Richard Bland U.S. Open Odds: Would He Become Biggest Longshot Winner in Tournament History?

Richard Bland U.S. Open Odds: Would He Become Biggest Longshot Winner in Tournament History? article feature image
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Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images. Pictured: Richard Bland

The U.S. Open has been a favorites’ tournament. Just look at the recent winners — Bryson, Brooks, Spieth, DJ, Rose, Webb, Rory, Tiger. Even the “longer” shots to bring it home haven’t been slouches — Gary Woodland, former World No. 1 Martin Kaymer, Graeme McDowell.

Richard Bland looks out of place on that list. The 48-year-old entered the tournament anywhere from 250-1 to 1000-1, depending on the sportsbook. He’s had a fine career across the pond, but just picked up his first-ever win on the European Tour in the Betfred British Masters last month in his 478th start. It was the second most starts without a win in Tour history.

DraftKings lists Bland at 25-1 to win entering Saturday, the 12th betting choice on the board. And history says Bland stands a chance this weekend. Twenty-three of the last 25 U.S. Open winners have been within two shots entering the weekend, which whittles the list down to six players if you think that trend holds. It’s hard to score and make up big deficits in U.S. Open conditions.

So where would a win rank among the greatest U.S. Open and major longshots of all time? It’s a complicated question we don’t have a great answer to.

Sportsbooks didn’t used to offer odds on every player in the field. They’d often list the 30-50 best or most popular players, and then you could bet the rest of the players as “The Field” at a shorter number, usually somewhere in the neighborhood of 4-1. You’d cash your ticket if any of the ~100 other players not listed won.

So when Michael Campbell topped Tiger Woods in 2005, he was part of the field, meaning he likely would have been well north of 100-1, at the very least. He actually needed to drain a putt on the last hole of sectional qualifying to get into the U.S. Open.

Some time in the last 15 years, bookmakers realized bettors couldn’t resist the promise of these 500-1 payouts that usually turn out to be donations to the sportsbook, especially at a tournament like the U.S. Open.

The longest shot on record is Lucas Glover in 2009 at 150-1. He wasn’t a favorite but had won on TOUR before, and posted 17 top 25s in 31 starts two years prior.

Phil Mickelson’s win at the PGA Championship last month at 200-1 made him one of the longest winners in major history in the last two decades, but again, we don’t have odds for every individual winner.

Via SportsOddsHistory, here are the odds for every U.S. Open winner since 1984.

Past U.S. Open Winners’ Odds

*Denotes golfer was part of field bet

Year Golfer Odds
2020 Bryson DeChambeau 25-1
2019 Gary Woodland 60-1
2018 Brooks Koepka 25-1
2017 Brooks Koepka 30-1
2016 Dustin Johnson 12-1
2015 Jordan Spieth 8-1
2014 Martin Kaymer 40-1
2013 Justin Rose 25-1
2012 Webb Simpson 50-1
2011 Rory McIlroy 20-1
2010 Graeme McDowell 60-1
2009 Lucas Glover 150-1
2008 Tiger Woods 2-1
2007 Angel Cabrera 100-1
2006 Geoff Ogilvy 80-1
2005 Michael Campbell 6-1*
2004 Retief Goosen 30-1
2003 Jim Furyk 20-1
2002 Tiger Woods 2-1
2001 Retief Goosen 4-1*
2000 Tiger Woods 3-1
1999 Payne Stewart 25-1
1998 Lee Janzen 25-1
1997 Ernie Els 18-1
1996 Steve Jones 7-2*
1995 Corey Pavin 22-1
1994 Ernie Els 14-1
1993 Lee Janzen 50-1
1992 Tom Kite 20-1
1991 Payne Stewart 13-1
1990 Hale Irwin 3-1
1989 Curtis Strange 8-1
1988 Curtis Strange 4-1
1987 Scott Simpson 18-1*
1986 Raymond Floyd 25-1
1985 Andy North 50-1
1984 Fuzzy Zoeller 18-1

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