U.S Open First Round Insights: Bettors Backing McIlroy

The 122nd U.S Open Championship tees off this week (June 16-19) from The Country Club in Brookline, Massachusetts, starting with Thursday’s opening round.

As the old saying goes in golf, a tournament cannot be won on the first day, but it can surely be lost. To that end, let us look at the latest First Round insights courtesy of the BetMGM Sportsbook. 

Highest Ticket Percentage – Cameron Smith & Rory McIlroy (4.8%)

Australia’s Cameron Smith is no stranger to strong opening-round performances. The World No. 6 leads the PGA Tour in Round 1 scoring average (67.73) and has held the 18-hole lead this season at both the Memorial and the Tournament of Champions. Smith’s penchant for the quick start certainly has bettors’ attention as the 28-year-old is tied with tournament favorite Rory McIlroy (more on him soon) with 4.8% of all tickets. Smith is scheduled to tee off at 1:25 p.m. in a group that features two-time U.S. Open Champion Brooks Koepka and 2022 Masters winner Scottie Scheffler.

Other Notable Ticket Percentages:

Jordan Spieth (4.2%)
Will Zalatoris (4.2%)
Collin Morikawa (3.3%)

Highest Handle Percentage – Rory McIlroy (13.6%)

Taking in a convincing 13.6% of the handle is 2011 U.S. Open Champion Rory McIlroy. The Irishman is 16th on tour in first-round scoring average (69.11) and enters the tournament in great form following last week’s triumph at the RBC Canadian Open. McIlroy has 32 career first-round leads to his name, including two this season at Bay Hill and Southern Hills – notoriously difficult courses. The 33-year-old has also held the opening-round lead five times in a major, one being his aforementioned U.S. Open victory, where he went wire-to-wire. Throw in the usually favorable early morning conditions (7:40 a.m. tee time), and McIlroy has as great a shot as anyone to add another 18-hole lead to his golfing resume.

Other Notable Handle Percentages:

Jordan Spieth (7.8%)
Jon Rahm (7.3%)
Justin Thomas (5.9%)