The second Major of the year is upon us and it is often the toughest test the players face all season.

The weather forecast is for it to be dry throughout the tournament, which could make the par 70, 7,150 yard Olympic Course play very fiery.

The first six holes have been described by Mike Davis the USGA Executive Director as “offering the hardest start in golf”. The course also has a par-5 16th which is measuring 670-yards… now that’s a true three-shoter if ever I have heard of one.

When it comes to the US Open it can be a bit of a lottery when trying to pick a winner, a bad day on the course can be magnified in the testing conditions and turn a potential 73 into an 80. Consistency is what you need here..

Defending champion Rory McIlroy missed 30 of 56 fairways last week when finishing 7th and is priced at 16/1, unless there is a huge turnaround in his driving stats he will not be contending, as you simply cannot miss that many US Open fairways and expect to contend, especially at that price.

Odds also count against Lee Westwood (12/1), Luke Donald (12/1) and Tiger Woods (8/1). All of who are in excellent form and could contend if their game and nerves hold up.

I have split my tips this week into three categories as the US Open does throw up the opportunity to get your money on some very good players who are at very long odds.

The favourites (All 2 points each way)

Matt Kuchar at 25/1 with Ladbrokes Played in the 1998 US Open here at the Olympic Club and finished in a tie for 14th even though he was an amateur. Is one of the form players on the PGA Tour having just won the The Players Championship at Sawgrass. Has the consistency and discipline for a US Open victory.

Jason Dufner at 25/1 with Ladbrokes The form player of recent weeks on the PGA Tour, seems to have discovered how to close out a tournament since his USPGA Championship melt down last year. From his last four starts he has won twice and finished 2nd twice. If his surname began with W and ended in oods he would be single figure odds.

Sergio Garcia at 40/1 with Ladbrokes Finished 3rd last week at the Nordea Masters. Has one of the best tee to green games in the world and seems to have finally got some consistency with his putting as he is currently 11th in Putts per GIR on the European Tour. Will also get a lot of support out on the West coast.

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The could do wells (All 1 point each way)

Ian Poulter at 66/1 with Ladbrokes What he lacks in distance he makes up for accuracy. Currently 4th in fairways hit and 5th in GIR on the European Tour, also has an excellent short game and above anything else he has supreme belief in his ability.

Graeme McDowell at 80/1 with Ladbrokes Has not been playing well of recent times, but he is surprisingly currently leading the stats for driving accuracy on the PGA Tour. Of course won the last time the US Open was on the West Coast of America in 2010. Most importantly, look at the price, superb value.

Louis Oosthuizen at 50/1 with Ladbrokes I really like the South African’s chances. He is the best scrambler on the European Tour, and best in putts per GIR, he is also the 2nd best in GIR. Louis has one of the best swings on Tour and has an Open win and a 2nd place at this year’s Masters to his name.

Big hitting outsiders, but what a price! (All 0.5 points each way)

Robert Karlsson at 150/1 with Ladbrokes The big Swede hits it a country mile, hasn’t played a huge amount of events but certainly has the long game to compete on this mammoth test.

Alvaro Quiros at 200/1 with Ladbrokes The longest driver on the European Tour. Has struggled more with his putter than the driver this year, may enjoy the smaller greens.

Robert Garrigus at 200/1 with Ladbrokes Has has two 2nd placed finishes this year on the PGA Tour, and finished 3rd at last year’s US Open. Third longest in driving distance on the PGA Tour this year.

Where Next?
US Open microsite
US Open blog
US Open pictures