McIlroy In Line For Fifth Major At US Open
The US Open takes place at Chambers Bay this week, with Rory McIlroy hoping to reclaim the title he won in 2011.
The second of the season’s Majors, the U.S. Open is played at a different venue each year, but is known for its high scoring as the courses chosen are generally amongst the toughest on the PGA Tour. Between 1927 and 2009, only one European won this event, but that US dominance was ended by Graeme McDowell’s success in 2010, and Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose and Martin Kaymer have won it since.
Chambers Bay in Seattle will make history as the first Pacific Northwest course to host this tournament, and it looks a little different to the normal PGA venue. It is essentially a links course, and as well as being a stiff test of driving distance, it offers all the usual difficulties of links golf, including numerous dramatic slopes, cavernous bunkers, and the ever-present challenge of coastal gusts.
In The Bunker
Ever since his Masters win, Jordan Spieth has been touted as a serious rival to Rory McIlroy and priced up accordingly, and while that may yet prove to be the case, I won’t be backing him this week. His form remains strong, and he should be refreshed having taken a week off after his third at Memorial, but he has no record of success on a links course like this and that makes him unappealing at a short price of 9/1.
After a blistering start to the season, Rory McIlroy has looked a little jaded in his last couple of outings, missing the cut at Wentworth and the Irish Open, so his time off since the end of May should have helped. Unlike many of his US rivals, he will have no difficulty with the nature of the Chambers Bay course, so for once his short price represents a touch of value.
Back him for a fifth Major at 15/2.
Since making some adjustments to his spring, Justin Rose has been in sparkling form, finishing second at the Masters, winning the Zurich Classic and finishing second at Memorial a fortnight ago. A links layout will obviously hold no terrors for him, and he’s at his best when plotting a way round difficult courses, so he looks a good bet at 20/1 to land the second US Open of his career.
Rickie Fowler is one of the few US players to show a liking for links golf, as a record of two top-five finishes at the British Open in the last four years demonstrates. He also appears to have developed a useful ability to peak in time for the big events. He bagged top-five finishes in every Major last year and last month won his first Players Championship, the unofficial ‘fifth Major’.
He’s had a month off to plan his US Open campaign and at 20/1 he should give you a good run for your money.
*Prices correct at time of publication.