Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
- Expect sun and wind — potential 20-mph gusts — to play a factor at Shinnecock Hills.
- Low-ball hitters such as Marc Leishman (+6500 to win), Matt Kuchar (+7000) and Tommy Fleetwood (+4000) might have an advantage over Mother Nature.
SOUTHAMPTON, N.Y. — If it takes consistency to win a U.S. Open, then Mother Nature might wind up on top of the leaderboard this week.
The four tournament rounds should feature similar weather patterns each day — sun, warmth, dryness and, thankfully, a decent amount of wind.
Daily high temperatures will range from the mid-to-high 70s, never expected to get above 80 on any given day. There’s a brief 20% chance of rain during three of the four days, but hardly anything that will impact the competitive balance.
Shinnecock’s lone defense will come in the form of those breezes, which will blow up to 14 mph on any given morning and 20 mph in the afternoons. It is forecasted to shift from northwest to southwest, likely meaning four holes on each side of the course will play into a headwind.
How will this affect specific wagering possibilities? Let’s examine two ways.
1. Low-ball hitters might have an advantage by keeping the ball out of the wind on those holes playing into it. Players such as Marc Leishman (+6500 to win), Matt Kuchar (+7000) and Tommy Fleetwood (+4000) can be considered among those who don’t launch too many shots airborne.
2. The first-round leader wager: Like with most other events, you’ll want to look for a player with an early Thursday tee time who can take advantage of less wind and softer greens. Among those worth the risk are Rickie Fowler (+2600), who grabbed the first-round lead at last year’s U.S. Open, and Patrick Cantlay (+6500), the only player in the top five in Round 1 scoring average this season who has a Thursday morning tee time.