Matsuyama the form pick in US Open
The second major championship of the season gets under way this week with the 115th US Open. There has already been much debate about the controversial decision to hold the event at Chambers Bay, a course which opened as recently as 2007.
There have been various descriptions of this venue in the build-up to the tournament but the general consensus is that it is very long, at best difficult and, if the weather turns ugly, close to impossible.
From a betting perspective, Chambers Bay adds an element of mystery to the week. We may well see some big names missing the cut and there is very little in the way of course history for us to study. That certainly makes the odds of 8.0 and 10.0 respectively on Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth far less attractive than they initially appear.
Spieth does have a caddie with local knowledge of Chambers Bay but he struggled here in the US Amateur. McIlroy has won at similar courses and the forecast is not too bad for the coming week. Even so, I cannot bring myself to back any golfer at single-figure prices in an event that borders on a lottery.
Phil Mickelson continues his personal quest for the Holy Grail, a career grand slam of all four majors. He showed himself to be approaching his best last week but the bookmakers have factored this into his price of around 19.0. If the course is going to be as treacherous as it appears, I’m setting my minimum price at 21.0.
That brings in Rickie Fowler who is surely destined to claim a major championship within the next year or so. His superb play in The Players Championship extinguished any thoughts that he may not be a winner and he was incredibly consistent in the majors last season.
Fowler could not quite maintain his sequence at Augusta when falling just outside the top ten but he has the game to dig in and be a contender this week. He missed the cut at the Memorial last time but he was always going to struggle after making a quick reappearance from a torrid time in Ireland.
Hideki Matsuyama has been knocking on the door all year. He has five top-five finishes in his 12 appearances this year and this would be as good a time as any to convert one into a victory. He was fifth at the Masters so will not be intimidated by the extra attention of this being a major. He has already finished in the top ten in two Opens and is certainly worth including at 36.0.
Ryan Moore grew up just a few miles from Chambers Bay so he is better placed than most to judge its suitability to host a major championship. He has compared it to Muirfield and has been very positive this week. He could be over-priced at 81.0 while the same applies to Ryan Palmer.
Rickie Fowler @23.0 Bet365
Hideki Matsuyama @36.0 Sportsbet
Ryan Moore @81.0 Sportsbet
Ryan Palmer @101.0 Sportsbet
Each-way ¼ odds, 1,2,3,4,5,6