U.S. Open Betting Preview
The second major of the year is upon us. After a thrilling finish in the FedEx Cup Playoffs, the pandemic-altered season continues with a fall version of the U.S. Open. It’s no surprise that Dustin Johnson is the betting favorite going off at +850 on the FanDuel Sportsbook. John Rahm (+1100), Justin Thomas (+1400), Xander Schauffele (+1400), Rory McIlroy (+1600), and U.S. Open Champion Collin Morikawa (+1800) also find themselves near the top of the odds board.
Event: U.S. Open
Course: Winged Foot Golf Club
Course Stats: Par 70 – 7,477 yards
Designer: A.W. Tillinghast
Greens: Bentgrass/Poa annua
Handicapping The Course
The real winner this week will be Winged Foot. The Westchester landmark will play host to its sixth U.S. Open, only Oakmont and Baltusrol have hosted more. It will be the first U.S. Open at Winged Foot since 2006, the famed Phil Mickelson collapse. Geoff Ogilvy won the tournament that year with a score of five-over-par. Expect similar scoring conditions this week with overly penal rough and lightning-quick greens placing an emphasis on iron play and accuracy.
Horse for the Course
My gut says back Dustin Johnson here, but golf has a funny way of humbling you just when you think you’ve conquered it, and it’s looked entirely too easy for DJ over these past few weeks. Instead, I’ll look to a similar talent at a slightly cheaper price.
John Rahm has also been on a tear since the restart, winning the Memorial and the BMW Championship and finishing fourth at the Tour Championship. The biggest improvement in Rahm’s game over the past few weeks has come between the ears. Gone are the days where he melts down after missing short putts and I’ve been really impressed with his mental approach to the game, which will serve him well in what should be a frustrating week at Winged Foot. Rahm’s swing is also in top form and was first in Total Strokes Gained last season.
Tony Finau at +4000 jumped out to me. Finau is in superb form, with a T4 finish at the PGA Championship and five Top-20 results since the restart, he is playing some of the best golf of his career. All of the analytics check out, Finau is 21st in Strokes Gained: Approach and 12th in Total Strokes Gained.
I’d be more comfortable playing Finau to finish Top 10 at +280 than I would for him to win outright as he has not shown the ability to get across the finish line in majors, but I definitely expect him to be part of the conversation this weekend.
FanDuel’s matchup market is giving us a layup this week. Tiger Woods has not been in top form this season with finishes of 40th, T37th, T58th, and T51st in the four events played since the restart. Meanwhile, Tyrell Hatton shot 66 last Sunday at East Lake to cap off a seventh-place finish at the Tour Championship.
He was one of the best iron players on tour last season ranking 4th in Stroke Gained: Approach and 8th in Total Strokes Gained. Hatton is striping it right now and is a good bet to finish ahead of Tiger after the proceedings.
Best Bet: Tyrell Hatton over Tiger Woods -150