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U.S. Open Betting News and Notes

U.S. Open Betting News and Notes

U.S. Open Preview and Picks
By Matt Fargo

We have hit the second major of the season as the 113th edition of the U.S. Open tees off this week from the East Course at Merion Golf Club in Ardmore, Pennsylvania. This is the first trip for the Open back to Merion since 1981 which is a big gap considering this is the 18th time it has hosted a USGA Championship. Therefore we can toss experience out of the equation right away as no player has teed it up here in any sort of pro tournament, especially one with a meaning like this one.

Merion is not the typical U.S. Open course or any tour course for that matter as it sits just 6,996 yards in length and that is stretching it out as far as possible. It is just a par 70 which means two less par fives are in the mix and while there are short yardage holes, Merion still has its share of length on some. Three of the four par threes are 236, 246 and 256 in yardage while four of the par fours are 464 yards or longer including the 18th hole which measures out at 521 yards.

The weather has been an issue leading up to the tournament and it will remain an issue going into Thursday. The area received a lot of rain over the past weekend and Monday was virtually a washout. The course does drain well but the chances of it getting hard and fast, which is what the USGA had hoped, will be next to impossible. The 11th and 12th holes are prone to flooding and if any more significant rain does come, there is talk about playing two holes on the West Course to open the round and skip 11 and 12 altogether.

Hopefully that will not be the case but a wet course means more aggressive play. That brings a lot more players into the mix because the greens will be more receptive which gives lower iron shots a greater chance of actually staying on the greens. With the fairways not allowing balls to roll out, it cuts down on distance but it also will help prevent balls rolling into the extremely dangerous rough in some cases. The putting surfaces will still be fast as estimates of around 12 on the Stimpmeter are expected.

While the thought is that the Majors are dominated by the world's best players, that has hardly been the case. Of the last 18 Majors, there have been 17 different winners with Rory McIlroy being the only two-time Major winner. As far as the U.S. Open, seven of the last eight winners hoisted the trophy for the first time, with Tiger Woods in 2008 being his third title. American players used to dominate but only three of the last nine winners have been from the United States.

The defending champion is Webb Simpson (+5,000) and while has been playing decent, he has not been contending very often. His best finish is a solo second at the RBC Heritage and he has just two other top tens. History is not on his side as only one player has been able to defend his title since 1951 when Curtis Strange backed up his 1988 U.S. Open Championship at The Country Club with a win in 1989 at Oak Hill.

Graeme McDowell (+2,000) won the U.S. Open in 2010 at Pebble Beach and he backed that up with a T14 in 2011 and a T2 last year. He heads into this year's edition in good form as he has a match play win in Europe as well as a win here at the RBC Heritage. He is not long off the tee but that is not a requirement here and he makes up for that with incredible accuracy. He will be a threat again.

Phil Mickelson (+2,000) will be the first of two players that have come close to the championship but have yet to claim one. He has been a runner-up at the U.S. Open a record five times and while his T65 and T54 the last two years will lead people to think his time has passed, I am not one of those. While he did miss the cut at THE PLAYERS, he has four top three finishes including a win in Phoenix and a T2 last week.

The second of the two aforementioned bridesmaids is Lee Westwood (+2,500). In his last five U.S. Open starts, he has three top tens including a T3 and a solo third. He can still be considered the best player without a Major even though some may think he is on his way down. It is hard to make that argument when he posted a T10, T8, T4 and a T8 in four straight tournaments before his WD at the Memorial two weeks ago.

Brandt Snedeker (+2,500) has been on a lot of radar screens since he won the FedEx Cup last year and rightfully so. He opened the season with four top threes in his first five starts and while an injury has slowed him down, we cannot forget his T8 at THE PLAYERS. He has missed his last two cuts but Webb Simpson came into last year the same way. He has finished T11, T8 and T9 in three of his last four U.S. Opens.

We will be going with two longshots this week, the first being Henrik Stenson (+7,500). After pretty much taking off the final three years, he is playing some great golf with three tops tens in seven medal play made cuts including a T2 and a T5. He has always played well at the U.S. Open and this year he is ranked first in driving accuracy, third in greens in regulation and third in scrambling from the rough. Enough said.

Tim Clark (+8,500) will be the other longshot pick this week as a non-firm course keeps him in play with the big boys. He has been all over the map this year with five missed cuts but he also has three top tens including a solo second at the Sony Open in Hawaii. In his last four U.S. Open made cuts, he has a T12, T40, T48 and a T17 so even in the faster conditions, his accuracy keeps him around.

Recommended Tournament Win Six Pack at the U.S. Open (all for One Unit)

Graeme McDowell (+2,000)
Phil Mickelson (+2,000)
Lee Westwood (+2,500)
Brandt Snedeker (+2,500)
Henrik Stenson (+7,500)
Tim Clark (+8,500)

2012 Record to date after 36 events: +51.6 Units
2013 Record to date after 22 events: -14.4 Units

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Re: U.S. Open Betting News and Notes

U.S. Open Odds and Picks
By: Rick Herron

The U.S. Open returns to Merion Golf Club this week for the first time in 32 years. This is the fifth U.S. Open to be held at Merion, the most recent of which was in 1981 when Australian David Graham shot 67 in the final round to win.

The historical significance of Merion is a big reason the USGA brought the U.S. Open to this 6,996-yard golf course. It’s the first time since 2004 that the Open has been played on a course less than 7,000 yards in length.

This is where Bobby Jones completed his version of the Grand Slam by winning the U.S. Amateur in 1930. The Grand Slam in those days was the British Open, British Amateur, U.S. Open and U.S. Amateur.

Ben Hogan won the Open here in 1950 with the famous one-iron shot on the 18th hole to get him into a playoff. The photo of Hogan hitting that shot was on the cover of Life Magazine and is possibly the most famous golf photo of all time.

This is also where Lee Trevino won an 18-hole playoff on Monday over Jack Nicklaus in 1971. On the first tee of the playoff, Trevino brought out a rubber snake and threw it at Nicklaus.

Nicklaus was asked during that tournament what was the best hole at Merion?

“All of them,” he replied.

Merion features wicker baskets on the greens instead of flagsticks. The baskets are red on the front nine and orange on the back nine. Those baskets make it tougher on the players, since they have to judge the wind just by looking at the surrounding trees.

One question being asked this year is ‘can a 6,996-yard golf course handle a major like the US Open in today’s world with all the new technology?’ It will certainly be answered starting on Thursday as Merion has had almost 5 inches of rain since last weekend.

The rain will leave the golf course more vulnerable, but don’t be fooled into thinking Merion will be an easy test. The par-70 layout does have some short par 4s, but its two par 5s are both very long. In addition, the par 3s are 256, 236, 115 and 246, so this course is a look back in time to when players had to hit every club in their bags. That was always the mark of a great golf course, and Merion certainly qualifies.

In the video I shot with Brian Blessing this week, I stated that I am all in on TIGER WOODS. We have numerous tickets on Tiger at odds ranging from 7-2 to 5-1.

The thinking is that Tiger will be able to hit less than driver on most holes and keep the ball in the fairway. He hits his 5-wood a long way.

Lee Trevino called Merion a “thinking man’s golf course,” and there is no better thinker in the game than Tiger Woods.

Our “saver” plays this week are also largely based on the golf course.

GRAEME MCDOWELL (20-1). McDowell’s game is perfect for Merion, and his record in the U.S. Open is pretty good. In the last three years he has finished tied for tied for second, 14th and first. Enough said...

WEBB SIMPSON (40-1). Nobody has won back to back U.S. Open’s since Curtis Strange in 1988 and 1989, but Simpson, the defending champ, loves this golf course. He played here in the U.S. Amateur in 2005 and has stated that it is his favorite track in the world.

ZACH JOHNSON (60-1). The former Masters champion is one of the best wedge players in the world, and some players have said they expect to hit wedge into nine of the first thirteen holes. That’s good enough for me.

U.S. Open odds to win: Big gap between Woods and rest of field

In one early matchup, we are using Charl Schwartzel (+105) over Justin Rose. Schwartzel has played well all year, and there’s value taking him as a dog vs. Rose, but we’re not using him at 30-1 to win the event.

Betting matchups: Phil more than 2-to-1 to beat Tiger

This is going to be a very interesting week. Showers are expected again on Thursday and Friday with conditions drying out over the weekend, so guys are probably going to post low numbers the first two days (by U.S. Open standards) and then try to hang on Saturday and Sunday.

It’s going to be fun to see major championship golf played this way again in 2013 on a stage as grand as any in the world of golf.

For all of us who love the old, traditional golf courses, let’s hope Merion shows her teeth over the weekend so that we will get to see her again in about 10 years.

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Re: U.S. Open Betting News and Notes

US Open Betting Preview
By Tom Grassi

It’s tough picking the outright winner in profession golf tournament with so many talented and capable players. However, our Masters Golf Preview correctly selected Adam Scott at 28:1 odds to be the winner!

We always make our online golf bets at and they currently have Tiger Woods as the 9:2 betting favorite. No shock in that number.

Speaking of Tiger Woods, has an interesting proposition betting opportunity that allows you to wager yes or no on whether Woods will finish in the top five. The current betting odds on that proposition are even money and quite frankly a pretty good bet in my opinion.

The interesting aspect of the Open betting lines is the fact that no other golfer is single digits. That tells us that this should be a wide open major with virtually anyone teeing off at Merion Golf Club.

This is a great golf course and this Open will mark the fifth time that the U.S. Golf Association has held their championship here. The last time the Open was held in was back in 1981 with David Graham winning.

Merion is noted for “smallness” is a short course with narrow fairways and small tough greens. Which player will be able to keep the ball the fairway and attach the short course? has Mickelson as the second choice but we have no interest in laying any money on Lefty. He has only four top 10 finishes this season with only one win. Lefty can’t keep the ball in the fairway as he ranks 160th on the tour in driving accuracy, and that will spell big time trouble for Mickelson.

Graeme McDowell is the third choice at betting odds of 20/1, along with Rory McIlroy and Matt Kuchar. Both McDowell and McIlroy are past champions. Kuchar is having a great year, having won twice and being second on the money list behind Woods, having pocketed over 4.3 million this year.

Masters Champion Adam Scott is in the next set of players with odds of 22:1 along with Justin Rose. Right behind them is Snedeker, Schwartzel and Westwood at odds of 28:1. This set of players provides very attractive odds.

By the way, in case you’re wondering defending champion Webb Simpson is returning $40 for each dollar wagered. No respect for the defending champ!

As we did in the Masters were going to provide three US Open free picks with the first being to play on Brett Snedeker. He’s a very accurate driver of the golf ball ranking 10th this season on the tour in driving accuracy. He’s also a great putter, one of the best on the tour. Currently, he sits at #10 on the tour ranking for putting average. Really like Snedeker at this number.

Adam Scott delivered us a winning ticket in the Masters and can’t keep him off my ticket today. He made the decision to play fewer tournaments and practice more and its paid dividends. He’s entered only seven PGA events this season. Can he win back-to-back majors, we think so.

And our third and final selection is on the favorite Tiger Woods. We would be foolish to leave him off our ticket after his awful performance at the Memorial in Columbus. Woods couldn’t do anything right but have a feeling he’ll bounce back strong this week. As I mentioned can’t see him finishing out of the top five.

Our US Open betting picks are:

One unit plays on Brent Snedeker Adam Scott, and Tiger Woods.

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Re: U.S. Open Betting News and Notes

U.S. Open Gambling Preview
By  Alf Musketa

With more rain in the forecast for Thursday, the best players in the world should bring the U.S. Open and the Merion Golf Club to its knees. Soft conditions will enable more players to stay in the fairways. The rough is lush, wet and thick. But this golf course because of the conditions is defenseless. At just 6,996 yards, and seven par fours measuring 410 yards or less that are easily reachable with wedges, by putting wedges in the hands of today's talented players, they will birdie every other hole. The USGA always get their greens to be the fastest of any event the Tour players will endure and normal U.S. Open greens run between 13-14 on the stimpmeter. Now with five inches of rain and more on the way, they'll be lucky to get them to 11by Sunday.
Rory McIlroy has the U.S. Open record of -16 under par. In 2011 at Congressional, they had rain early in the week and overnight on two days of the tournament. McIlroy fired at the pins with no hesitation. This week if the players do not take advantage of the soft greens they'll be left off the leaderboard. The cut is set for the low 60 players and ties plus anyone within 10 shots of the lead.
Tiger Woods hasn't won a major since the U.S. Open at Torrey Pines in 2008. He did so then on one leg. You'd think by now the No. 1 player in the world would break through for his 15th major. He's won four times on the PGA Tour already this year, but his last event was his worst of the season at the Memorial where he beat only six players after the cut. Perhaps the pressure of signing a potential new contract with Nike has something to do with it. Maybe not, but we do know that if Tiger puts the ball in the fairway there is no one better from there to the hole. Tiger won in May at the Players Championship which was a target oriented course, the same can be said of this U.S. Open venue at Merion where hitting the fairways will be at a premium.
No Englishman has won the U.S. Open since Tony Jacklin in 1970. The "Big Four" of Luke Donald, Lee Westwood, Justin Rose and Ian Poulter collectively have not won any major, but I like Westwood and Rose's chances. Only three of the last nine U.S. Opens were won by an American. So who do we think can win this year?
Matt Kuchar (20-1) seems like the most logical answer. He has no weaknesses in his game at the moment. He won the Accenture Matchplay and recently at Memorial. He ranks fourth in scoring average and is No. 2 on the money list behind you know who. If the forecast doesn't co-operate look for Sergio Garcia, Padraig Harrington and Angel Cabrera, all solid bad weather players to be there on Sunday.
Betting the U.S. Open I suggest spreading your wagers on tournament matchups, round by round matchups, maybe a prop or two and a couple of longshots. I'm pulling for a playoff, because there is nothing like an 18-hole Monday playoff at the U.S. Open, plus it gives us more betting opportunities.

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