Paul Krishnamurty runs the rule over five finishing position markets, building a portfolio of bets that should ensure constant excitement over the four days...
"It is often that you get a chance to take odds that equate to a 45% chance about a bet that has recently won 88% of the time. Casey has finished top-30 on 22 of his last 25 starts and all of his last six majors."
Accurate Knox is made for a US Open
As always in major championships, the wide array of finishing position options offer a unique betting angle. To the hardened golf punter, there really isn't a better way to enjoy the four days. From the moment play starts, almost every shot counts. Anyone who makes the cut can still reach any target. And if, as is so often the case, two or three players dominate weekend proceedings, these side markets are not affected.
Moreover, these lower finishing targets are perfect for backing those players whom you expect to enjoy a good week but don't really fancy contending. At [770.0] on the exchange, Russell Knox is precisely that player. He's probably too short off the tee and not quite good enough to contend but should hit fairways and greens for fun and comfortably achieve middle-division.
The Scot is tenth amongst these for greens in regulation over the past year and has hit no fewer than 72% on his last four starts, registering a pair of top-20s. Two cuts from three, with a best of 23rd at Oakmont, represents an encouraging start in a major that should suit.
Reliable Reavie can bag another big cheque
Similar comments apply to Reavie, although he is also recommended as an outright bet at [360.0] in my Find Me a 100 Winner column. He's finished top-40 on two-thirds of starts over the past year and ticks all the right statistical boxes for Shinnecock Hills besides power off the tee. Elite scrambling skills - ranking fourth in that discipline over the past year and 12th for strokes gained around the green in 2018 - should compensate.
Top-30 easily within range for ultra-consistent Casey
It is often that you get a chance to take odds that equate to a 45% chance about a bet that has recently won 88% of the time. Casey has finished top-30 on 22 of his last 25 starts and all of his last six majors. The only negative is an ordinary US Open record but there's no good reason why he won't like Shinnecock Hills. A rock-solid long game should mostly avoid the rough and he's become one of the most reliable scramblers around, ranking 13th for strokes gained around the green.
No reason why Stricker won't go well again
Stricker is another of those outsiders whose odds look tempting across a range of markets, even if winning at the age of 51 and odds of [300.0] is too much to ask. Again the stats are unarguably impressive. He's finished top-30 on his last five US Open appearances and in nine of his last ten. He hasn't missed a cut in a major since 2009, reaching this target in 19 of 26 appearances during this latter spell of a superb career.
Classy Grillo's improved scrambling is significant
Grillo is very much on my radar this week. I've been a huge fan of the Argentinian since he first appeared in Europe, primarily due to his fantastic long game. Over the past year he ranks eighth for driving accuracy, 12th for greens in regulation and he's got enough power when needed. Importantly, his scrambling is improving fast - up to 32nd from 160th this year - and that should soon propel his career to a much higher level. We already know he has the skills for majors, having finished top-20 in the Masters, Open and PGA during 2015 - the first two of which were debuts.
US Open specialist Lowry is running into form
Again, a wider case for Lowry is made in my Find Me a 100 Winner column and by Joe Dyer in our each-way piece. Ninth in 2015 and runner-up in 2016, Lowry would be nowhere near these odds were it not for a bad run, but that shows every sign of turning around. The combination of an exposed, links-style set-up, room off the tee and small greens sounds like the Irishman's dream set-up.
Rickie rated best of the big-guns
Finally, I'm in wholehearted agreement with Dave Tindall regarding his main each-way pick. I've been adamant that Rickie Fowler would win a windy Open Championship ever since his debut in that major. This test should be even better and, after his best-ever effort in a major when runner-up at Augusta, Rickie has never had a better chance to break his duck. Not withstanding the doubts that have grown over the years regarding his ability to finish the job, he must surely be on the premises come Sunday afternoon.
US Open on Betfair
Come to Betfair for:
- Value: If you had a £20 bet on Patrick Reed on the Betfair Exchange at the last major, you would have returned £200 more than with other bookmakers
- Places: We’re paying 8 places until the tournament tees off
- Specials: This is the first tournament with our new scoring based specials – check them out! Example: The Cut to be +3 or lower & Any player to have a Hole in 1 @ 16/1