In many ways it appears golf is locked in a battle between the old and the new. The old master, Tiger Woods, thought his way round Augusta with a veterans nous, claiming a fifth green jacket over a decade on from his previous Masters crown. The new face of the sport, Brooks Koepka then blasted his way around Bethpage at the USPGA, showing little regard for the rest of the field in claiming his fourth major title.
Koepka is again hoping to leave history in his wake as he eyes up a third consecutive US Open title, something no man has achieved in over a century. Unlike many courses on the tour, he will be unlikely to out-drive his way around Pebble Beach.
With its unforgiving, nigh-unplayable rough laying just yards from the fairway, Pebble Beach rewards golfers who hit fairways from the tee and greens in regulation. Therefore you can expect to see a variety of different golfing styles breaching the leaderboard this weekend.
Our golf betting expert previews the action and shares the best bets ahead of the tournament.
Despite Koepka’s record in the tournament, the current favourite at Grosvenorsport.com is Dustin Johnson. The American impressed during the last installment of the US Open to be played at Pebble Beach. He did everything except win there in 2010, blowing a three-shot lead during the final round. His game is well suited to Pebble Beach, and ‘DJ’ operates with a completely new mindset now. He’s available at 13/2 at Grosvenorsport.com.
Koepka himself will go out at around 17/2 and seems certain to front a challenge this weekend. He’s always had the power to get round any course in the world, but he has added greater touch around the greens and a champions mentality which rarely fails him on the big stage. I don’t think his game is perfectly suited to Pebble Beach but he could be worth an each way bet.
After his stunning round of 61 sealed the Canadian Open, Rory McIlroy will aim to take his momentum into this week. McIlroy also has a US Open crown under his belt and will be desperate to break his five-year major tournament duck. He has 10 top-10 finishes in 12 tournaments so far this season, making him strong value for an each way bet at 8/1.
Last year was certainly a breakthrough year for Francesco Molinari. He won his first major title at The Open Championship, won the Race to Dubai, became the first Ryder Cup player to finish the week 5-0 and was crowned European Golfer of the Year. After an impressive display at the Masters, he ended up finishing tied for fifth place. He has an excellent all round game and makes few mistakes when he is playing well. At 35/1 at Grosvenorsport.com he could be excellent value.
Despite following up his Masters victory by missing the cut at Bethpage, Tiger Woods will feel reasonably confident. His 15-shot victory during the 2000 US Open at Pebble Beach is widely regarded as the greatest display of golf ever witnessed. He has not played here since 2012 and arrived in California several days early to get some practice rounds in. I would expect his experience to guide him into the top 10 and an each way bet at 11/1 with Grosvenorsport.com would be the way I’d go with Tiger.
Despite his poor form seeing him slide as low as 28 in the world rankings, Jordan Spieth seems to have turned a corner of late. His putter got warmer as the week at Bethpage progressed, eventually finishing tied for third. He won the 2017 Pebble Beach Pro-Am by four shots and won’t fear this golf course. If he can putt well in the early rounds, expect him to be there or thereabouts at 20/1.
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