- Jason Day has stormed to the top of the world rankings in 2016 with some blistering results, including victory at the Players Championship last month. Second-placed Spieth has two titles this year, most recently the DEAN & DELUCA Invitational. McIlroy is also in decent form after winning the Irish Open.
- Sheffield’s Danny Willett triumphed at the opening major of 2016 when he took advantage of a Spieth meltdown on the final round of The Masters to finish three clear of the defending champion and Lee Westwood.
- Spieth won last year’s US Open after edging out Dustin Johnson and Louis Oosthuizen, but the event was held at Chambers Bay in 2015. Angel Cabrera lifted the US Open trophy the last time it was staged at Oakmont, but his final score of five over par bears testament to the difficulty of the course.
It is no surprise to see Day, Spieth and McIlroy lead the betting for outright winner. They are the top three in the world and all in form, and odds of between 13/2 and 10/1 are inviting. However, the rigours of Oakmont are unlike any other course as it really tests every single aspect - there are no hiding places here and any sort of weakness in approach play or around the green can’t really be covered just by solid driving and putting.
Rickie Fowler’s form has hardly been inspiring in the build-up to the tournament but he does have the sort of all-round game to cope with the various obstacles that Oakmont can present and should be a contender for a spot in the top five even if he doesn’t emerge as the victor. Among the outsiders, South Africa’s Charl Schwartzel could be one to watch and is at 6/1 just to finish in the top ten. He finished seventh last year and has two titles to his name in 2016.
Looking at players who have flourished at Oakmont in the past, Paul Casey will have fond memories of his astonishing 66 in the second round of the US Open nine years ago and can be backed at 7/1 for a top-ten finish. Masters champion Willett has shown that he has the game to win a major and will have the confidence too, but on a tricky course the shrewdest bets are probably to place rather than win and someone like Fowler offers good odds.
- Sports.net’s top tip: Rickie Fowler to finish in the top five – 13/2 at Bet365