith and Matsuyama. There was a time allegedly when there was real bad blood between Speith and Reed. COLLIN MORIKAWA has been backed solidly – and is a justifiable 16s. What hasn’t this kid achieved to date? He has a complete set of skills and abilities that translates well for any course and any set-up, regardless of what Billy Bob tries to do to him. He’s going to find the fairway 99% of the time and his short grass play is stunning. the short grass. Back-to-back majors? Why not? DANIEL BERGER is one of the best players in the world – except it’s almost as though no one has noticed. He’s a 33/1 shot, pretty big odds, for a tied 6th in the US Open 2018, having shared the lead after the 3rd round. He won at Colonial, he has seven Top-10s in his last 11 tournaments and has leapt from top 150 to 13th best in the world. There’s a lot of chat about the Wolfman MATTHEW WOLFF, the most complicated thing about him being the way he spells his name. The rest is just poetry in motion and he might just be the best driver in the world right now. In many stats, only Jon Rahm is better, (including name spelling). Hmmm… 10/1 for Rahm or 75/1 with Bet365 for a man with tremendous figures and now I’m including the price.
My Bajan Republican has suggested the following picks: Rahm. Xander and Fleetwood with Lowry and Hatton as lively outsiders. He is sometimes right about Golf.
PATRICK REED 35/1 William Hill 1/5 odds 9 places – COLLIN MORIKAWA 16/1 William Hill 1/5 odds 9 places – DANIEL BERGER – 33/1 William Hill – MATTHEW WOLFF 75/1 Bet365 1/5 odds 8 places.