2017 U.S. Open Betting Preview & Odds
The toughest challenge in golf every year is the United States Open, as the USGA likes to make that tournament as tough as possible and a survival of the fittest. However, no one knows what to expect this week at the 117th U.S. Open because it’s the first time that the course, Erin Hills in Wisconsin, has ever hosted a PGA Tour event. And really the course will be the story this week. Unfortunately, because it’s new, it makes it tougher to handicap this tournament. Let’s take a look at the latest golf odds and preview for the upcoming tournament.
2017 U.S. Open Betting Preview & Odds
TV: Thursday-Friday, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. ET (FOX Sports 1), 6-9 p.m. (FOX). Saturday, 11 a.m.-8 p.m. (FOX). Sunday, 11 a.m.-8:30 p.m. (FOX).
RADIO: Thursday-Friday, noon-8 p.m. ET; Saturday, noon-7 p.m.; Sunday, noon-8 p.m. (SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio and FOX Sports on SiriusXM).
Erin Hills is a public course located about 35 miles from Milwaukee. It’s the second-longest course in U.S. Open history at nearly 7,700 yards so it’s a monster. It’s also a links-style course that you would normally see in the British Open. That means fescue rough and very wide fairways – the complete opposite, for example, of the 2016 U.S. Open host, Oakmont. Every once in a while, USGA officials decide to inject a refreshing twist to its biggest championship. That’s why Chambers Bay, the Washington state course that hosted the Open in 2015, and Erin Hills got their chance. Chambers Bay is also a links course. Erin Hills has no out of bounds, no water hazards and only five trees.
The course is the first par-72 used for the U.S. Open since Pebble Beach was set up with four par-5s in 1992. Erin Hills’ par-5s all go in different directions and the one that will get the most attention is also the longest. No. 18 is listed at 637 yards for the Open, but can play as long as 663. If the forecast for sun and heat early in the week holds, the turf at Erin Hills will be firm and fast. Golfers will have to plan not only for where their balls land but for where they stop rolling. Erin Hills was built for wind to be one of its primary defenses, so if it’s not windy, then golfers could reach double digits under par. That’s very unusual at a U.S. Open. In six of the past 12 U.S. Opens, the winning score has been par or higher. This is just the fifth time since 1976 that the USGA has taken the U.S. Open to a course that had not previously hosted the championship. After Atlanta Athletic Club (where Jerry Pate won in ’76), the U.S. Open went to venues that had previously hosted the event until 1999, when the tournament was played at Pinehurst in North Carolina. That was viewed as such a success that the U.S. Open has returned to Pinehurst twice, in 2005 and 2014. Bethpage Black in Farmingdale, New York, was another new venue in 2002 and got a return date in 2009.
Arguably the two most popular golfers in the USA, Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson, are not here. Woods, a three-time winner of the tournament, remains sidelined due to back surgery. Mickelson has chosen to attend his daughter’s high school graduation that also takes place Thursday. Lefty has finished second in this tournament a record six times. It’s the one event he wants to win more than any other to complete the career Grand Slam. Barring something unforeseen like a major weather delay on Thursday, Mickelson will have to wait until 2018.
The favorite is world No. 1 Dustin Johnson, who is also the defending champion and the +700 betting favorite. He won his first major last June at Oakmont, finishing at 4-under 276, three shots ahead of Shane Lowry, Jim Furyk and Scott Piercy. Johnson, who was unable to play this year’s Masters after a slip-and- fall the day before the tournament started, is trying to become the first man to win back-to-back Opens since Curtis Strange in 1988-89. Until missing the cut at the Memorial Tournament last time out, DJ hadn’t finished outside the top 15 since January. Just six defending Open champions since 1991 have placed higher than 30th in their title defense.
Johnson is grouped with 2015 winner Jordan Spieth (+1100) and 2014 champion Martin Kaymer (+6500) the first two days. Aside from his victory in 2015, Spieth’s highest finish at this event was 17 th . Spieth does have history on this course. It hosted the 2011 U.S. Amateur and Spieth shot 69 in qualifying and had three match-play wins.
Six years after he won the U.S. Open at Congressional, Rory McIlroy (+1100) will look for major No. 5 alongside Jason Day (+1000) and 2013 champ Justin Rose (+2000) the first two days.
2017 US Open Betting Pick: Jason Day
Day has finished in the Top 10 in the US Open five times since 2011 and has been second twice. The Aussie is my pick. I do like Johnson for a Top 10. Not high on Spieth or McIlroy, who is returning from a rib injury, this week.