US Open

The 2023 US Open: Steve Rawlings' pick of the specials

Golfer Scottie Scheffler
The world number one and US Open favourite Scottie Scheffler

On the eve of the 123rd edition of the US Open, Steve's had a good look at all the side markets and he's picked out six bets ranging from 5/23.50 to 66/167.00...


There are many old adages that don't necessarily ring true and 'beware the injured golfer' would be high on the list of nonsense sayings.

Week after week a plethora of players line-up on Tours across the globe with all sorts of niggles and it's quite rare for a player lifting a trophy at the end of the week to declare that they managed to win with any sort of significant injury.

The 26-year-old Californian, Collin Morikawa, would have been looking forward to this week's major - the US Open - but he withdrew from the Memorial Tournament two weeks ago due to back spasms when only two strokes off the lead, suggesting it wasn't an insignificant issue.

Collin Morikawa in the Sentry TOC.jpg

His form figures prior to the withdrawal, reading 31-MC-MC-26-29, aren't exactly inspiring and when you add in the fact that he didn't make the weekend in this event in 2020, the 5/23.50 about Morikawa missing the cut looks fair.

Back Collin Morikawa to MC @ 5/23.50

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Looking at the various top nationality markets, the veteran, Padraig Harrington, who's still very competitive, looks an interesting alternative to the front two in the Top Irish market - Rory McIlroy and Shane Lowry - at 10/111.00 and Alex Noren looks a very worthy favourite in the Top Swedish Player market at 17/102.70, but the one I like is Deon Germishuys in the Top South African market.

Germishuys value in the Top SA market

The South Africans have a fantastic record in major champions but this year's contingent looks decidedly weak with the big hitting but inconsistent, Wilco Nienaber, the favourite.

Germishuys really caught my eye at the KLM Open recently when he looked as cool as a cucumber in contention and he's a player I want to keep on the right side of. The 3/14.00 here is fair.

Back Deon Germishuys to be the Top South African player @ 3/14.00

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There's no debate to be had over who's playing the best tee-to-green golf at present. The world number one and US Open favourite, Scottie Scheffler, is playing golf that arguably hasn't been seen since Tiger Woods was in his pomp, but his putting figures have been dreadful just lately.

In his last two starts he's ranked 51st and 49th for Putting Average and 65th and 70th for Strokes Gained Putting, and yet he's finished third on both occasions!

He's been considering a change in putter for this week and even a small improvement with the flatstick may see him win if he continues to stripe it off the tees and fairways.

Even if he doesn't find any improvement on the greens, given he's not finished outside the top-12 in any of his 13 starts in 2023, anyone that backs him each-way at 5/16.00 with the Sportsbook in their 12 places market is highly likely to be having a free win bet and it's hard not to view the 4/61.67 about him finishing inside the top-ten as a very fair price but I'm going to get him onside in a far more speculative fashion...


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Top-class players can finish 1-2 again

The first two majors of 2023 have gone the way of well-fancied runners - Jon Rahm and Brooks Koepka - and on both occasions someone high up in the market has finished second. Koepka (and Phil Mickelson) finished second to Rahm at the US Masters and Viktor Hovland and Scottie Scheffler were tied for second behind Brooks in the US PGA Championship.

If the cream rises to the top once more here, the 40/141.00 about the Scheffler/Koepka and the Scheffler/Rahm Duel Forecasts and the 50/151.00 for Rahm/Koepka could look very big on Sunday evening.

Selected Dual Forecasts @ 40/141.00 & 50/151.00

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At another juicy price, I like the look of Koepka at 66/167.00 to lead after every round.

Wire-to-wire Koepka worth a small interest

As highlighted in the preview, I'm quite keen on the chances of Koepka this week and that bet would have paid off back in April, when he led at Augusta after rounds one, two and three.

Koepka at Oak Hill.jpg

A straightforward lay in the win market prior to the off in round four would have provided plenty of profit, and he lead after every round when he won the 2019 US PGA Championship so if he did win wire-to-wire this week, it wouldn't be a first for Brooks in a major.

Back Brooks Koepka to Lead After Every Round @ 66/167.00

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You can follow me on Twitter @SteveThePunter

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