Archive for June, 2009

US Open Golf Betting Preview

Here’s the latest run down on the US Open Golf Open from the team at Bodog Sportsbook

Golf is for everyone.

Tiger Woods. Smart Betting on the US Open 2009?That’s the message the United States Golf Association wants to get across this week as the 2009 U.S. Open Golf Championship makes its second visit to Bethpage Black on Long Island. This was the first publicly owned and operated course ever to host the U.S. Open back in 2002, and that event was a roaring success as Tiger Woods shot a three-under par to finish three strokes ahead of rival Phil Mickelson.

The same two men are back in their familiar spots at Nos. 1 and 2 on the Open odds list. Woods is the defending champion and the favorite at 3-2, with Lefty well behind at 14-1 and 2006 winner Geoff Ogilvy checking in at 16-1. That event was at nearby Winged Foot, where Mickelson double-bogeyed the final hole to finish one stroke behind Ogilvy. Four times Mickelson has placed second at the Open with a grand total of zero victories.

Can Lefty finally get over the hump this year? Here’s the skinny on all three of our top favorites heading into Thursday’s opening round.

Tiger Woods

U.S. Open victories: 2000, 2002, 2008
2009 victories: 2 (Arnold Palmer Invitational, Memorial)
2009 Money Ranking: No. 4 ($3.247 million)
2009 average score: 69.6

Phil Mickelson

U.S. Open victories: none
2009 victories: 2 (Northern Trust, WCG-CA Championship)
2009 Money Ranking: No. 3 ($3.251 million)
2009 average score: 70.7

Geoff Ogilvy

U.S. Open victories: 2006
2009 victories: 2 (Mercedes-Benz, WCG-Accenture)
2009 Money Ranking: No. 1 ($3.319 million)
2009 average score: 69.9

No point arguing against Woods’ superior resume. He won last year’s event at Torrey Pines in dramatic fashion, beating Rocco Mediate in a playoff despite a damaged left knee that would undergo season-ending surgery two days later. Woods also won two weeks ago at the Memorial, mounting a characteristic comeback with a final-round 65 to beat Jim Furyk by a single stroke. That’s six straight PGA events in the Top 10 for Woods. He is absolutely on his game and a proven commodity at Bethpage Black.

Mickelson’s body of work this year has been far less consistent. He was all over the map at the Players Championship (55th) and at last week’s St. Jude Classic (59th), coinciding with the bad news that his wife Amy has been diagnosed with breast cancer. Mickelson will be suspending his golf season after the Open to concentrate on family matters. It wasn’t even certain if Lefty would even get in a practice round this week, although he did play 18 holes on the black course last Tuesday.

Ogilvy is something of a third wheel in this situation. He’s at the top of the money list, but his 10th-place result at the Memorial was the first time the pride of Adelaide, Australia managed to crack the Top 10 in five attempts – and just the fourth time in 12 events this year. Ogilvy also wasn’t part of the 2002 Open at Bethpage Black where Woods and Mickelson finished 1-2.

What Ogilvy does have going for him is a very strong putting game. He’s second on the Tour with 1.710 putts per hole; Mickelson is No. 24 at 1.741 putts and Woods No. 43 at 1.753. Putting is going to be especially challenging this week as all four days are expected to bring rain to a course that Golf Digest already ranks as the sixth toughest in America. Long iron play is also going to be stressed as the golfers navigate the 7,426-yard, par-70 course.

Six different men have won the Open over the past six years, so it’s entirely within reason to look for more value among the likes of Furyk (20-1 and the 2003 champion at Olympia Fields) or two-time winner Retief Goosen (33-1). Or you can simplify by taking any of the top three favorites in head-to-head betting. For example, Woods is a -400 chalk to finish ahead of Mickelson (+300), or you can take Ogilvy as a slight -120 favorite over Furyk (-110).

Bodog Sports also have 3-ball action on the board, where you choose which member of each scheduled threesome will post the lowest score. Woods (2-3) tees off at Thursday 8:06 p.m. Eastern with double British Open champion Padraig Harrington (11-4) and 2007 U.S. Open winner Angel Cabrera (16-5). Make sure as well to have a gander at the props list; if you have deep pockets, Woods is a -6600 favorite to make the cut after the first two rounds.


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