By Matt Cohen | Social Media & Site Editor
Masters? Check. PLAYERS Championship? Check? Next stop – U.S. Open.
It’s crazy how quickly the golf season moves along, but thank goodness we now have the 2015 U.S. Open to look forward to. If the second major on the calendar is anything like the first two big tournaments we’ve had this year, then golf fans are in for a real treat.
The U.S. Open is about a month away (June 18th-21st), so here’s an early look at 10 players and their current odds to win, in case you’re a degenerate gambler like me.
1. Jordan Spieth: 17/2
On the heels of winning his first major championship at the Masters, 21-year-old Jordan Spieth will be carrying plenty of momentum heading into the U.S. Open. Spieth will have a huge advantage over his peers next month – his caddie. In case you don’t know, Michael Greller lived in the Pacific Northwest for over a decade, and caddied at Chambers Bay before jumping on Spieth’s bag. Spieth could make it 2/2 in 2015.
2. Dustin Johnson: 22/1
At some point Dustin Johnson is going to win a major. He’s just too good not to. No one knows yet how the Chambers Bay course will set up, but Johnson’s length and creativity should come in handy. DJ has been playing well so far this year – he won the WGC-Cadillac Championship and finished T6 at Augusta. At 22 to 1 I like those odds.
3. Phil Mickelson: 25/1
Golf’s second major starts two days after Lefty turns 45-years-old, and what better way to celebrate than capturing the elusive U.S. Open to complete the career Grand Slam. Mickelson is a West Coast guy, so you’d have to image he’ll have some level of comfort dealing with any crazy weather. Plus, he’s won a major at a links course, when he won the British Open in 2013. Mickelson’s made it clear how important these majors are to him – he’s finished 2nd at the last two. 25 to 1 sounds like an overlay to me.
4. Rickie Fowler: 28/1
Overrated or underrated, who really cares? Rickie Fowler is an elite talent who’s playing very good golf right now. His victory at the PLAYERS proved he’s not afraid of the big moment, and it shouldn’t surprise anyone if he carries that momentum into a huge showing next month.
5. Henrik Stenson: 28/1
Talk about another guy long overdue for his first major. At 39, Henrik Stenson is one of golf’s most consistent players. The World No. 3 just hasn’t broken through at a major championship. You’d have to imagine that a links course would favor a European player here. Stenson did come in 4th at last year’s U.S. Open – not that that means much considering it’s a completely different course. 28 to 1 odds – you betting?
6. Hideki Matsuyama: 45/1
I love Matsuyama’s game. The 23-year-old doesn’t get enough credit for being one of the really good young players on Tour. Just because he only has one PGA Tour win doesn’t mean he can’t win next month. The first PGA Tour event Ernie Els ever won was the 1994 U.S. Open. Despite being just 23, Matsuyama has a top 10 finish in every major except for the PGA Championship. He has an astounding seven top 10 finishes on Tour this season. He’ll be flying way under the radar heading towards Chambers Bay, and I’m a player at 45 to 1 odds.
7. Martin Kaymer: 45/1
Last year’s U.S. Open champion at 45 to 1 sounds pretty tempting to me, but Kaymer might be an underlay for me, even at such high odds. 2015 has not been kind to the two time major champion. Kaymer finished T56 at the PLAYERS. The week before he didn’t make it out of pool play at the Match Play Championship. And prior to that he missed three cuts in a row. If you think the 31-year-old German can turn things around, then go for at it 45 to 1.
8. Keegan Bradley: 65/1
2015 has been a weird year for the 2011 PGA Champion. He has four top 5 finishes, but has also been nowhere to be found in a handful of other tournaments. To be honest, Bradley’s biggest moment this year came when he and Miguel Angel Jimenez almost came to fisticuffs. Bradley is driving the ball really well this year, but it’s been his middle and short game that have cost him at times. I think at 65 to 1 it’s worth a shot.
9. Billy Horschel: 85/1
Here’s where you can start to really make some money. At 85 to 1, I’m a player with Billy Horschel. The former Florida Gator finished T4 in 2013 and T23 last season. All this guy does is hit greens in regulation (70.37% this year), and that’s how you win U.S. Opens. Putting is another story, but if he can get into a rhythm he’s definitely one to watch. Finally playing well too; he finished T13 at the PLAYERS.
10. Justin Thomas: 250/1
LONGSHOT ALERT! Who the heck is Justin Thomas? Well I’ll tell you who Justin Thomas is. He’s the man that if I throw 10 bucks on to win is going to make me a very rich man. Thomas is a 22-year-old rookie Tour player, and the reason I like him as a wildcard is because he’s played the course. Thomas made it to the round of 32 in match play at the 2010 U.S. Amateur – at Chambers Bay.
“I’ve heard of some guys who aren’t crazy about it, and it is a course where you’re going to get people who either hate it or love it,” Thomas said. “But I loved it, and I am really excited to hopefully get back there.”
Thomas averages 300 yards off the tee – not bad for a rook. At the PLAYERS last week, he shot a 65 on Saturday, and was right with the leaders before blowing up on Sunday. This is my longshot play. Care to join me?
Learn The Course: Inside Chambers Bay
1. Chambers Bay: Front Nine
2. Chambers Bay: Back Nine