The 2018 US Open (June 14-17) heads to New York, and back to the infamous Shinnecock Hills Golf Course that made some of the best players in the world look like absolute idiots in 2004. The greens were brutal, and players on the wrong side of the hole did well to keep their ball on the green for their next putt.
The US Open is renowned for being one of the hardest course set-ups of the year though and, after Brooks Koepka shot -16 under to win last season, it would be no surprise to see a much lower winning score this time around.
Shinnecock Hills has actually hosted the US Open four-times. The first was in 1896 when James Foulis won, and the Scotsman born in St Andrews set a precedent for players who had shown good from at an Open Championship to play well here.
1986 winner Raymond Floyd may not have won an Open Championship, but he often finished on the leaderboard. As did 1995 Champion Corey Pavin, who managed to hold off the advances of 1993 Open Champion Greg Norman.
2004 Champion Retief Goosen also boasted eight top-10’s in the Open Championship, whilst Phil Mickleson got his name on the Claret Jug at Muirfield, before being playing his part in an epic battle with 2016 Open Champion Henrik Stenson at Troon.
There’s little doubt that Jordan Spieth has what it takes to win the US Open and, if he starts the season well, his odds could be much shorter nearer the time. Already a US Open and Open Championship winner, his US Open win came on a course that was a links all bar in name. He may not get away with wayward driving here, but his accurate iron play and putting is what his game is based on – and, as he’s got the best golfing brain on the planet, this could easily be another major for him.
Defending a US Open won’t be easy for Brooks Kopeka, but there’s a good chance that last year’s Champion could take another significant step forward in 2018. His US Open stats read 4/18/13/1, and he’s well on his way to mastering the Open Championship having finished tenth and sixth in the last two-years.
Brandon Grace will also surely win a major before too long, and his win in last year’s Nedbank Challenge should fill him with confidence as he tries to better the two top-5 finishes he’s had in the US Open in the last 3 years. He was also sixth in last season’s Open Championship, and shot a new major low-round of 62.
At even bigger prices, it could be worth risking a few pounds on Martin Kaymer and Brandt Snedeker coming back to form. Kaymer has already won a US Open, and he’s won a Dunhill Links despite never bettering seventh at the Open Championship. Meanwhile, Snedeker boasts a third at the Open Championship, and also boasts five top-9 finishes at the US Open. One of the best putters on his day, he could be well-suited to Shinnecock Hills.
2018 US Open Golf Tips
Jordan Spieth 2 Points Each-Way @ 25/2 Marathon (5 places)
Brooks Koepka 1 Point Each-Way @ 33/1 WilliamHill (6 places)
Brandon Grace 1 Point Each-Way @ 50/1 BetBright (5 places)
Martin Kaymer 1 Point Each-Way @ 80/1 WilliamHill (6 places)
Brandt Snedeker 1 Point Each-Way @ 80/1 WilliamHill (6 places)