by Randy Haynes, TGS Golf Analyst

Randy Haynes is one of Europe's foremost golf analysts, with specific expertise in the American PGA Tour. Special to TGS, Randy provides a brief look at players to watch in this weekend's US Open Championship at Chambers Bay, near Tacoma...


So far the youngsters have been “putting it to the established stars” on the main Tours this season, with 21-year-old Jordan Spieth winning the Masters; 26-year-old Rickie Fowler producing a blistering final six holes and then playoff performance to triumph in The Players and South Korean Byeong-Hun An winning the European Tour flagship BMW at Wentworth just to remind the golfing world that the threat from the east is still very real.

And it is to the east that I turn for my main bet in the US Open that starts Thursday 18 June at the (supposedly) fiendishly difficult Chambers Bay venue in Washington.

Those who have followed my musings for the past couple of years will know that I have utmost respect for 23-year-old Hideki Matsuyama and believe that he will break the Japanese hoodoo and register a first major for the land of the rising sun.

Matsuyama may still be a little “twitchy” under the gun but it is difficult to se a better bet amongst the likely contenders.

The Japanese is now a proven winner on the PGA Tour and regular contender in the top class events. His form is solid and he has a nice draw in company with past Open champion Graeme McDowell and steady Matt Kuchar.

I am hoping that the long-range weather forecasts are accurate and that there is no significant draw bias and he will be able to take advantage of the 8.06 Thursday morning tee time.

Matsuyama is nearly five times the price of bookies favourite Rory McIlroy -- who is an unbackable 7/1 chance, with Speith a couple of points bigger and odds of 20/1 on the likes of Fowler, Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson and Justin Rose.

At 40/1 Matsuyama will do for me with each way (top 5 places) savers on George McNeil and Erik Compton -- who are both available at 300/1 and have the steady (but unspectacular) profiles that often come to the fore in the USGA’s annual grind fest.

If anyone makes a case for Tiger Woods at 50/1 I suggest that you match bet the poor soul with any number of players (including Matsuyama) around those odds. If the former world No.1 can make the cut it will be an achievement!

Have a good one and let’s hope that they can keep the play moving and the rounds under 5 hours!

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