We have previewed the outright market of the US Open and with the tournament still a day or so away it is time to have a look through the many side markets that are on show. With this being a major championship there are plenty to have a go at with good value of offer in a number of them.
Each nationality has its own market to be looked into while a number of different top finish markets and specials have gone up. We’re steering clear of the ones which have our outright bets involved in them but there are still a few bets that jump out.
There are 13 Asians in the field this week which makes for a nice little market to get stuck into. It also means that we get three places for our each way bets and with a warm favourite in Hideki Matsuyama we get good value on the field too.
To be fair Matsuyama doesn’t have a bad record in this event which probably isn’t a surprise because as a straight hitter who gets it out there with a decent iron and short game but while his form has been respectable recently it hasn’t been tip top which opens the field up for others.
Byeong-Hun An has to be considered having almost landed The Memorial two weeks ago while Si-Woo Kim is a former Players Championship winner whose short game should see him competitive here but the need for length swings me towards Kiradech Aphibarnrat who is in blinding form at the minute.
He was fifth at Wentworth where he drove the ball brilliantly and his short game is right up there as we’ve seen on a number of occasions. He is improving every time he tees it up in America and the firm and fast links feel of this course should be right up his street. He has good links form behind him and at 8/1 he’s my pick in this market.
There are plenty of Englishmen in the field this week but hand on heart you couldn’t say too many of them are in standout form which means we can narrow who we’re looking at down to a nice and manageable number.
Justin Rose is the favourite and an incredibly worthy one at that having won this title in the past but other than his win in 2013 you have to go back to 2007 for his last top 10 in the event and he only has one top 10 in The Open as a professional too so I’m not convinced links golf is for him. The course might be too long for him as it could be for another form horse in Ian Poulter. Paul Casey always has back issues which isn’t ideal and really the other leading candidates, Matt Fitzpatrick, Tyrrell Hatton, Ross Fisher and Danny Willett are all out of form.
There is one exception though and that is Tommy Fleetwood and at 5/1 he looks an each way bet to nothing it must be said. He has good links form and was deep in the mix in this at a similar course at Erin Hills 12 months ago but found Koepka too hot to handle in the final round. Fleetwood has everything I want. Wonderful driver, quality iron player, lovely short game and a dream temperament. I’m all over him each way here.
Unlike the two above this is a very select market with just three runners, two former champions in Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell and a former runner-up in Shane Lowry so all three know their way around a US Open.
McIlroy only has one top 10 in this since his win in 2011 and Shinnecock Hills is a completely different US Open to a soaking wet Congressional while the course is surely too long for McDowell to be genuinely competitive on even allowing for him beginning to find his best form once again.
Lowry could be perfect for this course. He qualified for the event in fine style a week or so ago and as a good driver and a solid iron player who has spent his life playing in the wind he should find this set up perfect. We know he has one of the best short games in the business and with serious doubts over McIlroy on firm courses and greens I think Lowry is the value to the golden child here.
There are just three runners in the market for the top Spaniard too which is a little surprising given their standings in the game of golf right now. The three are Jon Rahm, in just his second US Open as a professional, Sergio Garcia and Rafa Cabrera Bello.
Rahm missed the cut on a layout which should have served him well at Erin Hills last year and you have to question whether he has the temperament for a US Open. We know he has the game for links golf based on the way he battered all-comers in the Irish Open last year but temperament will be key this week. Cabrera Bello has it and he showed at the Scottish Open that he can tame the links but I always have question marks over him at this level.
Garcia has a pretty good record in the US Open which doesn’t surprise me because his patience and value of par is exactly what is needed in this tournament. Having won a major the pressure is off him now. We know he’s a wonderful links player and one of the best tee to green players in the world. He’ll have a plan this week which might not be enough to win the tournament but it can see off his Spanish compatriots.
Top 20 Finish
There was an awful lot to like about the way Aaron Wise won the Byron Nelson Championship a couple of weeks ago on an exposed layout designed by the same two men who have been involved in the redesign here at Shinnecock Hills. He won that tournament going away and has the confidence to be involved at this level. I think winning is beyond him but if he can strike the ball like he did in Dallas a top 20 finish certainly isn’t out of the question.
You need a good all-round game to cope at the US Open and Chesson Hadley certainly has that and flying under the radar he might serve us up a decent finish. He has 10 top 20 finishes on the PGA Tour this season and indeed his last event at The Memorial was the first time in eight tournaments he was outside the top 20. He is above average for bogey avoidance on the Tour too so if he can get off to a good start he is solid enough to ride a top 20 finish.
WON – Back K.Aphibarnrat Top Asian (e/w) for a 1/10 stake at 9.00 with William Hill (1/4 1-3)
WON – Back T.Fleetwood Top Englishman (e/w) for a 2/10 stake at 6.00 with Boylesports (1/4 1-3)
Back A.Wise Top 20 Finish for a 2/10 stake at 5.25 with Boylesports
Back them here:
Back S.Lowry Top Irishman for a 2/10 stake at 5.00 with Betfair
Back S.Garcia Top Spaniard for a 2/10 stake at 3.25 with Betfair
Back them here:
Back C.Hadley Top 20 Finish for a 1/10 stake at 6.00 with BetVictor