Everybody knows that golf’s four majors are unique beasts, where, barring the odd anomaly here and there, it is usually one big name or another that walks away with the sport’s most coveted prizes.
The only problem for punters is negotiating the minefield that is picking the winner, limbs (or wallets) intact, four times a year.
This needle-in-a-haystack task is rendered all the more tricky for the 115th edition of the US Open by virtue of the fact 2015’s second major will be staged at a brand new venue.
That magical go-to pointer of prior form at one of the regular haunts, such as Pinehurst or Pebble Beach flies out the window, or does it?
Chambers Bay, on Washington State’s north-west pacific shoreline, is a classic links course purpose built for the championships in the style of many of Britain’s famous coastal layouts used to hosting the Open Championship.
In US Open terms, it can be most likened to California’s Pebble Beach links.
Using The Open as a barometer therefore, some of the household names – barring the obvious 6/1 favourite and world number one Rory McIlroy – are well worth flagging up based on their links prowess.
Phil Mickelson: 20/1
Where better to start than the 2013 Open champion and six-time runner up at the US equivalent. The eternal bridesmaid at this event also placed in a tie for fourth at Pebble Beach in 2010 and his mastery in reading expansive, undulating greens is legendary.
Adam Scott: 25/1
The former world number one is nearly always in contention on major weekends and it’s something of a travesty Scott only has a single Masters title to show for his rare consistency. Only the Aussie knows how he capitulated at Royal Lytham and St Annes up the stretch to throw away the Claret Jug in 2012, but he has since added a third and a fifth-place finish at the only British-based major.
Graeme McDowell: 66/1
The 2010 US Open claimed his only major on the Californian coast and although G-Mac’s not been at his most imperious on the PGA Tour this season, he’s another who relishes both flagship events and links golf. He has placed in the top ten twice in the last three editions of the Open, so knows his way out of feral long grass alright.
Ernie Els: 125/1
When Scott went to pieces three years ago, the rock-steady South African was the grateful recipient, claiming a second Claret Jug a decade on – his ninth top-10 finish at the event. At 45, Els is still a genuine threat at every major and the two-time winner has posted three top 10s in his last five starts at this event.
Miguel-Angel Jimenez: 200/1
Like Els, the cigar-chugging Spaniard shows little sign of slowing down. In fact, quite the opposite. Jimenez is enjoying one of his finest European Tour seasons to date where he currently resides seventh in the Race to Dubai standings. He tied for second at Pebble Beach back in 2000, while placing ninth and 13th over the past three editions of the Open.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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