The first round of the 2013 U.S. Open is partially in the books, as first-round play has been suspended for Thursday evening. With that being said, many golfers have completed their opening round of action, and countless others are deep into their campaign.
The question is, what has all of this moving and shaking done for the betting world?
At the end of Round 1, Luke Donald holds the lead at four-under par through 13 holes. Trailing him are the likes of Phil Mickelson at three-under and the foursome of Adam Scott, Webb Simpson, Alistair Presnell and Mathew Goggin at two-under par.
Out of that group, only Mickelson has completed a full round of golf.
Luke Donald—Can It Last?
When the second round commences on Friday, all eyes will be on Luke Donald. Not only is he in the lead at four-under par, but he's only played 13 of the 18 holes during the first round.
A long second day of action is ahead for the 35-year-old.
Donald has never won a major championship, and his worst tournament of all has been the U.S. Open. He finished 12th in 2006, but since then, he has finished no higher than 45th place.
That includes 2009 and 2012, when he missed the cut.
With this in mind, there's reason to be wary of Donald's early success, as his ability to maintain that proficiency has been poor in the past. In that same breath, this could be viewed as a breakthrough, as Donald is on pace to shoot a first-round 66.
The question is, are you really going to bet on the guy who's about to play 23 holes in one day at an event where he's historically horrific? The safe bet is to avoid that wager.
Lefty's Deceptive Score
Of the players in the top five, Phil Mickelson is the only one to have completed the first 18 holes. For that reason, there is an instant advantage when it comes to fatigue, as three of the players in the top five have at least 10 holes remaining in the first round.
With that said, there's no guarantee that Mickelson will remain as hot as he was in Round 1.
Mickelson may have finished at three-under par with an impressive 67, but three of his four birdies came on the front nine. On the back nine, Mickelson was even, striking bogey on No. 11 and birdie on No. 13.
Perhaps Mickelson has already cooled down.
Fortunately, "Lefty" hasn't fallen apart, which suggests that he could strike an even 70 in the second round. Unfortunately, players such as Webb Simpson and Adam Scott enter the clubhouse with the confidence of just pulling out a hot streak of birdies.
If you're betting on Mickelson to remain in the hunt, that's a safe pick to make. If you're going for Mickelson to dominate Round 2 and take the lead, however, hesitation is warranted.
Momentum has shifted.
The Wild Cards—Adam Scott and Tiger Woods
Through 10 holes, Tiger Woods is sitting at two-over par with four bogeys and two birdies. Adam Scott, coming off a win at the 2013 Masters, is at three-under par after sinking four birdies and just one bogey.
Scott birdied two of his last four holes, while Woods sunk a bogey and a par before action was stopped.
This may tell a tale of two golfers heading in different directions, but both men have long afternoons ahead of them. Woods has eight holes remaining in his first-round campaign, while Scott has seven to go.
That's 26 holes of golf for Woods and 25 for Scott—all in one afternoon. Something that Woods doesn't want to hear, as he's currently battling injuries.
Tiger Woods grabbing the left wrist again after hitting out of the rough. This is going to be a thing, folks.— Brendan Prunty (@BrendanPrunty) June 14, 2013
Woods may be a warrior, but the safe bet is to steer clear of his direction.
If you were to bet on Scott, there would be good reason, as his long day comes with a great deal of momentum. Not only is he hot at this event, but Scott won the 2013 Masters, which signaled a new direction in his career.
With that being said, Scott has never finished better than 15th at the U.S. Open. Something tells us that his breakout year will continue nonetheless.
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