Shinnecock Hills, home to this year’s U.S. Open is one of the more interesting tracks in North America. Located on Long Island in the South Hamptons, Shinnecock Hills Golf Club has been the host to four U.S. Open’s (1896, 1986, 1995 and 2004). In the 1896 Open, James Foulis of Scotland defeated Englishman Horace Rawlins to claim the $200 first place purse. The winner of this year’s event is scheduled to take home slightly more than that. Hell, making the cut gets you more than that.
There have been some updates to the track ahead of the 2018 US Open. The fairways have been narrowed to an average of 41 yards and pin placement was subject to be “re-evaluated” after the birdie clinic last year at Erin Hills. The course is going to favor those with more accuracy and great approach rather than the boomers. Dustin Johnson, who won this past weekend, is the favorite in Vegas at 8/1. He missed the cut at last year’s second major but is playing very well this year.
Some more interesting stats to look at before we give our picks…
– 2 golfers have made the cut at the last five U.S. Opens. Their names are Matt Kuchar and Sergio Garcia.
– 7,440 yards is what the U.S. Open will play at Shinnecock this year. At that number, it would not be one of the 10 longest setups in U.S. Open history.
– 5 golfers who have competed in the last three U.S. Opens at Shinnecock (including this one). Kenny Perry, Ernie Els, Steve Stricker, Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods.
– 27 Major Champions playing in this year’s U.S. Open, meaning 17% of this year’s field has a major championship.
And now with our picks and their odds…
(Courtesy of Westgate Las Vegas Superbook Mobile App)
RICKIE FOWLER – 14/1
Fowler continues to be labeled “Best Golfer to have ZERO majors”. His recent performances leave a strong feeling for bettors that this could be the weekend that he gets it. He was t-8 at The Memorial and also finished second at the Masters. I’m sure Rickie would love to cap of his recent engagement with a nice check by winning the US Open. After all, he’s now got a wedding to pay for.
TIGER WOODS – 20/1
Tiger finished 17th here in 2004, but this track will be very different than the one he played 14 years ago. Even still, Tiger will have some advantage in knowing the layout of this course. He has also played a few practice rounds already, in preparation for the changes. Woods recent quality performances include T-11 at Augusta and T-5 at Bay Hill. Look for Woods to sit back and draft the field over the first 2-3 rounds because I believe the winner will finish somewhere around four under par this weekend. Woods ranks 10th overall in strokes gained so he can also make a charge, if need be.
JUSTIN ROSE – 14/1
Two wins already this year and many top finishes (including T-6 at The Memorial) puts Justin Rose on our radar. He is also an excellent iron player, which will be critical with the narrowed fairways and most players’ tendency to be wild off the tee.
HENRIK STENSON – 30/1
One of the best strikers on tour, Stenson is one of the tops on tour when it comes to accuracy and fairways hit. He should be a solid bet in matchup play as well this weekend. If you can find him those, I would take those bets over taking Stenson on a future.
BRIAN HARMAN – 125/1
Had the 3rd round lead at Erin Hills but just couldn’t hold on as Brooks Koepka shot 67 to leapfrog Harman and take the trophy. While we are at a different venue, Harman has the experience playing with a lead that could be helpful. At 125/1, he is worth a flyer.
CHARL SCHWARTZEL – 100/1
One day this bet will pan out for Token Tony…