June, for a while there I wasn't sure we were going to make it this far. From snow here in May to doomsday predictions, June seemed like the longest of long shots.
Regardless, here we are and the 2011 version of the US Open at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, MD will apparently occur. The venerable British betting house Ladbrokes has an early line. The odds quoted here were as of this morning. I curiously noted however that the US Open board is temporarily down on Ladbrokes site.
Perhaps due to the recent withdrawal of said Tiger Woods, who evidently needs more time in the shop before he re-emerges on a golf course. No mind though, we have enough early info to form some strident opinions.
As of this morning Woods was traded at 14:1. Odds are 1,000:1 that he undergoes a miracle cure and persuades the USGA to re-enter him.
Phil Mickelson at 12:1 seems to me to be a bit of a sucker bet given his recent play and the need to locate Congressional's stingy fairways from the tee box.
Luke Donald shares lowest odds with Phil at 12:1. Sounds good to me. Donald can dissect a course and that may be the required procedure here.
Donald's fellow Brit Lee Westwood is listed at 14:1. His putter coupled with Open bathtub greens may spell less than 1st.
Rory McIlroy's offered at 16:1. His play certainly warrants it and there's only one way to tell if his Masters' scab has healed. Would be interesting to see the lad in the mix on Sunday.
Dustin Johnson and Martin Kaymer at 25:1. Wasn't it not that long ago that Kaymer was the World #1? Did it not suit him? Johnson can win any time he tees it up. Hopefully Joe LaCava can show him how to put the stupid decision pills back in the bottle.
It's not often you see the defending champ at 33:1, but that's where Graeme McDowell rests. A statement on the recent condition of his game methinks. Hope he does well. He seems like a genuinely good dude.
Matt Kuchar and Steve Stricker 25:1 Nick Watney 33:1. These beg to be opportunities to make money. Kuchar's an automatic top ten everywhere. Stricker's a pin-seeking, putt-making machine and Watney's tasted victory with a swing that's the sweetest this side of Elkington. Bet 'em all hard.
David Toms at 40:1 may be a wish, but WTH?
See above for Geoff Ogilvy. Former champ at 40:1.
Feeling risky? Here's a trio at 50:1 that could fatten your wallet. Bubba Watson, Jim Furyk, and Sergio Garcia. Oh, BTW, Furyk's won one of these.
Where does the time go? picks.... Former champs Retief Goosen, 66:1 and Ernie Els, 80:1.
Extreme value picks..... Stewart Cink and Jeff Overton at 125:1. Davis Love III and two time winner this year, Mark Wilson, at 200:1.
We'll update as the Open approaches and post Average Golfer's final expert picks on June 13.