His fist-pumping, crowd goading antics earned Patrick Reed instant hero status in America during last year’s Ryder Cup and such intensive celebrations could yet be witnessed come Sunday at the 2015 US Open.
Reed entered the Chambers Bay clubhouse just a shot in arrears of joint leaders Henrik Stenson and Dustin Johnson after 18 holes, having pieced together an opening 66.
With only 14 of the 156-strong field breaking par at the brand new US Open venue, Reed’s score of -4 was something to marvel at in the context of the day.
Having started in such assured fashion Reed now looks a super bet at 12/1 – Johnson and Stenson are set at 5s and 6s respectively – to turn a fantastic round into a debut major win.
The one element which elevates the 24-year-old Texan above his more established peers, other than his obvious love of the big occasions, is the experience he gained as an amateur at a course carrying unwanted mystery to so much of the competition.
Reed is one of only a handful of players in the field to have faced the moonscape wilds of Chambers Bay when turning out for the US Open’s amateur edition back in 2010.
With birdies at a premium in Washington State, realistic challengers come Sunday are probably unlikely to hail from much further north of par.
Nestled neatly in the mix, albeit having surrendered a couple of shots on the back nine after an electric start, is Phil Mickelson at -1.
One of the pre-tournament favourites, the eternal US Open bridesmaid was widely tipped to go well at a course laced with rigours the American relishes and at 16/1 Mickelson appeals for the US charge.
Aside from co-leader Stenson’s exploits, on the European front Francesco Molinari has converted his own good form on the Tour into a handy 68, leaving the Italian handsomely placed in seventh and smashing value at 40/1.
Meanwhile, those who believe Rory McIlroy can still work a near miracle from +2 can back the world number one at 20s.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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