US Open Preview

The golfing world focuses on Pinehurst for the next 2 weeks with The US Open and The US Women’s Open being hosted on the world renowned Pinehurst No.2 course, just 1 of 8 superb courses at this absolutely amazing spot. I had the privilege of visiting the resort in October of 2007 and couldn’t get over the place – nearly as close to Golfer’s Heaven as there could be.

Having looked at the field it will obviously take a superb player to win around the recently revamped course and I feel those with the better short games should end up at the top of leaderboard while fighting it out for the US Open Trophy. These are my 4 picks for the 2nd Major of 2014, form an orderly queue at the bookies please………

Pinehurst No2  US Open 2014 Logo

Phil Mickleson

Mickelson1

The short game genius returns to Pinehurst and has been talking up his chances this week, along with his confidence in going back to the pencil grip with the putter. Phil has previous Pinehurst form, finishing 2nd to Payne Stewart in 1999, and is one of the few people in the field to have performed well at Pinehurst No.2 before. After six 2nd place finishes in this Major alone that seems to mean the most to him, can he complete the career Grand Slam this week? I, for one, think he can. He’s around 4th favourite with those in the know, BetVictor giving best price at 20/1.

Henrik Stenson

Stenson

The super Swede Stenson has yet to hit the heights of last year, it would be hard to replicate all those performances really, but when he is in the mood there are few better in the world. His recent form has improved and if he keeps the driver in the bag the majority of the 72 holes this week, one of the few players that can around any course, he can definitely contend for his 1st Major title. Best price is currently with BetFred and Totesport who are both offering 28/1 but with 7 places.

Ian Poulter

Ian Poulter

The Poultergeist is one of the best pitchers, chippers and bunker players in the world and when the putter is hot he can simply putt the lights out – this doesn’t always happen of course but I think IJP will be up for it this week as he needs to up his game to either qualify for the Ryder Cup or impress Captain McGinley enough to pick him as a Wild Card. A 1st Major would help on both counts of course, over to you Poults! He’s best price 66/1 with those boys offering 7 places, BetFred and Totesport. Most of the others including Paddy Power, Ladbrokes and BetVictor are offering 66/1 as well but 6 places.

Luke Donald

Luke Donald

Luke Donald is fast becoming the “Best Player in the World Not to Win a Major“, a very much unwanted title! He has been undertaking some swing changes of late to most of all improve his performances in the Majors and it is debatable whether this transformation is complete yet, having said that his short game remains superb and that is what you need around Pinehurst No.2. If he can find the fairways then expect Luuuuke to contend come the Back 9 this Father’s Day. Donald is 50/1 best price with Ladbrokes while most of the rest are offering 40s or less.

So, those are my picks for this week at Pinehurst. Having visited the resort, and for anybody there this week, the Ryder Cup Bar at the Pinehurst Resort and the Sports Page just down the road would come highly recommended for a few after golf tipples!! Enjoy the golf wherever you will be watching it from and fingers crossed 1 of my 4 might prevail, either that or an Irish winner will do!

Tournament Preview – The Honda Classic

We’re to back in Florida for a while starting this week with the Honda Classic at PGA National, Palm Beach Gardens. The top 8 in the World tee it up among others for what should be a great week’s golf. John is back this week after taking the WGC Accenture off, my picks last week were shocking in the end so I hope none of you read the Blog for the Matchplay!
Honda Classic
DC’s first pick is Brian Harman and at 90/1 with Paddy Power who are paying top 6 he will pay out a nice few quid if he does the business. Harman finished 3rd at riviera last time out, top 25 in adjusted scoring and 11th in strokes gained putting. He also holds the course record around the 5th hardest course on tour, PGA National, and had a nice 12th place finish here last year.
Brian Harman
G Mac is John’s second one-to-watch in Florida this week, and with odds of 22s best with Bet365, Stan James and SpreadEx he could be worth a look – especially if he’s 2 behind with 2 to play on Sunday! His grind-it-out mentality is as good as ever and may even have gotten better from last weeks performance at Dove Mountain, he loves it around here with finishes no worse than 17th in 6 starts including 4 top 10s.
G Mac2
Honourable mentions go to Adam Scott, available at 20/1 with Boylesports and BetVictor, and Henrik Stenson who you can get at 30s best with BetVictor. Both are priced fairly high going on their overall form and results over the past 12 months and even though they don’t have much form here they should have the quality to mount challenges.
Stenson    Adam Scott
As usual you can give John feedback via Twitter on @johnalandeasy ! Prices accurate as of 8pm on 25/02/2014 via Oddschecker.com