US Open odds: Dustin Johnson favored to win major for 2nd straight year

Dustin Johnson

Reigning U.S. Open champion Dustin Johnson is favored to defend his title when golfers converge on Erin Hills golf course in Wisconsin on Thursday for the 2017 edition of the major tournament, according to a Las Vegas sportsbook.

Johnson, 32, leads the field with 7-1 odds of winning this year’s tournament, according to WestGate SuperBook. Rivals Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth and Jason Day are all considered close contenders, with 12/1 odds of taking first place.

Johnson enters the tournament as the world’s top-ranked golfer. The 2017 U.S. Open marks Johnson’s first attempt at a major championship since he was forced to withdraw from the Masters Tournament last April due to a back injury suffered in a freak fall down a flight of stairs.

Golfers Rickie Fowler (15/1), Jon Rahm (15/1), Hideki Matsuyama (25/1), Sergio Garcia (25/1) and Adam Scott (25/1) round out the frontrunners at this year’s event. The tournament has a $12 million purse – higher than any other event on the PGA Tour – with the winner slated to receive a $2.16 million share.

An appearance in the U.S. Open isn’t the only major event happening in Johnson’s life this week. His fiancee, Paulina Gretzky, is expected to give birth via C-section on Monday, just before Johnson flies out for the tournament on Tuesday, ESPN reported.