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The US Open: Defending champ Rahm heads out early

Original article published 17 October 2022

Jon Rahm will start the defence of his US Open title at 12:18 on Thursday alongside Open Champion Collin Morikawa and leading amateur James Piot, who took part in last week's inaugural LIV Golf event.

Rahm was victorious last year at Torrey Pines, winning by one stroke ahead of South African Louis Oosthuizen to pick up his first Major title.

Now, he heads to the Brookline Country Club in Massachusetts looking to scoop his second title in consecutive months, having won the Mexico Open in May and all the action can be followed on the bet365 Live Golf Tracker.

Rahm is 14/1 to pick up the title with Morikawa available at 28/1 while Piot is an outsider, ranked at 2000/1.

What: 122nd US Open

Where: The Country Club, Brookline, Massachusetts

When: 11:45am, Thursday 16th June 2022

How to watch: Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Golf. Follow on bet365's Live Golf Tracker

Odds: Rory McIlroy 10/1, Justin Thomas 12/1, Jon Rahm 14/1, Scottie Scheffler 14/1, Cameron Smith 20/1

Stars set for early alarm call

Rahm has become one of the most feared names in world golf and won brilliantly in California 12 months ago.

He shot a round of 67 on the final day which showcased his ability to win under pressure and there will be plenty of interest in this particular three-ball, with Morikawa looking to win his third different Major at the age of just 25.

He is currently ranked seventh in the world and his recent form has been lukewarm - he finished tied for 55th at the USPGA Championship and has not had a top-ten finish since his fifth place at the Masters back in April.

Morikawa is stacked with ability though and his extremely impressive record in Majors - winning two and finishing in the top ten on three other occasions - stands him in good stead.

Rejuvenated Rory hoping to roll back the years

Rory McIlroy has not won a Major title for eight years, but arrives into the US Open on the back of a PGA Tour win in Canada.

He has performed well in the other two Majors this year, finishing like a train at the Masters with a final round of 64 to end up in second place, while he began well in the PGA Championship but faded away to finish just eighth.  

McIlroy shot a final round of 62 in the Canadian Open to win by two strokes and he is beginning to rediscover the form that saw him make such an exciting start to his career - including his first Major win in the US Open in 2011.

Alongside McIlroy will be Hideki Matsuyama, who won the 2021 Masters and who will be hoping to go one better than in 2017 when he finished tied for second, while Olympic gold medallist Xander Schauffele completes the three-ball.

McIlroy is 10/1 to win, with Matsuyama 40/1 and Schauffele 22/1.

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Scheffler aiming for second Major of the year.

Scottie Scheffler made a swift rise to world number one status and he will look to maintain that with his second Major title of the year in Massachussetts.

The American was victorious at the Masters, winning by three strokes and ultimately doing most of the damage in the first two rounds with some exceptional performances.

Scheffler has won four tournaments this year and finished second at the Charles Schwab Challenge recently, but he also failed to make the cut at the USPGA Championship showing some signs of fallibility after superb year.

He will play with two-time US Open winner Brook Koepka, who hasn't won any tournament since February 2021, and Players' Championship winner Cameron Smith.

Scheffler is available to triumph at 14/1, with Smith 20/1, and Koepka 50/1.

LIV defectors set for return

Following the first LIV Golf event, a number of players are making their way back to play in the US Open this coming weekend.

Phil Mickelson, a six-time runner-up in the only Major he has never won, is back after a disappointing six-over-par performance at the Centurion Club and he is 225/1 to break his US Open duck.

He will play alongside 75/1 shot and last year's runner-up Oosthuizen and Ireland's Shane Lowry, who is 28/1 to pick up the trophy.

Dustin Johnson is also back in action as he looks to pick up his second US Open title, following his success in 2016, and he can be backed to win at 40/1.

Englishman Matt Fitzpatrick, who came close in the PGA Championship, will tee off at the same time and is 25/1 to win, while 90/1 Webb Simpson completes the trio.

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