Steve Bamford

Steve Bamford's US Open Tips 2024

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Congratulations if you were on-board favourite Scottie Scheffler at a best Monday price of 15/4 with bet365 last week at the Memorial Tournament. I landed another runner-up (10 for 2024) in Collin Morikawa at 14/1, with Tony Finau effectively giving me his each-way stake back in T8 at 45/1.

On to this week and the 124th US Open is visiting the Pinehurst Resort in North Carolina, to play their infamous Pinehurst Number 2 course. It should be an absolute feast of golf where the course is the star – unlike Valhalla last month.

Before we go into the detail surrounding the U.S. Open, we always have new visitors to Golf Betting System. Welcome and let me point you in the direction of our weekly Golf Betting System Podcast (published every Tuesday of the golfing calendar), the Steve Bamford Golf Channel on YouTube and our hugely popular, +6,300 strong, private Group on Facebook – you can Join Here.

Course Guide: Pinehurst in North Carolina is the golfing Mecca of the United States. The Resort offers 8 courses in all, but the Donald Ross-designed Pinehurst Number 2 is revered across the globe.

Swathed in typical thick Bermudagrass rough across both 1999 and 2005 U.S. Opens, Coore and Crenshaw were given the remit to renovate the course for the 2014 U.S. Open, which they performed by taking the Ross original very much back to its Carolina topography roots. Sandy native areas, with masses of Wiregrass surround every fairway, with every player admitting that the chances of recovering from these rank as a flip of a coin. In reality though, Pinehurst still plays as the ultimate total driving and approach shot course where long, straight length off the tee, allied to top-level long distance iron-play will be key. Ultimately strategic positioning and patience will be rewarded.

Pinehurst Number 2, Pinehurst Resort, North Carolina: Designer: Donald Ross 1907 with Coore and Crenshaw renovation 2011; Course Type: Classical, Carolina, Technical, Long; Par: 70; Length: 7,548 yards as per the scorecard; Number of Holes with Water In-Play: 1; Number of Sand Bunkers: 117; Acres of Fairway: 50; Fairways: 419 Bermudagrass; Rough: Natural Native Sand Areas with Wiregrass; Greens: 6,800 sq.ft average featuring Champion UltraDwarf Bermudagrass; Stimpmeter: 12.5ft-13.5ft.

Course Designer Links: For research purposes, other Donald Ross designs include:

  • Aronimink – 2010/11 AT&T National & 2018 BMW Championship
  • Detroit Golf Club –  Rocket Mortgage Classic
  • East Lake Country Club – Tour Championship
  • East Course, Oak Hill Country Club – 2013 and 2023 PGA Championships
  • Plainfield – 2011 & 2015 Barclays
  • Sedgefield Country Club – Wyndham Championship

Fairway Widths (yards): Below are the fairway widths for Pinehurst Number 2 and how they compare to recent courses that we’ve seen on Tour:

  • Pinehurst Number 2: Average 35-45 yards wide.
  • Muirfield Village: 250 yards from the tee: 34 yards wide; 275:32; 300:28; 325:24; 350:27.
  • Hamilton G&CC: 250 yards from the tee: 29 yards wide; 275:29; 300:29; 325:27; 350:28.
  • Colonial: Average 25-30 yards wide.
  • Quail Hollow: 250 yards from tee: 33 yards wide; 275:32; 300:31; 325:30; 350:29.
  • Harbour Town: 250 yards from tee: 29 yards wide; 275:26; 300:22; 325:26; 350:22.
  • Oaks Course: 250 yards from tee: 33 yards wide; 275:34; 300:29; 325:27; 350:26.
  • Memorial Park: 30–40 yards at 300 yards.
  • Copperhead: 250 yards from the tee: 24 yards wide; 275:20; 300:21; 325:23 350:19.
  • TPC Sawgrass: 250 yards from the tee: 31 yards wide; 275:32; 300:30; 325:28 350:20.
  • Bay Hill: 250 yards from the tee: 32 yards wide; 275:33; 300:33; 325:39 350:29.
  • PGA National: 250 yards from the tee: 29 yards wide; 275:27; 300:25; 325:27 350:25.
  • Riviera: 250 yards from the tee: 33 yards wide; 275:27; 300:26; 325:26 350:28.
  • TPC Scottsdale: 250 yards from the tee: 33 yards wide; 275:30; 300:28; 325:27; 350:27.
  • Pebble Beach: 250 yards from the tee: 33 yards wide; 275:33; 300:29; 325:30 350:26.
  • Torrey Pines South: 250 yards from the tee: 26 yards wide; 275:27; 300:25; 325:24; 350:23.
  • Pete Dye Stadium: 250 yards from the tee: 29 yards wide; 275:27; 300:26; 325:26; 350:24.
  • Waialae: 250 yards from the tee: 34 yards wide; 275:32; 300:34; 325:37; 350:34.
  • Plantation Course: 250 yards from the tee: 59 yards wide; 275:61; 300:65; 325:60; 350:62.

Course Overview: Pinehurst Number 2 in its Coore and Crenshaw guise is a strict Par 70 that features only 2 Par 5s – both are above 580 yards in length. Pinehurst is a very stiff test which rewards consistent approach play from beyond 175 yards and out. It’s also set-up to play far firmer than Valhalla last month at the PGA Championship – this should be a cracker!

The green complexes from a contouring aspect haven’t changed from 2005 or 2014 and it’s fascinating to note that the Ross designed Number 2 course is renowned in professional golf for having raised greens that have dome-like putting surfaces that repel approach shots. This is best articulated by the fact that previous U.S. Open winners here Payne Stewart (ranked 9th) and Michael Campbell (ranked 16th) won here with an amazingly low 56.9% Greens in Regulation split, which is unheard of in standard tournament golf.

The 2014 renovation, which we play this year, included significant green complex run off areas, so the greens play far smaller than their 6,800 sq.ft. average size. With no or little collar rough around the greens, stray balls feed into collection areas around putting complexes. These unique Donald Ross greens are incredibly complex. The best way to describe these greens are as upturned saucers with the pin usually located on an area at the highest part of the green. Despite being quite large, only 2,000 – 3,000 sq.ft of each green can received pin placements, highlighting just how small approach target areas are going to be, especially with quoted Stimpmeter targets of 12.5, approaching 14 on Sunday.

Martin Kaymer famously used the “Texas Wedge” (putting from off the green) as his go to tactic when missing greens here on his way to victory in 2014. Fascinatingly though Pinehurst Number 2 Course Superintendent John Jeffreys has already highlighted that he wants to get the green fringe grass conditions just right, so that the players don’t automatically putt when balls inevitably run off of putting surfaces. Creating player indecision as to whether to chip on down-grain, tightly-mown, textured lies or putt on grass that will be just high enough in length and moist enough in terms of soil to cause variability of result, will be a key feature of Pinehurst Number 2.

Controlled length off the tee was a huge advantage in 2014 and that makes sense as virtually all holes feature fairway pinch points where risk and reward will be a key dynamic. Pinching an additional 30 yards off the tee might be the game plan of the longer hitters, but venture into the native areas, where masses of additional wiregrass (20,000 fresh sprigs) has been planted specifically for this U.S. Open,  and it’s pure luck if you have a recovery option. Playing from the fairway was key for Martin Kaymer, who then played tremendous approach golf across Thursday and Friday to build a lead. He played strategic golf of the highest order which undoubtedly takes a very strong self-belief to play for 72 holes, especially when birdies are scarce.

us open tips

US Open Winners: 2023: Wyndham Clark (-10); 2022: Matt Fitzpatrick (-6); 2021: John Rahm (-6); 2020: Bryson DeChambeau (-6); 2019: Gary Woodland (-13); 2018: Brooks Koepka (+1); 2017: Brooks Koepka (-16); 2016: Dustin Johnson (-4); 2015: Jordan Spieth (-5); 2014: Martin Kaymer (-9); 2013: Justin Rose (+1); 2012: Webb Simpson (+1); 2011: Rory McIlroy (-16); 2010: Graeme McDowell (E); 2009: Lucas Glover (-4).

  • 2023: Wyndham Clark 64-67-69-70 -10/270
  • 2022: Matt Fitzpatrick 68-70-68-68 -6/274
  • 2021: Jon Rahm 69-70-72-67 -6/278
  • 2020: Bryson DeChambeau 69-68-70-67 -6/274
  • 2019: Gary Woodland 68-65-69-69 -13/271
  • 2018: Brooks Koepka 69-63-66-66 -16/264
  • 2017: Brooks Koepka 67-70-68-67 -16/272

Path to Victory: Below are end of round positions for the winners of the US Open since 2010:

  • 2023 – Wyndham Clark: Round 1: 3rd, Round 2: 2nd, Round 3: 1st.
  • 2022 – Matt Fitzpatrick: Round 1: 7th, Round 2: 13th, Round 3: 1st.
  • 2021 – Jon Rahm: Round 1: 5th, Round 2: 5th, Round 3: 6th.
  • 2020 – Bryson DeChambeau: Round 1: 14th, Round 2: 2nd, Round 3: 2nd.
  • 2019 – Gary Woodland: Round 1: 8th, Round 2: 1st, Round 3: 1st.
  • 2018 – Brooks Koepka: Round 1: 46th, Round 2: 4th, Round 3: 1st.
  • 2017 – Brooks Koepka: Round 1: 4th, Round 2: 1st, Round 3: 2nd.
  • 2016 – Dustin Johnson: Round 1: 2nd, Round 2: 1st, Round 3: 2nd.
  • 2015 – Jordan Spieth: Round 1: 7th, Round 2: 1st, Round 3: 1st.
  • 2014 – Martin Kaymer: Round 1: 1st, Round 2: 1st, Round 3: 1st.
  • 2013 – Justin Rose: Round 1: 16th, Round 2: 3rd, Round 3: 5th.
  • 2012 – Webb Simpson: Round 1: 23rd, Round 2: 29th, Round 3: 8th.
  • 2011 – Rory McIlroy: Round 1: 1st, Round 2: 1st, Round 3: 1st.
  • 2010 – Graeme McDowell: Round 1: 10th, Round 2 1st, Round 3: 2nd.

Shots From the Lead: Below are the US Open winners since 2010 and where they were positioned in terms of shots from the lead during the tournament:

  • 2023 – Wyndham Clark: Round 1: 2 back, Round 2: 1 back, Round 3: level.
  • 2022 – Matt Fitzpatrick: Round 1: 2 back, Round 2: 3 back, Round 3: level.
  • 2021 – Jon Rahm: Round 1: 2 back, Round 2: 2 back, Round 3: 3 back.
  • 2020 – Bryson DeChambeau: Round 1: 4 back, Round 2: 1 back, Round 3: 2 back.
  • 2019 – Gary Woodland: Round 1: 3 back, Round 2: 2 ahead, Round 3: 1 ahead.
  • 2018 – Brooks Koepka: Round 1: 6 back, Round 2: 5 back, Round 3: level.
  • 2017 – Brooks Koepka: Round 1: 2 back, Round 2: level, Round 3: 1 back.
  • 2016 – Dustin Johnson: Round 1: 1 back, Round 2: 1 ahead, Round 3: 4 back.
  • 2015 – Jordan Spieth: Round 1: 3 back, Round 2: level, Round 3: level.
  • 2014 – Martin Kaymer: Round 1: 3 ahead, Round 2: 6 ahead, Round 3: 5 ahead.
  • 2013 – Justin Rose: Round 1: 4 back, Round 2: 1 back, Round 3: 2 back.
  • 2012 – Webb Simpson: Round 1: 6 back, Round 2: 6 back, Round 3: 4 back.
  • 2011 – Rory McIlroy: Round 1: 3 ahead, Round 2: 6 ahead, Round 3: 8 ahead.
  • 2010 – Graeme McDowell: Round 1: 2 back, Round 2: 2 ahead, Round 3: 3 back.

OWGR of U.S. Open Winners: 2023: Clark 32; 2022: Fitzpatrick 18; 2021: Rahm 3; 2020: DeChambeau 9; 2019: Woodland 24; 2018: Koepka 9; 2017: Koepka 22.

Tournament Stats: We’ve published some key player statistics for this week’s event that are well worth a look. Naturally they’ll help to shape a view on players who could go well this week: Current Form | Tournament Form | First Round Leader | Combined Stats | Recent Majors Stats.

My published predictor is available here. Top 10 of my published predictor are: Rory McIlroy, Scottie Scheffler, Xander Schauffele, Collin Morikawa, Brooks Koepka, Viktor Hovland, Bryson DeChambeau, Tommy Fleetwood, Justin Thomas and Tony Finau.

Our brand new predictor model is running alongside, where you can build your own rankings in live time, using the variables listed on the left hand side.

US Open Winners & Prices: 2023: Clark 66/1; 2022: Fitzpatrick 25/1; 2021: Rahm 10/1; 2020: DeChambeau 25/1; 2019: Woodland 80/1; 2018: Koepka 25/1; 2017: Koepka 45/1; 2016: Dustin Johnson 16/1; 2015: Spieth 9/1; 2014: Kaymer 40/1; 2013: Rose 28/1; 2012: Simpson 80/1; 2011: McIlroy 22/1; 2010: McDowell 80/1. Past 5 Renewals Average: 41/1; Average: 39/1.

Weather Forecast: The latest weather forecast for Pinehurst, North Carolina is here.

Hot and humid is the best way to describe the weather this week in North Carolina. Temperatures of 30-33 Celsius – 86-92 Fahrenheit – will greet the players. With little rain in June and with the chances of precipitation in tournament week being extremely low, moisture on the course will pretty much be the decision of the USGA and Course Superintendent John Jeffreys. The wind forecast is for the lightest of breezes as well.

So the difficulty this week will be purely down to the course (extremely difficult) and the speed of the greens. Personally I don’t expect this to play as tough as in 2014, but I’m expecting releasing greens by the weekend, with the leading score likely to stagnate if not go backwards over the weekend.

Player Strokes Gained Rankings: These top 25 in the field rankings are based on an 8-tournament window that stretches back to the RBC Heritage / Corales Championship which includes both PGA Tour and DP World Tour events, where recorded. Player rankings are based on performance relative to the rest of the field:

  • Top 25 SG Off The Tee: 1) Bryson DeChambeau; 2) Rico Hoey; 3) Adrian Meronk; 4) Collin Morikawa; 5) Viktor Hovland; 6) Tyrrell Hatton / Scottie Scheffler; 8) Jordan Spieth; 9) Xander Schauffele; 10) Wyndham Clark; 11) Sungjae Im / Rory McIlroy; 13) Davis Thompson; 14) Ludvig Aberg; 15) Byeong Hun An; 16) Aaron Rai / Justin Thomas; 18) Tom McKibbin; 19) Brooks Koepka; 20) Min Woo Lee; 21) Kurt Kitayama; 22) Sahith Theegala; 23) Shane Lowry; 24) Harry Higgs / Stephan Jaeger / Adam Scott.
  • Top 25 SG Approach: 1) Viktor Hovland / Scottie Scheffler; 3) Sepp Straka; 4) Corey Conners; 5) Dean Burmester / Russell Henley; 7) Francesco Molinari / Justin Thomas; 9) Tony Finau; 11) Xander Schauffele; 11) Rory McIlroy / Aaron Rai; 13) Si Woo Kim / Tom Hoge; 15) Brian Harman; 16) Collin Morikawa / Sahith Theegala; 18) Sam Burns; 19) Byeong Hun An / Kurt Kitayama; 21) Emiliano Grillo / Seamus Power; 23) Ludvig Aberg / Keegan Bradley / Patrick Cantlay / Matt Fitzpatrick.
  • Top 25 SG Around The Green: 1) Cameron Smith; 2) Bryson DeChambeau; 3) Hideki Matsuyama; 4) Webb Simpson; 5) Collin Morikawa; 6) Christiaan Bezuidenhout / Justin Thomas; 8) Dean Burmester; 9) Russell Henley; 10) Patrick Cantlay; 11) Max Homa; 12) Sungjae Im; 13) Kurt Kitayama; 14) Sam Burns / Rory McIlroy; 16) Adam Hadwin; 17) Tommy Fleetwood; 18) Matt Fitzpatrick / Beau Hossler / Brandon Wu; 21) Tony Finau / Nick Taylor; 23) Mac Meissner; 24) Brooks Koepka; 25) Alex Noren.
  • Top 25 SG Tee to Green: 1) Bryson DeChambeau / Scottie Scheffler; 3) Dean Burmester; 4) Aaron Rai / Justin Thomas; 6) Viktor Hovland / Rory McIlroy / Collin Morikawa; 9) Corey Conners / Russell Henley; 11) Tony Finau; 12) Davis Thompson; 13) Sepp Straka; 14) Sam Burns / Sungjae Im; 16) Kurt Kitayama / Xander Schauffele; 18) Hideki Matsuyama; 19) Adam Svensson; 20) Keegan Bradley / Tom Hoge / Si Woo Kim / Brooks Koepka / Tom McKibbin; 25) Byeong Hun An.
  • Top 25 SG Putting: 1) Xander Schauffele; 2) Mackenzie Hughes / Phil Mickelson; 4) Billy Horschel / Denny McCarthy; 6) Ben Kohles; 7) Jason Day; 8) Harris English; 9) Thomas Detry / Adrian Meronk; 11) Matt Kuchar / Robert MacIntyre; 13) Bryson DeChambeau; 14) Christiaan Bezuidenhout; 15) Peter Malnati; 16) Dustin Johnson; 17) Rory McIlroy; 18) Collin Morikawa / Taylor Pendrith; 20) Gary Woodland; 21) Hideki Matsuyama / Tom McKibbin / Alex Noren; 24) Ludvig Aberg; 25) Keegan Bradley / Tommy Fleetwood / Beau Hossler / Jake Knapp / Taylor Moore.

Player Strokes Gained Total Rankings: These top 25 in the field rankings are based on an 8-tournament window that stretches back to the RBC Heritage / Corales Championship which includes PGA Tour, DP World Tour and LIV Golf League events, where recorded. Player rankings are based on performance relative to the rest of the field:

  • Top 25 SG Total: 1) Scottie Scheffler; 2) Collin Morikawa / Xander Schauffele; 4) Brooks Koepka; 5) Dean Burmester; 6) Rory McIlroy / Tom McKibben; 8) Viktor Hovland; 9) Justin Thomas; 10) Russell Henley; 11) Bryson DeChambeau; 12) Billy Horschel; 13) Tony Finau; 14) Christiaan Bezuidenhout / Corey Conners / Hideki Matsuyama; 17) Dustin Johnson / Sepp Straka; 19) Min Woo Lee / Alex Noren; 21) Ludvig Aberg / Tommy Fleetwood; 23) Taylor Pendrith; 24) Byeong Hun An / Keegan Bradley / Brian Harman / Sungjae Im.

Tournament Trends & Key Factors: Analysing the final stats of US Open winners here across 2005 and 2014 gives us a little more insight into the requirements for this test:

  • 2014, Martin Kaymer (-9). 306 yards (7th), 76.8% fairways (9th), 62.5% greens in regulation (18th), Total Driving Rank 2nd, Ball Striking Rank 4th, 70.4% scrambling (1st), 1.71 putts per GIR (1st).
  • 2005, Michael Campbell (E). 294 yards (36th), 64.3% fairways (8th), 56.9% greens in regulation (16th), Total Driving Rank 8th, Ball Striking Rank 6th, 48.4% scrambling (23rd), 1.61 putts per GIR (3rd).

Tournament Skill Averages:

  • Driving Distance: 22nd, Driving Accuracy: 9th, Greens in Regulation: 17th, Total Driving Rank: 5th, Ball Striking Rank: 5th, Scrambling: 12th, Putting Average 2nd.

Incoming Form of U.S. Open winners since 2010:

  • Wyndham Clark: 12th Memorial/MC PGA/1st Quail Hollow/24th Mexico.
  • Matt Fitzpatrick: 10th Canada/MC Memorial/5th PGA/2nd Wells Fargo.
  • Jon Rahm: WD Memorial/8th PGA/34th Byron/MC Quail.
  • Bryson DeChambeau: 25th Tour Champ/50th BMW Champ/MC Northern Trust/4th PGA.
  • Gary Woodland: 52nd Memorial/8th PGA/MC Quail Hollow/32nd Augusta.
  • Brooks Koepka: 30th TPC Southwind/2nd Colonial/11th TPC Sawgrass/42nd Quail.
  • Brooks Koepka: 37th TPC Southwind/31st Memorial/50th TPC4S/16th TPC Sawgrass.
  • Dustin Johnson: 5th TPC Southwind/3rd Memorial/12th TPC4S/28th TPC Sawgrass.
  • Jordan Spieth: 3rd Memorial/30th TPC4S/2nd Colonial/MC TPC Sawgrass.
  • Martin Kaymer: 12th Wentworth/29th TPC4S/1st TPC Sawgrass/18th Quail.
  • Justin Rose: 8th Memorial/50th Wentworth/MC TPC Sawgrass/15th TPC Louisiana.
  • Webb Simpson: MC Memorial/MC TPC Sawgrass/ 4th Quail/13th New Orleans.
  • Rory McIlroy: 5th Memorial/24th Wentworth/MC Quail/3rd Kuala Lumpur.
  • Graeme McDowell: 1st Celtic Manor/4th Madrid/28th Wentworth/26th TPC Sawgrass.

First Round Leader Analysis: First round leader(s), their wave and winning score since 2010. Full First Round Leader stats are here.

  • 2023 – Fowler/Schauffele – Both AM -8/62 – 55/1 & 35/1.
  • 2022 – Hadwin – PM -4/66 – 125/1.
  • 2021 – Henley/Oosthuizen – AM/PM Split -4/67 – 100/1 & 45/1.
  • 2020 – Thomas – AM -5/65 – 25/1.
  • 2019 – Rose – PM -6/65 – 40/1.
  • 2018 – Henley/D Johnson/Piercy/Poulter – 2AM/2PM -1/69 – 125/1, 16/1, 200/1 & 100/1.
  • 2017 – Fowler – AM -7/65 – 40/1.
  • 2016 – Landry – AM -4/66.
  • 2015 – D Johnson/Stenson – Both AM -5/65.
  • 2014 – Kaymer – PM -5/65.
  • 2013 – Mickelson – AM -3/67.
  • 2012 – M Thompson – AM -4/66.
  • 2011 – McIlroy – PM -6/65.
  • 2010 – Casey/de Jonge/Micheel – All PM -2/69.

For the record, here’s the breakdown of Bermudagrass PGA Tour victors in the field since 2008:

  • 10 – Rory McIlroy.
  • 8 – Scottie Scheffler.
  • 7 – Dustin Johnson, Tiger Woods.
  • 6 – Justin Thomas.
  • 5 – Jordan Spieth.
  • 4 – Sam Burns, Jason Day, Billy Horschel, Chris Kirk, Si Woo Kim.
  • 3 – Matt Kuchar, Xander Schauffele.
  • 2 – Daniel Berger, Patrick Cantlay, Harris English, Rickie Fowler, Lucas Glover, Russell Henley, Mackenzie Hughes, Brooks Koepka, Peter Malnati, Phil Mickelson, Justin Rose, Adam Scott, Webb Simpson, Nick Taylor.
  • 1 – Ludvig Aberg, Akshay Bhatia, Keegan Bradley, Wyndham Clark, Corey Conners, Bryson DeChambeau, Nick Dunlap, Austin Eckroat, Tony Finau, Matt Fitzpatrick, Adam Hadwin, Tyrrell Hatton, Jim Herman, Max Homa, Viktor Hovland, Sungjae Im, Stephan Jaeger, Sung Kang, Martin Kaymer, Tom Kim, Kurt Kitayama, Shane Lowry, Hideki Matsuyama, Francesco Molinari, Taylor Moore, Collin Morikawa, J.T. Poston, Seamus Power, Sepp Straka, Adam Svensson, Brendon Todd, Gary Woodland, Will Zalatoris.

Recent U.S. Open history features a new breed of champions with first-time Major winners galore. Indeed, going back to 2009, 12 of the last 15 champions had never captured a Major title.

So for me it’s interesting to look at the prices of first-time Major winners going back to Danny Willett wining the 2016 Masters.

  • 2024 Open Championship, Brian Harman 110/1
  • 2023 US Open, Wyndham Clark 66/1
  • 2022 Open Championship, Cam Smith 28/1
  • 2022 US Open, Matt Fitzpatrick 25/1
  • 2022 Masters, Scottie Scheffler 16/1
  • 2021 US Open, Jon Rahm 10/1 Fav
  • 2021 Masters, Hideki Matsuyama 45/1
  • 2020 US Open, Bryson DeChambeau 25/1
  • 2020 PGA Championship, Collin Morikawa 35/1
  • 2019 Open Championship, Shane Lowry 70/1
  • 2019 US Open, Gary Woodland  80/1
  • 2018 Open Championship, Francesco Molinari 33/1
  • 2018 Masters, Patrick Reed 50/1
  • 2017 PGA Championship, Justin Thomas 45/1
  • 2017 US Open, Brooks Koepka 50/1
  • 2016 PGA Championship, Jimmy Walker 150/1
  • 2016 Open Championship, Henrik Stenson 33/1
  • 2016 US Open, Dustin Johnson 16/1
  • 2016 Masters, Danny Willett 66/1

Overall it’s well worth noting that the average price for U.S. Open winners since 2015 is 41/1. Jordan Spieth won at 9/1 in 2015, fresh from a Masters win, and since then the winning prices have been 16/1 (2016 – Johnson), 45/1 (2017 – Koepka), 25/1 (2018 – Koepka), 80/1 (2019 – Woodland), 25/1 (2020 – DeChambeau), 10/1 (2021 – Rahm), 25/1 (2022 – Fitzpatrick) and 66/1 (2023 Clark).

My final US Open tips for 2024 are as follows:

Scottie Scheffler 6Pts Win Only 4/1 with Starsports

The rare 4/1 about Scottie Scheffler to win the US Open pre Memorial Tournament has naturally all but disappeared after his heroics last week, but on a course where the very best total driving and ball striking can lead to separation – unlike Valhalla last month – I think the World Number 1 wins the 2024 United States Open Championship.

Everything about Pinehurst Number 2 screams Scottie Scheffler. A total driving golf course, inaccuracy off the tee here can lead to all manner of trouble across Pinehurst’s sandy native areas which are inhabited by wiregrass and pine weed (thanks Andy Lack – Inside Golf Podcast). Get stuck behind any of these and expect an instant stroke lost for missing the fairway.

But the fun doesn’t stop there. The saucer-shaped greens and their surrounding run-offs can lead to big numbers. Green complexes only feature 2,000-3,000 sq.ft. of putting surface that approach shots can effectively stay on, so badly executed or thought through approach shots get rejected. Tightly mown green surrounds, low-point run-off areas where chips are severely contoured upwards and tough bunkering make double or triple bogeys more than possible, for approach shots that miss their intended target by a only a matter of feet.

My choice on the Golf Betting System Podcast to win the U.S. Open here at Pinehurst all year, Scheffler is playing golf at the moment which no other player can get anywhere close to on a regular basis. Plus this golf course, its geographical location, and the agronomy are perfect for the 27 year-old. His 2 Masters wins came-off 1st (2022) and 2nd (2024) place finishes the outing before and Scottie’s 69.81 Major Championship average is better than anybody else in this field by over 0.5 a stroke per round – with Rory McIlroy, Xander Schauffele and Brooks Koepka being his nearest rivals.

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Collin Morikawa 3pts EW 16/1 (8EW, 1/5) with Boylesports

As a Collin Morikawa backer last week, if anybody is going to beat the World Number 1 this week then for me Collin’s chances are the best. After all he was better off the tee, around the greens and with the putter than Scottie last week at Muirfield Village, but Scheffler’s out of this world +12.96 Strokes Gained on Approach did for Morikawa, who could only manage (written tongue firmly in cheek) +5.09 with the approaches. Ultimately he lost by a single stroke.

3rd at The Masters and 4th at the PGA Championship already this season, Collin has admitted that he saves his very best performances for stretching, difficult courses where every shot matters. Pinehurst Number 2 should be perfect in that regard.

1st for Driving Accuracy, 15th for Strokes Gained Off the Tee and tied 2nd for Strokes Gained Current Form behind Scottie (who else would you expect) across my 8-week Strokes Gained tracker, Pinehurst Number 2 with its emphasis on straight hitting off the tee should give the World Number 7 a great chance of picking up his first U.S. Open title.

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Brooks Koepka 2pts EW 20/1 (10EW, 1/5) with Betfred

Brooks Koepka has always been a Major Championship monster, although some will be questioning that after 2024 performances to date that read 45/26.

He admitted that he was under-cooked for Augusta and the soft, no penalty off the fairway and around the greens nature of Valhalla was far from ideal for Brooks. The 5-time Major champion needs a Major difficult golf course where mistakes are heavily penalised, where strategic plotting is critical, and where par golf ultimately thrives. I think he gets just that at Pinehurst Number 2 this week.

The beauty here is that Koepka effectively arrives under the radar, with poor 2024 Major Championship form allied to playing on LIV which get’s little emphasis, especially with Scottie Scheffler dominating world golf right now. But LIV form of 9-1-9 is hardly disastrous and I love the way that the Floridian is hitting the ball long, straight and with highly consistent approach play – he’s ranked 1st, 5th and 8th for Greens in Regulation across Adelaide, Singapore and Houston. He also ranked 2nd for Driving Accuracy and 3rd for Total Driving, hitting the ball on average 312 yards off the tee.

Arriving off a field best -7/65 at the GC of Houston on Sunday, I’m very positive about Brooks repeating or bettering his 4th place finish here 10 years ago.

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Sahith Theegala 1pt EW 55/1 (10EW, 1/5) with Betfred

If we were to get a shock +50/1 first time Major winner, then Sahith Theegala ticks a surprising amount of boxes for me.

5th for Strokes Gained Total on the PGA Tour in 2024 – only Scheffler, Schauffele, McIlroy and Alex Noren are ahead – Theegala ranks in the top 25 for Strokes Gained Off the Tee, Approach and Putting. His weakness tends to be Around the Green – but that will be mitigated this week here at Pinehurst Number 2, where putting from off the green surface will be possible on many holes.

To this point in a young career, a lover of classical, tough golf courses – Theegala’s win in September came at the classical Silverado track. 5th at Bay Hill (2024), 9th (2024) at TPC Sawgrass, 7th (2022) at Copperhead, 5th (2022) and 12th (2024) at Muirfield Village, 2nd (2022) at TPC River Highlands, plus 13th (2022) & 13th (2023) at TPC Southwind (Champion Bermudagrass greens). He’s also finished 5th (2023) and 2nd (2024) at Harbour Town – tie that in with a top-7 at Copperhead and you get a player who is more than comfortable on Carolina-type golf courses.

His Major Championship form is good as well. 9th on his first visit to Augusta last year, Sahith was 12th at Valhalla last month, heading out in the final round in the second-from-last group on Sunday with Shane Lowry. It’s not as if he’s been overawed in Majors or Signature-level events in 2024.

Sahith also played stunningly well at Muirfield Village last week, so must arrive full of confidence. 12th for Driving Distance, 8th for Driving Accuracy, 1st for Total Driving, 5th for Greens in Regulation, 1st for Ball Striking and 4th for All-Round, that converted to Strokes Gained Rankings of 2nd for Off the Tee, 12th for Approach and 4th for Tee to Green. Only a slightly recalcitrant putter held him back from his 6th top-10 of the season.

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Odds and bookmaker offers correct at 12:05BST 10.6.24 but are naturally subject to fluctuation.