This Thursday, the best golfers in the world will tee-off at the Chambers Bay course at University Place in Washington for the second major of the season.

The choice of venue for this year’s US Open should make this tournament an intriguing contest as many of the top professionals have never played on the course in a competitive tournament. Early feedback from the players that have made the trip to Washington to practice on the course has been very mixed, with some suggesting that the venue would be more suited to a British Open. Ryan Palmer, Ian Poulter and Webb Simpson are among the players that have already expressed concerns about the way the eight-year-old course might play this weekend. So what is all the fuss about?

Chambers Bay is a links course built in an old quarry near Tacoma and has a reputation for having an undulating surface, tricky rough areas and very difficult greens. The course can be set up to play at any distance between 7,200 and 7,600 yards and has four par 4 holes of 500 yards or more. In addition, the unpredictable weather can make things even more difficult with strong winds and heavy rain possible, even at this time of year.

The reaction is exactly what the course management and designers were hoping for when they set out to create a course that would require the elite players to think differently about their game. The players that get their head down and study the intricacies of the course in the coming days will certainly have an advantage over those that simply bemoan the fact that the course is about as intimidating as it gets at the top level.

The choice of venue should certainly make this weekend’s event an enthralling spectacle for golf fans with below-par scores few and far between. So who has got what it takes to navigate their way around the course from hell?

One player that already has an advantage over his rivals is Masters Champion Jordan Speith. As usual, the 21-year-old will be guided round the course by his trusted caddie Michael Greller, who just happens to be one of the few people at the top level who has a working knowledge of the venue. Not only is Greller a resident of the area but he also worked at Chambers Bay before taking up his role with the Green Jacket holder.

After a brief and maybe inevitable dip in form that followed his Masters triumph, Speith is once again playing the kind of golf that should at least put him in contention. His current form combined with his ability to adapt his game to most course styles will make him an attractive bet for fans of golf betting. He can be backed as high as 9/1 to win his second major in a row but the 23/10 with Betfair for a top five finish looks like the safest bet this weekend.

Of the rest of the field, one player who has really got down to some serious practice on this course is Phil Mickelson. Three top 3 finishes in his last 5 events including a second place at the Masters is good form in anyone’s book, and the five-time major winner has shown previous form on links courses with a British Open win at Muirfield. Mickelson can be backed at 5/1 to finish in the top 5 with Betfair.

Top tips

Jordan Speith – top 5 finish @ 23/10 with Betfair

Phil Mickelson – top 5 finish @ 5/1 with Betfair

(Prices correct at time of writing)

Leave a Reply