A Look Ahead to the 2018 US Open – What Should We Expect?

The wait is almost over. In just a few days, the 118th United States Open Championship will be getting underway at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club.

If you are an avid golf fan like myself, I understand why you’re so amped up for the year’s second major. Everywhere you look, it’s one riveting storyline after another.

Will the stars align for Tiger Woods? Can Phil Mickelson finally bring home the one trophy missing from his mantle at home and complete the career Grand Slam?

Or will one of the young guns like Rickie Fowler or Jon Rahm get that get the monkey off their back and win their first major championship?

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I didn’t even bring up the top 3 players in the world (Justin Thomas, Dustin Johnson, and Justin Rose) nor did I even mention Rory McIlroy! What about the defending champion, Brooks Koepka, who appears to be peaking at just the right time?

He’s back on the links and ripping the cover off the ball after a left wrist injury forced him to miss more than 3 months of action earlier in the season.

Don’t you see why I can’t wait to see how things are going to shake out? All signs are pointing towards the 2018 U.S. Open being a week full of intense moments and plenty of drama.

The posh town of Southampton is used to lots of glitz and glamour, but next week, it’s all about the U.S. Open. The fans will be treated to some electrifying golf – that’s a guarantee.

On This Page

My plan here is to briefly introduce the event. This isn’t going to be a full-fledged betting preview on all the props and matchups, but don’t get too worked up just yet. I will be releasing an expansive guide with betting tips and advice on Wednesday, June 13th, so don’t miss out.

The goal here is just to get your feet a little wet and prepare you for what’s around the corner.

Use this guide as a way to “dip your toes” into the Peconic River, the body of water that seeps into Long Island and borders the north end of the golf course. If you are looking for an all-out guide to Shinnecock Hills Golf Club, we have constructed one and provided a link for you to have fun with.

Links to a page that is not yet live on the site (Shinnecock Hills Golf Club), but will be by the time this post is published.

Take advantage and learn about the venue from head to toe. It is designed to magnify your experience watching and betting on the tournament.

Now that you can read all about Shinnecock Hills, and you know a betting preview is on its way, it’s time to lay out the foundation.

What’s in Store, and Who Will Be There?

  • When: June 14-17
  • Where: Shinnecock Hills, New York
  • Course: Shinnecock Hills Golf Club
  • Par: 70
  • Yardage: 7,445 yards
  • Field Size: 156 players

Now that the “longest day in golf” is officially behind us, the 156-man field is starting to really take shape. Monday, June 4th, was sectional qualifying for the U.S. Open, and you’d be flabbergasted at some of the names that had to endure the 36 holes.

Former Masters winner Adam Scott wasn’t part of the field and had to earn his way in. The 2011 PGA Champion, Keegan Bradley, also found himself on the outside looking in and had to “shoot his way” into the tournament’s field.

Even PGA Tour Champions star and 2017 Presidents Cup captain Steve Stricker had to reel off 15 birdies in Memphis just to earn a tee time on Thursday at Shinnecock Hills.

As for who tried and failed? Well, that list is long, as only 74 of the 860 who attempted sectional qualifying ended up punching their tickets to Shinnecock Hills.

Here are some of the notable names that will be left out of the field after failing to qualify.

  • Padraig Harrington

Missed by 1 stroke at the Walton Heath Golf Club qualifier in Surrey, England

  • Lee Westwood

Has 5 career top-10s at the U.S. Open

  • Patton Kizzire

Two-time winner on the PGA Tour in 2018 and #7 on the FedEx Cup Points List

  • Ryan Moore

The 66th-ranked player in the world/2004 U.S. Amateur champ has played in 10 U.S. Opens

  • Retief Goosen

He won the 2004 U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills but won’t be there this year

  • Geoff Ogilvy

The 2006 U.S. Open winner has been unable to regain his old form

I could continue going on, but you get the point. There are some household names and really talented golfers that won’t have an opportunity at Shinnecock Hills this year.

Whether you like the way the United States Golf Association (USGA) goes about setting the field for their National Championship or not, this is the way it has always been.

To those of you who aren’t fond of leaving out some of the best players in the world, I wouldn’t be holding my breath waiting for the process to change anytime soon. Sometimes, that’s just the way the cookie crumbles.

If you are interested in the exact details of which players are in and who must qualify, check out this link here.

All 15 of the “exemption categories” are listed, and you’ll easily be able to determine who made the field and why. Conversely, you’ll understand why names like Adam Scott and Keegan Bradley were forced to qualify in the first place.

Course Expectations

Did you watch the 2017 U.S. Open at Erin Hills? USGA Executive Director Mike Davis was surely less than pleased that the soft setup produced such low scores.

Watching Brooks Koepka simply overpower and dismantle the golf course en route to shooting 16-under-par (during a U.S. Open) surely got underneath the skin of Davis.

And don’t forget the upheaval caused by the course’s setup during the final round the last time the U.S. Open was at Shinnecock Hills in 2004.

It’s pretty safe to say that Mike Davis is feeling the pressure this week of delivering a championship-quality setup.

We all remember what happened last time out when the U.S. Open was contested at Shinnecock in 2004, right? Well, for those of you that were too young to remember, let me quickly fill you in.

The conditions of the golf course became virtually unplayable. The greens were so brown and baked out that officials had to bring in hoses and water the surfaces in between groups on the final day.

Overall, Mike completely “lost the golf course” and is thankful that he has a chance to redeem himself. He had this to say to golfweek.com:

“I’m happy we got a mulligan this time. We probably made a bogey last time, maybe a double bogey.”

What Mike is referring to is that he let the players and fans down by not executing a reliable and fair test back in ’04. He is thrilled to have the opportunity to make amends for his past mistakes.

He plans on providing a stern test of golf for the participants, but one that doesn’t get out of control.

A Quick Look at the Major Contenders

With the betting sheet yet to be released, I am still waiting to see where the value will lie. As we inch closer to Thursday morning’s first round, lots of betting opportunities will be presenting themselves, and there will be a plethora of chances for us to cash in.

However, regardless of what the prices end up looking like for the matchups and props, we already have a good idea of what the players’ odds to win the U.S. Open will be. Here are the top 10 contenders and their current odds to win the tournament.

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

Not many surprises here, but I sure see a few as I go further down the list. Patrick Reed and Sergio Garcia both at +4000 seem awful appealing to me, but I’ll wait until the matchups and props come out to pounce if they aren’t going to respect the past two Green Jacket winners.

What I see right at the top is Dustin Johnson at +1100 to win, and I have to think that’s a pretty fair price. DJ has played a lighter schedule than many of his top-ranked counterparts so far this season, but that is the least of my concerns.

For crying out loud, he has played in a total of 9 stroke-play events this season, and his worst finish is a T-17th at THE PLAYERS, a golf course that clearly doesn’t suit his game.

Put Dustin on a setup that demands a combination of distance and accuracy off the tee like Shinnecock Hills does, and I really start to like DJ’s chances.

Justin Rose at 14:1 again seems like good value given how ridiculously legit the Englishman has been playing. And who knows? Maybe this is the week.

Perhaps this is the week that Tiger Woods get back in the winner’s circle. Could he possibly insert himself squarely back into the “race to 18?” We know Tiger will continue to pursue the Golden Bear’s seemingly untouchable record of 18 major championships; we just don’t know how the story ends.

Going Away

In terms of this story, the one that preps you and gets you ready for the U.S. Open – that one is just getting started!

This initial article was meant to get you thinking about the U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills, so that like me, you can’t wait for the action to get started.

Make sure you don’t miss my post next week, as I plan on breaking down the betting sheet in full.

I can’t wait to watch the U.S. Open, and I can’t wait to make some money while I’m at it. I hope you are ready to do the same!

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