The Northern Irishman deserves to be at the head of both lists at 12/1 and 2/1 but there are no shortage of players from these fair Isles that will arrive at Pinehurst in form and it’s these less fashionable operators that deserve our attention.
Paul Casey – 14/1
Fitting this bill perfectly is the rejuvenated Paul Casey who has looked a different animal since breaking his confidence-sapping losing sequence at the Irish Open last year.
Four top-20 finishes from his last five events have consolidated the former Ryder Cup star’s revival and although that consistency was not enough for the 36-year-old to gain direct entry for the second Major of the year the fact that his place was secured through qualifying will be even more encouraging for the US-based swinger.
Sixteen players sealed a spot at Columbus – one of 10 sectional qualification tournaments held around the US – and although different to winning an actual regulation tournament, those that were successful will still feel like they’re coming into the big one off the back of a win and that can only help.
Jamie Donaldson – 16/1
The popular Welshman is having an excellent campaign this season and looks set to have a big week in North Carolina.
This will only be the 38-year-old’s second attempt at the US Open after making an encouraging debut last year when tying for 32nd place.
That positive experience will hold the Ryder Cup certainty in fine stead this week and few players will tee-off with as much confidence after a season where he has only once finished worse than 33rd place.
Runner-up finishes at the WGC Cadillac and Nedbank at the end of last year show Donaldson has what it takes to sustain his challenge through the weekend and an eighth-place finish among the global elite he’ll be facing again at the World Golf Championships back in March will have been quite the fillip.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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