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Nic Ladds 17th Jun 2009 - 12:28

Hunter can prevail with no threat from Tiger

It is rare Phil Mickelson finds himself favourite in a market when Tiger Woods is in the field but in the Top North American Without Woods, 'Lefty' finds himself in the role of market leader at odds of 9/2.

This is often one of the most exciting markets as there are generous prices available, a smaller field to contend with a Tiger nowhere to be seen.

It is easy to see why Mickelson has been installed as favourite, having finished second in the US Open on four occasions, three of which were in New York so he clearly has a liking for the area and the 9/2 will be hoovered by some on a player who undoubtedly has the talent to win the whole thing, let alone this market.

However the tragic news about Mickelson's wife Amy being diagnosed with breast cancer will undoubtedly affect Phil's game and he cannot be playing with a clear head.

There is always a chance he will play an inspired, brilliant game in the wake of such adversity and it would truly be a great story but for betting purposes there are better options in this exciting market.

Worthy second favourite at 8/1 in the betting is Jim Furyk who has a US Open Championship to his name in 2003 and has been runner up twice.

He has been playing some good golf recently and this lanky Yank has the head and the game to compete here and could be an each way bet to nothing with William Hill paying 1/4 the odds for the first four places.

Steve Stricker has a great US Open record as he is usually always on the premises having finished in the top-16 six times which mean he could be great each way value for the purposes of this market.

He has the ability to shoot very low scores but often found trouble getting over the finish line and the 10/1 on offer looks fair.

This writer is a big fan of Sean O'Hair and he has been outstanding this year and the 12/1 is extremely tempting, but his wife is due to give birth anytime now and he has said there is a chance he may have to walk off the course so he is best left alone.

Brian Gay at 14/1 looks too short given his lack of US Open experience and 16/1 chance Kenny Perry has a poor record and his game has just not been the same since he threw away his shot at Major glory in the Masters.

Zach Johnson's US Open record is doesn't inspire much confidence either so swerve the 18/1, and 22/1 Anthony Kim has the raw talent but his game has taken a nose dive and he is too wild and inconsistent to back with any confidence.

So that's a few out to avoid now the ones to be with, David Toms at odds of 20/1 has a solid record in this Major with two fifths and a couple of top 20 finishes, Toms has the game to get in to the fray at a tasty looking price.

Ben Curtis seems to save his best golf for the Major's so he will drum up plenty of interest at 25/1.

His straight driving and excellent putting are just what is needed for the challenge of Bethpage and after a couple decent finishes on the tour recently, he looks all set up to give this a great shot.

Also at odds of 25/1, Hunter Mahan could be worth a wager, with finishes of 13 and 18 in the last two years, this Ryder Cup star could be ready to rise to the challenge of really pushing for Major glory.

At a bigger price one to consider could be last year's runner up Rocco Mediate who at 66/1 either seems to play brilliantly or woefully in the US Open.

A fourth, a sixth and a second over the years interspersed with some cuts show that it could go either way for Mediate but at the handsome price of 66/1 he is worth an each way wager in a very open market.


Hunter Mahan - 25/1

Rocco Mediate - 66/1


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