John Minchillo/Associated Press
Tiger Woods is far from the odds-on favorite to win the 2020 U.S. Open, but the 15-time major champion is a popular pick.
According to ESPN’s David Purdum, 18 percent of the money placed on the U.S. Open at William Hill sportsbooks is focused on Woods, who’s listed at 40-1.
Not surprisingly, Dustin Johnson (17-2) has the best odds. Johnson won the Tour Championship earlier this month and hasn’t finished lower than second in any of his past four events.
Anybody backing Woods is doing so almost entirely for sentimental reasons or because of his reputation.
The 44-year-old got off to a strong start this season, winning the Zozo Championship before top-10 showings in the Hero World Challenge and Farmers Insurance Open. Then he didn’t place any better than 37th in his five subsequent tournaments.
The Athletic’s Matthew Gutierrez wrote how putting has been an issue for Woods, something that is important because the greens at Winged Foot Golf Club won’t be very forgiving:
“It’s all about the flat stick, and that’s where Woods has fallen woefully short. He lost 14.6 shots to the field in putting in the recently concluded season, a figure that would have ranked 183rd on tour. At the PGA Championship, Woods swapped out his usual putter for a model with a slightly longer shaft to alleviate pressure on his surgically repaired back. The results weren’t much different.”
If Woods goes on to win, a bet at 40-1 odds will mean a pretty healthy payday. More likely than not, William Hill sportsbooks will be laughing all the way to the bank.