Post by: Mike Philipps
Major golf returns to the state of Wisconsin for the seventh time – the fourth in the last seven years (2010 and 2015 PGA Championship, 2012 Women’s U.S. Open) – as Erin Hills (par 72, 7,812 yards) hosts the state’s first ever U.S. Open this week.
There is going to be a lot of talent showing up and that means there will be much to consider in betting on the 2017 US Open. Today, we will be discussing the course, the overall makeup of this year’s tournament and then provide an extensive look at all the top players expected to compete. We hope to give you everything you need to successfully bet on the US Open online.
Best Betting Sites for the 2017 US Open
Located about 40 minutes northwest of Milwaukee, Erin Hills is routed through the kettle moraine landscape carved by glaciers that covered the area over 10,000 years ago. Opened in 2006, Erin Hills was designed specifically to lure a U.S. Open. Since securing its first major in February 2008, Erin Hills has hosted the 2008 U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links and the 2011 U.S. Amateur.
One thing that really stands out about Erin Hills is that the course is long. Really long. The planned layout puts it at over 7,800 yards – the longest in major golf history – but there are tees that extend it to over 8,000 yards. The length hits you from the very start – the first hole is a 608-yard par 5 – and reminds you of it as you finish. The 18th hole measures an imposing 663 yards.
Undulating fairways and greens will lead players through a series of large elevation changes, all while surrounded by a sea of long, penal fescue grass and bunkers of every size and shape. And when we say “penal” fescue, that is no exaggeration. The fairways are fairly wide, but errant shots will be punished harshly. Kevin Na recently posted a funny video on Instagram showing just how rough this rough really is:
The U.S. Open has seen the cream rise in recent years. Four of the last six winners entered the week ranked in the top seven in the world. Before that, dark horses ruled for a brief stretch, with four winners between 2005 and 2010 ranking lower than 35th in the world. Michael Campbell (2005) and Lucas Glover (2009) weren’t in the top 70 when they won. No matter where the winner was ranked going in, he is getting younger. The average age of the last 15 U.S. Open champs is under 30, and it’s gotten even lower. Since 2011, the average is under 27 years old.
One thing that doesn’t regularly get lower at the U.S. Open is score, but it has been trending that way the past three years. Despite six of the nine winners prior to 2014 finishing at even par or higher, the average winning score of the last three U.S. Opens is six-under-par. Don’t be too fooled by those totals, though. The USGA would love nothing more than to make the field pay for those recent red numbers and have the winning total come in over par.
Last year, Dustin Johnson carded three rounds under par to overcome Oakmont for a three-shot victory – his first major title. His final-round 69 paired with 54-hole leader Shane Lowry’s 76 allowed Johnson to make up a four-shot deficit on Sunday.
Of course, that comeback did not come without controversy.
After his ball moved on the fifth green, Johnson was informed on the 12th tee that he may be penalized a stroke for moving his ball, but a final decision would not be made until after the round. Johnson was forced to play the remaining seven holes not knowing what his score really was. At the time he teed off on 12, he held a two-shot lead over Lowry, but no one knew for sure if that was correct.
Johnson played the final seven holes in even par while Lowry played them in two-over, to make the ultimate decision to assess a one-shot penalty a moot point. Johnson birdied the final hole and won by three.
After another rules melee broke out in major golf earlier this year at the Women’s ANA Inspiration, golfers and golf fans alike (and the USGA, for that matter) are hoping that another rules discrepancy will not draw attention from its rightful place.
Promotions Alert: Many Sites Have Special Offers for Betting on the US Open
Update: Just this morning we went looking for special offers just to bet on the US Open and found a ton of promotions that are worth a look. Multiple betting sites are offering enhanced odds on select markets, money-back guarantees, accumulator payout boosts, additional places paid on each-way bets, free bets for the US Open and much more.
We ended up finding so many US Open promotions that we decided to just dedicate a separate post just for US Open offers.
2017 US Open Betting Odds
As usual, we will be listing the odds on just the top-20 golfers for the week in order to save room. If you would like to see odds on the full field, just click the link at the bottom of any column to visit that betting site for the full lineup. Defending champion Dustin Johnson returns this year as the betting favourite, followed by an assortment of the usual suspects including Jason Day, Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth, John Rahm, Rickie Fowler, Sergio Garcia, Justin Rose and many more top notch golfers.
Choosing among all these great golfers will be no easy task, but we’ll be breaking it all down below. Also note that the best golf betting sites have opened additional US Open markets such as group betting, heads-up matchups, top player of each nationality, the winning margin and more. You can read more about these different types of bets here.
Odds from the Best International Bookmakers[table “1118” not found /]
As expected, the field of 156 is loaded with talent. 49 of the top 50 players in the World Golf Rankings are in the field. (Phil Mickelson seems unlikely to play. He stated on Sunday that he would need about a four-hour weather delay in order to make his Thursday tee time.)
That means there are plenty of options to choose from. Below are some breakdowns of some of the best options heading into the week. They have been split up into five categories: ‘The Favourites’, ‘Past U.S. Open Champions’, ‘Other Major Winners’, ‘Veterans Who’ve Been Close’ and ‘Young Guns’. You can see a more statistical breakdown of many of the top picks by clicking here.
US Open Betting Favourites
These are the players with the best odds to win this week.
- World Golf Ranking: 1
- Odds to Win: 29/4
- Things to Like: The defending champion is also the front runner to repeat as PGA Tour Player of the Year. His three wins are tied for first on the PGA Tour, and he sits atop the FedEx cup Points Standings. He leads the PGA Tour in Driving Distance, Greens in Regulation and Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green. On top of all that, Johnson has finished in the top-four each of the last three years at the U.S. Open. He is the man to beat.
- Things Not to Like: Johnson hasn’t been nearly as dominant since his mishap before the Masters. He actually missed a cut – just his third in the last 18 months – in his last start.
- At The U.S. Open: After a series of agonizingly close calls, Johnson finally broke through last year, winning at Oakmont by three shots. He finished each round inside the top-two, and his final-round 69 was enough to overtake 54-hole leader Shane Lowry. For the week, DJ led the field in Driving Distance and Greens in Regulation. Johnson has now finished in the top-four in three straight U.S. Open and has four career top-10s.
- Last event: If you wanted more proof of how difficult it is to predict professional golf, look no further than Johnson’s missed cut at the Memorial two weeks ago. The World No. 1 shot rounds of 78 and 74 to finish at eight-over-par and miss the cut by five shots.
- World Golf Ranking: 5
- Odds to Win: 9/1
- Things to Like: The 2015 U.S. Open champion is one of the best iron players in the game. He ranks first in Strokes Gained: Approach-the-Green and Proximity to the Hole, and ranks fourth in Greens in Regulation. That precision into the green and a solid putter have helped Spieth rank third on the PGA Tour in Scoring Average. Spieth also has some familiarity at Erin Hills. He made it to the quarterfinals of the 2011 U.S. Amateur that was hosted there.
- Things Not to Like: Spieth’s suspect play off the tee is what can get him in trouble, and that would be especially true at the U.S. Open with deep fescue lurking everywhere. He ranks 127th on the PGA Tour in Driving Accuracy and 107th in Strokes Gained: Off-the-Tee.
- At The U.S. Open: Spieth won the dramatic 2015 U.S. Open at Chambers Bay, dodging a pair of bullets from Dustin Johnson on the 72nd Spieth held at least a share of the lead after the second and third rounds, ranking fifth in the field in Greens in Regulation. Outside of the victory, Spieth’s most impressive U.S. Open accomplishment came in 2012, when he made the cut as an amateur and finished T-21. He earned a T-37 result at Oakmont last year.
- Last event: Spieth looked like he might capture his second win of the year at the Memorial two weeks ago, firing an opening-round 66 to put himself in the top-five right away. But he couldn’t keep his mojo from Thursday going, failing to break 71 the rest of the way. A final-round 73 dropped him out of the top-10, into a tie for 13th.
- World Golf Ranking: 3
- Odds to Win: 11/1
- Things to Like: The former No. 1-ranked player in the world is coming off two of his best performances in months – solo second at the Byron Nelson and T-15 at the Memorial – so maybe his game is starting to peak. Peaking at the U.S. Open is something that comes natural to Day. He’s finished in the top-10 in five of his six starts there. His short game is a big reason why. He ranks second this year in Strokes Gained: Around-the-Green, and while he ranks just 54th in Strokes Gained: Putting, he’s ranked in the top six the last two years.
- Things Not to Like: Wayward tee and approach shots could make things tough for Day. He ranks 120th on Tour in Greens in Regulation and 148th in Driving Accuracy.
- At The U.S. Open: Day’s record at the U.S. Open is truly sterling. While he doesn’t have a victory there, his consistent excellence is impressive. He’s finished in the top-10 in five of the six starts he’s made, including second place finishes in 2011 and 2013. Last year, he battled back after an opening-round 76 to get himself back into contention. Rounds of 69 and 66 on Friday and Saturday helped him finish T-8 at Oakmont.
- Last event: Day put together his best-ever performance at the Memorial, finishing at five-under-par and T-15. After an opening-round 75, he played the final three rounds in eight-under, highlighted by a 67 on Saturday. He ranked T-5 for the week in putting.
- World Golf Ranking: 2
- Odds to Win: 12/1
- Things to Like: Since missing the cut in last year’s U.S. Open, McIlroy has put together quite a stretch of golf. His last 15 starts have resulted in two wins, five more top-fives and five more top-10s. If he’s healthy, McIlroy is easily one the favorites at Erin Hills.
- Things Not to Like: A rib injury has hindered McIlory this season, limiting him to just six events in 2017. The injury flared up most recently at THE PLAYERS, and he hasn’t made a start since, withdrawing from the BMW PGA Championship two weeks ago.
- At The U.S. Open: McIlroy has one of the most dominating performances in a major on his resume, running away from the field at Congressional Country Club in the 2011 U.S. Open. He set the mark for lowest cumulative score (268) and score to par (16-under) in U.S. Open history, all while winning by eight shots. McIlroy used the event to announce very clearly that he would be a major player in the game for many years to come. He has two other top-10s to his credit at the U.S. Open, in 2009 (T-10) and 2015 (T-9). He missed the cut last year at Oakmont after a disappointing opening-round of 77.
- Last event: McIlroy struggled with a nagging injury at THE PLAYERS, finishing T-35.
Past U.S. Open Champs
They’ve won it before, so they know what it takes.
- World Golf Ranking: 11
- Odds to Win: 18/1
- Things to Like: Rose has a game that fits the majors – he’s finished in the top-four of all four – especially the U.S. Open. The reason for his consistent excellence in the toughest events is his excellent play from tee to green. He ranks in the top-14 on the PGA Tour in the four Strokes Gained statistics attributed to ball striking.
- Things Not to Like: If Rose’s game has any weakness, it’s on the putting green, and that could be a big problem on U.S. Open greens. He ranks 148th on the PGA Tour in Total Putting and 134th in Three-Putt Avoidance.
- At The U.S. Open: Rose won the 2013 U.S. Open at Merion, chasing down sentimental favorite Phil Mickelson in the process. Rose had all aspects of him game working that week, ranking in the top 16 in Driving Distance, Fairways Hit, Greens in Regulation and Total Putts. He finished each of the last three rounds no lower than fifth place. Rose has two other top-10s on his resume, including a T-5 in his U.S. Open debut in 2003. He missed the cut at Oakmont in 2016.
- Last event: Rose finished T-12 thanks to a final-round 67 at the BMW PGA Championship two weeks ago. He played the weekend in seven-under-par after opening with rounds of 72 and 74.
- World Golf Ranking: 58
- Odds to Win: 60/1
- Things to Like: Kaymer might be the most under-the-radar two-time major winning, former No. 1-ranked player in the world. His last win actually came at the 2014 U.S. Open, where he coasted to an easy victory. That performance should remind everyone just how good Kaymer’s ‘A’ game can be.
- Things Not to Like: It’s hard to criticize a player who’s made 30 of the last 31 cuts, but it’s not great that the missed cut came in Kaymer’s last start. Kaymer also hasn’t won since he claimed the 2014 U.S. Open – almost three full years.
- At The U.S. Open: Kaymer had his game running on all cylinders at the 2014 U.S. Open, jumping out to a big lead and cruising to an eight-shot win. At a revamped Pinehurst No. 2, Kaymer opened with a pair of 65s, the first time in major history that has been accomplished. His score of 130 after two rounds set a U.S. Open record, as well. The two-time major winner also has a T-8 finish to his credit in 2010. He finished T-37 at Oakmont last year, failing to shoot par in any round.
- Last event: Kaymer missed the cut by three shots at the BMW PGA Championship, carding rounds of 76 and 73.
Other Major Winners
These players have won some of the biggest tournaments in the world, but never the U.S. Open.
- World Golf Ranking: 12
- Odds to Win: 30/1
- Things to Like: Scott is still one longest bombers on the PGA Tour, and his length should come in handy at Erin Hills. He ranks 17th in Driving Distance at over 302 yards, helping him post an average score of 70.143, good for 18th on Tour. Since last year’s U.S. Open (19 starts), Scott has finished 15th or better 13 times, with four top-fives.
- Things Not to Like: Scott is greatly overdue for another victory. He hasn’t won since last March, a span of 29 worldwide starts.
- At The U.S. Open: Scott has been a part of every U.S. Open since 2002, and he has played the weekend in each of his last six. After not cracking the top-20 in his first 10 tries, Scott has done so four of the last five years. His best finish came at Chambers Bay in 2015, when he finished T-4, leading the field in Driving Distance.
- Last event: Scott earned his third top-10 in his last five starts, finishing T-10 at the FedEx St. Jude Classic. His second-round 64 tied for the low round of the week.
- World Golf Ranking: 7
- Odds to Win: 25/1
- Things to Like: Garcia can flat out stripe every club in his bag. The reigning Masters champion ranks second on the PGA Tour in Strokes Gained: Off-the-Tee and third in Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green. Numbers like that are probably why Garcia has five top-10s in his career at the U.S. Open. Now that he’s broken through in a major, he could be ready to put together a run.
- Things Not to Like: It’s no surprise. Garcia’s putter holds him back. He loses, on average, nearly .4 strokes per round in Putting, which ranks 179th on the PGA Tour.
- At The U.S. Open: In 17 previous starts, Garcia has compiled excellent results at the U.S. Open. He has made the cut each of the last nine years, earning three top-10s during that span. In all, he has five top-10s to his credit, including a T-5 at Oakmont last year.
- Last event: Garcia finished T-12 at the DEAN & DELUCA Invitational at the end of May. It was his best finish since he won the Green Jacket.
- World Golf Ranking: 6
- Odds to Win: 35/1
- Things to Like: Stenson bounced back from four straight missed cuts with his seventh top-10 of the season a few weeks ago at the BMW PGA Championship (T-3). And if you think back to last year’s dominating performance at the British Open, you know that Stenson can challenge any field.
- Things Not to Like: There weren’t any injuries reported during Stenson’s streak of four straight missed cuts earlier this spring, so it makes you wonder what was wrong. He hadn’t missed four straight cuts since 2011.
- At The U.S. Open: Stenson has finished inside the top 30 in six of his last seven starts, highlighted by his T-4 at Pinehurst No. 2 in 2014. That year he was in the top six after each round, and he led the field in Greens in Regulation while ranking eighth in Fairways Hit. When Stenson gets his ball striking going like that, he is a prime contender for a U.S. Open title. Last year, Stenson had to withdraw during the second round due to injury. His first-round 69 had him in seventh position.
- Last event: Stenson didn’t get much going while playing in his native Sweden at the Nordea Masters. A final-round 69 got him into red numbers (-3) and into a tie for 26th.
- World Golf Ranking: 27
- Odds to Win: 50/1
- Things to Like: Dufner’s confidence will be high after winning the Memorial Tournament two weeks ago, and his steady ball striking should give confidence to those that pick him to win. He ranks 21st on the PGA Tour in Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green and 16th in Total Strokes Gained.
- Things Not to Like: If you watched any of the play from the Memorial two weeks ago, you looked on with fear anytime Dufner had a short putt. He missed plenty, and belief in your ability to make three-footers cannot be shaky on U.S. Open greens.
- At The U.S. Open: After a T-8 last year, Dufner has now finished in the top eight in three of the last five U.S. Opens. He earned his best result (T-4) in consecutive starts. Known for his iron play, Dufner has showcased it in his National Championship. He has ranked in the top seven in the field in Greens in Regulation in four of the last five U.S. Opens.
- Last event: Dufner had a roller coaster week at the Memorial, but wound up having the best time of anyone, sealing a win with a dramatic putt on the 18th green Sunday evening. Dufner went from running away from the field after a pair of 65s on Thursday and Friday, to not even playing in the final group after a 77 on Saturday. But he found his game again and fired an impressive 68 to hold off a slew of contenders and get a three-shot win. For the week, Dufner led the field in Greens in Regulation and was T-7 in Fairways Hit. Fairways and greens sounds like a strategy that might work in the U.S. Open.
- World Golf Ranking: 21
- Odds to Win: 55/1
- Things to Like: Oosthuizen has made 20 straight cuts, with three top-five finishes in his last 10 starts. Along with a win at the 2010 British Open, Oosthuizen also has three runner-up finishes in majors, including at the 2015 U.S. Open.
- Things Not to Like: It’s tough to find something that stands out as a weakness for Oosthuizen. His average ranking in the six Strokes Gained categories in 28th, with none lower than 67th.
- At The U.S. Open: Oosthuizen has a pair of top-10s, including a T-2 at Chambers Bay in 2015, to his credit. That year, he played his last three rounds in a U.S. Open-record score of 199 (11-under-par). He finished T-23 last year at Oakmont.
- Last event: Oosthuizen finished T-18 at the AT&T Byron Nelson Classic, giving him his fourth top-25 in his last five starts.
- World Golf Ranking: 16
- Odds to Win: 65/1
- Things to Like: After arguably his best season as a professional, Schwartzel is following it up with a strong 2016-17. He has five top-six finishes in his last 13 starts, including a T-2 last week. Also, Schwartzel is one of the best putters on the PGA Tour, ranking ninth in Strokes Gained: Putting.
- Things Not to Like: Schwartzel is less than a month removed from a wrist injury that forced him to withdraw from the Byron Nelson. While he looked healthy last week, it’s something to keep in mind.
- At The U.S. Open: Schwartzel has finished in the top 15 in four of the last seven years at the U.S. Open. His best result came two years ago at Chambers Bay, when he played the weekend in five-under-par to earn a solo seventh. Last year, Schwartzel added his fifth career top-25 in a U.S. Open with his T-23 at Oakmont.
- Last event: Schwartzel fired three rounds of 66 or better at the St. Jude Classic, setting himself up as the 36-hole leader in the process. Unfortunately, a round of 74 on Saturday kept him from earning his first win since last March. His 66 on Sunday pulled him to within one shot of eventual champ Daniel Berger, earning a T-2 finish.
- World Golf Ranking: 70
- Odds to Win: 85/1
- Things to Like: The two-time major winner is a bulldog, so grinding out pars is not something he’ll shy away from. Surprisingly, he hasn’t had much success at the U.S. Open in the past, but he is coming off his best career finish last year (T-8) at Oakmont.
- Things Not to Like: Johnson has not had many strong performances this season. In 14 starts, he has only two top-10s and has missed the cut four times. Since last year’s U.S. Open, Johnson has fallen 50 spots in the World Golf Rankings.
- At The U.S. Open: The U.S. Open has not been the best stage for Johnson in his career. One would think a game based on precision would have better results, but they simply aren’t there. Before last year’s T-8, Johnson hadn’t finished inside the top 30 in 12 starts. He’s missed five cuts at the U.S. Open, but only one of those have been in the last seven years.
- Last event: Johnson got off to a very poor start at the Memorial, carding an opening-round 76, putting himself in a big hole. While he couldn’t put any low rounds together, he played the final three rounds in three-under-par to finish T-40.
Veterans Who Have Been Close to a Major Victory
These players have the game and the experience. Each of the following has more than eight career starts in majors, but has not yet managed to get over that major hump.
- World Golf Ranking: 9
- Odds to Win: 20/1
- Things to Like: Fowler has the complete game necessary to win not only a major, but a U.S. Open. He ranks second on the PGA Tour in Total Strokes Gained, seventh in Strokes Gained: Putting and third in Scoring Average this season. He is firmly in the ‘best player to never win a major’ conversation, and players have been escaping that list regularly. Sergio Garcia, Henrik Stenson and Dustin Johnson took their names off, as the last six major winners were first-time major champions.
- Things Not to Like: Fowler has had success in all four majors, but the U.S. Open has given him the most trouble. He’s missed the cut four times – including each of the last two years – in nine career starts.
- At The U.S. Open: Fowler has had a very up-and-down run at the U.S. Open. He has a T-2 finish that capped back-to-back top-10s, but he has also missed consecutive cuts on two occasions. Fowler didn’t get much going last year at Oakmont, failing to break 75 either day on the way to missing the cut.
- Last event: Fowler missed the cut by three shots at the FedEx St. Jude Classic last week.
- World Golf Ranking: 4
- Odds to Win: 25/1
- Things to Like: Matsuyama gets his ball from tee to green about as well as anyone in the game. He ranks in the top-30 in all non-putting Strokes Gained categories: Tee-to-Green (7th), Off-the-Tee (10th), Approach-the-Green (21st), Total (25th) and Around-the-Green (30th).
- Things Not to Like: Matsuyama looked like he was going to run away with the PGA Tour Player of the Year award after the season’s first couple months, but he hasn’t finished in the top-10 in his last eight starts. His putting has really been his only weakness. He ranks 181st on the PGA Tour in Strokes Gained: Putting and 180th in Total Putting.
- At The U.S. Open: Matsuyama has a pair of top-20s to his credit in four starts at the U.S. Open. His best finish came in his debut, when he finished T-10 at Merion. He missed the cut last year, shooting rounds of 74 and 78 at Oakmont.
- Last event: Matsuyama never got anything going at the Memorial, failing to break 70 all week. At two-over-par, he finished T-45.
- World Golf Ranking: 22
- Odds to Win: 40/1
- Things to Like: Koepka has been one of the most consistent performers in the majors over the past three years. He’s finished in the top-25 in nine of his last 11 major starts, with four top-10s. Koepka is one of the longest hitters on Tour, too, so the daunting yardages at Erin Hills should be more manageable for him.
- Things Not to Like: Koepka looked like he was getting his season turned around, earning three top-10s in four starts between March and April, but he’s slid back over the last month. His average finish over his last three starts is nearly 40th.
- At The U.S. Open: Koepka has finished in the top-20 each of the last three years. His best finish came in 2014 when he finished T-4 at Pinehurst No. 2. He earned a T-13 result at Oakmont last year after a final-round 68.
- Last event: Koepka finished T-37 at the FedEx St. Jude Classic last week. He sat in 11th place after rounds of 69 and 66 to open, but couldn’t break par on the weekend, finishing at one-under-par.
- World Golf Ranking: 14
- Odds to Win: 50/1
- Things to Like: Casey has been one of the most consistent players on the PGA Tour for the past year. He’s made 20 of his last 21 cuts, earning a top-10 in eight of them. Casey’s biggest strength is precision with his irons. He ranks third on the PGA Tour in Strokes Gained: Approach-the-Green and seventh in Greens in Regulation.
- Things Not to Like: Casey has earned a top-10 in four of his last six majors, but the U.S. Open isn’t one of them. In fact, he’s really struggled at the U.S. Open. He hasn’t finished better than T-39 since 2007.
- At The U.S. Open: Casey hasn’t had too much success, especially recently at the U.S. Open. He has a T-10 and a solo 15th, but those were back in 2007 and 2008. Since then, he’s missed the cut three times and has an average finish of 49th in the other five. He missed the cut last year.
- Last event: Casey finished T-10 at the DEAN & DELUCA Invitational – his fifth straight top-25 result – but he was in position for his first win since September 2014 (KLM Open). He entered Sunday in second place, but his final-round 73 dropped him out of contention.
- World Golf Ranking: 29
- Odds to Win: 50/1
- Things to Like: Grace is a grinder that seems to bring his best performances to the major championships. Since 2015, he has four top-five finishes in majors, including the last two U.S. Opens (T-4, 2015; T-5, 2016).
- Things Not to Like: Grace’s play on and around the green leaves something to be desired. He loses strokes, on average, to the field in both Putting and Around-the-Green.
- At The U.S. Open: Grace has finished in the top five in each of the last two U.S. Opens. In 2015 at Chambers Bay, Grace shared the 54-hole lead, but a double bogey on the par 4 16th after he hit his tee shot out of bounds squashed his hopes. He had to settle for a T-4, his best career finish in the event. He finished T-5 last year on the strength of a third-round 66.
- Last event: Grace finished T-9 at the BMW PGA Championship two weeks ago. He entered the final round in second place, but struggled with a round of 73 – the average score of the other top-10 finishers was 67.5 – to nearly fall out of the top-10.
- World Golf Ranking: 15
- Odds to Win: 50/1
- Things to Like: Kuchar is playing his best golf of the year right now. He’s finished in the top-12 in five of his last seven tournaments, and seven of his last 12 rounds have been in the 60s.
- Things Not to Like: Kuchar’s accuracy and putting have not been strengths this season. Both his Driving Accuracy and his Greens in Regulation stats are down from last year, and he ranks 107th on the PGA Tour in Total Putting.
- At The U.S. Open: Kuchar, a veteran of 14 U.S. Open in his career, has made the cut in his last seven starts, and eight of his last nine. His best finish came in 2010 at Pebble Beach when he finished T-6 after a final-round 69. Since then, he’s added three top-14 finishes to his resume – 2011 (T-14), 2014 (T-12) and 2015 (T-12).
- Last event: Kuchar appeared to be in the best position heading into the Memorial’s final round, tied for second and just three shots back, with an excellent record and affinity for Muirfield Village. But he didn’t get much going on Sunday, carding a final-round 74 and finishing T-4. It was just his second top-five of the season, but it felt like it could be a win.
- World Golf Ranking: 54
- Odds to Win: 60/1
- Things to Like: Westwood gets overlooked when discussing the best players to never win a major. He’s been so close on a number of occasions, tallying 10 top-three finishes in majors in his career. He’s been playing solid golf this season, too. He’s finished in the top-20 in four of his last six starts, including a T-18 at the Masters and a T-15 in his last start at the Nordea Masters.
- Things Not to Like: Westwood hasn’t put himself in contention in the majors with much regularity the past few years. From 2008 to 2014, Westwood had 12 top-10 finishes in game’s biggest events, but since 2015, he has just one and the other eight resulted in an average finish of 43rd.
- At The U.S. Open: Westwood has been painfully close to winning the U.S. Open several times over the span of 20 years. In his previous 17 starts, he’s finished third twice (2008, 2011) and in the top 10 three more times. He’s managed to play the weekend an impressive 14 times, including 11 of the last 12. He finished T-32 at Oakmont last year after a disastrous 80 in the final round.
- Last event: Westwood entered the final round of the BMW PGA Championship in third place, but a final-round 73 dropped him all the way into a tie for 14th.
- World Golf Ranking: 8
- Odds to Win: 60/1
- Things to Like: Noren has really exploded the past two years. After not earning more than $1.8 million in any season and having a World Ranking regularly in triple digits, Noren has nearly $6 million over the last two seasons and soared into the top-10 in the world. In the last two years, Noren has won six times, including three weeks ago at the BMW PGA Championship.
- Things Not to Like: Noren’s resume in the majors is lackluster at best. He’s missed the cut in four of his last seven starts, including at this year’s Masters. He didn’t crack the top-40 in either of his major starts last year.
- At The U.S. Open: Noren has two missed cuts and a T-51 on his U.S. Open resume. He didn’t play at last year’s event.
- Last event: Noren finished T-15 at the Nordea Masters, just a week after his incredible comeback win at the BMW PGA Championship. That week, he fired a final-round 62 to leap up 20 spots and claim the victory. Playing in his native Sweden, he played the final three rounds in seven-under-par after an opening round 75 (par 73).
- World Golf Ranking: 20
- Odds to Win: 60/1
- Things to Like: Kisner is one of the hottest players in golf right, finishing in the top-six in three of his last five starts, including his second career victory at the DEAN & DELUCA Invitational. 2016-17 is shaping up to be a career year for Kisner. In just 17 starts, he already has his second highest total of money earned. He ranks fifth on the PGA Tour in Total Strokes Gained.
- Things Not to Like: Kisner hasn’t had a lot of success in majors, failing to earn a top-10 in nine career starts. The way he’s playing lately, though, this might be the time Kisner finds his name on the first page of the leaderboard.
- At The U.S. Open: Kisner’s best finish came in 2015 when he finished T-12 at Chambers Bay. Last year he finished T-49 at Oakmont.
- Last event: Kisner backed up his win at Colonial with another solid showing at the Memorial Tournament. He fired four rounds under par, totaling a score of eight-under-par, good for a tie for sixth.
- World Golf Ranking: 38
- Odds to Win: 65/1
- Things to Like: Snedeker, one of the best putters on the PGA Tour, has five top-15 finishes on the PGA Tour this year, the same amount of top-15s he has in the U.S. Open in his career. His best finish this season came at the Pebble Beach Pro Am when he finished solo fourth.
- Things Not to Like: Snedeker has never been very good off the tee, but he’s really fallen off this season. He ranks 143rd on the PGA Tour in Strokes Gained: Off -the-Tee.
- At The U.S. Open: Snedeker has had remarkable consistency in his U.S. Open career. He’s made the cut a very solid seven out of 10 times, and those seven have all resulted in top-25s. From 2010 to 2015 (he didn’t play in 2012), Snedeker finished between 8th and 17th place all five times he played. He missed the cut last year at Oakmont after a rough opening round of 80.
- Last event: Snedeker finished T-48 at the DEAN & DELUCA Invitational three weeks ago. He broke par just once during the week, carding a 69 on Sunday.
- World Golf Ranking: 26
- Odds to Win: 80/1
- Things to Like: Over the past two months, Chappell not only got his first PGA Tour win, but he’s added two other top-10 finishes. The 2008 NCAA Individual Champion is on one of the best stretches of his career.
- Things Not to Like: Chappell’s rankings in the major putting categories are all in triple digits. He’s 185th on the PGA Tour in Strokes Gained: Putting, 154th in Total Putting and 197th in Three-Putt Avoidance.
- At The U.S. Open: Chappell burst onto the U.S. Open scene, finishing T-3 in his debut at Congressional in 2011. He followed that up with another top 10 (T-10) the next year at Olympic Club. Since then, he’s trended in the wrong direction, dropping each year, including a missed cut last year at Oakmont.
- Last event: Chappell was one of only five players that notched all four rounds under par at last week’s St. Jude Classic. With a total of eight-under-par, Chappell finished tied for fourth.
- World Golf Ranking: 17
- Odds to Win: 125/1
- Things to Like: Going back to last September, Molinari has made the cut in 16 of his 17 starts, earning a win and six more top-10s. His ball striking has been impeccable this season. He ranks in the top-10 in the following Strokes Gained categories: Approach-the-Green (second), Tee-to-Green (fourth) and Total (eighth).
- Things Not to Like: Molinari doesn’t have much success in any of the majors – has a T-9 and a T-10 in 30 starts – and the U.S. Open is no different. He’s missed the cut three times in seven starts, and when he plays the weekend, his results are mediocre, as he’s never cracked the top-20.
- At The U.S. Open: Molinari has finished in the top 30 in three of his last four U.S. Open appearances, but he’s never cracked the top 20 in seven career starts. He didn’t play last year at Oakmont.
- Last event: After an opening-round 72, Molinari played the final three rounds in six-under-par to finish T-24 at last week’s St. Jude Classic. It was his fifth straight top-25 this season.
- World Golf Ranking: 85
- Odds to Win: 150/1
- Things to Like: The Wisconsin native will be one of the sentimental favorites at Erin Hills, and Cheeseheads should be backing in him force. And while Stricker has only played half his starts on the PGA Tour the past several months – he just became eligible for the Champions Tour this year – he’s shown that he is still able to compete with a T-16 at the Masters and a T-7 at the DEAN & DELUCA, where he shot a final-round 63. One of his best assets is his ability to find the fairway off the tee. At nearly 73 percent, Stricker ranks first on the PGA Tour in Driving Accuracy.
- Things Not to Like: While Stricker is accurate off the tee, he’s not very long. Playing the longest course in major history as one of the shortest players on Tour will be a disadvantage.
- At The U.S. Open: Stricker hasn’t played the last two U.S. Opens, but before that, he had made nine straight cuts with seven top-25s since 2006. Stricker has two top-fives (T-5, 1998; 5th, 1999) and two more top-10s in 19 career starts.
- Last event: After finishing T-7 at the DEAN & DELUCA Invitational the week before, Stricker looked poised to make it back-to-back top-10s at the Memorial Tournament, sitting in 14th position after three rounds. Unfortunately for him, a final-round 78 dropped him into a tie for 40th.
These are players 27 years old or younger and with plenty of skill to do big things at the 2017 US Open.
- World Golf Ranking: 10
- Odds to Win: 18/1
- Things to Like: In his first full season on the PGA Tour, Rahm has shown is one of the best young talents in the game. In 15 starts this year, he has six top-five finishes, including a win at the Farmers Insurance Open. He ranks fourth in the FedEx Cup Points Standings and third on the PGA Tour in Total Strokes Gained.
- Things Not to Like: Rahm has struggled for the first time over the last month. In his last three starts, he has a T-72 and his first missed cut of the season. Of course, sandwiched in between those was a T-2, so it might not be anything to be concerned about.
- At The U.S. Open: Rahm finished T-23 last year in his U.S. Open debut. After the strong showing at Oakmont, he turned pro the next week.
- Last event: Rahm struggled in his first visit to Muirfield Village, missing the cut by three shots at the Memorial Tournament. It was his first missed cut of the season and just his second as a professional.
- World Golf Ranking: 13
- Odds to Win: 40/1
- Things to Like: Thomas, a three-time winner on the PGA Tour this season, is more than just one of the longest players on Tour – he ranks 11th on the PGA Tour in Driving Distance. He ranks fourth on the PGA Tour in Strokes Gained: Approach-the-Green and 12th in Greens in Regulation. After a lull that followed his back-to-back wins in January, Thomas has finished in the top-five in two of his last three starts, lifting him to second place in the FedEx Cup Points Standings.
- Things Not to Like: Thomas appears to be rounding back into form, but he had missed three cuts in his previous seven starts with just one top-10. Consistency has been tough for Thomas to come by since February.
- At The U.S. Open: Thomas carded three rounds of 73 and a 69 at Oakmont last year to make his first cut and finish tied for 32nd. He ranked second in the field in Driving Distance last year and first in Total Putts, but a disappointing T-66 in Greens in Regulation. He missed the cut in his debut at Pinehurst No. 2 in 2014.
- Last event: At the Memorial, Thomas got himself back into contention for the second time in his last three starts. He finished each round in the top five with four rounds of par or better. At nine-under-par, Thomas finished T-4.
- World Golf Ranking: 25
- Odds to Win: 50/1
- Things to Like: Pieters’ length off the tee gets a lot of the publicity – he averages over 309 yards in European Tour play – but it’s his putter that is the real star of his bag. He ranks 11th on the European Tour in Putting and sits ninth in the Race to Dubai standings. He also has three top-five finishes in North America, including a T-4 at the Masters. Between that performance and last year’s Ryder Cup, Pieters has proven no stage is too big for him.
- Things Not to Like: Pieters’ may be long, but he doesn’t find many fairways. In European Tour play, he’s hitting just 46 percent, which ranks 213th.
- At The U.S. Open: This will be Pieters’ first U.S. Open.
- Last event: After rounds of 68 and 69, Pieters found his name on the top of the leaderboard at the BMW PGA Championship. Unfortunately, a round of 78 on Saturday basically took him out of contention. He battled back with a 69 on Sunday to earn a T-14 finish.
- World Golf Ranking: 24
- Odds to Win: 65/1
- Things to Like: Berger will be beaming with confidence after winning last week at the FedEx St. Jude Classic. And while playing well right before a major is by no means a pre-requisite, the majority of recent winners have fared very well in their start prior to their U.S. Open triumph. Seven of the last 10 winners have finished in the top-eight the start before the U.S. Open. Graeme McDowell is the last player to win his start before winning the U.S. Open.
- Things Not to Like: Berger hadn’t been playing great before winning last week. He didn’t crack the top-25 in his previous four starts. In his 13 starts in 2017 prior to the St. Jude, Berger missed the cut four times with just two top-10s.
- At The U.S. Open: Berger has played the weekend in each of his two U.S. Open appearances, but he has yet to finish within the top-25. He finished T-37 last year.
- Last event: Berger came up big on the weekend to defend his title at the FedEx St. Jude Classic last week. He sat in 34th position after the second round, but fired a pair of 66s to get his second career victory on the PGA Tour. Berger’s flawless round on Sunday – four birdies, no bogeys – helped him make up a three-shot deficit.
- World Golf Ranking: 36
- Odds to Win: 85/1
- Things to Like: Fitzpatrick already owns a USGA National Championship, winning the 2013 U.S. Amateur at The Country Club in Brookline, Massachusetts. Since turning pro in 2014, the 22-year-old Fitzpatrick has done a good deal of winning, too. He’s already collected three, most recently at the DP World Championship Dubai. In 2017, he’s earned six top-20 finishes in 10 starts, including a T-2 his last time out.
- Things Not to Like: Fitzpatrick will have to keep his driver under control, something he hasn’t done very well this season. He ranks 125th on the European Team in Driving Accuracy and 186th on the PGA Tour in Strokes Gained: Off-the-Tee.
- At The U.S. Open: Fitzpatrick has made the cut in his two U.S. Open starts, but he hasn’t cracked the top 25 after any round. His best finish came in his debut (2014), when he finished T-48. He finished T-54 last year at Oakmont.
- Last event: Fitzpatrick finished T-2 at the Nordea Masters two weeks ago. After a round of even par to start, he played the next three in 10-under, coming up just one shot short.
- World Golf Ranking: 18
- Odds to Win: 85/1
- Things to Like: Hatton owns seven top-10s this season, including his first career professional victory at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in October. He ranks 11th on the European Tour in Greens in Regulation.
- Things Not to Like: After a very strong run to start the season, Hatton hasn’t been able to get much going, of late. He hasn’t finished in the top 10 since mid-March and has just one top-25 to go with two missed cuts.
- At The U.S. Open: This will be Hatton’s first U.S. Open.
- Last event: Hatton entered the final-round of the BMW PGA Championship in eighth position, but a 74 on Sunday dropped him into a tie for 30th.
Some Long Shots to consider
- 100/1 – Bill Haas, J.B. Holmes, Marc Leishman, Shane Lowry, Si Woo Kim, Jim Furyk
- 120/1 – Adam Hadwin, Charley Hoffman
- 125/1 – Emiliano Grillo, Gary Woodland, Rafa Cabrera Bello, Russell Knox, Tommy Fleetwood, Wesley Bryan
- 150/1 – Billy Horschel, Brendan Steele, Bryson DeChambeau, Byeong Hun (Ben) An, Scott Piercy, Pat Perez
- 175/1 – Danny Lee
Past winners in the field: Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth, Martin Kaymer, Justin Rose, Webb Simpson, Rory McIlroy, Graeme McDowell, Lucas Glover, Angel Cabrera, Jim Furyk, Ernie Els (2).
Other major winners in the field: Keegan Bradley, Stewart Cink, Jimmy Walker, Bubba Watson, Danny Willett