Despite his young age, 20-year-old Beau Hossler is about to embark on his third US Open, and even more remarkably his first for three years. I’m an old romantic, I believe in fairytales.
And for that reason I’m backing Romily Evans’ each-way selection Michael Putnam to win his day one three-ball with Marcus Fraser and last man in the field Steve Marino.
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Not only does Putnam’s father live a stone’s throw from the course, but his brother Joel, who is caddying for him this week, has caddied more than 500 rounds at Chambers Bay. Michael Putnam himself has played the course more than 30 times; let’s hope his magnificent performance in qualifying last Monday was a precursor for his play in the event itself, in which he will hit the first shot of the field on Thursday.
A US Open that plays like an Open Championship sounds an ideal setup for Graeme McDowell. The Northern Irishman has been struggling for form this season but class is permanent and this week’s unique test could be just what the 2010 US Open Champion needs. McDowell’s outsider odds stand out in a high quality three-ball with Hideki Matsuyama and Matt Kuchar, on a course that may not suit the latter pair as much as McDowell.
Colin Montgomerie is back in the big time this week, in a three-ball with fellow veteran Miguel Angel Jimenez and Jim Furyk, who at 45, has only six years on Monty. The Scotsman is the points leader on the Champions Tour this year and is again playing some wonderful golf. Though he had a minor health scare last Saturday, when he took himself to hospital with chest pains, the irrepressible Scot was able to shoot 68 the next day on his way to finishing third in the Seniors Players Championship, behind Bernhard Langer. He looks a great price in a three-ball he has a real chance of winning.
Despite his young age, 20-year-old Beau Hossler is about to embark on his third US Open, and even more remarkably his first for three years. Hossler came through sectional qualifying last week, the third time he has done so and is ranked favourite to win the low amateur honours, an impressive vote of confidence given the array of talent teeing it up this week. Fresh from helping the US reclaim the Palmer Cup at the start of June, the youngster looks a solid bet to outscore Brad Elder and Jamie Lovemark on day one.
Lee McCoy is the fifth ranked amateur in the world, one place ahead of the aforementioned Hossler, McCoy has had a great season thus far, finishing leading qualifier in the US Amateur before winning back to back amateur events in March/April. It’s a big ask but quotes of 7/1 with some bookies about him winning his three-ball with Robert Streb and Kevin Chappell look way off the mark, punish the layers.
I’m happy, delighted even, to take 3.50 about (a really out-of-sorts) Tiger Woods beating an out-of-sorts Louis Oosthuizen and a worthy favourite in Rickie Fowler. The comprehensive practice rounds are played, the fairways are wide and the short game is said to be on point. Tiger is a different animal at the majors, let’s not forget he somehow managed a top 20 at the Masters two months ago.
It’s a home game for Ryan Moore, who is more than excited about playing a US Open barely 15 miles from where he grew up. The American has more Major Championship experience than his rivals – Anirban Lahiri and Erik Compton, will have the support of the galleries, is in solid form and looks a good bet at odds against.
Back Michael Putnam @ 2.50 (15:00)
Back Graeme McDowell @ 3.60 (16:06)
Back Colin Montgomerie @ 4.90 (16:28)
Back Beau Hossler @ 2.50 (21:11)
Back Lee McCoy @ 6.00 (15:55)
Back Tiger Woods @ 3.50 (22:28)
Back Ryan Moore @ 2.20 (22:50)
Dan Geraghty is in fine tipping form and marks the first day of the year’s second major with seven plays from Thursday’s three-ball match-ups…