The Merion Golf Club in Ardmore Pennsylvania will provide the setting for the 113th US Open Championship, due to tee off in just over two weeks time.
It’ll be the fifth time that the course has held the tournament, but the first time since 1981, with David Graham the last man to lift the US Open Trophy there.
It all means that, while there’s a familiarity about the favourites to join Graham – with Tiger Woods the 4/1 fav to capture his first major since 2008 and Rory McIlroy next up at 10/1 – a general unfamiliarity with the course might just reward backing one of the supporting cast.
Woods has already admitted that he’s never played at Merion, and he won’t be the only one. The course is said to reward accuracy over length from the tee, with Jack Nicklaus himself once proclaiming it to be the best test of golf in the world.
Among those in fine form this year and offering tempting odds of 25/1 include US Masters champion Adam Scott, Brandt Snedeker and Brits Luke Donald and Justin Rose.
And then there’s Graeme McDowell. The 33-year-old has recently climbed to seventh in the world rankings following wins in the PGA Tour’s Heritage Classic tournament earlier in May, and an impressive victory in the prestigious World Match Play Championship two weeks ago.
Not only does the confident Northern Irishman proclaim to be in the best form of his life, but last summer he also had the chance to play the Merion course, remarking that the winner would be the player who copes best with the blind shots.
Thankfully for him, he has been driving the ball accurately, putting well and has the bonus of being a previous winner, at Pebble Beach in 2010.
Last year at the Olympic Club in San Francisco, he came one shot short of winner Webb Simpson and tied second. In his last four US Open tournaments, he has never finished outside of the top 20.
It’s clearly a tournament in which the man from Portrush thrives, and at 25/1, he’ll be the pick of the outsiders on June 13th.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.