[Editor’s note: Sergio Garcia has been added after his win at the Byron Nelson Classic.]
There’s a darkness, deep in the pits of our jealous hearts, that feeds off the sick satisfaction we get from seeing professional athletes struggle at their sport. It’s that force that makes you laugh and shake your head when DeAndre Jordan can’t make a free throw, or Blair Walsh misses an easy field goal.
You can bury it and deny that it’s there, but somewhere deep down, you know there’s something hilarious about a multi-millionaire failing to perform a basic task that even you could accomplish (in your backyard when no one is watching, of course).
So even if you aren’t the biggest golf fan, that force alone should drive you to watch this year’s 2016 U.S. Open (June 16-19). On the heels of Augusta chewing up and spitting out some of the game’s biggest stars, the toughest major in golf returns to one of its most challenging hosts, Oakmont Country Club in Pennsylvania.
The last time the U.S. Open was played at Oakmont, Angel Cabrera emerged victorious at +5. Few changes to the course have been made since then, so the struggle brought on by the fast greens, fairway bunkers, and long holes will once again be very real.
A few players will dominate headlines in the lead up to this year’s tournament but front and center will be Jordan Spieth. Trying to reestablish himself as the cream of the PGA crop after his recent Masters collapse, Spieth will draw even more attention than usual if he finds himself at the top of the leaderboard late in the weekend.
Another player trying to shake off a missed opportunity will be Dustin Johnson, who blew a chance to win his first major at last year’s U.S. Open at Chambers Bay. Johnson has always had a game that lends itself to success in this tournament, but has never been able to put it all together.
Finally, Phil Mickelson’s hunt for a career grand slam will once again be a topic of discussion as long as he’s within a sniff of the leader. Mickelson has finished as the runner-up at the U.S. Open a record six times.
Many more storylines will emerge as we get closer and the weekend finally gets underway. But no matter what happens, expect some craziness on Sunday. This course can reward those who take risks or destroy their round. The guy who plays it consistent and safe may just end up winning it all.
We’ll give our in-depth picks closer to the actual event, but for now, here are the early odds on will win this year’s U.S. Open.
Odds to win 2016 U.S. Open
- Jordan Spieth: 7/1
- Rory McIlroy: 8/1
- Jason Day: 17/2
- Dustin Johnson: 16/1
- Rickie Fowler: 20/1
- Justin Rose: 20/1
- Adam Scott: 22/1
- Bubba Watson: 25/1
- Phil Mickelson: 30/1
- Henrik Stenson: 30/1
- Sergio Garcia: 40/1
- Danny Willett: 40/1
- Louis Oosthuizen: 40/1
Odds to choke away a Sunday lead:
- Dustin Johnson: 10/1
- Phil Mickelson: 12/1
- Jim Furyk: 16/1
- Rickie Fowler: 20/1
- Jordan Spieth: 25/1
(Photo credit: Corn Farmer (Originally uploaded to Flickr)[https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/].)