It’s time to take a look at the 2013 US Open. This year’s event will be held at the extremely challenging par 70 at Merion Golf Club in Pennsylvania. Those of you who are unfamiliar with the format, the US Open rotates between courses from year-to-year (no particular order). This will be the first time at Merion since 1981, when David Graham won here with a 7-under 273. The US Open was also held here in 1971, 1950 and 1934.
With the improvements that have been made to Merion leading up to this year’s installment, it’s going to be difficult for those in the field to top Graham’s winning score of 7-under in ’81. I think it will play similar in toughness to last year’s US Open, where Webb Simpson won with a winning score of one over-par. The greens are going to be extremely fast and the rough has been allowed to grow to a point where it’s going to be difficult to reach the green if you don’t find the fairway.
There’s no question that there will be plenty of focus on the likes of Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Rory McIlroy, but I’m also interested in watching how Adam Scott performs after shrugging off the label as the best player to not win a major with his victory at the Masters in April. These four will certainly be popular picks to win, but those that have watched the US Open in year’s past know that the title is completely up for grabs. For the casual fan, expect to see several players near the top of the leaderboard that you have never heard of. That’s not to say I don’t think one of the best players will win, I just want to make sure you understand that it’s a crap shoot.
For those of you looking to place a bet on who will win the 2013 US Open, here’s a quick look at the three golfers I will be betting to bring home the trophy on Sunday.
Adam Scott (+2300)
Some might think Scott won’t come in as motivated after winning the Masters, but I think it’s the exact opposite. He’s out to prove that he belongs in the class with Woods, Mickelson and McIlroy. He’s certainly got the game to accomplish the difficult feat of winning the first two majors. One of the keys to playing well at this event is keeping the ball in play. Scott ranks 61st in greens in regulation and 73rd in driving accuracy. Not to mention he’s also ranks 52nd in strokes gained putting.
Jason Day (+4500)
Day will be making just his third career start at a US Open and only his ninth start at a major. However, in those nine starts, Day has already racked up four top 10 finishes, including a 3rd place finish at the Masters earlier this season and a runner up finish at the 2011 US Open. This guy simply steps up to the plate at big tournaments and I really like his chances of playing well at Merion.
Sergio Garcia (+4000)
I know Sergio isn’t the most popular player right now, but that doesn’t mean he’s not a threat to win the US Open. Garcia has quietly put together a pretty impressive run in 2013. In 13 starts between the PGA and European Tours, Garcia has finished 20th or better in all but one event. He finished 8th at the The Players Championship in his most recent start and 8th earlier this year at the Masters. He comes in off back-to-back Top 20 finishes at the US Open, including a T-10th last year. His best finish at the US Open came in 2005, where he finished in a T-3rd at Pinehurst.