The Boston area always seems to be a hub of sporting activity and this week is no exception.
While the Boston Celtics continue to battle with the Golden State Warriors in a tightly contested NBA Finals, the 122nd U.S. Open will begin Thursday at The Country Club in Brookline, Mass.
Brookline and Golf’s Biggest Events
The Country Club is no stranger to hosting major events.
It last hosted the U.S. Open in 1988, when Curtis Strange won a playoff over Nick Faldo. It also hosted the Open in 1963 (Julius Boros won) and way back in 1913 (Francis Ouimet).
More recently, the course hosted the 2013 U.S. Amateur (won by Matt Fitzpatrick, now a solid pro) and the 1999 Ryder Cup, which the United States won, 14½ to 13½.
In all, The Country Club has hosted the U.S. Amateur six times and the Women’s Amateur three times.
Favorites at U.S. Open
Sports betting in Massachusetts is not currently legal.
A committee of legislators is meeting this week to try to find compromises to put a bill in front of Gov. Charlie Baker, who is on record saying he would sign it.
Make no mistake: Operators would be eager to get busy in the state if a sports betting measure passes. It is viewed as a large market.
So, as the site of perhaps the biggest event of the golf season, let’s look at the players bookmakers perceive as favorites.
The lines will be changing furiously from now until Thursday, for sure. As of late Monday afternoon, here are favorites from Boston-based DraftKings:
- Rory McIlroy (+1000)
- Justin Thomas (+1100)
- Jon Rahm (+1200)
- Scottie Scheffler (+1400)
- Xander Schauffle (+1600)
Meanwhile, here is how BetMGM sees it:
- Rory McIlory (+1100)
- Justin Thomas (+1200)
- Scottie Scheffler (+1400)
- Jon Rahm (+1400)
- Xander Schauffele (+2200)
- Patrick Cantlay (+2200)
- Cameron Smith (+2200)
LIV Series Players in Field
Adding even more intrigue this week is the fact this will be the first major in which players who defected from the PGA Tour to join the controversial LIV Championship Series can participate.
Charl Schwartzel won the inaugural LIV tournament in London last week by one stroke at Centurion Club. The win was good for $4.5 million.
All LIV Championship Series players who qualified and met criteria for playing in the U.S. Open can play this week as the nation’s championship is run by the United States Golf Association (USGA), not the PGA Tour.
Former U.S. Open champ Dustin Johnson has the best odds among LIV Championship Series players to win it at +4000.
Other notable LIV players and their odds: Louis Oosthuizen (+6600), Patrick Reed (+8000), 2020 champion Bryson DeChambeau (+8000) and Sergio Garcia (+12500). And we won’t forget Phil Mickelson (+20000), who is searching for his first U.S. Open victory to complete the career Grand Slam.