It still seems amazing that Dustin Johnson has only one major title to his name, but the world number one will be looking to double that total when he embarks on Pebble Beach in June. As it stands, Johnson is the bookies’ favourite with Betfair (11/1) to win the US Open and golfing fans will be quietly confident he can record his second Open win.
DJ has made a strong start to 2019, after picking up wins in the Saudi International on the European Tour as well as the WGC-Mexico Championship, so it appears the bookies’ favouritism appears justified. However, the Open is an unforgiving tournament, so Johnson will need to be at his very best to have any chance of winning.
Johnson will have plenty of competition to take the honours and none more so than Rory McIlroy. The Northern Irishman is likely still brimming with confidence after winning the Players Championship in March, with the bookies placing him as second favourite at 12/1. McIlroy has tasted success at the Open, and the Masters is all that eludes him from completing the Grand Slam and that alone will spur him on.
The rest of the main contenders include the likes of Justin Rose (16/1), Jordan Spieth (24/1), Brooks Koepka (18/1) and a certain Tiger Woods (15/1). The latter is always going to be in the reckoning and has tasted victory in the US Open three times, with the last win coming 13 years ago.
Rose has one US Open title to his name, coming in 2013, so he’ll be determined to add another to his trophy cabinet which only boasts one major so far. Spieth and Koepka have strong records in majors, with the former winning in 2015, so Johnson is definitely in very strong company.
Does his style suit Pebble Beach?
This will be Johnson’s twelfth crack at the US Open and he’ll be looking to build on his solitary win in 2016, so he certainly has enough experience and know-how to navigate his way through the rigours of Pebble Beach. Renowned for his huge drive and excellence at putting, Johnson has worked hard on his chipping over the last 12 months and that’ll prove vital if he is to record a first win.
As all golfing fans know, Pebble Beach is notoriously tough, and the front nine offers some of the hardest holes on the scene. Traditionally, the first hole has proven a stumbling block and Johnson will be more than aware of the bunker on the right of the fairway; but his improved chipping could be the answer if he were to land in the sand.
The South Carolina native looks primed for an assault on Pebble Beach, but question marks will remain as to whether his improved style will help him in his quest for a second major. 2019 promises to be a huge year for Johnson and if he can continue to perfect his overall game and keep up his strong form, he’ll be there or thereabouts come Sunday 16th of June.