BETHESDA, MD - JUNE 14: Phil Mickelson speaks to the media after his practice round prior to the start of the 111th U.S. Open at Congressional Country Club on June 14, 2011 in Bethesda, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

2011 U.S. Open: Phil Mickelson Is Underdog; Lee Westwood The Favorite

Tiger Woods is injured, but Phil Mickelson looks good coming into the 2011 U.S. Open at Congressional, although Lee Westwood is favored to win outright. (All content courtesy of SB Nation's partners at Odds Shark)

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2011 U.S. Open: Phil Mickelson Is Underdog; Lee Westwood The Favorite

Phil Mickelson looks for what's become an elusive U.S. Open title at the Congressional Country Club this weekend, and he should be in the mix along with a bevy of contenders.

Tiger Woods won't be on the Blue Course in Bethesda, MD this week, but that has little effect on what was already going to be a tough task for golf handicappers. Woods' injury just means one more possible winner is on the sidelines in what's a wide-open field.

Mickelson has never won the U.S. Open, but he's finished second five times - meaning this major means everything to him, and he's likely prepared accordingly.

That said, Lefty comes into the U.S. Open in good shape, and he's listed as a +1400 underdog to win the tourney at Bodog. The favorite is Lee Westwood (+1100 to win the U.S. Open), who has yet to win a major in his career despite his consistently elite play over the last decade.

Westwood has finished in the top three in five of his last 11 majors, and the time is ripe for him to break the curse. World No. 1 Luke Donald (+1200) has 10 straight top 10s on the PGA and European Tours, but he could be overvalued as an outright winner. The Blue Course at Congressional is the second longest in U.S. Open history, and for all of his success this season, Donald ranks only 148th in distance off the tee.

(For the updated info on the U.S. Open, check out SB Nation's lines partner Odds Shark.)

Rory McIlroy (+1600) is among the faves after melting down in the final round at the Masters, but he appears unfazed by the breakdown. The Northern Irishman has three top 10s in five starts since Augusta, and he's arguably the most talented golfer in the field with Tiger on the shelf.

Dustin Johnson provides value this week at +2500. Fourth at the Memorial last week, Johnson ranks second on the PGA Tour in distance off the tee behind Bubba Watson (+4000).

For his part, Watson is the only two-time winner on the PGA Tour this year, and he's more than a long driver. Watson leads the Tour in greens in regulation (73.9%), something that bodes well for him with the deep rough installed at the Blue Course.

Other players sure to be lurking on Sunday include Martin Kaymer (+2500), Nick Watney (+2500), Steve Stricker (+2500), Hunter Mahan (+2500), Matt Kuchar (+2500), and K.J. Choi (+2800). The Congressional hosted the AT&T National from 2007-09, and Choi was the tourney winner back in '07.

Live odds, matchups, links to the U.S. Open and more every day, visit Odds Shark.

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