by Mark Mayer | Injuries had dropped the world ranking of Davis Love III into the mid 100s, but the winner of 19 PGA tournaments including the 1997 Masters is just two shots out of the lead halfway through the United States Open.
Love, who had to qualify to make the Open, went off at 150-1 at Caesars Palace and is the longest shot of those golfers on the first page of the leaderboard through 36 holes. Theres also plenty of value in leader Stewart Appleby, who closed at 80-1 at the Las Vegas Hilton. Appleby finished 36 holes at 3-under par 139. There were 21 golfers within five shots of the lead, including pre-tournament favorite Tiger Woods who was tied with 125-1 shot Robert Karlsson and Rocco Mediate at -2. Woods was 6-5 at Caesars and 2-1 at the Hilton. Mediate is among the field at 15-1 at Caesars.
The final two rounds will be televised in prime time on the East Coast by NBC and could produce the largest audience to ever watch a golf event. The added interest this year produced a 36-hole pairing of the top three ranked golfers Woods, Phil Mickelson and former UNLV standout Adam Scott. With that buildup has came a record number of proposition bets at the Hilton in addition to the odds to win and individual matchups.
In individual matchups, Woods is -240 against Phil Mickelson, who started play Saturday at +4. One already decided is Luke Donald a -110 winner over Justin Rose, who missed the cut. Donald, 40-1 at the Hilton to win the title, is at even par 142.
Among the prop bets: The lowest round bet went to the under at -110 when Miguel Angel Jimenez fired a 66 to beat the projected mark of 66½. Also decided was whether an amateur would make the cut. The yes wager of -200 won, with several making it to the final two rounds.There is also the prop bet as to whether Woods or Mickelson will win the Open. If either does, the payoff is +190.