Golf’s second major, the U.S. Open odds begins on Thursday with Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson the co-favorites at SBG Global. Mickelson won the first major of the season, the Masters, a couple of months ago and now he tries for the second one of the year. The odds on the board may favor him but history does not. Only six times in history has a player won the first two legs of golf’s Grand Slam. Craig Wood did it back in 1941, Ben Hogan in 1951 and 1953, Arnold Palmer in 1960, Jack Nicklaus in 1972 and Tiger Woods in 2002.
Mickelson has won four majors in his career but none in his home state of California. He loves Pebble Beach as he has won the Pro-Am tournament a few times. Mickelson could take over the number one ranking in the world if he is able to win this week. Tiger Woods is still the number one player in the world even though he has not played well this year. The last time the U.S. Open betting was held at Pebble Beach was ten years ago and Woods won by an amazing 15 shots. He is not the same player he was ten years ago and although he is a co-favorite with Mickelson, that honor is based on his reputation, not his recent play.
The defending U.S. Open champion is Lucas Glover and normally a defending champion would get some attention in golf odds but Glover has really done nothing since winning the title last year. In fact, he has not won a tournament since, although he does have five top-10s. There has not been a back-to-back winner of the U.S. Open since Curtis Strange in 1988-89.
Pebble Beach has hosted the U.S. Open four times and the four previous winners are all Hall of Famers. Jack Nicklaus won in 1972, Tom Watson in 1982, Tom Kite in 1992 and Woods in 2000. Woods is not in the Hall of Fame but he will be when he becomes eligible.
Although Woods and Mickelson are the two favorites, it could be a European or an Asian player that wins the title. Lee Westwood is the third choice in the golf betting odds at SBG Global and he is playing as well as anyone as he won last week at the St. Jude Classic. Other contenders include K.J. Choi who finished fourth in the Masters, Padraig Harrington, who has won two majors in the last two years, Ernie Els who won twice earlier this year, Steve Stricker who is ranked fourth in the world and Jim Furyk who is ranked fifth.