The Review-Journal has provided handicapper Brian Blessing (Sportsbookradio.com) with a mythical $200 bankroll to bet the futures board at the Westgate sports book for the U.S. Open, which starts Thursday at Erin Hills Golf Club in Erin Hills, Wisconsin.
“It’s not a typical U.S. Open setup in that the fairways are very wide and there is fescue off the fairway, so it brings a lot more guys into the mix,” said Blessing, who hosts Sportsbook Radio and Vegas Hockey Hotline on KSHP-AM (1400). “We have an opportunity to shoot for the moon, but it could be an exercise in futility if (7-1 favorite) Dustin Johnson is at the top of his game. He could run away and hide, but who wants to play the chalk in a major?”
$50 to win $2,000 on Louis Oosthuizen at 40-1:
“A British Open champion who contended on a links-style course at Chambers Bay in the U.S. Open. This should be a course that suits his eye and his current form is solid,” Blessing said. “He recorded a runner-up finish at The Players Championship, the unofficial fifth major, and followed that up with an 18th-place finish at the Byron Nelson.”
$30 each to win $900 on Justin Thomas at 30-1 and $450 on Rickie Fowler at 15-1:
“Two classy players with wins on their resume and the length and versatility to contend deep into the weekend at Erin Hills. Thomas won three times at the beginning of the year and has seven top-1o finishes. He finished fourth in his last start at the Memorial, where he let the win slip away from him. Fowler, who tied for second at the Memorial, was in the top five in all four majors in 2014 and seems to be a different player since winning The Players Championship in 2015.”
$20 to win $240 on Rory McIlroy at 12-1:
“The U.S. Open has a long history of players that have won multiple times. Lee Janzen and Curtis Strange won multiple U.S. Opens so it’s not hard to fathom that Rory McIlroy will do the same. He’s a solid bet to cover our initial investment.”
$20 to win $2,500 on Gary Woodland at 125-1:
“The best live big long shot. He’s one of the long hitters, ranking 15th in driving distance (303 yards per drive) and he’s 22nd in the FedExCup standings. His current form is suspect, but his length off the tee makes him one to consider at the big price.”
$10 each to win $500 on Alex Noren at 50-1, $800 on Billy Horschel at 80-1, $1,000 on Tyrrell Hatton at 100-1, $2,000 on Russell Knox at 200-1 and $2,500 on Harris English at 250-1:
“Noren has quietly moved up to eighth in the World Golf Ranking. Horschel is a former FedExCup champion, a winner at the Byron Nelson in late May and finished fourth this past week in Memphis (at the St. Jude Classic). Hatton’s an up-and-comer. Ranked 18th in the world, he was red hot earlier in the year.
“English showed big signs of life this past weekend (tying for 10th at St. Jude). Call it a hunch play on Knox. He’s ranked 38th in the world, and occasionally this guy shows up with big efforts out of nowhere. He knows he can win.”
Contact reporter Todd Dewey at email@example.com or 702-383-0354. Follow @tdewey33 on Twitter.