U.S Open Betting Preview
Bethpage Black, NY
Thursday-Sunday June 18th-21st
The United States Open will return to Bethpage Black in New York for the 2nd major of the season in a mere few weeks. Tiger Woods is the defending U.S Open Champion when the tour last visited Bethpage Black back in 2002. The 2002 U.S Open was among one of the most difficult U.S Open’s in recent memory as Woods was the only player to finish the tournament under par. The 2009 U.S Open has all the makings to be another difficult venue for the top golfers in the world. Bethpage Black has undergone some physical changes for this year’s major. The course has been lengthened to 7,496 yards making it the 2nd longest major in U.S Open history. The greens have been reshaped to give what golfers a risk/reward type approaches. Other than the excitement of returning to a difficult golf course, the main question surrounding the 2009 U.S Open is will Tiger Woods win his 2nd straight U.S Open backing up the brilliant performance last year at Torrey Pines.
If you would have asked that particular question nearly a week ago, there may have been a few people who would have placed money against Tiger. However, Woods 7 under final round 65 stunned the field at The Memorial as the world’s best golfer added another chapter to his legacy. Woods enters this year’s U.S Open a huge 3/2 favorite to win the event. Tiger has not necessarily been playing his best golf over the last few weeks, but as he has proven time and time again is he does not have to be at his very best to win. Woods will have to hold off a hungry group of competitors led by Phil Mickelson who will enter as a 10/1 favorite to capture the victory. Lefty was runner-up to Woods back in 2002 at Bethpage and will try to get the best of the icon in the re-match. Mickelson has two wins already this season and his ability to hit the long ball definitely increases his chances at victory at the lengthy venue.
Outside of the two most obvious choices, the best suitable player to capture this year U.S Open crown could likely be Padraig Harrington. Harrington likely is the best betting pick to place some money with at 28/1 odds. Harrington played very well back in 2002 with a top 10 finish and of course excelled in the 2nd half of the season last year winning both the British Open and the PGA Championship. Unfortunately, Harrington has not performed well over the last few weeks missing 2 out of the last 3 cuts including The Memorial. However, Harrington may be suited well for this type of golf and we would keep on eye on the 37 year old out of Ireland. Then again could this be the year Sergio Garcia finally captures a Major Title. The 29 year old Spaniard reached the #2 ranking in the world earlier this year, but has still never won a major. Garcia has been playing fairly solid over the last couple of weeks and will enter the tournament at 28/1 odds to win.
The major tournaments are always the most exciting golf tournaments of the year because there are 4 chances to reach one of golf’s most prestigious titles. The major tournaments and the U.S Open in general have frequently had breakout players emerge from the shadows and take home a championship. Angel Cabrera won his first major back in 2007 at Oakmont against tall odds. Cabrera captured his 2nd major championship earlier this year at The Masters riding some confidence at favorable 50/1 long shot type odds. Other players who may play the dark horse role could lie in the shadows of players like Paul Casey, Lee Westwood, Camilo Villegas, and Zach Johnson. Villegas seems to be a popular underdog at 40/1 odds to win. Villegas has 5 top 15 finishes this season without a win, but has been playing some very solid golf. One thing is for sure that this should be an interesting tournament to watch. Will Tiger defend his crown? Will Phil Mickelson be able to overcome Woods reign or will one of our underdogs steal the spotlight? Only time will tell as we close in on this year’s U.S Open