It's just four days before the commencement of the season's second major, the much anticipated US Open to be played at Chambers Bay in Washington. Plenty of players are attracting cash, and some are on the drift. Mike Norman brings us all the latest market movers...
"Johnson has a World Golf Championship tucked away, Fowler is the newest Players Champion, and Mickelson is just... well, he's just Mickelson, a player who peaks for the major championships who seemingly always goes well in this tournament."
Major championship markets can be extremely volatile; they're open for the best part of 12 months on the Betfair Exchange meaning a player can go from being available to back at 201.0200/1 initially, to a 41.040/1 chance on the back of a good season, or in the opposite direction after a period of poor form.
But it's not just the long term odds that can dramatically change, the week of the tournament market can see many changes depending on how a player performed just days before.
Below are the players who have either attracted the cash, been solid in the market, or have been on the drift, in both the last 12 months and recent days.
Attracting the Cash
Jordan Spieth - 40.039/1 into 11.010/1
Dustin Johnson - 65.064/1 into 24.023/1
Phil Mickelson - 48.047/1 into 25.024/1
Rickie Fowler - 50.049/1 into 25.024/1
Hideki Matsuyama - 80.079/1 into 42.041/1
Jimmy Walker - 80.079/1 into 46.045/1
Brooks Koepka - 120.0119/1 into 60.059/1
This is a US Open, so it's only right that the majority of well-backed players are American, right? Possibly. But then you consider that Chambers Bay is set to play like a typical links Open Championship course, and you start to wonder why the Europeans, especially the Brits, aren't being well-backed.
The reality is that most of the 'better' British links players - I won't name names - are either out of form or a bit long in the tooth now, and on closer inspection it's completely understandable why the money has come for the players listed above.
Jordan Spieth has been sensational in 2015, the newest major champion after leading from pillar to post in the US Masters, an old head on young shoulders, a superb putter, and he has a caddie on his bag who knows Chambers Bay better than anyone. Odds of 40.039/1 for Spieth have long gone, though many - our very own Steve Rawlings included - still believe 11.010/1 is a decent price about a player who ticks many boxes this week.
Dustin Johnson, Phil Mickelson, and Rickie Fowler are easily three of the best links players amongst the American contingent, and with recent form in the book it's easy to see why all three have been backed.
Johnson has a World Golf Championship tucked away, Fowler is the newest Players champion, and Mickelson is just... well, he's just Mickelson, a player who peaks for the major championships who seemingly always goes well in this tournament.
Hideki Matsuyama is a slightly surprising market mover having won only once on the PGA Tour, that coming just over 12 months ago at the Memorial Tournament. T39 in last year's Open at Hoylake, and a T35 in this event hardly inspire confidence either, but take a closer look at this season's results and you can see why he is constantly shortening in the market. Inside the top-25 14 times, eight top-10 finishes and six times inside the top five. The Japanese star is very good, and he's very consistent.
Jimmy Walker has already won twice this season, while the ever improving Brooks Koepka is also a winner in 2015 and was going well at this week's St Jude Classic on Sunday evening - the support for both is completely justified.
Solid in the Market
Rory McIlory at 8.88/1
Justin Rose at 22.021/1
Henrik Stenson at 28.027/1
Sergio Garcia at 44.043/1
Jim Furyk at 44.043/1
Amongst the leading fancies the above quintet have been rock solid in the Winner market in recent weeks and all are at about the price you'd expect them to be as the tournament approaches.
Some might argue that Rory McIlroy should be slightly bigger in the market following two consecutive missed cuts, and although he's been matched at a low of 5.59/2 he's never going to drift alarmingly on the back of a short spell of poor form - his stunning victory at the Wells Fargo Championship last month being fresh in the memory of most layers.
Justin Rose has been matched for decent money at around the 30.029/1 mark, but he has also been matched at less than 20.019/1 before his price has now settled at its current mark. A winner this season, and someone who showed that he remains in form with a second place finish last time out, the 2013 US Open champion is hard to leave out of calculations.
Henrik Stenson hasn't hit the heights he did 18 months ago but remains consistent and brilliant on his day, while Sergio Garcia continues to churn out excellent finishes without winning.
Jim Furyk returned to the winner's enclosure this season, and as a former US Open champion with Open Championship form, experience and the ability to grind out a score, it's understandable that layers don't want to give too much away on the popular American.
On the Drift
Tiger Woods - 10.09/1 out to 70.069/1
Adam Scott - 13.012/1 out to 38.037/1
Jason Day - 14.013/1 out to 46.045/1
Martin Kaymer - 16.015/1 out to 60.059/1
Bubba Watson - 18.017/1 out to 42.041/1
Without doubt the biggest drifter has been 14-time major champion Tiger Woods. Having been matched at a low of 10.09/1 the former world number one is available to back at a scarcely believable 70.069/1 after a very poor season.
Woods is yet to trouble a leaderboard in 2015 and when last seen at the Memorial Tournament he shot his worst round of golf as a professional, a 13 over par 85 at Muirfield Village, a venue he'd previously enjoyed huge success at. It will take a monumental effort for Tiger to get back to winning ways at Chambers Bay.
Since finishing fourth in his first event of the year Adam Scott seems to have lost complete confidence in his game and is now on a streak of seven consecutive tournaments without registering a single top-20 finish. He has had constant problems with his putting, unable to decide whether to stick with the long or short putter for any period of time. He'll need to be at his best on the greens to defy his drift in price and that doesn't seem likely at this stage.
Defending US Open champion Martin Kaymer is yet another who has struggled with his game in 2015 and his price drift is understandable, though the weakness in both Jason Day and Bubba Watson isn't quite as easy to see.
Day is a winner this year, and although his recent form has been slightly patchy he hasn't become a bad player overnight, and similar comments apply to Bubba - he has recorded a second place and a third place finish from just seven starts in 2015 as well as recording three further top-20 finishes.
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