While it’s true that 156 golfers will tee it up this week, that does not mean any golfer in the field can win the 118th U.S. Open. There are probably 20 or 30 — or maybe 50 — who have a real chance at taking the second major of 2018. And even then, I would say the bottom 40 have an equivalent chance of winning as the top 10.

That’s why you end up with gambling props like this one projecting the U.S. Open champion.

  • D. Johnson/Spieth/McIlroy/Thomas/Day/Fowler/Rahm/Rose/Woods: -115
  • Field (Any Other Player): -115

The last seven U.S. Open champions have been, in order: Brooks Koepka, Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth, Martin Kaymer, Justin Rose, Webb Simpson and Rory McIlroy. That’s a murderer’s row of greatness, and it speaks to how difficult it is for anyone outside the top 10 or 20 in the world to emerge as champion of this event in this week.

Shinnecock, too, has produced sublime leaderboards. The last two winners — Corey Pavin in 1995 and Retief Goosen in 1994 — have both been ranked in the top 10 in the world at the time they won here. Take a look at the top 10 from the last three U.S. Opens here.

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Shinnecock is a winnowing fork of sorts. It might not show through 18 holes or even 36, but by the time that 72nd hole rolls around on Sunday, this course will deliver a world class board rife with the best players on the planet. Based on all of this information, here is the pool of nine golfers from which I think the eventual winner is coming (in no particular order).

So who will win the 2018 U.S. Open, and which long shots are set to stun the golfing world? Find out by visiting SportsLine now to see the U.S. Open projected leaderboard from the model that’s nailed four of the last five majors heading into the weekend.  


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