Adon: 5 Proven Longshots Who Can Contend at Pebble Beach
Caylor Arnold-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Martin Kaymer
- Backing longshots to win the U.S. Open is usually a dicey proposition, but Pebble Beach sets up perfectly for some middle-of-the-pack golfers to contend.
- Adon analyzes five longshots who are a good fit for the shorter course and offer betting value in both the outright and top-20 markets.
Now I know what everybody is thinking after reading this headline: This is the U.S. Open. This is Pebble Beach. This is Elite SZN. While I agree that's generally the case at this event — and I have a heavy stake on one of the Big Cats near the top of the odds market — if there ever was a U.S. Open course that could give hope to the middle of the field, Pebble Beach is the one.
You can't bully Pebble Beach with driver like the world's best were able to do at the last few U.S. Opens, which is great news for both gamblers and golf purists alike.
The five longshots that I have wagered on below are each proven closers who have combined to win three majors, two Players Championships and 25 worldwide events across the PGA and European Tours!
In addition to outrights, I will have a top-20 wager on each of these golfers at good odds since all five are listed at 100-1+ odds to win. These top-20 bets are musts with longshot outright bets if you're looking to sustain your bankroll. Just look back at my PGA Championship longshots article, which didn't cash an outright winner but featured Shane Lowry, who finished eighth. If you placed top-10 and/or top-20 wagers on Lowry as I advised, you ended that week in good shape.
Speaking of Lowry, he's a good example of why you should be sure to follow me on Twitter, in addition to reading me here. Last Thursday, after a hot start from Lowry at the RBC Canadian Open, I tweeted that I bet the Irishman at 125-1 odds for the U.S. Open.
He went on to finish second in Canada and his odds have shortened to 50-1. Since this article is meant to highlight guys I like at 100-1 odds or higher, I haven't included him below.
All odds as of Tuesday evening.
Odds to win: 100-1
Don't look now, but we could be in the midst of a career renaissance for this two-time major champion. Kaymer now has two top-10 finishes in his past four starts and was cruising at the Memorial a few weeks ago, starting the final round with a two-shot lead, before eventually finishing third.
It's easy to forget, but Kaymer was once the No. 1 player in the world, and his 2014 U.S. Open victory — a wire-to-wire, eight-shot win — was one of the most impressive major performances in history. Kaymer also finished in eighth place the last time the U.S. Open was held at Pebble in 2010. This is our mulligan and I will not miss out on Kaymer at these odds.
Odds to win: 125-1
Na has two more PGA Tour wins than Jordan Spieth in the last year. He proved with a win at Colonial a few weeks ago that he can contend at shorter courses. Pebble will reward Na's accuracy and great scrambling.
Some of his best career finishes have come on the West Coast on poa greens. He also finished seventh in the 2016 U.S. Open at Oakmont, which features poa greens. Na's confidence has to be at a career-high level with his recent success, and these odds are just flat-out wrong in my opinion.
Si Woo Kim
Odds to win: 150-1
Death. Taxes. Betting Si Woo Kim at triple-digit odds. Nothing new to see here. The man who won the Players Championship as a 21-year-old is a golf gambler's dream due to his inconsistency. Oddsmakers price players based off recent form and Si Woo’s propensity to either contend or miss the cut is great for our purposes.
During the West Coast swing earlier this year, Kim finished third at Riviera and T4 at Pebble, two courses notorious for their poa greens. Si Woo's irons have tailed off recently but his scrambling has remained top notch, which is important due to the very small greens at Pebble.
Odds to win: 150-1
I tweeted out last Thursday that I was grabbing Willett at 200-1 odds, as he was getting off to a nice start in Canada. He would eventually finish T8, which is another step in the right direction for the former Masters champion.
After a few years battling injury and his golf game, Willett finally started showing signs of life again last summer before winning again at the European Tour's final event of the 2018 season. Willett performs best on tough tracks and in tough conditions, so he should be licking his chops this week now that his game appears to be back in contending form.
Odds to win: 200-1
Yes, I am more interested in Pan's top-20 odds (+550) but will have a small bet on him to win due to this being a great course fit. C.T. went on to grab his breakthrough win at par-70 Harbour Town earlier this year and also recently finished T3 at par-70 Colonial, both of which are shorter tracks that place an emphasis on accuracy.
Pan was the No. 1 amateur in the world in 2013 and went to college on the West Coast at Washington, so he should be familiar with these greens.