US Open: New course, new winner…

The second golfing major of the year looms large, the US Open from Erin Hills in Wisconsin.

This is the first time this relatively new public course has hosted such a prestigious event. It measures a mammoth 7,812 yards, and although the fairways are mostly generous, knee-high fescue grass awaits those who don’t drive it well.

World no. 1 Dustin Johnson is the defending champion, and is likely to go well again providing he books a bungalow for his hired accommodation.

However, the last eight tournaments have all seen first time winners of the US Open, and we think this trend could continue. With most players new to the course, we don’t think the value is at the top of the market.

Instead, with many bookies quoting each way terms for the top eight places, we are going to look a little further down the market.

South African Louis Oosthuizen should have won more than just the one major title.  He has the length and accuracy off the tee to feature on a challenge like this one. He has been thereabouts often enough this season, coming close at the Players, to suggest a return to top form is imminent. Conditions that demand par golf will always suit his game more than a birdie blitz as he showed when placed in this contest two years ago. He gets our top pick.

We also look for two in-form American Kevins to make their presence felt. Kevin Kisner won a few weeks ago and has been in good form all season. His accurate tee-play should keep him out of the worst of the rough stuff.

Kevin Chappell is playing well and broke his PGA Tour duck last month. He threatened to win in Memphis last weekend, and can carry that good form into this tournament.

We pick the European challenge to be lead by the long and short combination of Jon Rahm and Francesco Molinari. Molinari is straight off the tee, with a excellent wedge game. He has shown good recent form, and the generous eight man place terms offers enough room and hope for him to feature.

As something of a hedge, we are going to bet on the young Spaniard Jon Rahm to be top European. He has had a fantastic debut season, despite the disadvantage of playing the PGA Tour courses largely for the first time. This won’t matter here where it’s first time for everyone, and we take him to go well in a market where leading European fancies McIlroy, Garcia, Rose and Stenson all have worrying doubts.

Recommendations:

Louis Oosthuizen, 1pt each way at 60/1, Bet365

Kevin Kisner, 0.5pts each way at 55/1, Paddy Power

Kevin Chappell, 0.5pts each way at 66/1, generally available

Francesco Molinari, 0.5pts each way at 80/1, generally available

Jon Rahm to be top European at 7/1, 1pt win, generally available

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