Dustin Johnson takes 1-shot lead in US Open

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OAKMONT, Pa. (AP) Dustin Johnson took the 36-hole lead in the U.S. Open on Saturday without ever hitting a shot.

Johnson finished his second round the night before at 4-under 136 (67-69) because of the earlier rain delays at Oakmont. No one could catch him when the round was completed Saturday. Andrew Landry, the 28-year-old playing in his first U.S. Open, rallied from a rough stretch for a 71 and was one shot behind.

The third round began Saturday afternoon in threesomes off both tees, though it would not be completed by the end of the day.

Almost as surprising as Johnson in the lead were the number of players headed home.

Rory McIlroy four-putted from 10 feet to end his comeback, and a double bogey on the final hole caused him to miss the cut by two shots. Phil Mickelson went back on his word by hitting driver off the tee on the reachable 17th hole, though it didn’t help. He missed the cut for the second straight time in a major.

Also departing early were Rickie Fowler and Justin Rose, while Henrik Stenson didn’t bother returning to finish his second round.

Johnson now has had at least a share of the lead six times in the last five majors dating to the U.S. Open last year at Chambers Bay. But he still hasn’t been in the lead on the day it mattered – the final round.

Oakmont presents his next big chance.

Of the top 10 players on the leaderboard, 46-year-old Jim Furyk is the only player to have won a major.

The sun began to dry out Oakmont, and with no rain in the forecast, the course reputed to be the toughest in the land was starting to show signs of revenge against the unusual low scoring. There were 33 rounds in the 60s over the opening two rounds, compared with just eight for the entire tournament the last time it was at Oakmont.

Gregory Bourdy of France caught Johnson, and briefly passed him, it what was shaping up as the round of the week. Bourdy was 6 under with three holes to play, needing only a birdie to become only the fifth player with a 63 in the U.S. Open.

But he made bogey on the par-3 16th, and his approach to the 18th came up short and rolled down the false front back into the fairway and into a divot and it took two chips to reach the green. He finished with a double bogey for a 67 and was two shots behind.

Shane Lowry of Ireland had to assess himself a one-shot penalty on the 16th green when his ball moved, but he gathered himself to make an 8-foot bogey putt that allowed him to keep his wits, and he played bogey-free from there for a 70.

Bourdy, Lowry, Sergio Garcia and Scott Piercy were at 138. Garcia and Piercy finished their rounds Friday night.

Furyk is playing his final major in his home state, and while his game has struggled as he comes back from wrist surgery that kept him out nearly eight months, he still managed to complete two rounds under par. Furyk was at 1-under 139 with Daniel Summerhays, Andy Sullivan and Lee Westwood.

McIlroy opened with a 77 and came charging off the opening tee. He made four birdies in eight holes until it all fell apart on the par-4 second hole when he took four putts from 10 feet, the final three putts from about 3 feet. Needing a par on the ninth hole, he drove into a bunker and took two shots to get out.

Defending champion Jordan Spieth was getting close to the cut line until he birdied the 16th to stop a slow leak of bogeys. He had another 72 and was eight shots behind. Jason Day, the world’s No. 1 player, finished off a 69 that allowed him to make the cut with one shot to spare.

Everyone was chasing Johnson, who has been immaculate from tee-to-green through the opening two rounds. He has had four good chances in the majors, including last year at Chambers Bay when he had a 12-foot eagle putt on the final hole to win and three-putted to finish one shot behind Spieth.

In his favor is Oakmont. While the course is renowned for having the most impressive list of major champions, six of the eight U.S. Open champions at Oakmont had never won a major. That list includes Jack Nicklaus, Johnny Miller and Ernie Els.

Dustin Johnson the British Open Betting Favorite, but Carnoustie Plays Shorter

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With his best asset perhaps rendered irrelevant, Dustin Johnson seems like a vulnerable betting favorite for the British Open.

Johnson is the +1200 favorite on the British Open betting lines at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com, with the golf season’s third major due to begin at the 6,941-yard, par-71 Carnoustie Golf Links in Angus, Scotland on Thursday.

A warm summer in the United Kingdom has created some firm fairways at the famously wind-whipped course. That could keep many players’ drivers in their bag, which would negate the edge that big hitters such as Johnson get from strokes gained off the tee. Johnson also has just three top-10 finishes in nine starts at the British Open.

Rickie Fowler (+1600), Justin Rose (+1600) and Rory McIlroy (+1600) are also high up on the board. There is a case for backing Fowler until he sheds the stigma of “best player not to have won a major,” as he has three top-five results in his last five majors. Rose has only placed in the top 10 twice in 16 starts at the British Open, so it might be wise to look past him for value.

McIlroy is a past winner but season-long putting problems might make it hard to trust him.

Getting into the longer odds to win the 2018 British Open, reigning two-time U.S. Open champion Brooks Koepka (+2200) has cracked the top 10 in his last two starts in the British Open. Only Tiger Woods (2000) and Tom Watson (1982) have won both the U.S. and British titles in the same year in the last 45 years. That doesn’t automatically rule out that it could happen.

With that said, Tommy Fleetwood (+2200) holds the course record at Carnoustie and also has recent momentum, what with being a U.S. Open runner-up. Tiger Woods (+2200) has the same price and could benefit from not needing to use his driver frequently this week.

The tournament comes at a bad time for defending champion Jordan Spieth (+2200), who has missed the cut in three of his last seven starts.

The case for, or against, Francesco Molinari (+3300) comes down to whether bettors give more weight to recent results or his track record in the event. Molinari has two wins, a second-place finish and a tie for second within his last five tournaments and his proficiency at hitting fairways could serve him well. He’s finished outside of the top 30 in the last three British Opens, but all of those were at other courses.

For more odds information, betting picks and a breakdown of this week’s top sports betting news check out the OddsShark podcast with Jon Campbell and Andrew Avery. Subscribe on iTunes or listen to it at OddsShark.libsyn.com.

Tiger Woods behind favorites for 2018 U.S. Open

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Tiger Woods is a step back of the betting favorites for the 2018 U.S. Open at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark. as the world’s top golfers get set to compete in the second major of the season this week at Shinnecock Hills.

Woods sits at +1600 on the odds to win the US Open this week, tied with Jason Day, Justin Rose, and Rickie Fowler on the board and behind the top four betting favorites on the list. The 42-year-old, however, only has two Top-10 results in his nine PGA Tour events so far on the season.

And those two finishes came back in March, at the Valspar Championship and the Arnold Palmer Invitational. Since then Woods has finished 32nd at the Masters, 55th at the Wells Fargo Championship, 11th at THE PLAYERS Championship, and 23rd at the Memorial Tournament.

Woods is a three-time US Open winner, taking the tournament in each of 2000, 2002, and 2008. Since 2008 he’s only played in the event five times, finishing sixth in 2009 and fourth in 2010, but 21st in 2012 and 32nd in 2013, and missing the cut in 2015. And since the end of the 2015 season Woods has only played in one major tournament, this year’s Masters.

Still, Woods only trails those four favorites on the golf betting lines at the sportsbooks, with Dustin Johnson the tournament chalk at +900, Rory McIlroy second on the board at +1100, and Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth rounding out the quartet at odds of +1400.

Johnson, Spieth, and McIlroy are all former US Open champions, with McIlroy winning in 2011 at Congressional, Spieth winning in 2015 at Chambers Bay, and Johnson winning in 2016 at Oakmont. For betting favorite Johnson that was his first and so far only major tournament win on the PGA Tour, but he’s coming off a victory in the FedEx St. Jude Classic over the weekend.

And Johnson is also atop the updated World Golf Ranking, having jumped over Thomas for the lead on that list with his win over the weekend. Rose sits third in the current rankings, with Spieth fourth, Jon Rahm fifth, and McIlroy sixth.

Rahm is set at +2000 on the odds to win the 2018 US Open for this week, behind defending tournament champion Brooks Koepka (+1800) and ahead of Phil Mickelson and Hideki Matsuyama – who are both pegged at +2800 odds. Henrik Stenson, Patrick Reed, and Sergio Garcia hold down betting lines of +3300 for this week.

For more odds information, betting picks and a breakdown of this week’s top sports betting news check out the OddsShark podcast with Jon Campbell and Andrew Avery. Subscribe on iTunes or listen to it at OddsShark.libsyn.com.