One of the biggest golf tournaments of the year has arrived as the 2017 US Open begins this Thursday night Australian time! Be sure to read on for our full preview and latest PGA betting tips.
Where: Erin Hills, Hartford, Wisconsin
When: Thursday 15th June (9:45pm AEST first tee)
The 117th U.S. Open heads to the state of Wisconsin for the first time ever. The golf course is called Erin Hills and it is a relatively new “public” track that will set you back around $280 a round. It’s a traditional links-style golf course that measures at just over 7800 yards. There has been a lot of talk about the knee-high fescue rough being too long, but the fairways are very generous and a player that is driving the ball well won’t be bothered by the rough. It looks like there is some challenging green side bunkers - however, for those bunkers to come into play the course will need a significant amount of wind.
Currently the weather forecast is for low-to-moderate winds and therefore we might just see the tournament director placing the pins in some hard to reach places and/or moving the tee’s back. If the weather forecast is correct, then this U.S. Open could turn into a shootout and players that can drive the ball long and accurate will have a big advantage.
Unfortunately, Phil Mickelson will not be teeing it up on Thursday as he has committed to his daughter Amanda’s graduation in California. He would need the tournament to be delayed by four hours and a bit of luck to make it to Wisconsin on time. So, although he is not 100% out just yet, he is irrelevant in terms of sports betting.
The European players should feel right at home on this golf course. I’m a big believer on ‘how the golf course suits the eye’. Some players like tight-tree lined courses, some prefer courses parked beside an ocean and some players like wide-open links courses. Therefore, leaning towards players with good results in the British Open (Open Championship) is a good place to start.
The Dustin Johnson Dilemma
The defending champion, world number one and pre-tournament favourite would have to defy golf history to win this year’s U.S. Open. A player hasn’t defended the title since the 80’s. Also, the only world number one to win a U.S Open in recent history was Tiger Woods and as talented as Dustin Johnson is, he is no Tiger Woods just yet. Another big negative for Johnson is his form leading up to the Open. After “falling down the stairs” at the Masters he has finished 12th, 13th and missed the cut in his last three tournaments.
Here are my three favourite selections for the 2017 U.S. Open. I’ve also included my best European players and some long shots for all you fantasy players out there.
My first pick does not come without risk. Rory has had a very interrupted 2017 after suffering a rib injury, but on a long-soft links course you just can’t look past this guy. In the six events he has played on the pga tour he has finished in the top 10 on four occasions, including a 7th place finish at the Masters. Everybody believes Dustin Johnson is the longest driver of the golf ball, but Rory has him covered in 2017. Johnson is ranked 1st on the pga tour averaging 312.1 yards, while Rory is averaging 316.1 yards on the European tour. Rory is also much more accurate and is hitting 73.2% of fairways compared to Johnson who is averaging 55.82%. Happy to go with the world number 2 on this occasion.
Going with another great driver of the golf ball. Fowler is ranked 33rd in distance, 25th in accuracy and 1st in total driving on the pga tour. He is having a great season of golf with five top 10’s which includes a 1st, 2nd and a 3rd. He has good results on links courses including a runner up in the 2014 Open Championship. He is arguably at the top of the list of “best players without a major championship”.
The 2017 Masters champion is well placed to go back-to-back. Garcia finished 2nd at Carnoustie in 2007 and tied for 2nd at Royal Liverpool in 2014. He also sits just behind Rick Fowler in total driving on the pga tour - ranked 29th in distance and 35th in accuracy. This tournament should play into his strengths.
Thomas Pieters ($41 at Ladbrokes)
Alexander Noren - ($51 at Ladbrokes)
Charl Schwartzel - ($67 at Ladbrokes)
Byeong-Hun An - ($101 at Ladbrokes)
Stephan Jaeger - ($501 at Ladbrokes)
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