Stricker sure to be a contender in the US Open odds
Although many players will be arriving at the US Open with high hopes of achieving victory, the smart money may be on Steve Stricker finishing towards the top of the leaderboard at Congressional.
Stricker is 25/1 in the US Open odds to win a maiden major and his form in 2011 thus far lends itself to the belief that he will certainly be a challenger in Maryland.
Firstly, Stricker comes into the tournament with a recent victory under his belt, when running out a one-stroke winner of the Memorial Tournament earlier this month.
This victory was helped by some impressive approaches to the greens, which culminated in three eagles in a seven-hole stretch to help achieve this feat.
On the whole Stricker has been highly consistent on the PGA Tour this year, with four top-ten finishes in ten starts, while he also features prominently in some of the more meaningful statistics for the season.
Defending US Open champion Graeme McDowell has already indicated that he is not expecting the winning score after four rounds of the Blue Course at Congressional to be under-par and therefore it will be imperative to take advantage of birdie opportunities when they arise and avoid dropping shots.
Stricker leads the whole PGA Tour circuit in terms of bogey avoidance, while he features inside the top 11 in terms shots gained on both par-three and par-five holes.
The one question mark against Stricker is that although he always tends to make the cut in majors, he usually finishes inside the top 50 rather than challenging for the title.
However, golf odds of 7/4 seem worth taking that Stricker finishes in the top ten at the US Open, particularly as he is also recognised as being one of the best putters among the professionals.
Meanwhile, those expecting him to fare even better can get 4/1 that he finishes in the top five.