It’s officially the heart of the PGA Tour’s major season and what better course to play the US Open than Pebble Beach, right?
I think some of the world’s best golfers might disagree, though.
Well, they already did.
Last week’s winner at the RBC Canadian Open, Rory McIlroy is just one top player on Tour that came out against the USGA and ripped them online for not taking proper care of Pebble Beach in the upcoming weeks to the US Open.
It has not rained very much at all in the past few weeks in Monterrey, California and there isn’t any rain forecasted for the duration of the tournament this weekend.
That means the course is going to play fast. The balls are going to bounce and roll quite a bit on tee shots and with this Pebble being played on mostly narrow fairways on the edges of cliffs, things could get rather treacherous very quickly.
The previously mentioned McIlroy is obviously one of the best if not the best golfer in the world so even though the condition of the course isn’t going to play to his strengths, he should be able to adjust.
I’ve even heard that the rough will be trimmed extra short just so more errant balls can make that much farther towards the cliff.
Isn’t life grand?
Test time, sir!
In my opinion, McIlroy should be fine. He’s coming off of a -22 performance at the Canadian Open last week where he shot 9 under par in the final round.
He has 10 top ten finishes in only 13 tournament appearances this season!
The rest of the field is, of course, stacked as you might imagine with this being the US Open.
Tiger Woods completely lapped the field back in 2000 when they played the US Open here winning by 15 strokes!
That was a different Tiger Woods, yes, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t just as dangerous.
The winner of this year’s PGA Championship and runner up at The Masters, Brooks Koepka, is the two time defending US Open champion.
If you’re looking for a massive payday with Koepka, then you better have massive pockets because the sportsbooks already know him pretty well as has won 3 out of the last 6 majors on Tour.
Joining the previously mentioned 3 golfers in the top four spots on the sportsbook’s favorite list is Dustin Johnson.
DJ has had a sensational year as well with 7 top ten places in just 12 tournaments that he’s entered.
Don’t worry guys, I have some longer shots, if you will, for you today even though these favorites are very hard to look from.
BetOnline has a load of betting options available for you as their choices seem to get more and more plentiful every week.
There’s a playoff scenario prop bet I really like. I think the scores will be rather high. Maybe the winning score won’t be around even par but the likelihood of 2 or even 3 golfers being tied after 4 rounds of golf will go up.
There are also some make or miss cut betting odds that look rather tasty.
Lefty Mickelson crushes Pebble Beach and they have him at just over 2-1 to make the cut.
I know he can be a little inconsistent at his age but with his experience and at this course particularly, I like the value.
Okay, enough talking about it.
Let’s get to these picks and be about it.
Pick your potion. I really like ole Jim Furyk this week.
Golfers will undoubtedly need to recover well this week. Now, of course, they don’t want to put themselves in tough spots but those Poana greens are the size of your tee-ball infield AFTER you’ve grown up and revisited it.
There is not much to the greens at Pebble Beach. Many golfers are going to lose strokes trying to put themselves in a good spot to putt for birdie, par or even bogey.
Jim ranks 8th on the Tour in scrambling ability in a very respectable, especially for his age, 53 rounds played.
Once golfers are on the green, the course should play much easier and Furyk is 7th on the tour in greens in regulation.
Overall tee-to-green is another major predictor for Pebble Beach and Jimmy ranks 25th in that category.
Not bad, once again.
Part of that statistic is driving accuracy, and I already mentioned the narrow fairways that will play very dry and fast.
Oh, and there are cliffs too…so…
Shots will be lost to the mighty Pacific Ocean by more than a handful of very good golfers throughout the weekend at the US Open.
Where does Furyk stand with driving accuracy?
He’s 14th in approach.
The numbers don’t lie and mental strength, patience, and experience will all come into play.
Add all that up and you’ve got some great value with the near 50-year-old Furyk.
He does have 3 top tens this year including a 2nd place finish at The Players but that’s been a while. I’m going to play it safe and take him top 20 at (+350).
If you want a bigger payout, go right ahead and bet him to finish top ten or even win this thing but I have some more opportunities so keep reading.
Matt Wallace To Finish Inside The Top Twenty: +350
Hey, this 29-year-old Brit is ranked 26th in the world.
He is coming off of a 3rd place finish at this year’s PGA Championship.
This year’s field is no doubt packed tight with talent but this guy is approaching the prime of his career and is 3rd in the money on the European Tour.
He is coming off of a 2nd place finish at the British Masters just a month ago. Throw that with 3rd at the PGA Championship and he’s an eye-catcher.
You know he likes the coastal courses because there are plenty on the Euro Tour.
He’s also paired with a couple of studs in Cameron Smith and Xander Schauffele which could potentially help his off the tee game a bit.
I like him here to maybe crack the top ten but his driving accuracy worries me a bit but that trouble could be mitigated by most golfers clubbing down anyway. Let’s hope he plays smart off the tee and doesn’t get too aggressive.
Jim Furyk (-115) vs Tyrrell Hatton (-105)
Okay, I already told you the overwhelming favorable statistics next to Jim Furyk’s name.
What does the House of Tyrell have on him?
Well, it sure isn’t scrambling ability.
I had to scroll for freaking ever to find that out. Jimmy is near the top at 8th but Ricky’s cousin is DEAD last, 209th to be exact in just a couple fewer rounds played.
Tyrell shortens the gap between the two in greens in regulation where he ranks 79th. Too bad it still isn’t very close to Furyk’s 7th.
Ty is 84th in driving accuracy. Not bad, you know.
Middle of the road, per se.
If your memory is good, you know what I’m about to say.
Furyk is 1st!
Okay, I’m just talking trash at this point.
I feel like Reggie Miller and I hate Reggie Miller.
I’m going to jinx myself if I haven’t already.
Brandt Snedeker to Miss or Make the Cut
The man from The Music City!
Brandt was born in Nashville and went to school at the coveted Vanderbilt University in town.
His name really sounds like he should be from the old country, England, but maybe that’s just me.
He has won a major before and also has a separate victory here at Pebble when he won the pro/am back in February of 2015 when he shot an outstanding 22 under par to set a course record!
Now, I certainly don’t think he will replicate that score or I would be picking him to win for a much higher payout but he certainly has the ability and course history to play well here.
He’s also 38-years-old, which I like because he should show some maturity.
Well, as much maturity as someone from Tennessee can show but you the point.
Is he in good form, though?
He was 4th last week at the RBC Canadian Open and snagged two top 20s before that including the PGA Championship.
He has been very consistent all year only missing 2 cuts in 18 tournaments played.
One of those was the Masters.
Okay, not worried about that.
The other cut, though, unfortunately, was here at Pebble.
I’m going to look at this in a positive light because Tony Robbins is cool, and also because I don’t see him missing it again especially when he owns a win here less than five years ago.
Number of Players Finishing Under Par
Wow, the USGA either really did foul this thing up or they just want to make this very difficult on golfers.
The wind is really not expected to be much of a factor as it is forecasted to only rise to about 12 mph all weekend but mostly stay in the 5-10 range.
It will be a factor but not to a major degree.
Jack Nicklaus has stated that Pebble isn’t really that difficult of a course if the wind isn’t blowing but it’s always blowing.
If the weatherman is correct, then we may see some decent conditions, especially by coastal standards.
History, though, is not on the side of the over 3.5 finishing under par.
When Graeme Mcdowell won the US Open played here in 2010, he was even for the tournament.
But, Tiger won it in 2000 and he was -12!
Yea, well, he also finished a cracking 15 shots better than everyone else!
We can look at the Pro/Am stats but the US Open clearly does not play the same.
There will likely be on average a 15 stroke difference or more.
I like the field, though.
2010 was a long time ago, really.
Yes, Kuchar, Furyk, Tiger, and Phil were there but Dustin Johnson was only 3 years into his professional career.
There was no Rory McIlroy or Brooks Koepka.
History is not on my side here, but Jack Nicklaus’ opinion, the weather, and even math are on my side.
Technology, strength and conditioning, and the ability to streamline coaching have changed the game in many types of athletics. Of course, this fact is a bit more understated in golf compared to basketball or football but there is still truth to it.
The USGA is making these courses harder every year for a reason.
Golfers are getting better.
The best may not be that much better than the best were 20 or 40 years ago but there are definitely more very good players today than there ever has been.
Dude, I know.
Even though it’s costing me a little extra dough, I’ll take the over here.
Playoff Featuring 3 or More Players
Okay, here’s your longest shot for the weekend but it is not without value and still very low on risk.
Tiger Woods isn’t expected to run away with it like he did not in the ‘99 but the 2000.
With the course being so difficult and the top golfers already publicly discussing how difficult it is likely going to play, I see the smarter players playing a bit more conservative.
Keep in mind, there are a lot of smart players on Tour. If they weren’t intelligent, I don’t think they would be where they are.
No, it’s not likely we will see a playoff. The odds for that are at (+325) where they always are.
We could for sure see 3 guys there at the end like say…Furyk, Snedeker, and even Eldrick “Tiger” Woods.
This year’s US Open is sure to be interesting.
With as much talk from top pros we have already heard concerning the playing conditions, we will have to see for ourselves how bad could it really be.
I don’t think it will be Shinnecock Hills nasty or British Open brutal like we have seen in the past.
I tried to give you guys the best value I could find.
Do I think DJ and Brooks will be near the top by Sunday evening?
Yes, probably so but their odds are just not worth the risk.
A guy like Jim Furyk has to be at the top of most predictor models because his statistics are, forgive me, on par with what we are looking for at this year’s Open.
Matt Wallace could swoop in like a starving seagull and surprise a lot of people this week, at least I hope he will.
Be sure to tune in, wait until at least the PM to turn up, and bet hard beforehand because this US Open at the most beautiful golf course in the world is undoubtedly going to be fun!