Winged Foot is the stage once again for this week’s US Open which is expected to be a severe test for every player.
This brutal par-70 course in New York state measures nearly 7,500 yards, but power alone won’t be enough to master the devilishly narrow fairways, long rough and back-to-front sloping greens.
What is needed is exquisite ball striking off the tee, plus excellent scrambling and putting skills – in short the perfect all-round game!
There was nothing perfect about the way many players approached the 72nd hole back in 2006 when Phil Mickelson and Colin Montgomerie famously made double bogey to pave the way for Geoff Ogilvy’s victory on five over par, a score which could prove the winning total again.
Dustin Johnson is the market leader but we have picked out three Englishmen that could go well this week in our US Open betting tips, starting with Tommy Fleetwood at 33/1.
The 29-year-old from Southport decided to head to Europe to prepare for the US Open and it paid dividends as a closing 64 gave him a share of third place at the Portugal Masters where he topped the charts for strokes gained approaching the green.
Fleetwood, one of the world’s best ball strikers, followed fourth place at the 2017 US Open at Erin Hills with a runners-up spot at Shinnecock Hills in the following year, so he has the pedigree to master tough US Open courses.
He was also the nearest challenger to Shane Lowry at last year’s Open Championship at Portrush and we get the feeling a major is not too far away.
High hopes for Hatton
Tyrrell Hatton has been in excellent form, having shot the fifth lowest score at the recent Tour Championship to end a great season on the PGA Tour on which he won the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill before lockdown.
Hatton has finished 6-21 in his last two US Open outings and has two top-10s in his previous five appearances at the US PGA, so he likes it on the other side of the pond.
Casey finished outright 15th at Winged Foot in 2006, so he is one of around 15 players to have experienced the course and top-30 finishes in the last three US Opens suggest he could be up there on Sunday.
Runner-up at last month’s US PGA, Casey stands well in the strokes gained off the tee rankings over the last eight tournaments and if he can avoid the rough the three-time winner on the PGA Tour could land a first major.
Kisner is exactly the kind of grinder who will savour the kind of challenge offered in New York and his form has been excellent, finishing in the top 25 in six of his last seven outings, three of which were inside the top four.
The American is straight off the tee and his putting has been top-class lately, so he gets the nod for the last of our US Open predictions in the outright market.
Fast start for Streelman
Finally, we fancy a nibble on Kevin Streelman at 125/1 to be first-round leader.
The American shared the lead after 18 holes at the recent Northern Trust Open and in 2016 topped the leaderboard at Oakmont, a course comparable to Winged Foot, according to Jon Rahm who played this week’s venue a couple of days before the Tour Championship.
Streelman has solid numbers for strokes gained approaching the green and he was third at last week’s Safeway Open so his confidence should be high in his first US Open appearance in four years.
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