2018 US Open Golf: DJ the Favourite to Maintain Winning Run
Dustin Johnson may have recently lost his number one world ranking but the American is wasting no time in attempting to claim it back. DJ took out the St Jude Classic at the weekend by an impressive margin of six strokes and looks primed to claim a US Open trophy that he last won in 2016.
Johnson is clear at the top of the outright win markets for Shinnecock Hills this week but there is a strong field and plenty of alternatives for punters to consider.
Clear at the Top
Dustin Johnson is available at best odds of 9/1 with Black Type and the 33 year old continues to shorten having been available at 10/1 on Monday morning. He has good key stats for this course and is obviously in great form but can DJ overcome history?
No golfer has ever won the US Open after winning on the prior weekend but that record could be under serious threat this week.
The bookies are undecided as to who should start as second favourite and there are three players who can be picked up at the same top industry price of 16/1. Rory McIlroy and Justin Thomas can both be backed at that figure with Unibet and 888Sport while Justin Rose is available at that best of 16/1 with BetFred and BetBright.
McIlroy and Rose are both former US Open winners while Thomas is the reigning US PGA Champion so there is some serious quality in that chasing pack. Behind those three is Jason Day who can be claimed at best odds of 18/1 with 188Bet and as a player who has five Top Ten US Open finishes in seven starts, there is some interest in the Australian for the 2018 renewal.
Among those looking to claim their first Major this week are Rickie Fowler who is quoted at best odds of 20/1 with Ladbrokes and Jon Rahm who is available at a top price of 22/1 with MarathonBet. Rahm is of particular interest to us as he ranks for a number of key stats and is first on tour for Driving Distance which could be very significant.
In this middle section we should, of course, mention Tiger Woods, a three time winner of the US Open, who can be backed at a best of 22/1 while our defending champion Brooks Koepka is marginally further back at a top price of 25/1 with SportingBet.
The US Open is the only Major championship that Phil Mickelson hasn’t won and the bookies don’t really fancy his chances this week at Shinnecock Hills. Lefty is available at best odds of 35/1 with BetFred but he’s been runner up in this event on no fewer than six occasions and has a win on Tour in 2018 so he will get plenty of backing.
Elsewhere, there is a host of golfers who can be considered as good value outside options with either good form this season or a decent record in this event. They include Bryson Dechambeau and Patrick Reed at 50/1, Webb Simpson at 70/1 with Unibet and Bubba Watson at 75/1.
Venue and Betting Trends
Like its British counterpart, the US Open rotates its venues each year so we are now back to Shinnecock Hills for the first time since 2004. The course is over in Long Island, NYC, and plays like a typical links location with wind and other external factors likely to play a key part over four days.
Don’t be fooled by the Par 70 – this is a lengthy course at over 7,440 yards and as we’ve previously suggested, distance off the tee is going to be one key stat to watch this week. Also under the spotlight is Greens in Regulation and the last two winners have both ranked first in this respect so that is an obvious point to look for.
We mentioned that Curtis Strange was the last to successfully defend the trophy in 1989 but multiple winners have been fairly common, even in recent years with Tiger Woods and Retief Goosen both recording doubles or better since 2000.
The last three winners have been American but this is one Major where players from overseas perform well with exactly half of the 18 champions having come from outside of the US since 2000.
Those are the stats and trends but who is going to win? Firstly, there is plenty of scope for a real outsider to come through and give us a good profit so we’re very interested in Top Ten markets and Each Way options. In addition, Coral are paying down to ten Each Way places for this event so while their prices aren’t exceptional for this tournament, they are worth considering for E/W punters.
We, ourselves, are torn between two players and while Dustin Johnson is a worthy favourite in our opinion, it is so hard to deal with the intensity needed to claim back-to-back wins.
Jon Rahm is our first option and his stats suggest we should consider the Spaniard for the win but in such a strong field, we’ll settle for Each Way. Rickie Fowler is an additional Each Way punt with both men in form and featuring very highly in this week’s Power Rankings.
Phil Mickelson and Webb Simpson are good Top Ten options to throw in and it should be a thrilling four days which will hopefully end with some decent profits.