One of the rarest things to happen on the PGA Tour is for a player to win a major championship the week after also winning a regular Tour event.
For one thing, it’s challenging to simply win a major. Second, it’s an amazing accomplishment simply to win regular Tour events in back-to-back weeks. Third, many top players choose to not play the week before a major so they can practice at the host course or on their own to sharpen their game.
In the past 30 years, just three players have won the week before winning a major championship: Rory McIlroy, Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods. American Dustin Johnson will attempt to join that group as the 118th U.S. Open tees off Thursday at Shinnecock Hills in Southampton, New York.
Johnson reclaimed the world’s No. 1 ranking with a dominant six-shot win at the St. Jude Classic in Memphis on Sunday. It was his second Tour victory of the season and 18th career, and Johnson is the +800 favorite on the 2018 U.S. Open odds at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
Johnson won the 2016 event at Oakmont Country Club and should have won the 2015 tournament outside Seattle but collapsed last on Sunday.
Last year, the U.S. Open was held at Erin Hills in Wisconsin for the first time and the course was largely defenseless with a lack of wind. American Brooks Koepka (+2000 to repeat) won his first major title by finishing at 16 under, only the third U.S. Open winner to reach double digits under par.
That’s extremely unlikely at Shinnecock Hills. When it last hosted in 2004, Retief Goosen won at 4 under. The course is about 500 yards longer now, a par 70 measuring 7,440 yards. It’s like a Scottish course in terms of rough, ocean breezes and fescue rough. Not many trees to be found.
Only five players in history have completed the career Grand Slam, wining the Masters, U.S. Open, British Open and PGA Championship. They are Gene Sarazen, Ben Hogan, Gary Player, Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods. Phil Mickelson looks to join that club and is +3000 on the golf betting lines for this week.
Mickelson has finished second in the U.S. Open a record six times, including in 2004 when he was the only other player along with Goosen to finish under par at 2 under. Hale Irwin is the oldest-ever winner of this tournament at just over 45 years of age. Mickelson will be 48 on Saturday.
Tiger hasn’t won a major championship since taking the 2008 U.S. Open in a 19-hole Monday playoff. Woods, playing his first U.S. Open since 2015, is at +1800 odds. An American has won his national championship three years running. Should the U.S. Open be tied after 72 holes, it’s no longer an 18-hole playoff but two-hole aggregate. That’s a new change this year.
Rory McIlroy (+1400), the 2011 U.S. Open champion, Justin Thomas (+1400), 2013 winner Justin Rose (+1400), and Jordan Spieth (+1600), the 2015 champ, follow Johnson as the …read more