by Renee Israel
The 2012 US Open Golf Championship returns to the Olympic Club Lake
Course in San Francisco after a 14 year gap, and will be the fifth time the Open
is being played at this venerable venue in the tournament's 112 year history.
The US Open is perhaps the most prestigious of the golf majors on the US golf
circuit, and one which is played on courses specially designed to test players
to the limit. It has even delivered over par wins over the years.
Rory McIlroy to Challenge Tiger Woods
Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland is the defending champion and all of Britain
will be rooting for him. But McIlroy has history stacked against him as the US
Open Golf Championship has not been kind to defending champions.
The last golfer to defend this title was Curtis Strange in 1989 and before that
Ben Hogan in 1951. McIlroy became the poster boy of golf when Tiger Woods was in
exile. Woods' recent resurgence has taken the spotlight away from McIlroy, who
fluffed his chances at the St Jude Classic in Memphis over the weekend.
But McIlroy is not letting this bother him. Speaking of his performance in
Memphis he said, "It was a disappointing last few holes. But leading up to that
point I felt like I played some really good golf. I hadn't played that sort of
golf for a few weeks. So it was nice, especially coming into this week." McIlroy
also takes a lot of confidence from having won the US Open before, though on a
The conversation piece in the 2012 US Open Golf is Andy Zhang, the
14-year-old from Beijing. Zhang, who moved to the United States four years ago,
was entered into the US Open following the withdrawal of Paul Casey. An
exuberant Zhang said, "My phone has been exploding for the past 24 hours."
Reacting to this McIlroy said, "When I was 14 I was getting prepared to play in
my club championship, not the U.S. Open." His advice to the youngster is to
enjoy the experience.
Online Betting on US Open Golf
UK online betting sites have posted the odds for the 2012 US Open Golf
At Ladbrokes online the favourite to win is Tiger Woods with odds of 6/1.
Rory McIlroy comes next with odds of 10/1. Lee Westwood, Luke Donald, Sergio
Garcia and Phil Mickelson are other top contenders. Unfortunately the odds for
Andy Zhang have not yet been posted at Ladbrokes online at the time of writing.
It would have been of interest to see what the handicappers make of him.