US Open Golf 2018 – Tournament betting and odds at Shinnecock Hills

Rory McIlroy missed his chance at Augusta and Jordan Spieth will have to wait a couple of majors so this week, it’s Phil Mickelson’s turn to have another tilt at the career grand slam. 

The US Open has been the one that got away from Mickelson – six times he’s finished runner-up – and it’s hard to see a man who will turn 48 during the tournament finally getting over the line. 

Hard… but not impossible. 

Dustin Johnson is back at world No 1 after winning the St Jude and he’s favourite at Shinnecock

Phil Mickelson could become just the sixth player to win the career grand slam

Phil Mickelson could become just the sixth player to win the career grand slam

This is the US Open, where strange things can happen. Think back over the past few years where we’ve had ‘putting on broccoli’ at Chambers Bay or Dustin Johnson not knowing his score with a few holes to play. That was at Oakmont two years ago when DJ’s score was in fact the winning one and he’s favourite this week at no better than 10/1. 

Familiar faces are next in the betting and we’ll get to them in a bit but what about Mickelson? He’s out with McIlroy and Spieth on Thursday and Friday and available at 35/1 (Betfred) or 30/1 with Paddy Power, who, along with Coral are paying out on 10 places.

Since winning the 2013 Open at Muirfield, Lefty’s come up miles short in his three runs at trying to become the sixth man to complete the set (he missed last year as his daughter was graduating) but one of his six appearances as a bridesmaid in America’s national championship was at Shinnecock in 2004.

He must have nightmares about that one, occupying pole position following birdies at 15 and 16 on the Sunday before three-putting from five feet for double-bogey at 17 and losing by two to Retief Goosen. They were the only two players to finish under par and the average fourth-round score was 78.7 on a day when 27 players failed to break 80. 

Mickelson on the 17th during the final round at Shinnecock Hills in 2004 - it didn't end well

Mickelson on the 17th during the final round at Shinnecock Hills in 2004 – it didn’t end well

We’re 14 years down the line and the course has been stretched almost 500 yards to 7,445 but there’s a case to be made for Mickelson. He’s been back in the winner’s enclosure at the WGC-Mexico, has five top-six finishes in 2018 and finished just outside the top 10 in Memphis at the weekend after opening with a 66 and closing with a 65 having played himself out of contention with a 73 on Saturday. Although from California, he’s a popular player on the east coast and will be a fan favourite on the far end of Long Island.

At 30/1 and a fifth of the odds for 10 places – there’s certainly worse bets. But are there better? At a track like Shinnecock, a proper US Open test, the cream should rise to the top.

DJ hasn’t quite been at the same level as he was between Oakmont and August the following year when he was winning for fun but, after recovering from injury he kicked off 2018 with a victory and may have timed this run to perfection with a dominant display to claim the St Jude Classic and take back the world No 1 spot. He was widely available at 10/1 to claim a second US Open before Sunday’s sizzling 66 but only a couple of firms still offer double figures with most bookies trimming him to 8/1 or 9/1. 

Like Mickelson, Johnson will love the linksy feel of Shinnecock Hills.

The man he replaced at the top of the world rankings, Justin Thomas, will be keeping him company for the first two rounds with Tiger Woods making up one of several showbiz threeballs.

Thomas and Rickie Fowler shot 65s at Shinnecock last year, when it was set up for fun, not a US Open he was quick to point out, and Justin certainly has the iron play to get at the smallish greens. 

He’s 14/1 after five top-10s in his last nine events, including his win at the Honda Classic, while McIlroy, with memories of failing big Sunday tests at Augusta and Wentworth still fresh, is the same odds. 

Woods, 20/1 with a couple of firms, has already caused a stir by mooring his $20m yacht in the Hamptons not far from Shinnecock. He’s made more than a few waves since returning from the successful fusion surgery on his back but his driving (there were familiar struggles earlier in the year) will need to keep improving for him to have any chance of winning a 15th major 10 years after No 14. 

It is a decade since Tiger Woods last got his hands on one of the games biggest prizes

It is a decade since Tiger Woods last got his hands on one of the games biggest prizes


Dustin Johnson 10/1

Rickie Fowler 20/1

Phil Mickelson 35/1 

Martin Kaymer 150/1 

From – check e/w places with bookies 


Dustin Johnson 1st-round leader 16/1

Branden Grace top-10 finish 7/2 

Branden Grace 1st-rnd leader 40/1 

Webb Simpson top-10 finish 6/1

From – Check e/w places (1st-rnd leader)

His last outing was a T23 at the Memorial which would’ve been much better if his putter had been working but he said afterwards he was happy with where his game was in his build-up to this one. 

Defending champion Brooks Koepka is around the same price and getting back in the groove having taken a couple of events to shake off the rust after recovering from a wrist injury. This trophy hasn’t been retained since Curtis Strange in 1989 but Koepka certainly has the tools to do well while Masters champion Patrick Reed looks a bit big at 40/1.

Elsewhere, Fowler loves the course and at 20s appeals more than 18/1 shot Spieth, who has lost his mojo with the putter. 

Americans hold all the major prizes right now but if that’s about to change, Tommy Fleetwood (50/1) and Branden Grace (45/1) could have a big say. And Justin Rose will have plenty of backers too as a run of 20 tournaments since missing the cut at last year’s USPGA has brought him four wins, 15 top 10s and 10 consecutive top 10s. There was a time, 2004 to be precise, when he hated this track but now he feels as happy with his ball-striking as he did five years ago – when he won at Merion.

There hasn’t been a major winner lower in the world rankings than 48 since 2011 when Darren Clarke (111) and Keegan Bradley (108) upset the odds but if you’re looking for a long shot at Shinnecock, how about Martin Kaymer at 125/1. 

He’s without a win since this event four years ago but posted his first top-10 of the year at the Italian Open having held the lead.