Live on Sky Sports 1, Thu: 14.00 Angus Loughran previews this week’s US Open tournament and particularly fancies the chances of 28/1 shot Graeme McDowell.
A winner on both sides of the Atlantic, McDowell has been in great form this season and I was told he loved the Merion course after a practice round last week.
The Northern Irishman perhaps didn’t get the recognition he deserved for his 2010 victory, largely because he won in the middle of the night UK time during the football World Cup.
A second US Open triumph though would take McDowell’s career to a new level and with most bookies paying six places (Betvictor offer 7!), he looks a really solid bet this week.
Coral offer 8/1 about McDowell being the top European (1/4 odds, four places), which also looks decent value given that it’s hard to imagine four Europeans finishing ahead of him.
Matt Kuchar at 22/1 (Paddy Power) is the pick of the home players. The ultra-consistent American arrives in great shape following his recent win at the Memorial Tournament and he has the perfect game for a tight track like Merion.
If it hadn’t been for his total meltdown in Ohio last time out, I would have regarded Tiger Woods as a good thing to prevail in the US Open but his chance is certainly factored in the price at 11/2 (Skybet) when you consider the 12/1 he was to win at Doral in March.
Woods has enjoyed a great season so far but for him it is all about the Majors. Muirfield, weather permitting, and Oak Hill will both suit the world number one while Merion will be similar to Hoylake where Woods won the 2006 Open Championship, although the recent rain will mean it could play longer than expected without the run that the firm fairways produce.
Dustin Johnson can never be discounted and at 45/1 (Stan James) he has solid claims. Alternatively, those seeking heftier prices should consider 100/1 chance (Coral) Kevin Chappell, who is playing some great golf at present and looks a lively outsider.
Elsewhere, Rory Mcllroy has been friendless in the build up and is out to 22/1 at William Hill to win a second US Open while Lee Westwood has also failed to attract market support and is 30/1 at Paddy Power, but still seeking his first major, he’d be a hugely popular winner on this side of the Atlantic.