The Punter

US Open 2024 Special Bets: Steve Rawlings' pick of the specials up to 20/1

Golfer Sepp Straka
Sepp Straka - fancied to play well at Pinehurst

With the year's third major - the US Open - now less than 24 hours away, Steve's had a good look at the plethora of side markets, and he's picked out seven bets ranging from 15/8 to 20/1...

  • Seven bets from Steve on the US Open side markets

  • Read my Find Me a 100 Winner piece here

  • Read my US Open preview here

The secret to success with the Top Nationality markets is to find the smaller fields with opposable favourites.

The Top Spanish looked perfect with Jon Rahm injured but now that he's withdrawn, I'm going to pass that one over.

Another is the Top Irish, where Shane Lowry is so often the value play against Rory McIlroy but Rory's played well in this major lately so the one I like best this week is the Top South African.

Christiaan Bezuidenhout - Top S.A @ 2.8815/8

I'm far from convinced that the Pinehurst layout is perfect for the big-hitting Dean Burmester and after his fourth place finish in the Memorial Tournament last week, Christiaan Bezuidenhout looks worth chancing.

With only Scottie Scheffler ranking above him on the PGA Tour's Putting Average stats, Bez is a quite brilliant putter and that's going to be a key asset this week.

He's a fair price on the exchange at almost 2/13.00 to finish in front of Burmester, Erik Van Rooyen and Casey Jarvis.

Sepp Straka - Top-20 Finish @ 11/43.75

I came very close to backing Sepp Straka in the outright market this week but he might be a safer play in the Top-20 market at 11/43.75.

With current form figures reading 5-11-8-MC-5-5, he's in terrific form and there are reasons to think this place will suit him.

As highlighted in the preview, all three US Open winners had strong form in the Cognizant Classic (formerly the Honda Classic) and Straka won that event in 2022.

McIlroy, Schauffele & Morikawa Top 20 Price Boost @ 10/34.33

It's now possible to create you own Top Finish multiples on the Sportsbook, but I really like the 10/34.33 about Rory McIlroy, Xander Schauffele and Collin Morikawa to all finish inside the top 20 at 10.3.

The prices has been boosted form 11/43.75 and it includes ties.

Sepp Straka Top Continental European @ 10/111.00

It's not often I can empathise with pro golfers but I absolutely related to poor Sebastian Soderberg on Sunday when he lost an eight shot lead at the Scandinavian Mixed, missing the sort of length putt that I miss with regularity on the 72nd hole, and I'm also sympathising with the world number sixth, Ludwig Aberg.

Like Aberg, I'm currently suffering with a meniscal tear in my left knee and it's no fun.

He played really well last week at the Memorial but it's an irritating injury that takes a lot of time to heal so he might just be one to take on.

The second favourite behind Aberg in the Top Continental European market if Viktor Hovland, who's still trying to repair his game after changing his swing, and then changing it back again, so Straka may well be an interesting play in that market too at 10/111.00.

Si Woo Kim Top Asian @ 6/17.00

Straka was closely considered for the Find Me a 100 Winner column and so too was Korea's Si Woo Kim.

He plays Donald Ross' Sedgefield really nicely and I think he'll take to Pinehurst so I'm happy to chance him modestly in the Top Asian market.

Hideki Matsuyama is a worthy favourite in that market but there are question marks about the other contenders and the 6/1 looks fair.

Scottie Scheffler 3rd Round Leader @ 5/16.00

Scottie Scheffler has won five of the last eight tournaments he's played in and he's been leading through 54 holes in five of his last eight events as well.

Scheffler has understandably shortened up in the outright market and he may even touch 3/14.00 on the exchange by the time the event kicks off tomorrow so the 5/16.00 about him being in front looks very fair.

And if like me you've backed him to win the event, it's a nice bit of insurance money going into Sunday if he leads after three rounds.

Harry Higgs Top 20 Finish @ 20.019/1

One interesting massive outsider in the field that I was keen to get onside is the in-form Korn Ferry Tour winner, Harry Higgs, who's as famous for his brilliant recent speech following the sad loss of Grayson Murray as he is for his golf game.

The likable 32-year-old missed the cut on the Korn Ferry Tour last week in South Carolina and he's never played in a US Open before but his record in majors is incredibly impressive for a player of his standing in the game and prior to last week's weekend off he'd won back-to-back!

Higgs finished tied for fourth behind Phil Mickelson in the US PGA Championship in 2021 on the first occasion that he played in a major championship, and he finished tied for 14th on the only occasion that he's played the US Masters the following April.

He missed the cut in the US PGA Championship at Southern Hills in 2022 (his only other major championship appearance) but that as perhaps understandable after his impressive debut the year before and a return to North Carolina may also be a plus.

The 2021 US PGA Championship was staged at Kiawah Island, which like Pinehurst, is situated in the Tar Heel State.

Now read more US Open tips and previews here

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Prices quoted in copy are correct at time of publication but liable to change.