US Open Preview And Tips – The First Major Of A New Golf Era?

It is fair to say that the last week or so in golf has been the most tumultuous in the modern game, certainly since the PGA Tour first grew to prominence in the 1950s and 60s.

The impact of the first LIV Golf Invitational tournament this past week, the subsequent banning of players that competed in that event from US PGA Tour events, combined with the announcement that the US Open would not impose a ban on any LIV Golf players from playing in their even this week at Brookline has shaken the foundations of golf.

These incredible events have somewhat dominated the headlines and meant that the US Open tournament at Brookline, which gets underway on Thursday this week, has been a little absent from the news pages.

However, we are now going to turn our attention to events at Brookline this week after a quick look at how things stand in the world of golf now.

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Before we focus in on the US Open and the latest betting odds, let’s first recap the chaotic events of the past week.

LIV Golf Invitational And USPGA Tour Create Golfing Divide

The first LIV Golf Invitational tournament was always going to be a controversial affair and it was no surprise that barely 15 minutes after the start of the event in St Albans north of London, that the USPGA tour announced that the 17 players from its tour competing in the event, plus any players that played in subsequent tours would be banned indefinitely from US PGA Tour events.

US PGA Tour head Jay Monahan also had some strong words in a memo released to US PGA Tour professionals explaining the tour’s decision and outlining why players participation in the LIV Golf events were unacceptable to the tour.

The dice had been cast, the US PGA Tour had followed through on its threat to suspend players and while some had resigned their tour card in advance of playing on the LIV Tour, others, such as Ian Poulter, had not resigned their US PGA Tour card and even intimated that legal action would be considered over the decision from the tour.

Lukewarm Backing From Other Organisations

If the US PGA Tour had hoped their decision would precipitate other tour and Major tournament organisers following suit and banning LIV Tour players from their events, then they will have been disappointed by the reaction so far.

Frist off, the USGA, organisers of this week’s US Open tournament, announced that while they were not taking sides in the rift between the two organisations, they would still be allowing LIV Golf Tour players that had qualified for the Major tournament to compete this week.

If that was a blow, then the news that the DP World Tour would not immediately follow suit and issue a ban, was another. Their European/World tour counterparts have not yet indicated what penalties if any they will apply to their members on the LIV Tour.

That may be because this tour offers the DP World Tour with a chance to offer competitive golf to LIV Golf Tour members outside of their tournaments, improving the quality of the field in these DP World events and thus improving the appeal of the events to fans, sponsors, broadcasters and the like.

It would also be somewhat karmic for the DP Tour to profit in this way, given that for many years many of its best players have always been tempted to cross the pond to play for the bigger money on offer on the US PGA Tour.

Similarly, there has been no official announcement from St Andrews over what is going to happen at the British Open in July, but the US PGA Tour announcement does seem to indicate that LIV Golf Tour players will not be considered for events such as the Ryder Cup and President’s Cup, or perhaps for the second Major of the year, the US PGA Championship.

The Exodus Could Continue In Portland

If the PGA”s strongly worded memo to members about the penalties handed out to players opting to play in the LIV Golf Invitational was intended to stop players leaving the tour, it doesn’t seem to have had the desired effect.

The 17 players that held US PGA Tour cards that competed in the opening event in St Albans last week, which saw one of those players, Charles Schwartzel win the event and with it set a new record for tournament winnings,  will likely be joined by a number of familiar faces in the second event in Portland, Oregon.

Bryson DeChambeau has confirmed that he is set to make the switch to the LIV Golf Tour for that event and he could well be joined by six more compatriots in Patrick Reed, Rickie Fowler, Matt Wolff, Pat Perez, Bubba Watson and Jason Kokrak.

If that is confirmed, then it would mean the next LIV Golf event could feature 8 former Major Champions, with 15 major victories between them.

McIlroy Adds Fuel To Fire With Comments After RBC Canadian Open Win

Rory McIlroy then added fuel to the fire with his comments after his two-shot victory at the RBC Canadian Open this weekend.

The Northern Ireland star won by two shots after shooting a final round 62 to claim his 21st victory on the PGA Tour and he explained why this win, in particular, was an important milestone for him.

“I wanted it a lot. I wanted it at the start of the day and there were a few different incentives in there…I had extra motivation {because] of what’s going on across the pond,” said the Irishman following his win.

“The guy [Greg Norman] that’s spearheading that tour has 20 wins on the PGA Tour and I was tied with him and I wanted to get one ahead of him. And I did. So that was really cool for me, just a little sense of pride on that one.”

“I went out with a lead and had to shoot eight under to get the job done, so the depth of talent on this tour is really, really impressive,” McIlroy concluded.

That last comment could well be a comment on the lack of depth of quality golfers on the LIV Tour, which featured just one player from inside the World’s top 15 at this event, and a number of players from way down the golf rankings.

So as this uncivil war in golf rages on, that sets us up nicely for what could well be the second Battle of Brookline later this week.

Why Brookline Is The Perfect Venue For This Week’s US Open

The Country Club at Brookline is no stranger to controversial golf tournaments. The 1999 Ryder Cup, known as “The Battle at Brookline” was contested there and led to massive complaints from the European team about the antics of the American team and fans.

That included the infamous scenes on the 17th green when Justin Leonard holed a huge putt and that led to players, fans and other members of the US entourage racing across the green, standing on the line of Jose Maria Olazabal’s putt, which he had to tie the hole.

So, could we be set for a rerun of the controversial scenes from 23 years ago?

And if so, which golfers could be in the thick of the action?

What Are The Latest Betting Odds For The US Open?

After his success at the 2021 US Open Championship, Spaniard Jon Rahm is a 16/1 shot to win a second US Open in a row, but he is not the favourite to win the event this year.

That honour goes to Rory McIlroy who is now 10/1 to win a third US Open ahead of Justin Thomas who is a 12/1 chance with Scottie Scheffler, the world number 1, rated a 14/1 shot, all of whom precede Rahm in the betting.

Cam Smith is a 20/1 chance after his successful season so far, with Xander Schauffele 22/1 followed by two groups of three players, the first at 25/1 are Jordan Spieth, Matt Fitzpatrick and Patrick Cantlay and the second at 28/1 are Sam Burns, Will Zalatoris and Collin Morikawa.

Of the LIV Golf professionals competing, Dustin Johnson is 40/1 to land the win, Louis Oosthuizen is 75/1, Talor Gooch 80/1 and Patrick Reed and Bryson DeChambeau are 90/1.

There will be a lot of interest in Phil Mickelson’s return to competitive golf in the US too, with Lefty rated a 200/1 chance to win another US Open title.

However, my pick here is an each way bet on Tommy Fleetwood, with the Englishman a 55/1 chance to win the event and seemingly coming back into good form.

One thing is certain, the atmosphere at Brookline is going to be interesting and this could be one of the most exploisive US Open tournaments ever and it all gets underway on Thursday.

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