US Open: Dave Tindall's guide to the action at Winged Foot

Dustin Johnson
Dustin Johnson will bid to win his second US Open
Join today
Six min read

From the Winged Foot course to the betting to the UK television details, Dave Tindall outlines everything you need to know for this month's US Open which starts two weeks today...

"It is probably the most US Open venue that I've seen. It checks all the boxes. It's long. It's narrow fairways. Going to be long rough and severe greens."

Justin Thomas (after practice round at Winged Foot last month)

After a memorable US PGA Championship at Harding Park last month, punters will have a thirst for major golf.

And the good news is that we still have two to come in 2020.

The change in the schedule due to the coronavirus pandemic has created the unusual happening of a US Open in September and a US Masters in November.

First up, we head to Winged Foot in New York for the US Open and, as with the US PGA in San Francisco, the tournament will take place without spectators.

For TV viewers in the UK, they'll at least get a better deal than the US PGA where there was an eight-hour time difference to contend with.

An East Coast US Open means that time gap is reduced to five.

2020 US Open facts

When: September 17-20
Where: Winged Foot GC, Mamaroneck, New York
The Course: Par 70, 7,477 yards (West Course)
Total Prize Money: $12.5 million
Winner Prize Money: $2.25 million
How to watch: All four days on Sky Sports

Winged Foot GC

Winged Foot. Don't mention it to Monty.

It was here in the 2006 US Open that he had arguably his best chance to win a major before double-bogeying the 18th hole from the fairway.

Phil Mickelson may also still wake up in cold sweats. Like Monty, he needed six swishes on the par-4 closer when in golden position to win the major that has still eluded him.

Those closing doubles for Monty and Mickelson in admittedly brutal scoring conditions opened the door for Geoff Ogilvy whose 72-hole total of +5 was enough to win by one.

Winged Foot 2006.jpg

That's the main form guide we have to go on at the course designed by legend A.W. Tillinghast (restored by Gil Hanse from 2016-2018) although there are a couple of further clues.

Ryan Moore beat Luke List in the final of the 2004 U.S. Amateur (played over both the East and West Courses) while Davis Love landed the 1997 PGA Championship at Winged Foot.

That was won with 11-under, a stark contrast to the 1974 US Open. Hale Irwin took the title then with 7-over in a tournament referred to as the "Massacre of Winged Foot".

That said, only four players broke par when Love holed the winning putt with a rainbow in the sky so it's not a complete outlier.

Bottom line: Winged Foot isa brute.

Top finishers at the 2006 US Open

+5 Geoff Ogilvy
+6 Colin Montgomerie, Phil Mickelson, Jim Furyk
+7 Padraig Harrington
+8 Kenneth Ferrie, Nick O'Hern, Vijay Singh, Jeff Sluman, Steve Stricker, Mike Weir

Top finishers at the 1997 US PGA

-11 Davis Love
-6 Justin Leonard
-4 Jeff Maggert
-1 Lee Janzen
Ev Tom Kite
+1 Phil Blackmar, Jim Furyk, Scott Hoch
+2 Tom Byrum
+3 Tom Lehman, Scott McCarron, Joey Sindelar

Winged Foot - What They Say

Tom Watson (looking back to 1974): "After the second round I was eating lunch and through the window, we were watching them bring in the standards, 29 over par, 34 over par. I had never seen scores that high."


Justin Thomas (after playing it before The Northern Trust): "It was really hard. I absolutely loved it. It's one of my favourite, if not my favourite courses I've ever played. It's right in front of you. It's not tricked up. It's not... nothing hidden. It's just you stand on the tee and you're about 490 yards away and you have a really narrow fairway and a pretty severe green. There's a lot of holes like it.

"You have holes I think like No. 6 to where it's drivable, if you get the right conditions, but the fairway's so narrow that if you miss the fairway, you're grinding to make par, so it is probably the most US Open venue that I've seen. It checks all the boxes. It's long. It's narrow fairways. Going to be long rough and severe greens."

Jon Rahm (after playing it two days before the Tour Championship): "All I can say is it's a heck of a golf course. The greens kind of gave me an Oakmont vibe: extremely difficult, extremely undulated.

"But I think all 16 out of the 18 greens are all sloped back to front. There's always a run-up on the front. At least it seems a little more fair than Oakmont might look.

"You can hold all the greens, even if you don't hit a perfect shot. It's just a difficult course. It's long. It's narrow. It's undulated. You just need to play really good golf. I'm not shocked that the winning score last time was 5-over par."

Quotes from the 2006 US Open

Phil Mickelson: "There's not a great mix of distance off each tee. You can hit driver on basically every hole. There are a lot of holes where you can move it either way, and right to left shots fit fine on this golf course. Left to right shots fit fine on this golf course."

Current betting and storylines

Dustin Johnson is the man of the moment after winning The Northern Trust by 11 shots with a ludicrous 30-under and then showing he could play US Open-style golf by reaching a play-off at the BMW Championship with 4-under. A winner of the US Open at Oakmont in 2016, DJ is the favourite at 9/1 to land his second major.

Jon Rahm edged out Johnson in the war of attrition at Olympia Fields to give us a glimpse of of his ability to handle tough courses. The Spaniard is 11/1 to land his first major.

Jon rahm win BMW.jpg

Rory McIlroy won the 2011 US Open at unusually soft Congressional but it's been feast or famine for him in the last five editions with two T9s and three missed cuts. The other factor is that he should arrive at Winged Foot as a first-time Dad (the baby is due during the Tour Championship). Too soon for the 'Nappy Factor'?

McIlroy is 12/1 while double US Open winner Brooks Koepka (2017 and 2018) is 14/1 alongside Justin Thomas and Bryson DeChambeau.

Americans have won the last five US Opens. Last year's champion, Gary Woodland, is 50/1 to follow up his victory at Pebble Beach.

New on Betting.Betfair - Betslip

You can now bet without leaving Betting.Betfair with our brand new on-site betslip for Exchange markets. You'll see the Exchange back and lay prices at the end of articles - simply login and place your bets as you would do on the main Exchange site

Dave Tindall,

Discover the latest articles

Read past articles