US Open at Pebble Beach: First round three-ball preview and best bets

Xander Schauffele
Xander Schauffele

The US Open gets under way on Thursday and we have a trio of three-ball selections for the opening round at Pebble Beach.

Recommended bets

1pt treble Stuard, Taylor and Schauffele at 10/1

Sky Bet have priced up the treble to pay out in full should there be any ties - click here to take 7/1

Stuard to beat Kinhult and Young

Back in February, Brian Stuard began the AT&T National Pebble Beach Pro-Am with a bogey-free 69 and finished it with an under-par 71, two rounds at this week's host course which help form the basis of an excellent scoring average.

In fact, his modest record in that event comes down to the fact that he's struggled at Monterey and Spyglass, rather than the harder of the three courses which share hosting duties over the course of the first 54 holes. He is extremely effective at Pebble Beach, where his ability to find a fairway counts for a lot.

Couple that with the fact this arrow-straight driver has played well all year, missing just two cuts and both marginally, and I'm a little surprised he's available at odds-against to put his experience to use here.

Marcus Kinhult's win at the British Masters was a bolt from the blue, though it must be said he's long had the talent to win at a high level and is comfortable by the coast. That'll serve him well here, but we're still talking about a US Open debut at Pebble Beach. It's a massive task and he's struggled bar one good round to qualify since winning at Hillside.

Cameron Young is an amateur who plays at Wake Forest and also faces a serious challenge on his major debut, having not yet gathered any tour experience.

Stuard, who has played in seven majors without much success so far, finally heads to a course he knows and loves. Solid golf is expected and it could well be enough.

Taylor to beat Scheffler and Parziale

Fresh off a promising performance in the Canadian Open, where he just struggled a little over the weekend, Nick Taylor is another accurate type who should fancy his chances of at least making the weekend.

A one-time PGA Tour winner who only just kept his card last year, Taylor is no world-beater but he does boast a very strong Pebble Beach record. Like Stuard, he shot 69-71 here in February, finishing 29th, while he was 30th in 2016 and 10th a year later.

That course experience, which is overwhelmingly positive, should entitle him to favouritism here - but that tag instead goes to the promising Scottie Scheffler.

Considered by many to be the heir to Jordan Spieth's Dallas throne, Scheffler is in the process of racing through a successful stint on the Web.com Tour, but he did miss the cut last week which was an unexpected setback.

What's more, this is a totally different test and he's lacking in Pebble Beach experience, having turned professional before last year's US Amateur at the venue. He missed the cut in the Genesis Open on his sole start in California and may find this coming too soon.

As for Matt Parziale, by now golf obsessives will know him as the New York firefighter who won the US Mid-Am in 2017 to earn a US Open debut which saw him share 48th - and tie low-amateur honours - at Shinnecock last year.

That was close to home, though, and he'll do well to compete with a solid operator like Taylor here.

Schauffele to beat Wallace and Smith

The final selection is a little more high-profile with Xander Schauffele, among the most likely winners of the event, underestimated at 5/4 to beat Matt Wallace and Cameron Smith.

Schauffele is a quality operator who hails from California and shot 69 on his sole professional round at Pebble Beach. Having contended for the Masters, finishing second, and bagged top-six finishes in both US Open starts, he's among the most solid players in the tournament.

It's surprising, then, that he's not a shade of odds-on to beat Wallace, who admittedly finished ahead of him in the PGA, and an out-of-sorts Smith who is without anything like meaningful form since February.

Clearly, Wallace is something of a danger but he's not at Schauffele's level yet and this is very much home turf for the American. Comparison of their most recent starts - a top-15 for Schauffele in an elite event versus a tie for 41st in a weak one for Wallace - seems a fair reflection of where they are and 5/4 is too big.

Sky Bet: 7/1 treble special with ties paid in full

Posted at 0800 BST on 12/06/19.

Sky Bet are paying 10 places on each-way bets
Sky Bet are paying 10 places on each-way bets

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