Matt Sullivan/Getty Images
Shinnecock Hills Golf Club in Southampton, New York, will host the U.S. Open for the fifth time in its history as the elite gather for one of the most anticipated majors of the year ahead of the 2018 competition’s start on Thursday.
Dustin Johnson enters the field as the odds-on favourite to win this year’s championship two years after taking the title in Oakmont, Pennsylvania, and is looking to redeem himself after missing the U.S. Open cut last year.
Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth are also back in the hunt to add to their majors hauls, as are the likes of Phil MickelsonJason Day and 2017 champion Brooke Koepka.
As one of the biggest contests in golf, the U.S. Open attracts a big field comprising any number of dark-horse contenders looking to make their mark among the higher-tipped stars.
We make a case for several of those understated outsiders set to take part at Shinnecock Hills, including big names on the rebound and rising stars still seeking their maiden major.
2018 U.S. Open Odds (Top 20)
- Dustin Johnson +1100
- Rory McIlroy +1200
- Jordan Spieth +1400
- Jason Day +1400
- Justin Thomas +1400
- Justin Rose +1400
- Rickie Fowler +1600
- Tiger Woods +2000
- Jon Rahm +2000
- Brooks Koepka +2500
- Hideki Matsuyama +2800
- Henrik Stenson +3300
- Phil Mickelson +3300
- Patrick Reed +4000
- Sergio Garcia +4000
- Tommy Fleetwood +4000
- Bryson DeChambeau +4000
- Branden Grace +4000
- Bubba Watson +5000
- Paul Casey +5000
Visit OddsShark to see odds for the entire field.
Top Sleeper Picks
One might not look to the list of former U.S. Open winners as sleepers or underdogs, but so out of the blue was Webb Simpson’s triumph at the Olympic Club in 2012 that he’s not being considered much at odds of 66-1.
That tournament was Simpson’s only time making the top 10 of a major championship in 27 total attempts. However, his recent form on the PGA Tour, including a win at the Players Championship, suggests he could be good value for another charge this year, via Sky Sports Golf:
Sky Sports Golf @SkySportsGolf
Webb Simpson equals course record. He leads #ThePlayers by five shots. https://t.co/F0VqWRekqh
Simpson’s 2018 season has been impressive, consisting of four top-10 finishes in 14 tournaments and nine sub-70 rounds in his last 15.
Hideki Matsuyama, 26, may boast more momentum entering the fray, which is reflected in his 28-1 odds, although journalist Adam Cairns highlighted one of his finer moments as he finished tied for 13th at the recent Memorial Championship:
Adam Cairns @atomicphoto
After four straight birdies, Hideki Matsuyama celebrates a 137-yard eagle on the 17th fairway to take a share of the lead at -7 during the first round of #theMemorial https://t.co/WA7d5WPKs9
The Japanese star has perhaps been guilty of playing too safely at times and has hung too closely to par, recording three consecutive 71s to end the Memorial, although that style could be suited to the fast style of Shinnecock.
Of the four previous U.S. Open contests held at Shinnecockthe lowest winning score recorded was Retief Goosen’s four under in 2004, suggesting a managed, calculated approach may yield dividends.
As has been the case for much of his major participation of late, Tiger Woods has the odd honour of being both a sleeper and an obvious candidate to back in some regard just based off his profile alone.
Woods offers a tempting price at 20-1 even if he’s yet to win this year, having recorded three top-10 finishes in 10 PGA Tour events. He tied for 32nd at the Masters earlier this year, his first major in more than two years.
That was an impressive enough easing back into golf’s elite circuit, and he recently spoke to the United States Golf Association regarding what he expects at the 2018 U.S. Open:
The three-time champion has made the U.S. Open’s top 10 in eight of his 15 appearances since he took a share of third in 1999, and he looks like he’s gathered together some consistency but could do with a lucky break.
Another veteran in the hunt is Sergio Garcia at 40-1, and TSN Golf reported he carries the longest major participation streak of any active player with 76 in a row, but he’s seeking only his second triumph at Shinnecock.