The 2019 U.S. Open will be the seventh played at Pebble Beach Golf Links. The top names in the game are on-hand, and 2019 U.S. Open tee times begin at 9:45 a.m. ET on Thursday and run throughout the day. After second-place finishes at the Masters and PGA Championship, Dustin Johnson will be looking to capture his second U.S. Open title this week. Johnson won the 2016 edition at Oakmont and enters the U.S. Open 2019 as the No. 2 player in the world after a win at the WGC-Mexico Championship and seven top-10s in 12 starts. He’s the favorite at 7-1 in the latest 2019 U.S. Open odds. However, it’s a competitive 2019 U.S. Open field, with 15 players currently listed with odds of 30-1 or shorter. That includes several pros looking for their first major like Patrick Cantlay (16-1), Rickie Fowler (20-1), Jon Rahm (25-1) and Xander Schauffele (25-1). Before you make your 2019 U.S. Open picks or enter a PGA DFS tournament on sites like DraftKings and FanDuel, be sure to see the predictions from SportsLine’s legendary golf expert Sal Johnson.
A media legend and consummate golf insider, Johnson is red-hot on the majors this year. He featured Tiger Woods in his best bets for the Masters, and Woods walked away with his fifth green jacket. Then, Johnson promoted Koepka in his PGA Championship best bets, and Koepka made a mockery of that tournament, building a seven-shot lead entering the weekend and cruising to victory.
Now, Johnson — the first producer of “Inside the PGA Tour,” a longtime ABC Sports golf producer who worked with Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Greg Norman, and the founder of the world’s top golf stats database — has released his highly confident 2019 U.S. Open picks for Pebble Beach. And they will surprise you.
One shocker: Johnson wants no part of Koepka, the two-time defending champion. In fact, he says Koepka doesn’t even crack the top 10. “There’s way too much pressure on him to three-peat — it hasn’t been done at the U.S. Open in over 110 years,” Johnson told SportsLine. “He’s not at his best on Poa Annua greens. His game is best from tee to green; he has been dismal in strokes gained around the green (ranked 119th) and strokes gained putting (100th) this year. You can’t win all the time.”
Johnson has strong reads on top 2019 U.S. Open contenders like Woods and Dustin Johnson. Woods won his 15th major with an awe-inspiring performance at Augusta for the Masters two months ago. It was his 81st PGA Tour win, moving him just one behind Sam Snead for the most all-time and giving him the chance to tie that record with a historic win at Pebble Beach 19 years after he won the 2000 U.S. Open there by a record 15 shots. Woods will have to start quickly if he’s going to contend at the 2019 U.S. Open. He has struggled in opening rounds this season with a scoring average of 70.8 on Thursdays with no rounds of better than 70.
Johnson has also evaluated the fate of Rory McIlroy, the 2011 U.S. Open champion and one of the Vegas favorites at 10-1. McIlroy has been on fire this season with wins at the Players Championship and last week’s RBC Canadian Open. In 13 starts this season, he’s had an astonishing 10 finishes inside the top 10 and six top-fives. However, McIlroy has struggled recently at the U.S. Open. He failed to make the weekend the last three years and has been cut five times in 10 career U.S. Open starts. He’s only missed the cut three times at the other three major championships combined.
Johnson is high on a massive long shot who’s heating up at the right time and has a history of winning at Pebble Beach. He’d bring a colossal payday — and that’s not the only huge long shot on Johnson’s stunning leaderboard. You can only see his projected 2019 U.S. Open leaderboard at SportsLine.
So who wins the 2019 U.S. Open? And which massive long shots stun the golf world? Check out the 2019 U.S. Open odds below, then visit SportsLine to see Sal Johnson’s surprising leaderboard and analysis, all from the golf media legend