The 2016 US Open has an unusually chaotic feel heading into the weekend, although Dustin Johnson’s progress was contrastingly serene on a marathon Friday at Oakmont as he moved to the top of the leaderboard.
Johnson, one of many players who only began their campaigns on Friday, bogeyed just a single one of 36 holes, carding 67, 69 to finish 4-under par.
That placed DJ in a share of the lead with Andrew Landry, who begins his second round on Saturday and like many more of the field will have to play 36 (providing they make the cut) to ensure that everyone arrives at the 54-hole mark for Sunday.
There is still a hell of a lot of golf to play but Johnson is certainly in the strongest position as his new 5/2 favouritism with Ladbrokes implies.
Last year’s US Open runner up has been playing sublimely since the Masters and if his string of near misses at majors is to end, he’ll seldom be in better shape.
Could this be the year one of the best to have never won one, finally gets over the line?
Interestingly, the other likely candidates to challenge the big-hitting American also fall into that unwanted category of players deemed too good never to win a major…yet.
Lee Westwood shot the second-lowest 18-hole score of any player on the first day, posting a 66 that sees the Englishman just a shot behind, albeit still with 54 holes ahead of him.
Still, Westy’s solo second at the Masters earlier this year make odds of 12/1 to finally fling his own majors monkey off his back all the more palatable.
Then there is DJ’s 36-hole playing partner Sergio Garcia, only a shot behind Westwood at -2, who made a 50ft putt on the final hole Friday to leave himself bang in contention.
The Spaniard’s price of 8/1 also reflects his status as one of the few to have successfully carded two round so far at Oakmont.
Although six shots in arrears, defending champion Jordan Spieth (8/1) is also worthy of a mention considering he has 54 holes left in which to overcome the deficit, and with his putting ability, the American is still a decent enough bet.
Although he’s drifted two points since Friday morning, 12/1 shot Bubba Watson is also still in with a very good shout at 1-under par, refreshed ans raring to go having completed 18 early on Friday.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.