Justin Rose can grind out victory in US Open thriller

Just six shots separate the top six on the final day, so it's heating up nicely at Pebble Beach.


It’s the final day of the US Open and we have a leaderboard stacked with big names as it promises to be a thrilling finale.

Gary Woodland leads the pack on -11, followed by Justin Rose on -10. There is then a three shot gap to three-peat chaser Brooks Koepka (9/2), South Africa’s Louis Oosthuizen (12/1) and the unheralded Chez Reavie (28/1) who all sit at -7. Pre-tournament favourite Rory McIlroy (10/1) is just a shot back on -6.

Realistically, you’d think that the winner will come from these six players and to me the obvious selection is Justin Rose @ 15/8.

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Woodland (2/1) has been imperious for the most part with his long game this week. However, he has had to produce some outrageous par saves when he’s gotten in trouble, to hold his round together. We saw this again on Saturday when he holed out from off the green on the 12th and then from 40 foot on the 14th.

There may be a line of thought to suggest this shows it’s Woodland’s week – I’d say that he can’t sustain this for 72 holes. When the pressure is on later today, these shots just won’t continue to drop for him.

The 2013 US Open champion Justin Rose has also been making his score with the flat stick and he leads the field in putting stats. Most of this was done in his opening round of 65 and since then he has held things together nicely, to edge further forward each day.

I fancy him to grind out another round of 69 or 70, which could be enough to get the job done.

While you can never rule out the possibility of Rory McIlroy producing something spectacular from off the pace on a Sunday, the main threat to the front two looks set to come from three-peat chasing Brook Koepka.

It’s been a great effort from the Floridian to make history and he should continue to go in the right direction today. The lowest round on Saturday was a 67 by Danny Willett and with the course not expected to get any easier, it is a big ask for Koepka to haul both Woodland and Rose in, unless they come back to him.

There are a couple of two balls later, I’m keen to get involved in. Firstly, Adam Scott (11/10) and Xander Schauffele (1/1) tee off at 9.13pm GMT.

Graeme McDowell

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Scott struggled with his putter on Saturday and had an up and down day in general, making four birdies to offset four bogeys. Schauffele bounced back really well from a horror six, five start on the first two holes to shoot a really solid 71. The Californian is fancied to push on and get the better of the Aussie on Sunday.

Finally. while a fairytale second US Open victory at Pebble Beach for Graeme McDowell is highly unlikely, the Northern Irishman is having another excellent week and will be buoyed by an eagle finish on Saturday. GMac (10/11) can get the better of Danny Willett (5/4) on Sunday in their 9.46pm tee time.

While Willett had a great day on the greens on Saturday, which contributed to his 67, my suspicion is he may well fall foul of the old golfing cliché about the difficulty of following one low round with another. Particularly in the white heat of the final day of a US Open.

*Prices correct at time of publishing 

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What do you think?