As ever before a big tournament we have the chance of look at the side markets heading into the competition and that remains the case before the start of the US Open on Thursday. Erin Hills has had plenty spoken about it and it will be interesting to see how it plays out.
There are dozens of side markets for the tournament and we’ve picked out four to have a go at to give us more interest in the week and bump up the profits.
This is a select market with just four men in it and predictably all eyes are on Rory McIlroy but he must be opposable on his return from injury on this brute of a course which will be as much of a physical test as a mental one. Shane Lowry, Graeme McDowell and Paul Dunne oppose the former champion.
Graeme McDowell isn’t long enough and Paul Dunne could do with a bit longer although his links prowess keeps him as a danger but I like Shane Lowry. He likes these long and fast tracks like Wentworth and Firestone and we know he can play in the wind. He has mentioned on Twitter how he likes the place on first impression and that is part of the battle. At 7/2 he’s the value in this market.
There are a few more players in this market with Hideki Matsuyama the obvious favourite but his form has been patchy for a while, certainly in comparison to the amazing form he showed earlier in the campaign. Byeong-Hun An and the Players champion Si-Woo Kim rate as the main dangers in the betting market but the latter is injured too much to trust.
An is a wonderful driver but the rest of his game could do with improvement while Haotong Li and Jeunghun Wang could surprise many but I’m going with Hideto Tanihara this week. If I’m honest I thought I’d never hear about him again after his run at the WGC Matchplay but his tilt at the BMW PGA Championship in some windy conditions kept him on my radar.
Tanihara might lack for length but he’s pretty accurate off the tee and he has a putting ability that few can match. If he can keep his ball in play for the most part and find these greens he can hole enough putts to lead this lot a merry dance at a massive price.
Once again I’m picking on a market which has an obvious favourite in Henrik Stenson although you dismiss Alex Noren anywhere at your peril these day. Stenson’s case is an obvious one while Noren will contend in these things soon but might need more experience first.
One Swedish player who never gets a mention in these things is David Lingmerth but I’m not sure why as he has a good major record. He’s only played in two US Opens and was in the top 20 both times and he was in the top 15 at Whistling Straits in the PGA a couple of years ago. He can play these things and has to be overpriced at 13/2 in a four horse race which I only see as a three horse race as Daniel Chopra is likely to be out of his depth here.
Top 30 Finish
I always like to play a position market in these things and I’m going to do that with three men in the top 30 market. The first two, Russell Henley and George Coetzee both went well at Whistling Straits in 2015 finishing T12 and T7 respectively and both have solid games for this place. Both function in the wind, are decent off the tee and putt well on fast greens so I’m expecting good weeks from them.
Stephan Jaeger couldn’t be in better form heading into this tournament with two wins in his last three events on the Web.com Tour. He has played this course before having competed in the US Amateur here and he made the match play of that so he’ll know the course and is giving out the right noises instead of worrying about the rough and things. He’s a total shot in the dark but at 9/1 we can pay to see.
WON – Back S.Lowry Top Irishman for a 2/10 stake at 4.50 with Skybet
Back H.Tanihara Top Asian (e/w) for a 1/10 stake at 14.00 with Boylesports (1/5 1-3)
WON – Back D.Lingmerth Top Swede for a 2/10 stake at 7.50 with Bet365
Back R.Henley Top 30 Finish for a 2/10 stake at 3.60 with Betfair
Back him here:
Back G.Coetzee Top 30 Finish for a 2/10 stake at 5.00 with Paddy Power
Back S.Jaeger Top 30 Finish for a 1/10 stake at 10.00 with Paddy Power
Back them here: