- The 2020 US Open begins on September 17 at Winged Foot in Mamaroneck, New York.
- It was originally scheduled for mid June but postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
- Phil Mickelson will be looking for an elusive victory that represents the only major that he’s never won.
Were this an ordinary year in the sports world Phil Mickelson might not have even qualified for the 2020 US Open. In February, Mickelson insisted that he would not accept a special exemption–which he termed as a ‘sympathy spot’–into this year’s US Open field. That’s no longer relevant since he’s in the field in at least part due to the the fact that it was most definitely *not* an ordinary year in the sports world.
The COVID-19 pandemic has brutalized the sports universe and resulted in the 2020 US Open being rescheduled from June 18-21 to September 17-20. It also forced the PGA to rework qualifying for many events in the interest of fairness and to facilitate ‘social distancing’. There will be no qualifying rounds at the 2020 US Open and the field will be comprised of the top 70 players in the world as of March 15, 2020. That’s when the PGA tour suspended play due to the pandemic and at the time Phil Mickelson was ranked #61.
When the PGA’s revised standards were released in late June and Mickelson learned that he had secured a spot in the field he sounded relieved:
“That worked out great, to be able to know that I have a chance to go back to Winged Foot and give it another shot. As long as I’m playing well enough to compete to earn my way into the field, then I want to play and keep trying to win that tournament.”
Mickelson has won three of the four majors in the golf world. That alone is no joke as only 12 players in history have achieved this feat. The US Open remains elusive, however, and a win here would give Mickelson a career Grand Slam and put him into the stratosphere of golf icons with Gene Sarazen, Ben Hogan, Gary Player, Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Wood. As the brevity of that list indicates there are a lot of excellent golfers that never won a career Grand Slam.
So how good are Mickelson’s chances at Winged Foot this year? One Southern Nevada bettor thinks they’re good enough to wager $45,000 on Mickelson at 75 to 1 odds. The Las Vegas Review Journal reported today that a William Hill bettor in Southern Nevada has wagered that among on Mickelson and is looking at a nice $3.375 million payday should it transpire. According to the LVRJ article, the wager represents the second largest liability for an individual golf bet in William Hill’s US history.
Their all time biggest liability came in 2019 when a wager was made following Tiger Woods’ Masters victory that he would win the year’s remaining three majors at odds of 100-1. The bettor put down $100,000 to win $10 million at the William Hill sportsbook at the SLS Las Vegas (now Sahara Las Vegas). The same bettor cashed a ticket on Tiger’s Masters win, taking down $1.19 million for an $85,000 bet at 14-1 odds.
Golf betting has gained in popularity during the sports ravaged aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic and this isn’t the first big bet to make the news. In August, a bettor at DraftKings placed a $500,000 wager at +125 on South Korean golfer Si Woo Kim to win the Wyndham Championship. The bet was made after the third round with Kim holding a two shot lead. Unfortunately, his final round got off to a bad start and he ended up shooting par to finish tied for third.