Hay-making Watson’s appeal rockets at rain-delayed US Open

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With 78 of the 156-strong US Open field prevented from teeing off in the storm affected first-round at Oakmont, those stragglers will be asked to complete 36 holes on Friday if the volatile weather recedes – which is great news for the few able to make inroads on Thursday.

Many facing the prospect of a golfing marathon on day two include US Open favourite Jason Day (6/1), last year’s runner-up Dustin Johnson (12/1), Justin Rose, Adam Scott and Phil Mickelson, all at 25s.

Still, their fate might be considered more fortunate than others who toiled in testing stop-start conditions, hiding from lightning from one minute and ordered back out the next without the usual warm-up periods granted.

Defending champion Jordan Spieth (10/1) was one who showed blatant disdain to the USPGA having felt disadvantaged by this, though his 1-over par score through 11 may yet prove a useful effort when play resumes.

Little-known American Andrew Landry leads the way on -3 after 17 holes he won’t forget, while the clubhouse lead belongs to an amateur, Scottie Scheffler, who carded a 1-under 69.

Of those with holes under their belt, Bubba Watson was one of the few pre-tournament fancies able to take his opportunity.

The two-time Masters champion reeled off five birdies in seven holes once the first play-halting deluge had softened up Oakmont’s notoriously uncooperative greens.

Bubba is only one shot off the lead having completed 14 holes, which has seen his odds shrink from 33s to 12/1 for a third Major of his career.

This price gains far more attraction when you consider Watson tied for fifth the last time Oakmont played host to the US Open, a course which confounds more top players than arguably any other.

Lee Westwood is also in good shape on 1-under through 13 and after his second place Masters showing, the Englishman has to be considered a plump each-way wager at 33s.

Rory McIlroy is not out of contention at 4-over through 13, though the Northern Irishman will have to take a leaf out of his national football team’s book of heroics to mount a strong challenge for his second US Open crown – having drifted to 25/1.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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