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US Open 2017 Betting Preview

RECOMMENDED BETSMARKETODDSBOOKMAKERS
Justin Thomas (ew)Tournament Winner33/1Paddy Power
Thomas Pieters (ew)Tournament Winner55/1Betfred
Paul Casey (ew)Tournament Winner55/1Bet365
Francesco Molinari (ew)First Round Leader80/1Coral, Ladbrokes

Venue

The USGA is in the habit of selecting tough courses for the US Open and Erin Hills is no exception. Only one of the last 16 winners of the year’s second major has broken double-figures under par, with Geoff Ogilvy and Angel Cabrera each winning with +5 totals in 2006 and 2007 – and organisers are not expecting low scores at this venue, which can play up to 8,000 yards long. Designed specifically to host the US Open 2017, and closed since last October in preparation, Erin Hills should play firm and fast, lessening the impact of its brutal length, unless there is significant rainfall. With scarcely any trees, the fairways are lined instead by lengthy golden grass and some awkward bunkers. The opening hole has water all down the left side of the fairway, but otherwise it is the scrub and the sand that the players will need to avoid. Most of the greens are elevated and well protected by the traps, so running the ball into the targets won’t be an option. Instead, players will need to take the aerial route and take their chances with the wind, which is expected to be a significant factor. The defending US Open champion is Dustin Johnson and other recent winners include Jordan Spieth (2015), Martin Kaymer (2014), Justin Rose (2013) & Rory McIlroy (2011).

Favourites

Dustin Johnson has gone on to dominate the game since claiming his first major title at this event 12 months ago and he has finished fourth, second and first in the last three editions of this championship. With his power off the tee a huge asset at this course, the world number one is the clear favourite, at best price 8/1 with Betfred. Only Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy are available elsewhere in single figures, but the two former champions can both be backed at 12/1 with Paddy Power. Jason Day is a stand-out 16/1 with Betfred as he looks to add to the PGA Championship title he won in 2015. Beyond the top four in the betting, the rest of the field are available at odds of 20/1 and above – starting with Rickie Fowler, Justin Rose and Jon Rahm.

Tips

Justin-Thomas-OddsAfter three wins in five starts earlier this season it was almost inevitable that JUSTIN THOMAS would suffer a dip in form and he has taken some time out in recent months. He showed the benefits of his extra rest and recuperation when he finished in the top 5 at last week’s Memorial Tournament, on only his second start since he was just outside the top 20 at The Masters. With an ave. drive of 305 yards, Thomas has the distance off the tee to take some of the length out of this course – and the talent that should guarantee him a bright future in the majors. Back him at 33/1 with 8 places at Paddy Power.

Thomas_Pieters_OddsTHOMAS PIETERS represented Europe at the 2016 Ryder Cup – yet his fifth place finish at Augusta in April came in only his third appearance at a major championship. This will be his fourth and the tall Belgian has the power and form to get himself into contention. He was just outside the top 10 at Wenworth last month and shared fifth place in top class company at WGC-Mexico Championship in March. A three-time winner on the European Tour the world number 24 drives the ball almost as far as Dustin Johnson – which will undoubtedly be a big advantage. Get 55/1 and 6 places at Betfred.

Paul_CaseyPAUL CASEY re-established himself in the world’s top twenty with a run of four consecutive top five finishes last autumn – and the Englishman has maintained his good form over recent months, placing sixth at Augusta, 22nd at The Players and 10th at the recent Dean & DeLuca tournament. He’s finished in the top 25 at six of his last seven stroke-play events and looking further back that statistic extends to 14 of 20. Casey has been in the top 10 at four of the last nine majors – and he is playing well enough to justify support at best odds of 55/1 with Bet365 – also with 6 places each-way.

Francesco MolinariWorld no. 16 FRANCESCO MOLINARI has been enjoying a good season, but the Italian has been frustrated by an inability to sustain his challenge over the weekend on too many occasions. The exception was the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth, where he finished second – following on from a 6th place at Sawgrass before that. In each of those two events, and the two before them, his opening round was his best – and so it would be no surprise to see him get off to a flying start again at Erin Hills next week. He can be backed at best odds of 80/1 with Coral and Ladbrokes to be the First Round Leader on Thursday night – with 5 places for each-way bets.

RECOMMENDED BETSMARKETODDSBOOKMAKERS
Justin Thomas (ew)Tournament Winner33/1Paddy Power
Thomas Pieters (ew)Tournament Winner55/1Betfred
Paul Casey (ew)Tournament Winner55/1Bet365
Francesco Molinari (ew)First Round Leader80/1Coral, Ladbrokes