58 of world’s top 60 golfers head to Pinehurst for second Major of 2014.
It’s the second Major of the year this weekend as the world’s leading golfers head to Pinehurst Resort for the US Open. Justin Rose became the first Englishman to win the US Open since Tony Jacklin in 1970 when he triumphed last year and many of this year’s favourites are also European players. Keep reading for our preview of the 114th US Open.
Accurate driving and clever short game likely to be crucial
If your definition of ‘rough’ on a golf course is thick grass then there is no rough at Pinehurst to speak of. Instead, wayward drives will land in expanses of sand, native grass and throwback hazards like exposed tree roots and naturally created depressions.
The PGA Tour says that ‘with a fine line between superb and terrible lies off the tee…course management will be key as it always is in this championship.’ Accurate driving and ingenious short play are likely to be crucial with those players boasting good scrambling and bogey avoidance stats likely to prevail.
The favourites for the 2014 US Open
In his last seven starts Rory Mcilroy has recorded a win – at the BMW PGA – five top ten finishes and a T15. Indeed, the 25 year old hasn’t finished outside the top 25 in any event he has played in this year and so the 2011 US Open champion is a worthy 12/1 favourite.
A win for Phil ‘Lefty’ Mickelson would see the 45 year old complete a career Grand Slam and so there will be plenty of money on the Californian this weekend. In truth, it’s not been the best of years for Mickelson but it’s folly to write him off in a big event like this. He is 16/1 to win.
World number one Adam Scott is available at 12/1 but we’re not sure the Aussie has the game for this course and he has failed to record a top ten finish at the US Open in 12 attempts.
A better bet may be fellow Australian Jason Day. The two time US Open runner-up has both the length and the short game to be a real challenger here although a recent thumb injury may still be a factor. Day is available at 28/1.
It may also be worth keeping an eye on Dustin Johnson. The tall 29 year old has six top 15 finishes to his name this season and finished T24 at the St Jude last weekend (a third round 75 cost him a top ten finish). Johnson is a good each-way bet at 33/1.
Some outsiders to consider in the betting
With three top 12 finishes in his last four PGA Tour events we really like the chances of Charl Schwartzl. The South African registered top 15 finishes in two of the last three US Opens and has been in good form in 2014.
He’s shot seven consecutive par or better rounds and we fancy Schwartzl to give you something to cheer about well into the weekend at 45/1.
2014 hasn’t been a terrific year for Billy Horschel but there have been signs in the last couple of weeks that the 27 year old is getting his game back together. We tipped Horschel to go well at the St Jude last week and he duly obliged with a top ten finish.
He finished T5 at Muirfield Village a couple of weeks ago where he led the field in greens hit and the man from Grant, Florida also ranks in the top five on the Tour for GIR. These stats could be vital at Pinehurst and so we like his chances at 75/1.
As ever, please head over and check out all our pre-tournament odds on the 2014 US Open over on our main site. Enjoy the golf!