The History Of The US Open
Sometimes crazy but always dripping with quality, like all of the best sporting spectacles, the US Open can boast quite the history as the golfing world lines up for its 119th edition. This year the Pebble Beach resort in California hosts its sixth US Open in what is the 100th anniversary of the legendary links course.
The first US Open Championship took place on a nine-hole layout at Newport Golf and Country Club in Newport, Rhode Island. The third golfing Major of this season traditionally takes place in June with the final round usually played on Father’s Day.
Often billed as the ultimate test in golf, the present day US Open owes much to the giants of the game who have graced its fairways down the years.
For the latest US Open golf betting odds, head over to Bet UK’s online betting. If you’re unsure on how to bet on, then take a look at Robert Cobley’s US Open betting tips for the tipster’s thoughts and opinions on the event.
Early Pioneers Of The US Open
Founded in 1895, the US Open was originally played concurrently with the more prestigious US Amateur Championship. The Open was then something of an afterthought and no big deal. Indeed, there were only 10 professional entrants and a solitary amateur at the inaugural championship.
Having learnt as much as he could carrying clubs for members around assorted English golf clubs, a young chap named Horace Rawlins from Hertfordshire set sail for America following in the footsteps of his brother who had gone before. Rawlins then joined the Newport club, alongside Scotsman Willie Davis, where his job was to “teach golf, tend greens, and stay out of the way.”
First US Open Winner
Having learnt all he could about the course at which he was employed, Rawlins became the first ever winner of the US Open, beating the hot favourite Willie Dunn by just two strokes to etch his name into the golfing history books.
The following year, the Open moved to Shinnecock Hills on Long Island, New York. Since then, the famed links course has hosted the US Open on a further four occasions, most recently in 2018. Rawlins was runner-up in the Open's second year and during the next 18 editions, Horace would compete in the event a further 13 times.
As the event became ever more popular, golfers flocked from around the world to take part but the US Open would not crown its first American winner until 1911 when a 19-year-old John J. McDermott Jr took the title. The Philadelphia native would win the event the following year and remains the second youngest winner ever of a golfing Major.
The US Open has been dominated by Americans ever since. In the following 90 years in which the tournament was staged, the Championship Trophy - which was first presented at the very first competition - was claimed by golfers from the USA in every year bar three.
Notable US Open Milestones Down The Years
Fast forward to 1930 and the US Open was now firmly established as one of the greatest prizes in golf. That year, the Interlachen Country Club was chosen to stage the championship. Until then, the more prestigious clubs on the East Coast had tended to host the Open. Interlachen in Minneapolis was a little more remote and the US Open was billed as the biggest sporting event ever to be held in the area.
Quite the buzz greeted Robert Tyre “Bobby” Jones Jr. when he arrived by train in Minneapolis. Jones had already claimed the US Amateur championship, and its British equivalent, along with the British Open in 1930 and he won his fourth and last US Open at Interlachen. No one has ever won those four titles in the same year and likely never will again.
The 1960s began with perhaps the most famous swing in golfing history claiming its first US Open. Arnold Palmer’s driving technique was unorthodox and unique but it powered one of the greatest names in the game to his maiden Open over a young Jack Nicklaus and an ageing Ben Hogan. The 1960 event was the only time Palmer would win the US Open amongst his six other Major titles. Nicklaus would defeat Palmer the following year for the first of his 18 Major titles.
The US Open In The New Millennium
The 2019 US Open will be billed as one at which Tiger Woods can continue his quest to better the 18 Majors won by Nicklaus. Woods won his first Open in 2000 by a record 15 strokes when the event was staged for the fourth time at Pebble Beach. The United States Golf Association had wanted a special venue for the first US Open of the new millennium and it certainly got it.
Tiger set a US Open record by finishing 12-under par to achieve the largest margin of victory of any golfing Major with a dominant performance some 15 strokes ahead of runners-up Ernie Els and Miguel Ángel Jiménez.
A winning score lower than 10-under par has only been recorded on two other occasions at the US Open. Rory McIlroy carded a 16-under par when he took the title in 2011 and Brooks Koepka finished with the same score to par when he won the 2017 championship at Erin Hills.
The US Open remains perhaps the most compelling of the golfing Majors. In many ways, the championship has changed little since its early years. Indeed, the Open has something of a reputation as a competition which resolutely sticks to its tried and tested formula. For that reason alone, the US Open is perhaps the truest and purest test of golfing greatness.
So who will claim victory at this year’s tournament? It’ll certainly be exciting to watch as a spectator and you can find the latest US open odds here at Bet UK.
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US Open Tips
Dustin Johnson - 18/1 To Win
Brooks Koepka - 18/1 To Win
Dylan Frittelli - 300/1 To Win
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The South Course, Torrey Pines - San Diego, California, USA - 7,700 Yards, Par 70
The US Open arrives at a familiar venue this year with Torrey Pines on California's Monterey Peninsula the host course for one of the biggest events on the calendar.
The South Course at Torrey Pines is one of the finest courses in the USA and, as the honour roll shows, has hosted some of the greatest champions in golf. Opened in 1957, and on a clifftop overlooking the Pacific Ocean, the South Course was redesigned by Reese Jones back in 2001 who lengthened it to the brutally difficult 7,700-yard beast that it is today. A proper all-round test of golf, the South requires the players to hit the ball straight from the tee, shape it both ways and punishes any bad shots. From the tee, bigger hitters are at an advantage purely due to the length of the course and the fact that long drives make the course more manageable. There is, however, no substitute for accuracy and errant drives will find the thick rough and dangerously-placed fairway bunkering that is especially prevalent over the back nine holes. This has been made all the tougher for the Open.
The greens on the South Course are not vastly different to those on the easier North which is not in play this week, and are not where it really shows its teeth. They are large, fast, and slopey poa annua that can pick up spike marks and become more challenging to putt on through the afternoon. The greenside bunkering is strong, and the rough around the greens is deep. If players are approaching from the rough, or even from the wrong side of the fairway, they are well-advised to be conservative. Double bogeys or worse are not uncommon here, and such a stiff test of golf invariably produces a high calibre winner.
The biggest advantage this week is with the bigger hitters. There will be a lot of hits and gauge from the thick rough onto the large, forgiving, greens, and the top of the market is likely to produce the winner this year.
Last Five Winners
Year | Winner | Score
2020 | Bryson Dechambeau | -6
2019 | Gary Woodland | -13
2018 | Brooks Koepka | +1
2017 | Brooks Koepka | -16
2016 | Dustin Johnson | -4
The Market Leaders
John Rahm (17/2) has a win and three other top-five finishes in his career starts at Torrey Pines, and with just one finish outside the top 20, the Spaniard looks a strong market favourite. He was on the verge of winning two weeks ago when he was forced to withdraw going into the final round with a six-stroke lead, and he will be keen to put that behind him and take the title here on familiar turf. Rahm's US Open record isn't great with more missed cuts than top 10s, and I think the adjusted Torrey setup might work against him here. For that reason, I will be looking slightly deeper.
Behind Rahm is a trio of big-hitting Americans that I really like the look of. Dustin Johnson (18/1), Brooks Koepka (18/1) and Bryson Dechambeau (16/1) between them have the last four US Open titles, and it's hard for me to see that not remaining the case after this week. Dechambeau looks the weakest with his comparably poor recent form and his previous tribulations at Torrey.
Rory Mcilroy (20/1) represents the best European chance on a course where he has gone close several times. He has been playing well of late but I think the tough rough might prove too penal unless he has an exceptional driving week and I am therefore happy to look elsewhere. This event has an American winner written all over it for me.
Headline Betting Tip
My headline selection for the year's penultimate Major is the man who I maintain is the world's best player when all are in form, and he showed last week that his game is in excellent shape arriving here. Dustin was 2nd going into the weekend before falling away, but that is really of little concern given that all eyes were undoubtedly turned to this week.
Johnson has a best-placed finish of 3rd here in regular Tour events, and will be even more suited to the challenging setup of a US Open at this famed venue. He will have a huge advantage from the tee and will love the large uncomplicated putting surfaces. The speed is up from the Farmers Insurance which is played in February, and that again will be significantly to his advantage. I would have him as the strong market favourite, and I am happy to throw my weight behind him with a win only bet of 8 Points Win @ 18 /1.
Other Betting Tips
I considered Brooks Koepka as my headline pick, and was only slightly persuaded to go with Dustin Johnson based on his better course form, but make no doubt Brooks will be thereabouts this week. There are no players on Tour that raise their game to the same degree that Koepka does when it comes to the biggest events, and whatever his past results here (MC, MC, 58), the setup this week is perfect.
If it weren't for the exceptional golf of Phil Mickelson, Brooks would be coming in here as the PGA Champion and probably a single figure favourite, however that not coming off has afforded us this excellent opportunity here at a marvellous price. I will have 8 Points Win @ 18/1.
My final selection is a bit of a long shot, but Dylan Frittelli has been regular on Major Championship leaderboards with two top 10 finishes in the last five Majors. He also competed at the WGC Matchplay recently where he finished 9th in a field of the top 64 players in the World. His long game is his strength, and that is a necessity to combat the challenge of Torrey Pines, and this price doesn't seem in keeping with his true chances. He is worth an each way bet with 2 Points e/w @ 300/1.