The 2011 U.S. Open Championship begins this Thursday at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Maryland. Television coverage will begin at 7:00 a.m. (PT) on ESPN and NBC will finish off the national broadcast through Sunday.
There is no consensus favorite on the Don Best odds screen for the second major of the year, but there is a consensus top-3. Different numbers can be found for Phil Mickelson, Lee Westwood and Luke Donald including all three being tied for the top spot in some cases.
Mickelson, who is +950 to +1648, has finished as a runner-up in this tournament five times in his career. Thus far in 2011 he scored one victory at the Shell Houston Open and also a second-place finish at the Farmers Insurance Open. The soon to be 41-year-old golfer did open as the favorite when the numbers first came out.
On the PGA Tour, Westwood (+1000 to +1433) has not cracked the top-10 so far this year but has four top-25 finishes. The native of England has finished in the top-3 five times in his last 11 majors, though, and has also been playing very well worldwide.
The number one player in the Fed Ex Cup standings is Luke Donald and he is +1000 to +1504 on the Don Best screen. He has made the cut eight times in the PGA Tour so far in 2011 and all eight times he has finished in the top 10. Donald is on a pretty remarkable run of consistency and will look to continue that at this tournament.
Matt Kuchar (+2200 to +2600) is coming off a second place finish at The Memorial Tournament, Dustin Johnson (+2300 to +2700) took fourth, and Rory McIlroy (+1600 to +2158) placed fifth.
The last time the U.S. Open was played at Congressional was in 1997 and the winner that year was Ernie Els. In 2011, Els is +6000 to +9000 to win the tournament again.
Defending champion Graeme McDowell is +3300 to +5500 repeat. McDowell is currently 72nd in the point standings with three top-10 finishes this year.
Tiger Woods will not be participating as he withdrew last week from this year’s U.S. Open due to injury.