2016 US Open: Can Spieth put his Masters nightmare behind him?
Simon Sinclair | June 15, 2016
Jordan Spieth stunned the world with his collapse at The Masters in April as the American looked poised to bolster his collection of Majors.
The 22-year-old surrendered a five-shot lead on the back nine at Augusta, which allowed Englishman Danny Willet to claim the Green Jacket.
Spieth will now aim to put the disappointment behind by defending his US Open crown at Oakmont.
However, the American will face a tough challenge due to the quality of the players competing at the tournament desperate for their own success.
Spieth to rise to challenge
Spieth’s choke at The Masters was a surprise to all who have watched his rise over the past few years, with his composure being one of his strongest attributes.
The 22-year-old was at his imperious best after battling for three days to pull ahead from the chasing pack in Augusta, and looked a certainty to close out his round to win the competition for the second year on the spin.
His collapse on the 12th hole, where he carded a quadruple-bogey, opened up the path for Willett to snatch the Green Jacket away from his grasp.
Spieth now must raise the level of his game to retain his US Open crown, although his form on the PGA Tour has been patchy to say the least.
The American failed to make the cut at The Players Championship, while he has also failed to find his best at the AT&T Byron Nelson and The Memorial Tournament, although he did put together four fine rounds to win the DEAN & DELUCA Invitational.
As a result, he is backed at 9/1 to defend the US Open at Oakmont and secure his third Major title.
McIlroy and Day eye further titles
Rory McIlroy has been consistent on the PGA Tour this year, but has not been able to produce the brilliance he is capable of to secure victory.
The Northern Irishman has recorded finishes inside the top five in four events, including The Memorial Tournament and Wells Fargo Championship.
McIlroy displayed signs of getting back to his best on the final round of Wells Fargo, but he will need to be at his peak to end his drought at the Majors, which stretches back to his success at the PGA Championship in 2014, due to the difficulty of the course at Oakmont.
The 27-year-old has odds of 7/1 to win the crown, although a solid bet could be to back him to finish in the top five at 13/8.
World number one Jason Day is the favourite to triumph at Oakmont, although he did struggle on his lasting outing at The Memorial Tournament, finishing joint 27th.
However, the Australian has emerged victorious in three events this season, including The Players Championship where he won by a commanding four strokes.
Consistency has been an issue for Day since his triumph at the PGA Championship last year, but has proven that when he’s on top form he is almost unbeatable.
The 28-year-old produced an average display at The Masters, and will need to raise the level of his game to notch his second Major on the tricky greens at Oakmont.
Day leads the way in Coral’s odds at 13/2 to win the competition, although a safer option could be a top-10 finish at 6/4 considering the harsh nature of the course.
Willett and other candidates for the crown
Willett’s run to the Green Jacket was almost as surprising as Spieth’s collapse, but the Englishman held his composure where others failed to win his first Major.
He now faces the challenge of backing up his efforts in Augusta when he travels to Pennsylvania to continue his fine season.
Along with his victory at The Masters, Willett finished third at the World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions and World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship, but struggled in the Players Championship.
Justin Rose won the US Open back in 2013, and may also prove to a solid option for the crown given his consistency over recent years at 28/1.
From the home favourites, Phil Mickelson will be determined to put a poor performance at The Masters behind him by finally clinching his first US Open title at 30/1.
Rickie Fowler has to deliver on his potential sooner rather than later, although his form on the PGA Tour has been poor of late, failing to make the cut at the last two tournaments.
A 30/1 bet could be an intriguing option for the 27-year-old to secure his first Major at Oakmont.
Coral’s top tip: Spieth is 9/1 to defend his US Open crown.