US Open 2015 – Overall Trends
Three of the last four winners of the British Open were in their early forties, and Angel Cabrera came close to scooping the Masters prize in 2013, but the stats show that when it comes to the big three tournaments on U.S. soil, oldies are at a disadvantage.
No Tournament For Old Men
No player aged over 39 has won a U.S. based Major this century, which means you can discount 18/1 chance Phil Mickelson
Too Much Too Young
But don’t let the last trend suck you into going to the other extreme. Only three players under the age of 29 have won the U.S. Open in the modern era: Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Ernie Els. It clearly takes a special golfer to win this event in their twenties. Of the current crop of twenty-somethings, only Jordan Spieth looks as though he could belong in that company.
Give Me A Break
It is an unusual trend, but eight of the last ten U.S. Open winners were winning their first Major, the exceptions being Tiger Woods, in 2008 and Martin Kaymer last year.
If the US Open is the ‘breakthrough’ Major, then we can safely put a line through several of those at the top of the betting, including Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose, Adam Scott and Bubba Watson.
Have I Been Here Before?
Since 1976, only two players have won the U.S. Open with fewer than three previous tournament appearances under their belt. Ernie Els in 1994 and Webb Simpson in 2012 defied the trend, but three previous outings seem to be the minimum experience requirement.
This Place Brings Back Happy Memories
Although the venue for this event changes every year, it is played on fairly similar courses and the challenge doesn’t vary that much. So you might expect some degree of previous success in the tournament to be a pre-requisite, and history is on your side. Since 1970, only three players have won the U.S. Open without having previously registered a top twenty finish in the event.
Stats, Stats, Stats
There are a couple of statistical trends worth mentioning. To win a Major you’d expect a player to be in reasonable touch and you’d be right. In the last seven years, the winner of the US Open has been ranked in the top 60 on the PGA Tour for both scoring average and birdie average.
Applying these trends leaves us with a shortlist of eight, including Dustin Johnson, Sergio Garcia and Jimmy Walker.
But concentrating on those at bigger odds gives us an interesting group of five, featuring Matt Kuchar, Brandt Snedeker and Ryan Moore, who all have top tens in this event, along with the ultra-competitive Ian Poulter and Kevin Na, who managed his best finish to date in the US Open last year.
*Prices correct at time of publication.