Bookmakers braced for a US Open Rahm raid
Belief in Jon Rahm is immense in the punting community and the Spanish youngster has firmly established himself as clear fifth favourite for the US Open, which starts in Wisconsin.
The big four of Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy, Jason Day and Jordan Spieth had some distance between themselves and the rest in outright betting for the second Major of the season, but while Spieth is being shunned and has drifted to 16-1, money continues to pour in for Rahm.
The US Tour Rookie of the Year honour seems almost certain to be heading the way of Rahm, who won the Farmers Insurance Open by three shots at the end of January. He signed off with a dramatic eagle on the 18th hole at Torrey Pines for a glorious breakthrough victory, being chalked up at 66-1 for the US Open.
Those odds have tumbled in the months since, with Rahm making the each-way places a further five times, finishing runner-up to Johnson in the WGC-Dell Technologies World Match Play in March and to Kevin Kisner in the Dean & Deluca Invitational last month. The 22-year-old is no bigger than 20-1 for US Open glory, with play scheduled to start at 12.45pm UK and Ireland time.
Rahm, who was the low amateur in last year’s US Open and finished in 23rd spot, tees off at 1.51pm, with Rickie Fowler and Hideki Matsuyama for company, and 8-1 tournament favourite Johnson starts his campaign a little while later.
Hills spokesman Rupert Adams has reported Rahm, Adam Scott and Thomas Pieters as the three players being most supported by their clients. “We have had a very busy day,” said Adams. “And have been slightly surprised by who is being so well backed.”
Rahm is a powerful, aggressive player who seems well suited to the design of Erin Hills and he will probably have been pleased to see greenkeepers hacking into the fescue rough on four holes on Tuesday afternoon. The controversial move, which angered Rory McIlroy, has made the course slightly easier and Spieth has been predicting a low winning score.
“I don’t see par winning the tournament,” said Spieth. “I see closer to five to ten under. Someone who has very good control of the ball off the tee will have plenty of opportunities to make birdies, given the conditions that we’re expecting.”
Those conditions are likely to be extremely soggy. Storms have been softening the layout this week and further rain is expected today, Friday and Saturday.
It seems Phil Mickelson’s only hope of competing is a waterlogged course, which is extremely unlikely to take four hours to clear given a dry Thursday forecast.
Mickelson needs a four-hour delay to have any hope of making his tee-time, having committed to attending the high-school graduation of his daughter in California.
Coral reported late money for Johnson and spokesman John Hill said: “We have taken twice as many bets on DJ than we have on McIlroy, Day or Spieth.”