Tiger Woods odds favorite at U.S. Open despite wounded knee. Mickelson runs close second with Colin Montgomerie bringing up the rear
Tiger Woods is the hands-down favorite at online sportsbooks despite his recovering knee. Phil Mickelson is the only other golfer in single digits following Woods. BodogSports has the favorite, Woods, at 5/2 and Mickelson close behind at 7/2 odds.
The remaining golfers are all listed at double and even triple-digit odds!
Even though Torrey Pines is a favorite venue for both Tiger and Phil, Woods hasn’t had a win there since 2002 and Mickelson has never won a U.S. Open. For Phil, there must be a mental block because, on several occasions, he has had solid finishes but never grabbed the brass ring. This week, both Tiger and Phil start their journey together in early tournament action but every time I have seen them play together, neither Woods nor Mickelson make a charge. In other words, it’s possible that both golfers could make a hasty exit before the weekend.
There might just be a big payoff for gamblers to take the underdog if betting on the U.S. Open. Two years ago Geoff Ogilvy rose to the occasion and Mickelson collapsed while Woods m/c’d. Last year, Angel Cabrera used his cigarette fix as his therapist and won the Open by a single stroke over top-golfer Woods and former top-five ranked Jim Furyk.
Can Woods’ newly repaired knee handle four grueling days of a major tournament? A wounded Tiger is the most dangerous animal. Will Mickelson handle the mental pressure of a U.S. Open event remembering his solid wins here at the Buick Invitational or will he dwell on this being a major tournament and lose focus?
Mickelson says that he has developed a “game plan” for Torrey Pines, gaining familiarity by walking the course and concentrating on correcting his driving woes with the help of top-ranked instructor Butch Harmon.
But winning at the U.S. Open is not about the ability to use a driver to hit the ball well. As short-game guru Dave Pelz stated, “I just hope the USGA gives them a chance to hit the green. That’s when the game gets exciting when they’re playing from the rough. That’s the real test; to hack it sideways out to the fairway isn’t.”
And so, if I was going to wager some of my hard-earned money on the U.S. Open, would I pick Woods or Mickelson or aim to select a golfer whose history may preclude them as a favorite?
Colin Montgomerie’s 175/1 odds may sound astronomic but Monty claims that he’s still in the mix. With four runner-up finishes in majors, Montgomerie feels this is his final “golden opportunity” claiming in his own brash way, “I should have won that tournament by now. The door has been open and I just haven’t been able to walk through it.”
I’m hoping that Colin Montgomerie finally makes his dreams a reality and offers up a real payday to those daring enough to think he can “defeat Goliath” at this year’s U.S. Open.
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