How To Bet On The US Open
Betting on the US Open and making a profit can be a difficult task. Regarded as the toughest of the four golf majors, the US Open has proven difficult to predict year after year. Despite its reputation for throwing up unlikely winners, our detailed guide to betting on the US Open will show you how to identify betting value.
Betting On The US Open: An Introduction
The US Open is the second of four golf Major's played annually on the golfing calender. Always staged in the second week of June, the US Open dates way back to 1895, when Englishman Horace Rawlins won the inaugural staging of the event at Newport Country Club. The US Open has been held at a variety of venues, with Chambers Bay in 2015 being the 51st course used in 115 renewals of the US Open.
Given the large number of different venues used for the staging of the event, many punters are left asking the question 'where is the US Open held'? Luckily the United States Golf Association (USGA) announce the host courses several years in advance:
2017 – Erin Hills
2018 – Shinnecock Hills
2019 – Pebble Beach
2020 – Winged Foot
2021 – Torrey Pines
2022 – The Country Club
2023 – Los Angeles Country Club
2024 – Pinehurst Number Two
Oakmont Country Club in Pennsylvania held the US Open in 2016 for a record 9th time. Baltusrol Golf Club has hosted 7 US Opens whilst Oakland Hills has hosted 6. Every few years it appears the USGA like to throw in a new course for the players to tackle, with 2 of the above 9 courses listed being new additions to the US Open schedule. Given the criticism 2015 virgin venue Chambers Bay received for its location, poor quality of greens and general shambolic set-up, it will be interesting to see what new courses will be named in the new rota of US Open venues.
US Open 2017 Dates
The 2017 US Open will be played at Erin Hills from June 15th to 18th.
- US Open Format
- US Open Golf Betting Explained
- Best US Open Betting Strategies
- US Open Bookmakers
- US Open Free Bet Offers
- US Open Live Streaming
- US Open Betting Tips
1. US Open Format
The US Open is held over 72 holes (four rounds of 18 holes) like any other standard stroke-play golf tournament with rounds one and two adopting a two tee start from the 1st and 10th tees. These opening two rounds are played with the golfers in groups of three before a 36 hole cut is made in which the top 60 (and ties) make it through to the weekend to play the final two rounds. Previously the USGA also allowed anyone outside this bracket within 10 shots of the leader to also make the cut, but this was abolished in 2012. Rounds three and four are usually played as groups of two golfers.
Who Gets Invited To The US Open?
156 golfers make up a US Open field with over half this number made up of exemptions as opposed regional qualifiers that make up the numbers. Automatic qualifiers for the US Open include winners of the US Open from the previous ten years, winners of the other three Majors from the past five years, winners of the Players Championship from the previous three years and last years BMW PGA winner from the European Tour.
Then there are the remaining players from the world's top 60 in the official golf rankings plus the top 30 in the previous years US Money List (aka the Tour Championship qualifiers) There is also reward for anyone outside of these brackets that finished inside the top 10 of the previous years US Open. Finally the previous years US Senior Open winner gets an invite alongside several of the worlds leading amateur golfers.
Is The US Open The Toughest Golf Major?
The US Open itself, despite being played at different venues, is renowned for being the toughest of the four Majors, with the winning score quite often around the level par mark. Given that most weeks on the PGA or European Tour winning scores tend to average around the -13 mark, this is a break from the normal birdie-feasts we see week after week on both main tours. Courses tend to be set-up to punish errant drives with thicker than average rough or are defended by narrow, tree-lined fairways. Other US Open courses are famed for its thick rough surrounding the greens, meaning a missed green makes getting up and down for par an almost impossible task.
The USGA also likes its Major to be played to a par of 70 where possible – often meaning a par five in regulation tournament play is altered to be an extremely long par four that many golfers don't have the ability to reach in two shots, even with two of their best hits.
Recent US Open Winners
|1997||Ernie Els||South Africa||Congressional Country Club||-4|
|1998||Lee Janzen||United States||Olympic Club||E|
|1999||Payne Stewart||United States||Pinehurst Resort||-1|
|2000||Tiger Woods||United States||Pebble Beach||-12|
|2001||Retief Goosen||South Africa||Southern Hills||-4|
|2002||Tiger Woods||United States||Bethpage Black||-3|
|2003||Jim Furyk||United States||Olympia Fields||-8|
|2004||Retief Goosen||South Africa||Shinnecock Hills||-4|
|2005||Michael Campbell||New Zealand||Pinehurst Resort||E|
|2006||Geoff Ogilvy||Australia||Winged Foot Golf Club||+5|
|2007||Angel Cabrera||Argentina||Oakmont Country Club||+5|
|2008||Tiger Woods||United States||Torrey Pines||-1|
|2009||Lucas Glover||United States||Bethpage Black||-4|
|2010||Graeme McDowell||Northern Ireland||Pebble Beach Golf Links||E|
|2011||Rory McIlroy||Northern Ireland||Congressional Country Club||-16|
|2012||Webb Simpson||United States||Olympic Club||+1|
|2013||Justin Rose||England||Merion Golf Club||+1|
|2014||Martin Kaymer||Germany||Pinehurst Resort||-9|
|2015||Jordan Spieth||United States||Chambers Bay||-5|
|2016||Dustin Johnson||United States||Oakmont Country Club||-4|
Don't be fooled by both Kaymer's and McIlroy's low winning scores; they both won their US Open titles by fully 8 strokes from second place! The US Open is always a proper test of a golfers all round ability and if we go back a few years further then we see winning scores of +5 over par being registered by both Angel Cabrera and Geoff Ogilvy in 2007 and 2006 respectively.
The US Open was a graveyard for European victories up until that McDowell win in 2010. Since 1924, the only European winner was Tony Jacklin back in 1970. American born golfers historically love their home Open, demonstrated by 33 home-grown winners in a row between 1928 and 1964. In fact only Jacklin, Gary Player (1965) and David Graham (1981) were the only three overseas winners of the US Open between 1928 and 1994!
2. US Open Golf Betting Explained
Betting on a Tournament Winner is the most popular market when someone is looking to bet on The US Open. Sometimes backing a favourite outright is simply just the way to go in any sport, especially on the type of traditionally difficult courses that are used for US Open renewals. When a favourite goes off at a low price such as sub 15.0, it almost makes the ¼ odds each way market seem pointless; the stake you'd place on the each way half of the bet would surely be better off being invested in the outright market. Before backing a really short priced favourite ask yourself will their price lengthen at any stage, perhaps due to a slow start? If that's likely to be the case, it could be wise to wait and back him in play at a bigger price than the pre-tournament quote.
Each Way Betting
It often makes sense to back a golfer that isn't one of the favourites in the golf bets Each Way market. Quite often the ¼ odds for top 6 can offer more return than backing a favourite outright only. For instance backing a 60.0 shot each way (15.0 the place) can give a punter more return than backing just a 9.0 favourite outright only. It can also give a punter a far better run for their money, just in case their chosen player(s) gets off to a slow start or one of the favourites gets off to such a quick start, he will struggle to be caught be anyone – let alone your bigger priced outsider.
First Round Leader
Fancy a player to get off to a fast start due to an early morning US Open tee off time? After all, he will get the best of conditions (no wind, fresh greens, no leaderboard pressure) If so then an ever growing popular golf betting system is the First Round Leader market (FRL) This is perhaps a good market to back a few outsiders in who could take a fancy to the course or type of test that a US Open offers, but could otherwise struggle to put a low round together when the pressure is on in the later stages of the tournament.
Top 10 / Top 20 Finish
Top 10 / Top 20 finishing position markets can also be profitable when betting on US Open golf tips. As favourites naturally tend to take up a number of the each way places, there is often more value to be had backing outsiders in these markets at slightly bigger stakes rather than the outright or each way markets.
Another way to make money betting on The US Open is to focus on Match Bets. These can either be bets placed on who will shoot the lowest score out of a two or three ball group, or a virtual match up between two individual players who are playing the same course but in different groupings. This can be an interesting alternative, and although it doesn't offer the glamour of an outright or each way winner, it can lead to exciting finishes if your player is going head-to-head with an opponent heading down the 18th fairway!
If you are struggling to find value within any of the above markets then perhaps the Top Nationality markets could be the one for you. This can be particularly rewarding when only two or three players from a certain country are teeing it up, meaning your chosen player only has to outscore one or two others in order to win out. We don't like selecting a top nationality if there are multiple players (say top American or top Australian) as we believe this becomes too much like a lottery to offer any kind of value. If we like a player within a group of half a dozen or more of his own nationality, then we might as well use that stake in the traditional golf each way betting markets or Top 10/20 markets and get more returns for a successful tournament. A Top Nationality market also offers the chance to put together a small accumulator of say three or four players to potentially win big money for limited stake.
Hole In One
Finally how about a bet that encompasses all 156 competitors that tee it up? The 'will there be a hole in one' market certainly keeps interest going throughout the entire event. Given that over 1,700 tee shots are played over four rounds of golf on a course with 4 par three's, you'd think that there would have been more than the 44 aces that have been made in the first 115 stagings of The US Open. Zach Johnson made the 44th in the 2014 US Open at Pinehurst with Shawn Stefani making the 43rd the year before at Merion.
3. Best US Open Betting Strategies
Do significant research into the course being used
Despite the US Open being staged on a different course each year, many are on a cycle that have been used for numerous previous stagings of the event. This means we can get a general feel as to what type of player will excel round a certain US Open golf course by reviewing past US Open golf leaderboards.
The saying horses for courses certainly applies in golf, with some courses favouring a certain type of golfer (such as a shorter, straight hitter over a longer, less accurate driver etc) 7 of the 9 courses scheduled to host the US Open between 2016 and 2024 have been used previously so we've plenty to go on in regards past data.
Concentrate on the 'greens in regulation' (GIR) statistic
When Jordan Spieth won the US Open at Chambers Bay in 2015, he was 5th in the GIR stats for the week. This meant that all eleven previous US Open champions had finished inside the top 16 in regards number of greens hit in regulation. If your selection hasn't got his irons dialled in, chances are either thick rough or nasty run off areas will cost your man (and your wallet) lots of cash.
Look to back fine scramblers
Whenever a golf tournament is won by a high winning score, we need to concentrate on golfers that can 'scramble' their way to a successful score from an unlikely position. Scrambling is defined as being "a chip shot or putt from less than 50 yards off the green with an additional one putt on the green resulting in par or better on a hole" With US Opens tended to be played on courses such as Merion with thick rough surrounding greens, scrambling is key. Martin Kaymer (not known for being a good chipper) led the scrambling statistics during his victory at Pinehurst in 2014 as this course protected its greens with shaved run off areas and banks, meaning the German could use his trusty putter from off the green to scramble just as well.
Concentrate on players in a certain age bracket
Only world-class performers and world number ones Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth have won the US Open in the 21st century to date when outside an age range of 26 & 37. This is an event often won by a golfer in the prime years of his career – unless you are a supreme talent, then youngsters need not apply. Likewise golfers over 40 have a poor recent record in regards winning the US Open. Payne Stewart in 1999 is the only golfer aged 40+ to have won in the last 23 stagings as of 2016.
Keep an eye on ante-post value
As with all four Majors, we can bet on the win outright and each way markets throughout the year with all the traditional bookmakers offering ante-post US Open odds markets. Quite often we get the best value in backing a player months before a Major actually takes place, as so often the usual names are backed so heavily in the week before a Major such as the US Open begins to such an extent that players prices can drop by over 50%. One such example was Branden Grace who could be backed up upwards of 251.0 for the 2015 US Open on the ante-post market. Come the days leading up to the tournament starting, he'd been mentioned on so many golf betting tips websites that his price moved into double figures! Grace finished T4 and could have easily won were it not for a double bogey on the 70th hole.
Don't back a defending champion outright only
This is always a bold statement to make given defending champions nearly always go off as one of the favourites, but history tells us defending the US Open crown is tough. Only Curtis Strange (1989) has managed this since Ben Hogan went back to back in 1951.
Don't back a player that is out of form
This goes for most golf betting tips, but certainly applies more so for the tough test that is a US Open. In fact every winner of the US Open in the 21st century to date had at least one top 6 finish on either the PGA or European Tour that season. Golf courses used for the years second Major are seriously tough tests of your all round game and weaknesses will be discovered and punished.
Don't be afraid of backing Europeans
As highlighted above, overseas victors of the US Open were extremely rare with just 3 non-American winners between 1928-1981. Recent years has seen a change in fortunes, for Europeans in particular, as 3 of 5 winners between 2011-2015 were European born. Golf this side of the pond is in a very good place right now, especially with Danny Willett's 2016 Masters win. Expect this trend to continue over the coming years when making your US Open predictions.
Don't back someone that doesn't have previous US Open form
Lucas Glover, champion in 2009, is the only US Open winner between 2000 and 2015 to have won the years second Major without registering at least one previous finish inside the top 30. That's a strike rate of 14/15 winners and gives us a pretty conclusive trend to follow. Given this you can almost rule out débutantes as well – 1976 saw the last winner lift the trophy on his US Open professional début - but there's a catch -he'd played the year previously as an amateur!
Don't be afraid to back a rank outsider each-way
Whilst the winner in waiting for any US Open might appear on paper to be a world-class favourite, a look back at recent US Open golf leaderboards shows a number of large priced outsiders finish inside the top five or six each way place markets. Gregory Havret, Kevin Chappell, Michael Thompson, Erik Compton and Cameron Smith all paid out at odds of plus 401.0 between years 2010 and 2015. Lucas Glover's 2009 win came as a surprise as well, priced in places as high as 226.0!
Best Sites For Golf Stats
If you're looking to further your betting analysis for this year's US Open golf tournament, here are our top five best sites for golf statistics:
4. US Open Bookmakers
Competition for punters cash is fierce amongst all the traditional bookmakers during any of the four Majors, and the US Open betting odds are certainly no different. As you can see from the below free bet and offers section, there are great deals to be had.
Once we have decided on our list of reputable bookmakers that we can trust, we should factor in three things when backing a golfer in US Open betting odds outright win market :
- Price For The Win
- How Many Places For The Each Way Payout
- What Fraction Of The Win Price Do We Get For Our Each Way Payout
Bet Victor offered an unprecedented 7 places for their each way payouts in the 2012 and 2013 outright winners US Open market. They even kept the each way part of the bet as ¼ of the original odds – far better than Paddy Power who might have offered a competitive 6 places, but at a 1/5 of the original odds.
This means backing a golfer at 80.0 that 'placed' with Bet Victor would have paid out at 20.0 whereas backing that same golfer with Paddy Power at the same 80.0 price would have only yielded a payout of 16.00 – a pretty big 20% difference.
Quite often the more places on offer for an each way payout, the smaller the price for the win. Coral and Totesport stuck to just 5 places for the 2015 US Open and as such, their outright win price tends to be bigger than any of the bookmakers offering 6 or 7 places for each way places.
It's worth noting Skybet did offer an incredible 8 places for The 2016 Masters – it will be interesting to see if they do the same for their US Open betting odds market.
It is down to the individual punter to decide which to go with – we would suggest chasing the bigger prices and less places for someone we fancy backing at sub 26.0, but any longer priced fancies it is always worth looking at 'losing' a bit on the win price to ensure we get an extra couple of places that payout. That extra place on offer is often vital to land a bigger priced outsider given that the US Open field is made up of 156 golfers.
5. US Open Free Bet Offers
In an increasingly competitive industry, many bookmakers now offer free bets and other promotional offers as a way of attracting new customers as well as encouraging existing customers to bet on particular events and markets.
Paddy Power golf betting were up to their usual tricks for the 2015 US Open with a great deal for new customers. Anyone that chose to open a betting account with Paddy could get 26.0 on Rory McIlroy or Jordan Spieth to win the US Open – given they were priced at 6.50 and 9.00 respectively, this was some offer. If that wasn't enough to attract new punters then they also offered treble the odds for anyone else in the field! This meant you could back someone at 51.0 and get 153.0. Whilst this offer was limited to £10, the nature of the price boost meant you could make some serious money as a new customer.
Coral also had an offer that included current and new customers for previous US Opens in which a £10 pre-event stake would see punters rewarded with a free £10 bet to use in play with no strings attached. It's good to see bookmakers give out freebies like this to existing customers as so often promotions are aimed at attracting new customers only.
Stan James had an offer in place for accumulator lovers which they called 'acca insurance'. If you placed a match bet accumulator involving four or more selections and just one lost, then they would reward your stake money back as a free bet.
To see a detailed list of all current golf free bet and bookmaker promotions available, please refer to our Bookmaker Free Bets page. Everything you need to know about free bets and bookmaker promotions.
6. US Open Live Streaming
Whilst there isn't US Open live streaming currently on any betting website, we can enjoy live streaming on the tournaments official website. This coverage focuses on two featured groups from the morning tee times and two from the afternoon tee times. Here we get to see every shot played by the two or three players in each group meaning we can build a full picture as to how well each of these golfers are driving it from the tee, how their irons are dialled in and finally how sharp their short game is. This type of invaluable insight can help us with our US Open betting tips.
Remember, due to Sky Sports' total ownership of golf coverage in the UK, no betting website offers golf live streaming. Of course Sky Sports customers can access coverage on SkyGo through their phones, laptops and tablets. The early additional coverage mentioned above is usually available on Sky's red button, interactive service.
7. US Open Betting Tips
If you're looking for golf betting tips, then be sure to check our Golf Betting Tips page particularly in the lead up to each of the Majors. There are some great betting minds in the bettingexpert community, posting profitable tips for a broad range of sports and leagues, including golf throughout the year.