The first round of the US Open was a very low scoring affair and it has set up the rest of the tournament very nicely. We’ve all had a chance to see Erin Hills in all its glory and see the type of course it is rather than hearing all about it which should help both the players going forward and us punters.
Round 1 Recap
Rickie Fowler enjoyed the course better than most and he will take a one stroke lead into the second round on Friday. He should an almost unheard of seven under par on Thursday although that should be put into perspective that the par is 72 this week rather than the usual US Open par of 70.
Paul Casey and the lesser known Xander Schauffele are the closest pursuers to Fowler. Both shot six under while the group two back on five under include Brooks Koepka and Tommy Fleetwood. Marc Leishman and Patrick Reed are three off the lead at four under.
It wasn’t a great day for the best players in the world. The top six in the world are all over par and in the form of Rory McIlroy (+6) and Jason Day (+7) some are out of the tournament before it has barely got going.
It wasn’t the best betting day for us with just one of the four match bets obliging but a couple of our outrights started well so hopefully they can enhance their position on Friday and we can claw back the losses in the three ball betting.
Friday 3 balls
Brendan Steele/Wesley Bryan/Brad Dalke
Match tees off at 13.29 BST
I took Brendan Steele on Thursday and he won for me coming through by five and seven shots respectively on Wesley Bryan and Brad Dalke and having seen how the course plays I see no reason to oppose the Safeway Open champion.
Steele is a wonderful driver of the golf ball and that is the key around here. He is used to fast and firm conditions and his experience just adds to his potential to come through this group. The other two are playing for pride but with motivation questionable I’m on Steele who is bang in this.
Lee Westwood/Ross Fisher/Graeme McDowell
Match tees off at 19.47 BST
Lee Westwood won this match by six and seven strokes over Ross Fisher and Graeme McDowell on Thursday and I expect him to dominate it again on Friday too. This course is perfect for Westwood in much the same way we’ve seen him play the likes of Augusta National.
He is such a good driver that he isn’t going to miss many of these fairways and he is patient enough not to go for too much into the greens. He is in the position in the tournament where he can afford to plot his way around unlike Fisher and McDowell who need to go hunting for birdies.
The course is too long for McDowell anyway which is a concern and with Fisher having to take risks to get back into the tournament on a course that is surely going to be set up harder than on Thursday, Fisher is not going to have the percentages in his favour. Patience is a virtue and one that Westwood can afford and I expect another solid round from him and a win over the other two.
WON – Back B.Steele to beat W.Bryan & B.Dalke for a 4/10 stake at 1.91 with Skybet
Back L.Westwood to beat R.Fisher & G.McDowell for a 4/10 stake at 2.30 with 888sport