US Open, Olympic Club, San Francisco
Northern Irishman Rory McIlroy sets out to defend his US Open title this week, something only Curtis Strange (1988 and 1989) has managed to achieve in the past 61 years. McIlroy will tee off alongside fellow European challengers Luke Donald and Lee Westwood and reckons that attack is the best form of defence. His recent form has been poor but he added an event in Memphis to his schedule and was tied for the lead until finding water on the final hole. It is certain to be a popular group with the gallery as the three golfers are all prominent in the betting and expected to challenge the favourite Tiger Woods for the title.
5Dimes.com offers some great odds all along the tournament.
Woods has also drawn a high profile group alongside Phil Mickelson and Masters champion Bubba Watson. The last time Phil Mickelson played with Tiger Woods was at Pebble Beach and he easily had the upper hand, recording a 64 to a 75 from Woods. That was back in February and made it five times in a row that Mickelson has out-scored his compatriot when playing together in the final round. The last major success for Woods came at Torrey Pines four years ago. That was his third US Open and his 14th major and there have been clear signs recently that the Tiger is on his way back. Three tournament wins in six months, the most recent coming only a fortnight ago, will give him the confidence to compete this week.
Mickelson is making his 22nd attempt to win the US Open and has frustratingly finished runners-up on five occasions. In 2006 at Winged Foot he led by one on the final tee but double-bogeyed and the title slipped away. Teenage prodigy Andy Zhang will become the youngest player at the US Open since the Second World War after Paul Casey had to withdraw due to injury. China-born, Florida-based 14-year-old Zhang narrowly missed out on qualifying in a play-off but Casey has reluctantly had to accept that his shoulder injury is not ready for as severe a test as the US Open. Zhang will be joined in the main draw by fellow amateur Jordan Spieth, a member of last year’s American Walker Cup side in Aberdeen. The Texan replaces Brandt Snedeker who misses the event due to a rib injury.
William Hill have got all the angles covered for your US Open golf betting. Tiger Woods is their market leader at 10-1 ahead of Lee Westwood at 14-1 and Luke Donald at 16-1. Rory McIlroy is 20-1 to make a successful defence. There are also markets on everything from making the cut to Top American.
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