The 2019 U.S. Open is in the books, and the winner was a longshot — unheralded Gary Woodland, who opened with +6000 odds and held off Brooks Koepka to claim his first career major.
Woodland’s opening odds were the highest by a U.S. Open champion since 2010, when +6600 Graeme McDowell triumphed on the same course at Pebble Beach Golf Links.
Now the U.S national championship turns its eyes back to the East Coast, and the 2020 edition to be contested at Winged Foot Golf Club in Mamaroneck, N.Y.
It will be the sixth U.S. Open held at the A.W. Tillinghast design, and the first since 2006—when Phil Mickelson’s meltdown on the final hole opened the door for another long shot winner, Geoff Ogilve, who won after carrying +8000 odds into the opening round.
US Open 2020 Odds
|Brooks Koepka||+800||View All Odds|
|Dustin Johnson||+900||View All Odds|
|Rory McIlroy||+1000||View All Odds|
|Tiger Woods||+1400||View All Odds|
|Jordan Spieth||+2000||View All Odds|
|Justin Thomas||+2000||View All Odds|
|Patrick Cantlay||+2200||View All Odds|
|Justin Rose||+2200||View All Odds|
|Jon Rahm||+2500||View All Odds|
|Xander Schauffele||+2500||View All Odds|
|Jason Day||+2800||View All Odds|
|Rickie Fowler||+2800||View All Odds|
|Bryson Dechambeau||+3300||View All Odds|
|Hideki Matsuyama||+3300||View All Odds|
|Adam Scott||+3300||View All Odds|
US Open 2020 Betting Tips
Some advice for fans of golf betting when considering the above odds.
Back the Big Hitters
After the U.S. Golf Association’s once-a-decade foray to petite Pebble Beach, it’s back to another course set up for the big bombers. For the U.S. Open, Winged Foot typically measures at over 7,200 feet, and features two mammoth holes in particular: the 514-yard ninth hole, a converted par-5 that’s among the longest par-4s in major championship golf, and the 640-yard par-5 No. 12, one of the longest holes in any major.
Perhaps take a cue from the 2019 PGA Championship at another Tillinghast design, Bethpage Black, which turned into a Sunday duel between a couple of huge hitters in Koepka and Dustin Johnson. When it comes to betting to win, strongly consider players who pack the lumber.
Forget About the Past
Although Winged Foot has hosted five U.S. Opens previously, they give us little to go on when it comes to backing a potential winner in 2020. The 2006 tournament was a long time ago, when the course played several hundred yards shorter than it does now.
And the results of that event were such a train wreck, with Mickelson and Colin Montgomerie doing everything in their power to hand the trophy to Ogilve, that it can hardly be used as a barometer.
Winged Foot’s other U.S. Opens are simply too far in the past to provide any insight. Fuzzy Zoeller won in 1984, Hale Irwin in 1974, Billy Casper in 1959 and Bobby Jones in 1929. The only common thread is that all were Americans.
What happened to the U.S. Open we all knew and loved, the cruel beast that left players beat up and happy to finish at even par? It seems to be fading into the past. Woodland’s victory at Pebble marked the second time in three years that the winner finished double-digits under par. Between 1936 and 2016, there were just two U.S. Opens total in which the winners finished double-digits under par.
So, suddenly scoring is en vogue at what’s supposed to be the most punishing golf tournament on the planet, perhaps a response to constant player complaints. Maybe the USGA will overcorrect at Winged Foot like it did in 2018 at Shinnecock Hills, but that seems unlikely. When it comes to the U.S. Open, scoring is in—something to think about, especially when placing prop bets.
Related article: The Greatest Betting Moments in US Open history
Previous US Open Winners
Woodland may be a big hitter, but he also had just three PGA Tour wins entering the 2019 U.S. Open, and had never been in contention on Sunday in a major. His breakthrough ended an eight-year streak in which the U.S. Open trophy went primarily to the best players in the world, guys such as Koepka, Johnson, Rory McIlroy and Justin Rose, who all carried odds unfavorable to bettors.
But as the 2019 tournament reminded us, upsets can happen. In the six-year span between 2005-10, there were five of them: +6600 McDowell, +15000 Lucas Glover, +10000 Angel Carbrera, +8000 Ogilve, and Michael Campbell, who according to Sports Odds History was lumped into a field bet in 2005.
With most courses favoring bigger hitters and setups more conducive to scoring, those type of upsets may be growing less likely. But the U.S. Open’s history definitely encourages considering a flier, particularly those who are long off the tee.
|2019||Gary Woodland||+6000||271 (-13)|
|2018||Brooks Koepka||+2500||281 (+1)|
|2017||Brooks Koepka||+3000||272 (-16)|
|2016||Dustin Johnson||+1200||276 (-4)|
|2015||Jordan Spieth||+800||275 (-5)|
|2014||Martin Kaymer||+4000||271 (-9)|
Can Tiger Woods win the 2020 US Open?
Woods has played two previous majors at Winged Foot: the 2006 U.S. Open, where he missed the cut after back-to-back rounds of 76, and the 1997 PGA Championship, where he entered Sunday in a tie for fifth but faded to 29th after carding a final-round 75.
Neither of those performances give us much of an indication of what the three-time U.S. Open champion might be capable of in 2020.
But the 2019 event at Pebble just might. Woods looked back to his old self at Augusta, a much more forgiving golf course, and during a Masters that came early in the season. But in the U.S. Open, even on a course very conducive to scoring, he was forced to grind from beginning to end.
His Sunday charge added some spark, no doubt, but he was well behind the leaders by then. Woods is in his 40s with a history of physical problems, and you have to wonder if the wear-and-tear of midseason took its toll.
With the PGA shifted to May, it will be the same setup in 2020—although the conditions for the U.S. Open are almost certainly to be much hotter and muggier than they were at Pebble Beach. He’s still Tiger, and he’s capable of turning in a round that energizes the gallery. But away from Augusta, is he capable of doing it four days in a row?