Welcome to our 2012 US Open main tips, which is being played on the tough Lake Course at Olympic Club in San Francisco, California. For new readers Golf Betting System is the No1 Golf Betting resource that covers off every Major, European and PGA Tour tournament. That means golf tips across every one of the 48 weeks of the 2012 season! Great to have you on-board and why not enter our Punters League competition with £25 up for grabs at our Facebook Group? Click here for: US Open Stats | US Open Form Stats | YouTube Tips | US Open Longshots
Don't be fooled into thinking the Lake Course, which at 7,170 yards is the shortest course in recent Major history, will be taken apart this week. As Johnny Miller puts it, the Lake Course, which holds it's 5th US Open this week, is "the most no-nonsense course in the world." The course contains no water, although it's only a few hundred yards from the Pacific coast, only one fairway bunker, but the tree-lined fairways do feature the smallest of target landing areas and, to make matters worse for the players, 6 holes feature sloping fairways that go against the dog leg shape of the hole. Keeping the ball on the short-stuff or even within the tree-lined corridors is going to be almost impossible for a huge number of the field and rough, although graduated in nature, will be up to 4 inches in length. The greens, which were re-laid from Poa Annua to Bent grass in 2007 after Colt Knost won the 2007 US Amateur Championship, are small in size and 7 greens are accompanied by closely mown chipping areas. On top of that the greens will run up to 13 on the stimp meter this week which is almost Augusta-fast.
The first 6 holes at the Lake Course according to USGA Executive Director Mike Davis "offers the hardest start in golf." Throw in the 16th which is a 670 yard Par 5 (the longest hole in U.S. Open history) and you have one hell of a classical but ultimately technical test. The wind is also set to gust up to 20 mph on both Thursday and Friday so I'm expecting that only a small handful of players will be able to get into red numbers this week and I'd be amazed if -5/275 doesn't get the job done. Our US Open Preview is a great read and highlights the key rationale behind my tips below. However to summarise I've gone for players who are in the very best of form, who are motivated to win for varying reasons, who have decent recent Major results and who have a history of performing well at Par 70 technical tracks where Greens In Regulation (both from on and off the fairway), scrambling and bogey avoidance will be imperative. Destroying the myth that short, accurate hitters prosper at the US Open the past 5 champions have all averaged at least 291 yards from the tee in the respective seasons they won the title.
Tiger Woods 3pts Win 8/1 with Ladbrokes
Of the Big 5 in the betting market, Tiger Woods stands alone this week and for me he's a must back this week either with your own cash or as a cover bet with the Betfair/Skybet deals highlighted earlier. We picked up Tiger Woods at Bay Hill at 8/1 when he won his first PGA Tour tournament since 2009 and as we all know a fortnight back he proved the doubters wrong again by winning in style at Muirfield, both classical golf tests. So why am I convinced that Woods will contend this week in his home state of California where he has won 12 PGA Tour victories and was University educated just down the road at Stanford - after all surely the Lake Course will be too tight for his 'wild' driving? Fact of the matter is that the short 7,100 yard nature of the test this week will actually play into Tiger's hands as he will only need to take driver 4/5 times across each round. On top of that I'm also a believer that the Woods intimidation factor is well and truly back after the Sunday heroics of Muirfield and Woods will be desperate to capture his first Major since the 2008 US Open where he won on 1 leg at Torrey Pines. Indeed 2009 was Woods' last stellar season where despite not winning a Major (2nd at Hazeltine & 6th Augusta / Bethpage Black) he captured 5 PGA Tour wins at Bay Hill (Classical Par 70 then), Muirfield (Bent greened Classical), Congressional (Bent Poa Classical Par 70 then), Firestone (Bent Poa Technical Par 70) and Cog Hill (Bent Classical). Well fact of the matter is that Woods in 2012 is hitting more fairways: 22nd vs 86th Driving Accuracy category and hitting more Greens in Regulation: 7th vs 16th than he did in 2009. That has to be a major concern for the rest of the field who know that the Lake Course will be a high scoring test where Bogey Avoidance (Woods sits 7th in that season to date category) will be absolutely critical. RESULT: T21
Dustin Johnson 1.25pt EW 30/1 with Paddy Power
I was absolutely gutted when DJ won at the tight and technical Par 70 that is TPC Southwind last week. You see, Dustin was always going to be part of my US Open team this week so although it was obvious he was going to win in 2012 in his quest for automatic Ryder Cup qualification I never quite expected it on the "alien" Bermuda greens in Memphis in only his 2nd start since back injury suffered in March. However despite the fact that nobody has won back-to-back to capture the US Open I think Johnson is so motivated to grab a Ryder Cup spot, so fresh after a 3 month absence from competition, and so well suited to the technical nature of the Lake Course set-up I'm convinced that the South Carolina resident will contend again this week in a state where he absolutely thrives. California is a happy hunting ground where Dustin has delivered heavily at Pebble Beach: 1st 2009 & 2010, 5th 2012, 7th 2008; Riviera: 3rd 2010, 4th 2012, 10th 2009 and Torrey Pines: 3rd 2011. He also led the US Open at Pebble Beach in 2010 after 54 holes before ultimately capitulating on Sunday. Fact is though that Johnson has a Major in him and his infamous 5th at Whistling Straits again in 2010 and 2nd last year at the crazily technical Sandwich Par 70 highlight the fact that he has both the game and fortitude to keep knocking on the door. Its also apparent that people totally underestimate his short game where he currently sits 22nd (up 159 spots) in Scrambling and 50th (up 121 spots) in Stokes Gained Putting PGA Tour categories in 2012 vs 2011. Tie that in with the fact that he sits 3rd in GIR% from the rough and 28th in Bogey Avoidance and you start to paint the picture that DJ, who averages 303 yards off the tee in 2012, will be hitting alot of wedges this week, where others have mid-to-long irons in their hands. RESULT: MC
Justin Rose 1.25pt EW 30/1 with Bet365
Only Justin Rose can equal Tiger Woods in the momentum stakes and 30/1 about a player who has a recent form line of 8(Muirfield)-2(Wentworth)-9(Volvo WMP)-51(Sawgrass)-10(TPC Louisiana)-8(Augusta)-15(Bay Hill)-29(Copperhead)-1(Doral)-5(PGA National) is outstanding in my opinion. 8th at Augusta was an important result for me as that was Rose's first Major Top 10 since the PGA Championship in 2008 and I'm a believer in the fact that Justin "2012 style" can add to his 6 Top 10 and 5 Top 20 finishes at Major Championships. Indeed one more contending performance this week at Olympic Club should cement an automatic spot in Europe's Ryder Cup team so motivation will be high for the Florida-based 31 year old Englishman. Poor putting cost Rose at Wentworth but that won't be so much of a factor this week and what also appeals are his core game strengths where he sits 3rd in Bogey Avoidance, 3rd in Greens in Regulation, 5th in GIR% from the rough, and 6th in scrambling season to date PGA Tour categories. Recent wins at Valderrama (2007), Muirfield (2010), Aronimink (2010) and Cog Hill (2011) prove that the Lake Course will suit. RESULT: T21
Sergio Garcia 1pt EW 45/1 with Sky Bet
"El Nino" is starting to peak just when he knows that he has to deliver results for Ryder Cup qualification. We could debate whether Garcia will get a captain's pick from Olazabal, but there is absolutely no doubt that both parties will want the talented Spaniard to qualify automatically and the 17-time Major Top 10 finisher will thrive on this Bent greened technical test where his suspect but much improved (up 125 Strokes Gained Putting PGA Tour category spots in 2012) won't be highlighted. 3rd last week at Bro Hoff Slott on a long Par 72 that didn't truly suit highlights to me that Garcia is approaching a peak of form and interestingly he was 2nd in the GIR% category last week. Career wins at Colonial (Bent greened Classical Par 70) in 2001, Westchester (Bent Classical) in 2001/2004, TPC Four Seasons (Bent Technical Par 70), and TPC Sawgrass (Technical Par 70 style set-up) in 2008 highlight that the Lake Course will suit and his first Major win allied to capturing his first PGA Tour win since the aforementioned Players win in 2008 will provide all the motivation required. Whether Sergio has the mental strength to triumph remains to be seen but his emotional victory at the Bent greened Par 70 at Valderrama last autumn simply adds fuel to the flames for me. RESULT: T38
Louis Oosthuizen 1pt EW 60/1 with Stan James
The final member of my US Open team is 2010 Open Champion and 2012 Augusta runner-up Louis Oosthuizen who thrives when the sea air hits his nostrils and when he putts on fast Bent carpet. That's hardly surprising for the South African who grew up at Mossel Bay on the South Cape coast, whose CV is littered with Bent green victories and contending performances. I actually see Oostie's Augusta play off defeat to Bubba Watson as a positive this week as Rory McIlroy proved exactly 12 months ago that the disappointment of a defeat at Augusta can be turned into a positive. Indeed straight after that play off defeat Louis showed amazing character to jet straight off to Malaysia and capture their national Open. Since then he has also performed well on debut at the classical Bent greened Par 70 at Colonial only succumbing to a Final Round 73 when he went out in the 4th from last group on Sunday. 9th last year at Congressional, I think Oosthuizen has the scrambling skills (1st on the European Tour in 2012) and ability from the rough (2nd in Proximity to Hole and 9th in GIR% both from the rough) to contend again this week. RESULT: MC