The third weekend in June will culminate on Father’s Day with the final round of the US Open, certainly a welcome change from last year’s September US Open that was forced to compete with football. While Bryson DeChambeau overpowered the monstrous Winged Foot Golf Club to win last year, the Torrey Pines course should present a different type of Open entirely.
Golf fans remember Tiger Woods’ one-legged heroics at Torrey Pines in 2008, but many may not remember the man that he took down: journeyman Rocco Mediate, who was never known as a long hitter or an impressive player in general. Unlike many courses since 2008, Torrey has not been lengthened, and depending on tees, it can play even shorter, meaning the tournament is wide open. With that in mind, here are some under-the-radar picks for Tournament winner and first-round leader wagering.
Patrick Reed (+2500). The man everybody loves to hate – Reed is built for majors. In addition to his Masters win, Reed owns top-10 finishes in all the other majors and performs well in Ryder Cups. Reed thrives on pressure and he won the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines in January. This is not a bomber’s course and nobody is better around the greens than Reed. I love his chances.
Louis Oosthuizen (+4000). This may be hard to believe, but Louis has never won on US soil. Nevertheless, he won a Major in the 2010 Open Championship and he also owns four second-place finishes in Majors on US soil, including a T-2 at the 2015 US Open. Simply put, he is overdue.
Sung Jae Im (+11000). Sung may not be ready to win a Major, but he certainly has the talent to do so. His world ranking has dropped from 17 to 26, as he has been a bit off-kilter recently, but when Sung can play with any golfer in the world when he plays well. Betting Sung is strictly a value play. Why not throw a couple of bucks on a long shot?
First Round Leader:
This bet is very different from the overall winner. For this category, I am looking to guys that have the talent to go low and who tend to get off to quick starts
Jordan Spieth (+3300). Known for getting off to quick starts, Spieth has led after the first-round three times during the PGA 2020-21 season. He is also in the midst of a career resurgence, raising his world ranking from 92 at the beginning of the calendar year to its current standing of 23. While Spieth can also win this entire event, I like his chances for a fast start better.
Sam Burns (+8000). Another player that has held a first round lead three times this year, Burns had blown a few opportunities before finally breaking through with his initial PGA tour win at the Valspar Championship. That should boost his confidence and allow him to play free and easy at his second major championship since his first win.
Wilco Nienaber (+12500). What is a betting preview without a good long shot? Nienaber, unknown to all but the most die-hard golf fans, has rocketed up the world golf rankings over the last year mostly due to his success on the European Tour. While his countryman Garrick Higgo has more overall game right now, Nienaber regularly drives the ball over 350 yards, including a European tour record 439-yard drive in 2020. While I doubt he can put together four good rounds, his length can certainly allow him to go low at least once.
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