Golf Betting Tips For The 2019 U.S. Open At Pebble Beach
Canadians continued their drought in the Canadian Open, but there’s still a major storyline from the weekend. Many golfers used the tournament to prepare for this week’s 2019 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach, and one golfer, in particular, looks dialed in for the third major championship of the year. Rory McIlroy beat the field by a whopping 7 shots and won over the Canadian crowd in the process. Of course, wearing a Toronto Raptors jersey while celebrating his win didn’t hurt.
When asked if he wished the U.S. Open started Monday, McIlroy said, “No, because I’ll be hungover, probably.”
McIlroy has never won at Pebble Beach, but does the dominating performance make him the man to beat this week? Will his game translate to the Holy Grail of golf courses and its U.S. Open setup?
If you’re looking for PGA golf betting tips, we’ll explore all that and more, as we breakdown the course and the PGA odds for the 2019 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach.
The 2019 U.S. Open Course – Pebble Beach
Phil Mickelson won at the Pebble Beach Pro-Am earlier this year, but this won’t be the same course golfers saw in February. Though shorter than most U.S. Open setups, this time around, Pebble Beach will mirror the courses that have given Mickelson (and so many others) headaches time and time again. In 2010, the last time the U.S. Open took place off 17-Mile Drive, Graeme McDowell won with a score of even-par. Before that, Tiger Woods’ 12-under beat the field by 15 strokes at the 2000 U.S. Open.
The USGA is routinely under scrutiny from players for its difficult U.S. Open setups. The rough is too penal or the fairways and greens are too fast — often all the above. This year appears to be no different, as golfers are already complaining about the length of the rough.
One thing that will be different than most U.S. Opens is the distance of the course. Pebble Beach, which will play as a Par 71 this week, won’t require the distance off the tee that past U.S. Opens have required from most champions. In fact, at 7075 yards, you’ll rarely see a major championship as short as this one. Players will leave their driver in the bag on many holes, and fairway woods and long irons will be in play on the tee box. Expect golfers to utilize the “stinger” to set themselves up for manageable approach shots.
The greens are also some of the smallest you’ll see on tour, which can become extremely difficult to hit if the wind picks up off the coast. Overall, it’s a second-shot golf course. It sets up well for ball-strikers and demands scrambling ability to get up and down in difficult conditions. The venue leaves a lot of different golfers in play to potentially win, as guys like Brooks Koepka and Dustin Johnson won’t be able to bomb shorter hitters out of contention.
The 2019 U.S. Open Favorites
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Possibly the biggest storyline of the week is Brooks Koepka +850 attempting to become the first golfer to win three U.S. Opens in a row since Willie Anderson in 1905. Previously Koepka won at Erin Hills in 2017 and at Shinnecock Hills in 2018. The two courses looked very different, as Koepka won his first major championship shooting 16-under. The USGA made sure to present a more difficult task in 2018, but a tournament score of one-over was enough to defend his title.
Koepka didn’t have the best performance in Canada, but it wasn’t something he was too concerned about. Until last week, the four-time major champion hadn’t picked up a club since winning the PGA Championship. After an even-par Round 1, Koepka said, “I actually thought I played really well. I struck it beautifully.”
The biggest threats to Koepka making history? Dustin Johnson and Rory McIlroy. The two golfers join Koepka as co-favorites to win the tournament at +850.
Koepka was a +700 favorite before the Canadian Open, but oddsmakers aren’t as quick to dismiss his T50 performance as he is. Dustin Johnson beat the No. 1 ranked golfer in the world by 5 shots. The biggest move came from McIlroy who beat Koepka by 20 shots. The win moved McIlroy from +1300 to +850, jumping Tiger Woods +1000 in the process.
Speaking of Tiger, there’s reason to believe Pebble Beach is another venue where the big cat can strike. While the penal rough might present issues for Tiger’s driver, he should find comfort in hitting his signature stinger off the tee. Woods is first in greens-in-regulation percentage this season, third in birdie average, 13th in strokes gained approach and 9th in strokes gained tee-to-green. His play around the green has been exceptional as well. If Tiger is going to win another U.S. Open, Pebble Beach might be the best place for him to do it.
Jordan Spieth +1700 – Spieth’s putter has been as hot as anyone’s over the last month, but there’s not much value at this price. Spieth led the field in strokes gained putting in two of his last four tournaments, but he still wasn’t able to hit the ball well enough to win.
Patrick Cantlay +1900 – Cantlay is one of the best ball strikers on tour, as he showed in his victory at The Memorial just two weeks ago. He’s proven he can play great in majors, but he already seems frustrated by the USGA’s setup. Cantlay will probably win a major at some point, but I’m not sure this is the best time bet on him.
The 2019 U.S. Open Mid-Tier Bets
Aside from Koepka and Tiger, there will be plenty of buzz surrounding Phil Mickelson +4600. Mickelson is one of 16 players to win three of the four majors. A win at Pebble Beach would put Mickelson in the company of Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods, Ben Hogan, Gary Player, and Gene Sarazen as the only golfers to complete the Career Grand Slam.
Mickelson posted a video on Twitter detailing part of his strategy at Pebble Beach.
Lefty is packing two drivers: one to hit ‘bombs,’ and one for ‘cute cuts in the fairway.’
Mickelson has won the Pebble Beach Pro-Am a record-tying five times, but, for reasons mentioned earlier, I don’t advise putting too much stock in course history.
Since winning the Pro-Am, Mickelson has shown mixed results. He finished inside the Top 20 at the Masters but has missed four cuts in eight events. Most recently, he shot a 79 at The Memorial.
One golfer who enters the week with great form is Adam Scott +3400. Scott was the runner-up to Cantlay at The Memorial and T8 at the PGA Championship. Scott has historically struggled with his putter, but his tee-to-green game is consistently placing him in position to score. He’s ninth in the field in total strokes gained in his last 50 rounds. Scott has four Top-10 finishes this year and only finished outside of the Top 20 in his three missed cuts. The biggest knock on Scott is his lack of success at Pebble Beach. He missed the cut at the Pebble Beach Pro-Am in each of his last two years and failed to make it to the weekend the last time the U.S. Open was held on the Monterey Penninsula.
Another golfer rounding into form is Henrik Stenson +5500. With an eighth-place finish in Canada, Stenson made his seventh cut in a row. One thing Stenson won’t mind doing is leaving his driver in his bag. Pebble Beach sets up well for Stenson who loves hitting his three-wood off the tee. The Swedish golfer has long been known as one of the best iron players in the game, but the last time he won was at the Open Championship in 2016. Pebble Beach is a venue where Stenson can win again.
Other Mid-Tier Golfers:
Shane Lowry +4600 – Lowry’s odds moved drastically after beating everyone in Canada other than McIlroy. You should be applauded if you grabbed Lowry’s price last week (roughly 100-to-1 at the time). I’d say stay away from today’s number, though.
Webb Simpson +4600 – Simpson is another golfer who contended in Canada. He was right in the thick of things until McIlroy blew away the field Sunday. Simpson has one U.S. Open title under his belt and has another good opportunity here.
The 2019 U.S. Open Longshots
Gary Woodland +8000 is known for being a bomber. In his last 50 rounds, he’s eighth in strokes gained off the tee, but he also has a filthy stinger on and off the tee. It will without a doubt be used on this coastal course.
Woodland finished fifth at the Pebble Beach Pro-Am in 2017 and his ball-striking ability will give him a chance to win his first major. He made the cut at The Memorial and T8 at the PGA Championship.
At the same odds as Woodland sits Martin Kaymer. One time the No. 1 golfer in the world, Kaymer’s game is streaky. His recent performances hint that he might be finding his form again. Kaymer was in prime position to win The Memorial but got solo-third after an even-par final round. Kaymer placed eighth here at the 2010 U.S. Open.
Keegan Bradley +14000 – Bradley has shown signs of life this year, especially early in tournaments. He made the cut in both majors this year and had an early lead at the Canadian Open. Bradley might be a longshot worth considering to back as first-round leader.
Danny Willett +19000 – As mentioned above, a lot of golfers are in play at Pebble Beach. Willet is one of them. The former Masters champion is coming off of there straight made cuts, including the PGA Championship, and a T8 at the Canadian Open.
Once again, if you’re looking for general golf betting tips, please refer to our PGA golf betting guide.