After two very dramatic Major Championships already this year, American players have landed both the top honours so far this golf season. Tiger Woods fabulous comeback victory at The Masters in April was as dramatic as it was emotional and this was then followed by a sensational performance by Brooks Koepka at the PGA Championship, where he recovered from a meltdown on the back nine of his final round to claim his second successive win at the tournament.

While Wood’s victory at Augusta was his 15th Major title in his illustrious career, Koepka’s win at the PGA was his fourth and was a unique double, as it meant that Koepka had won both the US Open and the PGA Championship twice each in successive years. Landing the US Open in both 2017 and 2018 and the USPGA in 2018 and 2019.

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Koepka now has a chance to make it an incredible third US Open victory in a row. Only one other player in the history of the game, Scot Willie Anderson, has landed such an achievement in the tournament in the past, when he won three tournaments in a row from 1903 to 1905, after winning his first US Open in 1901.

No golfer since has managed to win three US Open tournaments in a row though a number of players have matched Koepka’s record of two wins in a row in the tournament. The very first American winner of the tournament, John McDermott won twice in 1911 and 1912, and then the great Bobby Jones was a back to back winner in 1929 and 1930. Ralph Guldahl repeated the feat in 1937 and 1938 and Ben Hogan did likewise in 1950 and 1951 (as well as winning in 1948 and 1953).

In the modern era though, only one player has matched Koepka’s back to back success and that was American Curtis Strange who landed victors in 1988 and 1989. Koepka has now won three of the last five Major’s contested and four of the last nine, which given how competitive the game is at the moment, is an astonishing rate of success.

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The US Open 2019 Preview

If Koepka or Woods are to achieve their second Major success of the season, then they will have to tame the notoriously tough links course at Pebble Beach in California. The famous course last hosted the US Open back in 2010, when Northern Ireland’s Graeme McDowell was the winner and before that, it had been host in 2000, when Tiger Woods claimed the title.

The course is not massively long compared to some other Major venues, at 7,075 yards in total. However, it’s narrow fairways, deep cut rough, undulating greens and the potential for strong prevailing winds mean that its often one of the toughest tests a top golfer can face on their quest for a Major title.

The 156-strong field will be competing for a prize fund of $12,500,000 and the winner of the tournament will pocket a cool $2,250,000 with the victory.

Course Layout and Card

  • 1st – 380 yards – Par 4
  • 2nd – 516 yards – Par 4
  • 3rd – 404 yards – Par 4
  • 4th – 331 yards – Par 4
  • 5th – 195 yards – Par 3
  • 6th – 523 yards – Par 5
  • 7th – 109 yards – Par 3
  • 8th – 428 yards – Par 4
  • 9th – 526 yards – Par 4
  • 10th – 495 yards – Par 4
  • 11th – 390 yards – Par 4
  • 12th – 202 yards – Par 3
  • 13th – 445 yards – Par 4
  • 14th – 580 yards – Par 5
  • 15th – 397 yards – Par 4
  • 16th – 403 yards – Par 4
  • 17th – 208 yards – Par 3
  • 18th – 543 yards – Par 5

Total, 7075 yards (Par 71)

Signature holes include the Par 5 14th hole, which is considered by many to be one of the toughest holes on the PGA Tour. The very short par 3 seventh hole is another signature hole featuring a small green where players hit out towards the ocean from an elevated tee position. The 18th is also one of the most stunning holes in golf, playing along the ocean coast and featuring a tree in the middle of the fairway, as well as a 100-yard long bunker running from the green along the fairway.

The course has hosted five previous US Open Championships in 1972, 1982, 1992, 2000 and 2010. It will host it again in 2027. Four of the five previous winners at Pebble Beach have come from the United States (Jack Nicklaus, Tom Watson, Tom Kite and Tiger Woods) with only Graeme McDowell’s victory in 2010 coming from a non-US born player.

The course also hosted the 1977 USPGA Championship, which was won by Lanny Wadkins.

Woods victory in 2000 is memorable as being the largest ever victory in a Major tournament. Woods was the only player under par for the tournament, posting an incredible score of 12-under, he was 15 shots ahead of the player that finished in second place in the tournament.

US Open Contenders

After their victories in the two previous Majors this year, Tiger Woods and Brooks Koepka are very much at the forefront of many punters minds when it comes to winning this event, Koepka is 9/1 to win his third US Open in a row, while Woods is a 12/1 shot to land his second US Open victory at Pebble Beach.

However, after a stunning 7-shot victory at the Canadian Open at the weekend, finished off with a stunning 61 in his final round, Rory McIlroy is the new favourite at bet365 to win the title at 8/1, sharing that honour with the current World number 2 Dustin Johnson, himself a former US Open Champion when winning in 2016.

Those four golfers are well clear of the majority of others in the field, with American duo Patrick Cantlay and Jordan Spieth 20/1 chances, Justin Rose and Rickie Fowler both rated at 25/1 while Xander Schauffle and Jophn Rahm are both 28/1 to win.  In form European duo Tommy Fleetwood and Francesco Molinari are 33/1 shots, alongside Australian duo Jason Day and Adam Scott.

Bet365 pay out each way places at 1/5 the price up to the top eight for this event and a good outside bet for that could well be Tony Finau, the long hitting Hawaiian is a 50/1 shot but he has the game to go well around Pebble Beach.

For the win though, I think all eyes will be on Woods and Koepka but I think this could well be the time that Dustin Johnson ends his wait for another Major title.