2019 US Open: Back to Pebble we go

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Trevor Durham

June 11th, 2019

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Pebble Beach Golf Links hosts the 2019 U.S. Open

It has been nine years since the Monterey Peninsula (Pebble Beach Golf Links) has hosted one of golf’s most arduous (and richest) tournaments. As we marvel at Pebble Beach’s picturesque landscape and become engrossed with its sometimes daunting undulations, it’s only right we pay homage to those who have mastered the course—especially when the USGA comes to town and turns what annually can be considered a “getable” course (AT&T Pro-Am) into slippery slopes of sorrow.

RAYMOND: Feature Preview - Who thrives at Pebble Beach?

Blast to Pebble's Past

Who has conquered Pebble Beach in its most ambitious condition, you ask? Graeme McDowell was renowned as the European “People’s Champ” when he broke a 40-year hiatus for his continental brethren by winning the 2010 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach Golf Links. He thwarted the competition as the only golfer who didn’t finish over par, winning the event at an even 284, which is impressive in its own right.

Maybe even more eye-catching is Graeme’s (+8,000) odds to win back-to-back U.S. Opens at Pebble. He gained steadfast momentum posting three sub-70 rounds at last week’s RBC Canadian Open. So if last year’s Father’s Day coffee mug is now brimming with pocket change, why not bet on him?

Next up is the guy who made obsolete Roy “Tin Cup” McAvoy’s exclamation that nobody could ever finish a U.S. Open 10 under. Tiger Woods’ (+1100) record-blasting win at Pebble in 2000 (-12, 272) is still viewed as one of the most dominant major championship victories in golf history. After capturing another major victory at Augusta this year in re-energizing fashion, ole Tiger might be ready to flaunt his California exuberance once again.

Moving back to the future...

We find Brooks Koepka (+900) and Dustin Johnson (+800). Even though they left their protein powder at home last week for the RBC Canadian Open, it’s hard to fathom the reigning back-to-back U.S. Open champion (Major Koepka) and his 2016 predecessor (DJ Pauly G) not bringing the beats this weekend. Both are considered favorites to best handle the USGA’s methodology at Pebble this time around.

But when the grain meets the fringe, I am reminded of the sage words uttered by my father when I played Pebble Beach with him two decades ago...

"Youth has its blessings, and wisdom comes with the resurrection" (And be mindful of asking the entire group if they want anything at the turn, with nothing more than high school allowance in your pocket).

That leads me to the newly turned 30-year-old, Rory McIlroy (+800). True, it has been five years since Rory kissed a major championship trophy. However, after conquering a star-studded field in Ontario last week, the young man looks primed to resurface and capture his fifth major championship (2nd U.S. Open), all the while continuing to make his father Gerry look quite fortuitous in more ways than one (he won $171,000 via a futures bet on Rory). My bet is the father will return the favor and embrace his victorious son on Sunday. Happy Father’s Day, indeed.

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