Sobel: Ranking All 156 Golfers in the U.S. Open Field

Jun 13, 2019 9:58 PM EDT
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Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: The fifth hole yardage sign during a practice round of the 2019 U.S. Open golf tournament at Pebble Beach Golf Links.

  • Brooks Koepka and Dustin Johnson are the betting favorites to win the 2019 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach, but what are their chances of actually taking home the season's third golf major championship?
  • Jason Sobel ranks the entire U.S. Open field, from 1 to 156, with need-to-know info on every player.

PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. — I’ve been ranking entire major championship fields for a long time, and they’re never easy. But the way the majors are scheduled now, they become progressively more difficult as the year continues.

The Masters is obviously the smallest field, which makes it the easiest to rank. Don’t get me wrong: That doesn’t mean it’s “easy” (or else I’d actually get some of ’em right), but having 60 fewer players than any other major certainly helps. The PGA Championship owns the deepest field, but the benefit is that, other than the 20 club professionals, it includes players with whom we’re familiar.

This week is the U.S. Open, where the “open” aspect of the tournament ups the difficulty level a few notches. (And in my mind, it gets even tougher at next month’s Open Championship, which usually accrues a greater percentage of lesser-known qualifiers.)

I’ve done enough research going into the proceedings at Pebble Beach that I’ve hopefully not only separated the elite-level contenders from the pretenders, but also identified the qualifiers who are valuable as top-20 wagers, head-to-head bets or DFS lineup-fillers.

The course will play a mere 7,075 yards on the scorecard — and even shorter when some tees are tweaked — nearly 200 yards shorter than any other venue in the past half-decade, and in some cases as much as 700 yards shorter. Outlined by luscious rough, there will be a premium on accuracy this week, with players needing to keep the ball on these tight fairways and small greens in order to give themselves a chance at contending.

With that in mind, here is my list of all 156 competitors this week, with notes on every player in the field.

All odds via the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook, as of Tuesday morning.

U.S. Open Player Rankings

1. Jordan Spieth

Odds to win: 16-1

He’s baaa-aaack. Following a top-20 drought that dated back to last summer, Spieth has now played well in three consecutive starts and should draw considerable interest as a potential champion this week. After finishing low amateur at the 2012 U.S. Open and winning at Chambers Bay three years later, Spieth’s success at this tourney has seriously slowed, with results of MC, T-35 and T-37 in the last three years. Then again, it can be argued that those venues were set up a little more for the thumpers, while Pebble, site of his AT&T win two years ago, should be right up his alley.

2. Patrick Cantlay

Odds to win: 16-1

The switch has undoubtedly been flipped. Over the past two months, Cantlay is fulfilling his massive potential, easily resembling one of the world’s best players. Finishes of T-9 at the Masters and T-3 at the PGA Championship are also evidence that he can play his best golf in the biggest events, the true mark of being an elite performer. Back on California poa annua greens, he should feel at home for this event, which might suit his game even better than the year’s first two majors. And if you need one more bit of evidence, there’s this: Cantlay leads the PGA Tour in bogey avoidance this season.

3. Tommy Fleetwood

Odds to win: 30-1

There’s a clear line of demarcation for Fleetwood at major championships. He’s yet to figure out the Masters or PGA Championship, never finishing better than T-17 in eight combined appearances at those two, but his results at the U.S. Open and Open Championship have been much better, including solo fourth and runner-up at the former in the past two years. For those waiting on an eventual Fleetwood victory, the next two should offer way more opportunity for him than the first two of ’em did. Consider it a surprise if he doesn’t challenge in at least one of the next two, if not both of them.

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