Well, not too many saw the Canadian Open unfolding like it did with Rory carding a 61 to win the title by 7 shots. In doing so Rory shot his lowest 4 round score on the PGA Tour, shooting his lowest round of the season and was a birdie on the 18th away from shooting his first ever 59.
Another small tagline to take from the Canadian Open regards another of Northern Ireland’s main men. Graeme McDowell completed his 4th Top 10 finish of the season. This qualified him for his “Hometown Major”, The Open which is taking place in Portrush in the not too distance future. He will be one of at least 9 previous US Open Winners in the field.
Pebble Beach Links is one of the most recognizable courses in the World. The USGA will want the course playing firm and fast. The extra yardage for the US Open mean that scores will be high. The last two times the US Open was at Pebble Beach in 2000 & 2010 only a certain T-Woods managed to break par for the tournaments. Hard bunkers, crazy tough rough means that course management is key. Hit the fairways but make sure you leave uphill putts otherwise you will be in trouble.
Winners: 2018: Brooks Koepka (+1); 2017: Brooks Koepka (-16); 2016: Dustin Johnson (-4); 2015: Jordan Spieth (-5); 2014: Martin Kaymer (-9); 2013: Justin Rose (+1); 2012: Webb Simpson (+1); 2011: Rory McIlroy (-16); 2010: Graeme McDowell (E); 2009: Lucas Glover (-4).
Brooks Koepka obviously stands out after his last major win and with him going for the treble. Dusty can win the tournament and has a great average score of Under 70 on this course from 2011. Spieth has shown signs of improvements of late, as has Martin Kaymer.
Current form leads towards, P Cantlay, Koepka, D Johnson and Matt Kuchar. Tommy Fleetwood has finished 4th and 2nd in his last two US Opens. Obviously Kopeka wins this look-up hands down, but in additions to his two wins, he has a 4th place finish and 2 top 20’s.
Phil Mickelson, D Johnson, Snedeker, Walker & Day all could be considered course specialists. Lefty is one of the few players to have won around this course multiple times.
B Koepka 8/1 – Any decent preview has to have this man as one of their selections. Basically a “Major Machine” these days his form in the big tournaments is unrivaled. The way he blew away everyone in the USPGA was awesome for everyone except for the Bookies.
T Woods 11/1 – Its hard not to give Tiger a shout here after the Masters. As the only player to shoot under par in a major at Pebble Beach he deserves some recognition. I think there are better options but will surely be in contention.
M Kuchar 40/1 – “The Kuch” ticks an awful lot of boxes at a tasty price. More than capable of winning, could all the stars align?
Shane Lowry at 60/1 is in form and will always be popular with local Golf fans. Tommy Fleetwood is another at a back-able price, if it comes together for him 28/1 looks a steal. J Walker & K Na are the real value outsiders. At 125/1 & 100/1 you should get four days worth for your money here.