The US Open is the third of the four major championships on the golfing calendar. It’s widely regarded as the most challenging of the four Majors to win because of its demanding course design. Small targets, fast greens, long rough, and strong winds make the players struggle. For that reason, the Open is the most challenging Major to score in, and it’s not even debatable.
Aside from being the toughest Major in terms of course setup, the US Open is also the most accessible of golf’s most prestigious tournaments. As a result, many unknown amateurs get the privilege of playing against superstars like Rory McIlroy.
Bookmakers offer excellent odds for the US Open, and many betting opportunities are available. The severe conditions here make it difficult to predict the outright winner of the tournament. But guess what — that means underdogs have a solid chance to take the famed trophy home. And anyone backing these underdogs could hit the jackpot. You can read on to learn more about the US Open betting markets.
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When it’s US Open time in golf, bettors are genuinely spoilt for choice. However, not all sportsbooks are created equal. Choosing a reliable bookmaker is vital for your betting experience. Also, the odds different bookies offer on Majors may vary significantly, affecting your potential profit more than you think. Our experienced professionals have put together a list of bookmakers offering the most competitive US Open odds.
US Open Format
The US Open is a four-round, 72-hole stroke-play tournament, with a cut after 36 holes. Each Major abides by its own set of playoff rules regarding handling ties after completing 72 holes. At The Masters, there is the sudden death rule; the PGA Championship uses a three-hole aggregate, while The Open employs the four-hole aggregate rule.
As for the US Open, the winner is determined after a two-hole aggregate playoff. Before 2018, when the score was tied at the end of regulation play, golfers had to come back the next day to play 18 more holes (we all remember the legendary standoff between Tiger Woods and Rocco Mediate in 2008).
The modern rules imply that, if the score is tied at the end of regulation play, golfers will immediately play the par-3 17 and par-5 18, and the player with the lowest total wins the title. If the score is still tied after the two-hole aggregate, the remaining players keep playing the same two holes until the winner is determined.
The US Open is characterized by harsh scoring conditions, as the courses demand accuracy off the tee. As a rule of thumb, the courses are set up quite long, while the fairways are narrow, shriveling to an average of fewer than 30 yards. Most US Open courses are guarded by high, dense rough, and players who fail to hit greens and fairways are severely punished. The greens are pushed to their limits here, settling between 13 and 15 on average, which is plenty fast compared to other courses. For this reason, you’ll often hear the following phrase during the tournament- “keep the ball below the hole at all costs.”
The courses used for the US Open emphasize driving accuracy instead of hitting the fairway as far as you can. Consequently, discipline, strategic approach, and short-game prowess are paramount. As you might have guessed, scoring is difficult, which is why we’ve often seen that the championship games have resulted in sudden death several times. This only highlights the importance of accuracy and patience in this course.
US Open Betting
Only several days after the completion of the recent US Open, the bookmakers have started releasing odds for the next year’s edition of the tournament. Of course, these odds fluctuate from when they are released until the event gets underway. The initial odds line will be adjusted based on various factors such as injuries, player performance, and public perception. That said, it’s always good to take a sneak peek at the early odds, as you might find some value on underdogs whose odds are likely to change by next year’s tournament.
Sportsbooks generally release top-5, top-10, and top-15 finishes closer to the time. These markets carry smaller value but are easier to predict based on the course history and players’ previous performances. Only a few days before the event, you can expect the bookmakers to release the odds for the 36-Hole leader, 54-Hole leader, and First Round Leader. The outcome of these predictions is mostly affected by weather conditions, so make sure to check out the forecast.
Most Popular Betting Markets
Much like other Majors, the US Open receives plenty of coverage from the world’s leading bookmakers. There are many ways to bet on this tournament, and below you’ll find the most popular betting markets.
Betting on the tournament winner is undoubtedly the most popular golf wager, and the US Open is not different in this regard. Given the size and complexity of the courses at this event, it’s always challenging to predict the outright winner. But that’s also why bookmakers often offer competitive odds for this market.
Considering that the US Open field comprises 156 players, it makes a lot of sense to back a player that isn’t considered one of the top favorites with an each-way wager. Each way is a double wager — one bet to win and one to place. This pretty much allows bettors to win even if the golfer they’ve placed wagers on doesn’t win the tournament.
Depending on the bookmaker, each way terms usually pay five or six places. That means it is important to consider all sportsbooks before making this wager, as certain bookmakers may offer more places.
This type of bet is becoming popular nowadays. Here, the bookies pick two golfers and let you choose who will finish with a lower score after a certain number of holes. So, their overall performance and placement don’t matter. All that matters is how they fare against one another in the predetermined round, or for the tournament. At the US Open, this bet can be potentially lucrative if one of the two chosen players from the head-to-head offering has the game better suited for faster courses and windy conditions.
The top nationality market allows you to bet on the best golfer from a specific region. So, you can bet on top Asian, top European, top American, and so on. Depending on how many players are competing from that particular region, it could be a three-player wager or a twenty-player wager. Again, it doesn’t matter if the player you’ve placed bets on wins the tournament or not — they only need to have a lower total aggregate score than his compatriots.
Tips to Consider When Betting On US Open
Next year’s US Open tournament will kick off on June 15, so you’ll have plenty of preparation time to make your bets. However, you shouldn’t wait too long because the golf market is dynamic, and the odds change from the moment they are released and will continue to do so as new information comes into play. If you stall too much, you could miss out on the opportunity to make some extra cash. So, let’s get started.
Our professional team has prepared a few tips that may help you increase your chances of winning a US Open bet.
Don’t Rely too Much on Past Performances at the Course
The US Open changes to a new course annually. If players were playing on a familiar layout, we would advise you to check out their previous performances at that particular golf course. But given how many venues used to host the US Open are rarely used on the PGA Tour, previous course form at these events is hard to find. That lack of experience that players have at the courses used for the US Open only adds further intrigue when it comes to making a wager for the major.
Don’t Overlook Those Who Haven’t Won a Major Yet
Although it might sound like a bad strategy to look past the top 25 when it comes to winning a Major, you shouldn’t rule out the others so quickly. If someone is going to make a breakthrough at the Majors, then the US Open would most likely be the place to do it. After all, Gary Woodland won his maiden Major maiden title at the US Open in 2019. Other first-time major winners have also come at the US Open, including Matt Fitzpatrick in 2021. Also, the two players that finished as the runners-up had also not previously won a major.
Shorter Hitters Can Win
It’s true that bombers have always had an advantage over short drivers. Power has always been an essential part of golf because most courses are designed in such a way that it suits hard hitters more. But don’t take non-bombers for granted. After all, Francesco Molinari won the 2018 Open championship on a long course. Accuracy should always be considered more than power in the majors.
Look for Mentally Tough Players
All great champions like Brooks Koepka, Dustin Johnson, and Rory McIlroy excel at one particular skill — mental toughness. When playing on the most demanding courses, this is what it will ultimately come down to. They all have the skill set to get the job done, but who can do it now, with so much at stake? Mentally strong players welcome the challenge — it brings the best out of them.
Look for the players who can emotionally detach themselves from the environment, especially the things they can’t control, such as the weather, course conditions, etc.
Who Can Qualify for the US Open?
The tournament is open to any player (professional or amateur) whose USGA Handicap Index is 1.4 or below. The field consists of 156 players, with approximately 50–60 players exempted from qualifying for the event after passing several qualifying standards. The remainder of the field comprises of players who go through either local or sectional qualifying. Local qualifying is contested at 18 holes, and it takes place in most states. The sectional qualifying is contested over 36 holes at several courses around the country.
Here’s the list of the players who are exempt from qualifying for the US Open:
- Winners of the previous ten US Open events
- Winner of the Amateur Championship held the year before the Open championship.
- Top-ranked Amateur in the world (winner of the Mark H. McCormack Medal)
- Winners of the US Junior Amateur, the US Amateur, the US Mid-Amateur, and the runner-up of the US Amateur
- Previous five Open Championship winners
- Winners of the last five Masters events
- Winners of the past six PGA Championship events
- The most recent winner of the US Senior Open
- Winners of the previous three Player Championship events
- Winners of multiple full-point PGA Tour Events
- Top 60 point leaders in the OWGR as of June 10, 2022
- Top 60 point leaders in the Official World Golf Ranking as of May 20, 2022
- Special exemptions as selected by the USGA
US Open History
The first edition of the US Open was played in 1895 at the Newport Country Club. It featured only 11 participants who competed for the gold medal on a nine-hole course. A 21-year-old British golfer named Horace Rawlings made history that year by becoming the winner of the first-ever US Open tournament.
In the first twenty years of its existence, Britons dominated the event. The first American-born champion was John J. McDermott, who won the tournament in 1911 at the age of 19. The period between 1925–1965 marked an era of American dominance at the US Open, with US-native players winning yearly. Since 1994, non-Americans started winning the event more regularly, including four consecutive wins between 2004–2007.
Over the years, the tournament has been hosted on various golf courses across America. Meanwhile, the most successful players in US Open history are Willie Anderson, Bobby Jones, Ben Hogan, and the legendary Jack Nicklaus, with four titles each. However, in recent history, only Tiger Woods has won the trophy three times. Woods is the only golfer who won the US Open, US Amateur tournament, and US Junior tournaments. Rory Mcllroy holds the record for the lowest aggregate score of 268 (65-66-68-69) in 2011.
US Open Previous Winners
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