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EXPERT GOLF TIPS: US OPEN

US OPEN TIPS AND PREDICTIONS | PREVIEW

Following the Masters win by Scottie Scheffler and the PGA Championship victory by Xander Schauffele, we head to one of the most revered courses on the planet for the US Open. The famed Pinehurst No.2 hosts the US Open for the fourth time and the first time in a decade. Wyndham Clark looks to defend his crown while Scheffler is strongly favoured to win his third major following another stunning win at The Memorial.

The US Open dates back to 1895 when Englishman Hotace Rawlins won in Newport, Rhode Island and has been won by all of the game’s greats – Hagen, Sarazen, Jones, Nelson, Hogan, Palmer, Nicklaus, Watson, Woods, Koepka. The US Open returns to the south for the first time in a decade and just the 10th-time ever with Pinehurst No.2 hosting the event for the fourth time. In the three previous US Opens at Pinehurst, only three players have gone under par. Scottie Scheffler is the clear-cut favourite with the world No.1 in all-time form. Xander Schauffele is looking to make it two straight. Wyndham Clark is looking to become just the second back-to-back winner since 1989. Brooks Koepka is looking to become just the fourth player since World War II to win three US Opens. Rory McIlroy is chasing his first major in a decade. All eyes will be on Pinehurst No.2 this week, a tremendous golf course for golf’s greatest test.

COURSE OVERVIEW

Pinehurst No.2 is the ultimate Donald Ross masterpiece, the St Andrews of the United States, a course whose only peers are Augusta National and Pebble Beach in terms of fame. Designed in 1907, it has undergone three major renovations – by Robert Trent Jones Sr in 1974, Rees Jones in 1996 and Coore and Crenshaw in 2011 – and has hosted three US Opens, most recently in 2014 when Martin Kaymer won by a mighty eight strokes. It is a purists course where it is necessary to play from the fairway though being short is no good. The rough has generally been replaced by waste areas with difficult wiregrass. The greens are an average size but nearly all crowned upside down and they do run fast. Any score under par will be right in the mix.

WINNING PROFILE

The US Open, despite being played on wildly different courses, has traditionally been a true test and experience matters. Winners have traditionally played between five and eight US Opens when winning while they have usually had a US Open Top 10 on their resume prior to victory. Elite golfers, as they have been for a long time now, nearly exclusively win majors. Form is also critical with golfers who have a Top 10 in one of the two majors this year favoured as well as someone who has posted a Top 12 in one of their two most recent starts.

Key Statistics

Putting Average
Bogey Avoidance
Birdies
Total Driving
Strokes Gained: Off The Tee
GIR
Strokes Gained: Tee To Green
Scrambling

Key Correlation Courses

Oak Hill
PGA National
TPC Sawgrass
Bay Hill
Sedgefield Country Club

STATISTICAL LEADERS

Putting Average

PGA Tour
1. Scottie Scheffler
2. Wyndham Clark
4. Jordan Spieth
6. Denny McCarthy
7. Jason Day
7. Collin Morikawa
9. Nick Dunlap
10. Brian Harman
10. Russell Henley

DP World Tour

LIV
1. Cameron Smith
3. Tyrell Hatton
8. Jon Rahm
8. Joaquin Niemann

Bogey Avoidance

PGA Tour
1. Scottie Scheffler
2. Xander Schauffele
3. Alex Noren
4. Greyson Sigg
5. Andrew Putnam
6. Aaron Rai
8. Ludvig Aberg
8. Tommy Fleetwood

DP World Tour
3. Tom McKibbin

LIV
Stat not available

Birdies

PGA Tour
1. Scottie Scheffler
2. Benny An
3. Wyndham Clark
3. Xander Schauffele
5. Collin Morikawa
6. Tom Hoge
6. Justin Thomas
8. Sam Burns

DP World Tour
10. Richard Mansell

LIV
2. Jon Rahm
4. Brooks Koepka
9. Cameron Smith

Total Driving

PGA Tour
1. Minwoo Lee
2. Rory McIlroy
3. Ludvig Aberg
5. Xander Schauffele
6. Scottie Scheffler
7. Jordan Spieth
8. Cameron Young
9. Matt Fitzpatrick
9. Kurt Kitayama

DP World Tour
Stat not available

LIV
Stat not available

Strokes Gained: Off The Tee

PGA Tour
2. Scottie Scheffler
3. Rory McIlroy
5. Keith Mitchell
6. Xander Schauffele
8. Rico Hoey
10. Minwoo Lee

DP World Tour
4. Richard Mansell
6. Tom McKibbin

LIV
1. Jon Rahm
3. Brooks Koepka

GIR

PGA Tour
1. Scottie Scheffler
2. Corey Conners
3. Aaron Rai
5. Alex Noren
8. Xander Schauffele
9. Benny An

DP World Tour
8. Tom McKibbin

LIV
4. Brooks Koepka
7. Jon Rahm
9. Dustin Johnson

Strokes Gained: Tee To Green

PGA Tour
1. Scottie Scheffler
2. Xander Schauffele
3. Hideki Matsuyama
4. Rory McIlroy
5. Justin Thomas
6. Si Woo Kim
7. Keith Mitchell
8. Aaron Rai
9. Tony Finau
10. Corey Conners

DP World Tour
6. Richard Mansell

LIV
Stat not available

Scrambling

PGA Tour
1. Alex Noren
2. Xander Schauffele
3. Denny McCarthy
4. Scottie Scheffler
6. Tommy Fleetwood
8. Greyson Sigg
10. Hideki Matsuyama

DP World Tour

LIV
5. Jon Rahm
6. Kevin Na
10. Tyrell Hatton

Best Back Bet

Betting Strategy

BACK: Scottie Scheffler (at $4 or Better)

Taking short odds in a major is never that fun but it is impossible to find a player who ranks close to Scheffler. He leads the Tour in Putting Average, Bogey Avoidance, Birdies, GIR and Strokes Gained: Tee To Green while he ranks 2nd in Strokes Gained: Off The Tee, 4th in Scrambling and 6th in Total Driving. Comes off a win at The Memorial, he won the last two at TPC Sawgrass and has now won five of eight tournaments with two runner-up finishes in that run.

Others that I like are Ludvig Aberg and Cameron Smith

Next Best Back Bet

Betting Strategy

BACK: Ludvig Aberg (at $19 or Better)

Aberg has had a remarkable first 12 months on Tour, already a Ryder Cup winner and major runner-up. This is just his third major but he has shown remarkable ability. He ranks 3rd in Total Driving as well as Top 15 in Bogey Avoidance and Scrambling. He is a huge runner here.

Value Back Bet

Betting Strategy

BACK: Cameron Smith (at $34 or Better)

Putting is going to play an even bigger role this week than any other and that puts Aussie Cam Smith right in the mix. He leads LIV in Putting Average while he ranks 9th in Birdies. He has twice finished 4th at the US Open. He has finished Top 10 in seven of his last 16 majors.

Best Lay Bet

Betting Strategy

LAY: Rory McIlroy (at $19 or Shorter)

Rory has finished in the Top 10 in each of the last five US Opens but given it has been a decade since his last major, he looks well worth taking on at short odds. McIlroy has been far from his best putting or scrambling this year. Way too short.

Best In-Play Trading Opportunity

Betting Strategy

BACK: Xander Schauffele (at $11 or Better)

Schauffele profiles tremendously again this week but his ability to get over the line is still not certain so happy to bet him early and then lay him back for a profit. He will almost certainly be in the mix again given his worst US Open finish in seven starts is 14th. He profiles fabulously again this week. He looks a great back-to-lay proposition.

Best Prop Market Bet – 1st Round Leader

Betting Strategy

BACK: Jon Rahm (at $34 or Better)

Spaniard Jon Rahm has not had the best of years but he is typically at his best in the opening round and on difficult courses he has the fourth best opening round average in the field outside of the three favourites. He looks a very nice bet.

Next Best Prop Market Bet – Wyndham Clark v Min Woo Lee

Betting Strategy

BACK: Min Woo Lee (at $1.65 or Better)

Defending champion Wyndham Clark is unlikely to find Pinehurst as much to his liking as LACC. Min Woo Lee, by contrast, looks well suited where Total Driving is one of the key stats and Lee leads the Tour in that stat.

Early Profile Back Bets

Betting Strategy

BACK: Tyrell Hatton @ $61 or Better

Leading LIV contender who is an elite putter and top class chipper. His US Open profile ticks all the boxes and his major form is very good too.

BACK: Jordan Spieth @ $61 or Better

Elite driving and putting will take you a long way and though Spieth is not sitting near the top of betting, he ranks 4th in Putting Average and 7th in Total Driving and is over the odds.

EARLY PROFILE LAY BETS

Betting Strategy

LAY: Viktor Hovland @ $26 or Lower

The swing changes and coach changes and constant tinkering has hurt Hovland this year. He has flashed but has a very poor statistical profile heading into the US Open.

LAY: Bryson DeChambeau @ $26 or Lower

Big-hitting Bryson does not profile well. His length won’t hurt him at all but this is not a course to be wide and his iron game has not been as dialled as needed.

LAY: Max Homa @ $51 or Lower

Homa has not enjoyed the best 2024 after a stunning 2023. He contested in the Masters but he is a non-factor statistically this year.

LAY: Justin Thomas @ $51 or Lower

Thomas is starting to make some ground back after falling into a massive hole. His putting, scrambling and iron game just aren’t strong enough to win at Pinehurst No.2.

2024 US Open (Golf) Championship at Pinehurst No.2

The 2024 US Open Golf Championship, one of the most prestigious events in the golfing calendar, returns to Pinehurst No.2. This iconic course, steeped in history and tradition, will once again be the stage for top golfers from around the world to compete for glory.

History of the US Open

  • Establishment: The US Open was first held in 1895 at Newport Golf Club in Rhode Island.
  • Evolution: Over the years, the tournament has grown in prestige, becoming one of the four major championships in professional golf.
  • Significance: It is known for its challenging courses, which test the skill and endurance of the world’s best golfers.

Pinehurst No.2

  • Inception: Designed by Donald Ross, Pinehurst No.2 opened in 1907.
  • Reputation: It is celebrated for its unique design and challenging layout, with crowned greens that demand precision.
  • Renovations: The course has undergone several renovations, the most notable being the restoration by Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw in 2010 to return it to Ross’s original vision.

Former Winners at Pinehurst No.2

  • 1999: Payne Stewart
    • Highlight: Known for his dramatic 15-foot putt on the 18th hole to clinch the victory.
  • 2005: Michael Campbell
    • Highlight: Campbell’s unexpected triumph over Tiger Woods by two strokes.
  • 2014: Martin Kaymer
    • Highlight: Dominant performance with an eight-stroke victory, showcasing precision and composure.

The Last US Open at Pinehurst No.2 (2014)

  • Winner: Martin Kaymer
    • Performance: Kaymer led wire-to-wire, finishing at 9-under-par, highlighting his exceptional skill and consistency throughout the tournament.
  • Notable Moments: His commanding victory reestablished Pinehurst No.2’s reputation as a course where precision and mental fortitude are paramount.

Top 5 Chances at the 2024 Tournament

  1. Scottie Scheffler
    • Strengths: Known for his strong driving and consistent putting, Scheffler has been in excellent form this season.
    • Recent Achievements: Multiple top-10 finishes in major tournaments.
  2. Rory McIlroy
    • Strengths: McIlroy’s powerful drives and experience in major championships make him a formidable contender.
    • Recent Achievements: Top-15 in this years PGA Championship.
  3. Jon Rahm
    • Strengths: Rahm’s aggressive playstyle and sharp short game make him a consistent threat.
    • Recent Achievements: Winner of the 2023 Masters.
  4. Collin Morikawa
    • Strengths: Renowned for his iron play and accuracy, Morikawa excels on challenging courses like Pinehurst No.2.
    • Recent Achievements: Consistent top-10 finishes in recent majors.
  5. Brooks Koepka
    • Strengths: Koepka’s experience and proven track record in majors, including multiple US Open victories, make him a top contender.
    • Recent Achievements: Strong finishes in the 2023 major tournaments.

Conclusion

The 2024 US Open at Pinehurst No.2 promises to be a thrilling event, bringing together the world’s best golfers on a historic and challenging course. With a mix of past champions and rising stars, the competition will be fierce as players aim to etch their names into the annals of golfing history. Whether it’s the precision of Collin Morikawa, the power of Rory McIlroy, or the consistency of Scottie Scheffler, the tournament is set to captivate golf enthusiasts worldwide.

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