Golf: US Open betting preview and best bets


GOLF analyst Lewis Blain (@LewisBlainSport) shares his betting thoughts ahead of the second major of the season, the US Open from Winged Foot Golf Course.

US Open | 17th-20th September 2020 | Sky Sports

No sooner has the PGA Tour finished and restarted, we find ourselves at the second major of the season which in itself is a strange feeling considering it is September. We head to Winged Foot Golf Course in New York for the 2020 US Open, so here's my preview for this week.
We'll begin with a look back to last week where we were ever so close to landing a winner in Laurie Canter at 66/1. He finished two shots behind George Coetzee at the Portugal Masters as sole runner-up. He missed several putts over the tournament and could probably have won it considering the South African scrambled the lights out.
Now onto the test for the second of three majors on this year's shortened calendar.
Winged Foot will host the US Open for a sixth time with this year's edition being the 120th in its history. It's an A.W. Tillinghast design that was restored twice by Gil Hanse. It's expected to play at over 7,400 yards, which is substantially long for a par 70 course.
Last time we were here was all the way back in 2006 where Geoff Ogilvy won his only major championship.
The course is going to be one hell of a test. Flat, tight fairways with very thick penal rough, not to mention the contouring raised mushroom-like Poa annua greens that have huge collection zones and bunkers surrounding them.
Ogilvy won with a score of five-over-par back then and I'm not expecting many to be under par, if any at all.
So, what will it take to be victorious this week? Long but accurate drivers of the ball, supreme ball-strikers as ever, an impressive short-game to counteract these tough greens and how players score on par-4s that measure above 450 yards, this includes their long-iron play.
There are quite a few correlations to consider too – other AWT designs such as Bethpage, Baltusrol and Ridgewood; greens similar to Augusta, Torrey Pines, Pebble Beach & Riviera; other US Open venues, Shinnecock, Oakmont and Quail Hollow; heck there's even a small look to Royal Melbourne.
FedEx Cup champion Dustin Johnson, who hasn't finished outside the top three in any of his last four events, is quite rightly the favourite at 8/1. That'll undoubtedly appeal to many, but I'd like to find some more value further down the list. He's followed by Justin Thomas, Jon Rahm, Xander Schauffele and Rory McIlroy. That's a more than worthy front five to try and beat this week.

So, here's who I am backing…

Webb Simpson 25/1 (William Hill)

I have to admit I have ummed and ahhed over adding Webb Simpson to the staking plan, but for me (and aside from Rahm and DJ), there's not a better fit this week.

During the 2020 season, the one-time US Open winner ranked inside the top-15 for just about every single statistic we're looking for – 1st for Par-4 scoring 450-500, 1st for Bogey Avoidance, 7th for Ball-Striking, 9th for Proximity 200+, 11th for Greens in Regulation, 12th for Scrambling and 14th for Total Driving.

Yes, he's not an absolute bomber like some of these guys tipped to win, but evidently, his long-iron game is that strong it more than makes up for it.

Webb has also shown up at Baltusrol, Pebble, Augusta and many more. He's someone you can rely on in this bracket, that's for sure.

Patrick Reed 40/1 (William Hill)

Captain America looks to have a great chance at success this week. His record around these parts is a great sign, winning the Northern Trust at Bethpage Black in 2016 and at Liberty National in 2018. He was 13th at Baltusrol in 2016 and fourth at Shinnecock in the 2018 US Open. All of which are courses in the north-east.

Reed hits many key attributes well this week, too. Last time out at East Lake, he was first in an elite field for Scrambling as well as Total Driving, and ranked 2nd for SG: Off-The-Tee and fourth for SG: Ball-Striking.

This is a man who has won the Masters in addition to several FedEx Cup playoff events and WGCs too. You could be tempted to take the 33s on offer at bigger place offerings, but I think the nine places with WH is fair game here.

Jason Day 40/1 (William Hill)

If you want someone that has popped at just about every course with some sort of slight correlation to Winged Foot, then it's Jason Day.

For AWT designs, the Aussie has finished runner-up at both Ridgewood and Baltusrol, fourth at Bethpage whilst an eighth at Oakmont has to be considered too. He's also shown up at Augusta, Quail Hollow and many other places. Day is of course also a major and WGC winner just like Reed, which is another bonus.

After four-straight top-seven finishes – including a T4 at this year's first major, the PGA Championship – the world 37 has struggled but given that run was his first glimpse at truly contending once more, he can be easily forgiven.

J Day is well-renowned for his incredible short-game and was also inside the top-30 on Tour last season for approaches over 200 yards and Par-4 scoring 450-500 yards, so it's no wonder he's done well at so many similar tracks.

It's also the last time Day is exempt for the US Open based on his 2015 PGA success, so perhaps there's a little motivating factor there too. It may be nothing, but anything can be a slight edge in this game.

Adam Scott 40/1 (William Hill)

I have to go to fellow Aussie Adam Scott this week too. He just like Day ticks so many boxes, aside from his recent form but I do not see this as a problem as post-lockdown he's carried a very light schedule. This'll just be the fourth time he tees it up since March but he's not missed a cut in the three events he's played, flashing at a very good round each time.

We know what we get with Scottie – an immense ball-striker, who usually hits it long and straight off the tee, and from what I've seen his short-game has looked pretty decent throughout 2020 too.

Another Masters winner in the staking plan, the world number 12 has also won at Riviera, Melbourne and at nearby New Jersey. Throw in a T8 around Bethpage and top-20s around Baltusrol and Ridgewood, then it only encourages me even more that the Australian could make it click around here this week.

Paul Casey 50/1 (SkyBet)

I'll give a nod to an Englishman and whilst Tommy Fleetwood is tempting, those odds are quite short considering the field in Portugal last week was rather puny. Instead, Paul Casey at 50/1 with SkyBet's eleven places looks rather juicy.

There wasn't a better driver of the ball than Casey on Tour last season whilst at Harding Park, he managed to notch his best-ever major finish with a runner-up. Last time out, he was only a few shots from the top ten at Olympia Fields having played pretty well across the week. Only four players were under par, so being four-over isn't a poor look whatsoever.

During the 2019 campaign he picked up a T2 at Pebble, T4 at Quail and third at East Lake whilst often finishes well at Augusta. Huge events do not seem to faze him either with a couple of good places at WGC in years gone by. A solo 15th around here during Ogilvy's win isn't going to hinder his chances either.

Best Bets

US Open – Webb Simpson (25/1 each-way William Hill)

US Open – Patrick Reed (40/1 each-way William Hill)

US Open – Jason Day (40/1 each-way William Hill)

US Open – Adam Scott (40/1 each-way William Hill)

US Open – Paul Casey (50/1 each-way SkyBet)

About Author

I'm a graduate in BA (Hons) Sports Journalism from Solent University where I received First Class Honours. My dissertation was actually on the sports gambling sector. I currently work in the sports media industry producing an array of content whether that be written, visual or audio. My passions include golf, English football - that's from the Premier League right down to non-league football - Aldershot being my team! as well as NFL and a number of other sports. I first got into betting through friends, pretty much as soon as I was old enough to do so and in the past I have run my own paid gambling group. Sport and betting go hand-in-hand but it's important to understand that this is merely a bit of fun for me. I've learnt a hell of a lot in the industry with many mistakes made but I hope my previews, whether that be on the latest golf event or something totally different, provide you with some added value.

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