When the 2018 U.S. Open golf tournament tees off this Thursday, the 132-golfer field will be led by a clear favorite in Dustin Johnson.
Per online sportsbook Bovada, Johnson – the Official World Golf Ranking’s (OWGR) top-rated player – heads to Shinnecock Hills Golf Course in Long Island, New York as a heavy (+800) favorite.
Those odds are nearly twice as good as his closest competitors on the betting board, with the trio of Rory McIlroy, Justin Thomas, and Justin Rose each tabbed with a (+1400) line.
Johnson’s status as the consensus favorite in the 118th edition of the U.S. Open is based on both the past and present.
He won his first major at the 2016 U.S. Open, finishing off a three-year stretch of dominance in the Major championship which saw Johnson record T-2nd (2015) and T-4th (2014) results.
In last week’s U.S. Open tune-up – the St. Jude Classic at TPC Southwind – Johnson carded a -19 to win by six strokes. And on his final hole before heading to Shinnecock Hills, Johnson nailed his 171-yard second shot on the par-4 18th for a thrilling walk-off eagle.
The win pushed Johnson back into the world’s top ranking – which he held for 64 consecutive weeks before slipping last month – and he seemed to relish the fact in a post-round press conference:
“It means a lot.
It was a long way to get there and I held it for a long time, and obviously (Justin Thomas) took it from me for a little while.
What a cool way to end the day and hole that shot on 18. I knew coming in I was swinging really well and had a lot of confidence in my game.
Now, it’s about doing it again at the U.S. Open.”
This year’s version of Shinnecock Hills will play at 7,445 yards, and with players reporting unusually spacious fairways for the course during practice round scouting, driving distance will definitely be emphasized.
For that reason, heavy hitters like McIlroy, Thomas, and Rose pose the greatest threat to Johnson – at least according to the linemakers at Bovada.
That threesome is priced at (+1400), followed by Jordan Spieth, Jason Day, and Rickie Fowler at (+1800). Spieth and Day both have Major titles under their belts, but Fowler heads to Long Island eyeing his first career Major victory after a series of close calls.
In 33 Majors thus far, Fowler has placed in the Top-10 on nine occasions, including three agonizing 2nd or T-2nd finishes. The last of those came just this year at the Masters in April, where Fowler birdied the 18th and forced eventual champion Patrick Reed to make par for the green jacket.
Bettors interested in backing Tiger Woods to win his first Major in 10 years can back the legend at (+2200). Woods’ last appearance at the U.S. Open came in 2015, when he failed to make the cut.
Speaking in a pre-Open press conference, Woods alluded to the ongoing traffic jams on Long Island during the tournament’s buildup as a possible distraction for many of his competitors:
“There are a few guys so far this week who have said it’s taken them from the hotel two and a half to three hours.
You know, there’s a good chance that someone might miss their (tee) time.”
But with his massive private yacht “Privacy” anchored in nearby Shinnecock Bay, Woods told reporters that he wasn’t exactly losing any sleep over the traffic:
“Yeah, staying on the dinghy helps.”
For a full rundown of odds on the Top-20 golfers, as posted by Bovada, see the table below:
Odds to Win the 2018 U.S. Open
|Golfer||Odds to Win U.S. Open on 6/12|