Field Not Set For U.S. Open Yet—But We’ve Got Favorites!

Posted on May 23 2018

Over 9,000 people have submitted entries for the 2018 U.S. Open to be held at the Shinnecock Hills Golf Club in June. The vast majority of those people will not play of course. There are only 156 slots after all. About half the field is made up of players who are exempt. But the other half come from qualified applicants that make it through the local and sectional qualifiers.


One of the sectional qualifiers just took place in Japan on May 21. The rest will be held at various locations around the U.S. and at one locale in England on June 4. From the roughly 500 golfers participating in those, the rest of the field will be set.


But even though the field is not going to be set for another couple of weeks, Vegas has released odds on who will win.

 

 


How can they do that with the field not set? Easy—if you want to bet on the long shots, those will be the guys who make the final cut at sectionals. But if you are looking for odds on someone who has a good chance of winning, well—those odds are out.


The front-runners should come as no surprise (odds according to Bovada as of May 21):

  • Jordan Spieth +900
  • Dustin Johnson and Rory McIlroy +1000
  • Tiger Woods and Rickie Fowler +1400 
  • Justin Thomas +1600 
  • Jason Day and Jon Rahm +1800
  • Hideki Matsuyama +2000 
  • Justin Rose +2200


    Last year’s winner, Brooks Koepka, has slightly longer odds at +4000.


    The last time the tournament was held at Shinnecock Hills was back in 2004. Retief Goosen won for the second time in his career (first being in 2001 at Southern Hills). He defeated Phil Michelson by two strokes. Goosen last played the Open in 2016 and missed the cut. Mickelson’s odds of winning are currently +3300.


    Spieth has had some good moments this season, but he has not been very consistent with his game. Since placing third at the Masters in April, he has played three times, the Zurich Classic, The Players Championship, and the AT&T Byron Nelson last week. Of the three, his best finish was at the Byron Nelson where he finished tied for 21st.


    With his performance over his last three tournaments (he missed the cut at the Zurich Classic and finished tied for 41st at the Players) it is hard to have faith in Spieth even though he is the No. 3 golfer in the world. When you consider that the course has been stretched and the fairways made narrower, Spieth becomes even less enticing. He’s only hitting the fairway just over 61 percent of the time this season (80th on PGA Tour).


    The golfer leading the Tour in fairways hit so far this season is Henrik Stenson. His odds to win are +3300.


    Of course, with the tournament still a few weeks away, the odds can shift depending on how well anyone plays at the Fort Worth Invitational, the Memorial Tournament, and the St. Jude Classic.



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