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Anybody who watched Ben Taylor make the longest putt of his career, a 72 ½-footer for eagle on the fourth playoff hole Sunday at the Canadian Open, should have a soft spot this week for seeing an American win the biggest golf tournament in America (other than the Masters, depending on your opinion).

It was the first time in 69 years that a Canadian won the Canadian Open, so there is a home-turf factor in play that we will get to below.

"It's a tournament that we've circled on our calendar since probably junior golf," Taylor said. "To kind of break that curse, if you want to call it, is -- I'm pretty speechless. I don't think it's going to sink in for quite some time what happened today."

In the late spring and summer, it is tough to match the drama that golf can produce on a weekly basis. On the European Tour, Dale Whitnell shot a second-round 61 after holing out for eagle on No. 18 in the first round to win the men’s portion of the Scandinavian Mixed event. Meanwhile, Wisconsin native Steve Stricker won by five shots in Madison, Wis. on the Champions Tour for another triumph in his home state, where he has a bit of a history of success at Whistling Straits as Ryder Cup captain.

Monday is a travel day for everyone who has qualified for the U.S. Open, and autograph hounds will be circling at LAX as the world’s best golfers – a majority of whom are American – fly in and get ready for next weekend’s U.S. Open in the shadow of Hugh Hefner’s Playboy Mansion adjacent to the seventh hole.

Matt Fitzpatrick of England is the defending champion, and Jon Rahm of Spain won this thing two years ago. We have not had an American champion since Bryson DeChambeau won at Winged Foot in Mamaroneck, N.Y., in 2020 with no spectators in attendance because of COVID restrictions.

Well, the pandemic is now behind us, and a new week of building a positive gambling bankroll is upon us. Congrats could be in order for all those who took the Denver Nuggets to win the NBA title back in the preseason, or the Vegas Golden Knights to win the Stanley Cup prior to the start of the NHL season. Hitting on high-priced futures wagers is not easy, but it’s the preferred strategy of some sharp gamblers -- a subject we will delve into in a future article. Already, for instance, the Betway board has odds listed for next February’s Super Bowl.

But this article is about golf, and the only thing we can be certain of is that a lot of money will be coming in on Scottie Scheffler (+700), Jon Rahm (+1000), Brooks Koepka (+1100), Patrick Cantlay (+1400) and Rory McIlroy (+1400), the five favorites.

Odds to win the US Open Golf 2023

Scottie Scheffler +650
Jon Rahm +1000
Brooks Koepka +1100
Patrick Cantlay +1400
Rory McIlroy +1200
Viktor Hovland +1800
Xander Schauffele +1800
Cameron Smith +2500
Max Homa +2800
Jordan Spieth +2200
Collin Morikawa +3000
Tyrrell Hatton +2800
Matt Fitzpatrick +3000
Dustin Johnson +3500
Tony Finau +3300
Justin Rose +3500
Cameron Young +4500
Tommy Fleetwood +4000
Hideki Matsuyama +4000
Bryson DeChambeau +4000
Sunjae Im +5000
Justin Thomas +3500
Jason Day+4000
Rickie Fowler +4500
Shane Lowry +5000

Sam Burns +6600

See the full U.S. Open Golf 2023 betting lines on Betway Sportsbook

2023 US Open Golf Betting Preview, Predictions and Top picks

It is not Scheffler, who played the course twice during the 2017 Walker Cup when he qualified as the U.S. Amateur runner-up and won only once. It is not Koepka, who won the PGA Championship and finished tied for second at the Masters due to a final-round 75. It is not Rahm, who won the Masters and has three other wins this season but finished in a tie for 50th at the PGA. And it is not McIlroy, who is too emotional about the PGA-LIV merger to have a clear head.

We saw that to a degree in the Canadian Open when he shot a final round 72 to finish in a tie for 12th. Cantlay? He took a week off after finishing 74-78 at the Memorial, and although he is from Long Beach, Calif. and has local knowledge, that 78 was his worst round of the year by three strokes, so he is not exactly peaking. Our pick is Viktor Hovland, who won the Memorial in a playoff his last time out, finished tied for second at the PGA and tied for seventh at the Masters. The Norwegian has not had an above-par round all season and is ranked No. 5 in the world. His odds of +1600 are especially appealing. We also like Scheffler to finish Top 5 (+165).

The Pick: Viktor Hovland to win the U.S. Open (+1600)

U.S. Open Sleepers 2023

Morikawa went 4-0 at the 2017 Walker Cup when it was held at Los Angeles Country Club, and 4-0 is not all that bad. When you can come across a golfer who has had success at a course that has rarely been used for major championships, you gotta run with that. Keep in mind, however, that Morikawa withdrew from his last tournament because of back spasms when he was just two shots off the lead with one round remaining at The Memorial, but we would imagine that two weeks of treatment should have those back spasms worked out.

It is not like back spasms cannot be cured with proper stretching and medication. Also, it is worth noting that he finished third at Torrey Pines in California in January and tied for sixth at Riviera in Los Angeles in February. He is from Los Angeles, and he tied for second at Rivera in 2022 and tied for fourth at the U.S. Open at Torrey Pines in 2021. Morikawa is on the Betway board at +3000. Remember that local angle we referenced above? Here is where it comes into play.

US Open Sleeper pick: Collin Morikawa (+3000)

U.S. Open Dark Horse Pick 2023 

Well, there are 136 golfers with odds of +5000 or higher, so there are plenty to choose from. And all it takes is one of them to have a fantastic four days on a course that will be tricked up and made especially difficult by the sadists at the USGA who work on making U.S. Open courses exceedingly difficult for this particular major.

The guy we are picking from that group is a Spaniard who has won his last two competitions on the DP World Tour, also known as the European Tour. He is Pablo Larrazábal, who won the KLM Open in the Netherlands (May 25-28) by two strokes after winning the Korea Championship (April 27-30) by two strokes at the Jack Nicklaus Gold Club in Incheon, South Korea. The 40-year-old will be making his first U.S. Open appearance since 2014, when he missed the cut, but the guy has won eight times on the European Tour and is having a great season. He is +40000 to win the U.S. Open, and a more astute wager might be +2200 for a Top 10 finish. Remember, Rahm is not the only great golfer from Spain.

US Open Dark Horse pick: Pablo Larrazábal (+40000)

Odds are subject to change*

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