U.S. Open 2020: Who Will Soar?
A super 2020-2021 golf season that will have two US Opens played is about to begin and is shaping up to be the largest season since 1975 in terms of events. It will be anything but ordinary.
Road to Winged Foot...
There has been no real “road to winged foot” due to the interruption to the calendar, but since the restart in June, there has been enough golf played to wean in-form golfers from the pack. A complicated 2020 year will culminate in the US Open, as Gary Woodland looks to fend off challengers and retain his title. That in itself will be an uphill task for Woodland who has been on a steady slip down the rankings and form since his win at Pebble Beach. Now 25th in the world rankings, Woodland has finished only eight times in the top 25 of the 17 tournaments he has played this year, with his best finish coming at the CJ Cup @Nine Bridges where he finished T3. He opens at +6600 on sportsbook wire, and 50/1 on Vegas Insider, far from the top 20 odds but then there is the pride of a champion to account for.
Dustin Johnson may have been T35 at last year’s open, but he has been the man to beat on the tour since the restart. With three wins since the restart and no worse than T2 in the last four PGA events, he put a nice finish to the season by winning the Tour Championship a few days ago. He sits atop the world and FedEx rankings and is the clear favorite for the first major of the season, opening at +900 on DraftKings, +850 on Fanduel, and +800 on BetMGM.
Brooks Koepka finished as runner-up at Pebble Beach last year and has slipped to eighth in the world rankings while struggling with a knee injury that has disrupted his 2020 form, but it’ll be folly to count him out in a big tournament. He opens at +1400 on DraftKings behind Jon Rahm and Bryson DeChambeau. The big question for Brooks will be his health going into the first major of the season.
Rahm has been in great form since missing the cut at the Charles Schwab Challenge, capping off his good run with victory at the BMW Championship, and a fourth-place finish at the Tour Championship. He is the second favorite behind Johnson, with both FanDuel and DraftKings having him at +1100.
DeChambeau was nothing short of sensational following the restart of golf. He rounded up three top 10 finishes with a win at the Rocket Mortgage Classic. He struggled at the BMW Championship and the season-ending Tour Championship, but his +1400 is well deserved and will be worth keeping an eye on.
Will the Tiger roar?
The inevitable Tiger Woods opens at +4000 on BetMGM, but FanDuel and DraftKings have him at around +2800. His 2020 form has been nothing to write home about but this is Tiger Woods and all the numbers do not matter when it comes to Tiger and a major. His best performance of last season came at the ZOZO Championship in late 2019, but since the turn of 2020, his brightest spot has been T9 at the Farmers Insurance Open.
Rory McIlroy was the name on every lip when golf resumed but he is still to put up consistent performances to confirm his form. He opens fifth with +1200 odds on FanDuel. His best outing since the June restart was T8 at the season-opening Tour Championship. A top 15 finish in his last two tournaments suggests he is ramping up, a timely rally just before the Open. Morikawa has been a sensation, and may just be a noteworthy outsider alongside Justin Thomas, Webb Simpson, and Tony Finau.
Nothing is the same in the sports world, but what is consistent with the tradition surrounding a major is the buzz and anticipation. Expect to see some great golf!
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