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The 2022 US Open returns to The Country Club, Brookline, Massachusetts for the first time since 1988. The last time the United States Golf Association sent its Open Championship to Brookline, Curtis Strange won in a play-off from Nick Faldo. Relatively short by modern day standards, The Country Club though is sure to be a stern test for the very best players in the world, competing on a freshly re-routed Gil Hanse renovation.
The 122nd edition of the US Open takes place from Thursday 16th June 2022. Now into our 13th season, Golf Betting System will as ever be hunting for profit with our US Open tips from Paul Williams and Steve Bamford.
Golf Betting System has full 2022 coverage with US Open tips, long-shot and alternative market selections, a full range of free course and player statistics, including Strokes Gained, plus of course our famous free statistical Predictor Model. You can also listen to our weekly Golf Betting System podcast (published every Tuesday of the golfing calendar), which is also available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and on the Steve Bamford Golf Channel, as well as across all popular podcast players.
Recent US Open history features a new breed of champions with first-time Major winners galore. Indeed, going back to 2009, 10 of the last 13 champions had never captured a Major title.
2021 saw Jon Rahm win his maiden Major title as the 9/1 favourite on the course where he won his first PGA Tour title back in 2017. In 2020, Bryson DeChambeau bludgeoned his way around Winged Foot to capture his first Major title – in doing so becoming only the second ever winner to average over 320 yards off the tee when winning a Major. 2019 saw Gary Woodland capture his first Major victory at the iconic Pebble Beach. Off the back of consecutive PGA Championship top-8 finishes, Woodland delivered a masterclass of long, straight driving and elite-level ball-striking at Pebble, holding off modern-day US Open king Brooks Koepka.
Brooks triumphed at both the 2017 and 2018 renewals held at the contrived Erin Hills and the classical faux-links at Shinnecock Hills. He hits the ball a mile, but undoubtedly has the patience, approach play and short game to tame tough golf courses. Before Brooks, 2016 saw the buccaneering Dustin Johnson show huge mental resolve to capture his first Major, despite being told on the 12th tee of the final round that he was being assessed for a one-shot penalty, sustained for his ball moving on the 5th green as he was addressing his putt.
2015 saw 21 year-old Jordan Spieth win back-to-back Majors at a versatile Chambers Bay course which split the opinions of both players and the wider golfing public. 2014 saw Martin Kaymer in a class of his own as he made playing Pinehurst Number 2 look unnaturally easy on his way to winning his 2nd Major title. 2013 saw Justin Rose capture his first Major Championship with an emotional victory at Merion Golf Club. These victories followed on from first Major wins for Webb Simpson (Olympic Club 2012), Rory McIlroy (Congressional 2011), Graeme McDowell (Pebble Beach 2010) and Lucas Glover (Bethpage Black 2009).
So just who will be the 2022 US Open champion at Brookline Country Club?
Golf betting at the Major Championships is a complex subject. Mistakes can be costly, however select the right player or player portfolio and the rewards can be excellent. Golf Betting System’s goal is to provide you with informed US Open tips, free tournament research guides, plus insight and information that will help you make educated decisions about what players to back at the 2022 US Open Championship.
Course Information: The Country Club at Brookline has an infamous reputation, potentially fuelled by the fact that we haven’t seen top-level golf action here since the 1999 Ryder Cup. Yes, the US Amateur was played here and won by Matthew Fitzpatrick in 2013, but there’s been a 23 year gap since we have seen the best players in the world playing in the Boston, Massachusetts suburbs.
Statistically speaking, especially when compared to 2021 host venue Torrey Pines, The Country Club at Brookline could be confused as being a totally different beast. At just a touch under 7,300 yards in length, The Country Club will be 400 yards shorter than Torrey Pines, but it’s going to play as a Par 70 – Torrey Pines was a Par 71 – plus the iconic Brookline is famous for having some of the smallest green complexes in the United States. With postage stamp greens that roll fast and true, punishing rough, plus picturesque fescue tracing the contour of many holes, the Gil Hanse-renovated Country Club looks all set to be a special US Open venue.
The Country Club, Brookline, Mamaroneck, New York: Designer: Willie Campbell 1895, Rees Jones, 1988, with Gil Hanse restoration 2009 on-going; Course Type: Classical; Par: 70; Length: Circa 7,264 yards; Holes with Water Hazards: 3; Fairways: Bentgrass with Poa Annua; Rough: Perennial Rye, Kentucky Bluegrass, Poa Annua, with Fescue 3-5″; Greens: 4,388 sq.ft average featuring Poa Annua (75%) and Bentgrass (25%).
Course Designer Links: For research purposes, other Gil Hanse designs (including re-renovations/restorations) include:
No competitors, viewers or punters will have seen The Country Club in its new 2022 US Open guise. Since the 1957 US Amateur for additional yardage purposes, a composite championship course had excluded three holes on the main course to stretch the total length by circa 450 yards. But this all changes in 2022 with re-routing including selected holes from the next door Primrose Course and the addition of the iconic 130 odd yard downhill par-3 12th hole, which will actually play as the 11th. The par-3 will be included for the first time in a US Open at Brookline since 1913, when the United States Open Championship returns to The Country Club after a 34-year absence.
The 12th hole on the main course is a short, devilish downhill test with a tricky tabletop green guarded by four bunkers that was recently renovated by famed architect Gil Hanse. The hole can be set up to play as long as 142 yards, or as short as 105, creating a challenge similar to the 7th at another US Open staple, Pebble Beach Golf Links. The official scorecard states 131 yards.
The Country Club’s standing as an iconic American golf course is well-known. It’s a circa 7,250 yard, Par 70 layout with tiny greens that roll fast and true, punishing rough, and picturesque fescue tracing the contour of many holes. Gil Hanse has performed course restoration both prior to the 2013 US Amateur and ongoing.
Many say The Country Club feels similar to the Scottish Highlands with rock out-crops, rugged and dangerous-looking bunkering, and those small, treacherous greens. Hanse’s renovations which include over 10 years worth of tree removal, help to show off the unique rock formations, but more importantly helps the turf to play firm and fast.
Hanse’s work also allows the USGA to keep the long holes long, and with the shorter holes made to be far more demanding. Much of the work has also focussed upon increasing the size of green surfaces – by 10-15% – to allow for more US Open tough pin positions, plus restoring bunkers to add to the difficulty level.
Blind tee shots and approaches are plentiful here at Brookline, indeed semi-blind or totally blind approaches to raised and well-defended green complexes,- are far more common than at typical PGA Tour stop-offs. Fescue grass across the property is definitely a Massachusetts golf course characteristic and something we see regularly down the road at TPC Boston. Here though at Brookline, the fescue forms a very proactive defence for the golf course, both on errant drives and approaches.
In terms of bunkering, fairway bunkers do not overwhelm but add uncertainly on approaches, whilst green-side bunkering can seriously come into play, as many are blind around the raised greens. The small green complexes themselves have the right amount of slope, slant and contours to make them challenging, with plenty of subtlety closer to the hole.
As the USGA did with previous Chambers Bay and Erin Hills US Open venues, they hosted the United States Amateur Championship here at Brookline back in 2013 to assess how the course plays and to see where improvements could be made to make it a sterner test for the US Open. Below is a list of players who played that week, many of whom will be competitors in the 2022 US Open:
Below are some revealing winning player comments about the Country Club at Brookline from Matt Fitzpatrick, Oliver Goss and Corey Conners who all played in the later stages of the 2013 US Amateur Championship:
Matt Fitzpatrick (Winner): “Made it on short game. I don’t want to come across the wrong way, but I hit it good off the tee but I felt like I struggled into the green and I didn’t hit it very good into the green, I didn’t think personally, bar a few shots. But I think my short game was probably the best of my life today, I think. Sort of every chip and putt that I looked at was close. Yeah, it was just really, really good short game I’d say. I mean, I wouldn’t say I played horrific. It was one of those where I only just missed the green or just didn’t quite catch the shot or wrong yardage, so wasn’t horrific, but just wasn’t quite on the number, I guess.”
“But I’d probably say this week what’s come out most is that my short game has just been really, really top drawer. I’d say my weakest part of my game was into the greens, and really sort of over the past three years my strongest part of my game has always been good off the tee, and I hit quite a lot of greens in regulation. But it’s always harder to come to a course that’s 7,300, as well, and I’m not the longest hitter, and hitting 3‑irons in it’s harder to hit the greens, especially into those since they’re so small. But I’d probably say this week that what’s come out more than anything is I’ve just putted really well.”
Oliver Goss (Finalist): “Exactly right, you can’t take too many risks on this golf course. You have to play for the fat part of the fairways and the wide parts of the greens, and if you take any chances, even if you do pull off the shot, you may not even get close to the hole. It could take an unlucky bounce and go over the green, and you’re in the rough and you’re looking at a bogey if you don’t hit a great chip or a good putt.”
“Yeah, I mean, you can hit a great shot out there and finish just in the rough and have a really horrendous lie. It happened on 14. I hit it in the left rough off the tee, and then I thought I hit an amazing shot into the green, and it just bounded through the back of the green and was tucked against the collar of the long grass. I really had a really bad lie, and there really wasn’t much I could do. It was hard to tell how the ball was going to come out, and it just squirted out low and fast and went about 15 feet past the pin.”
Corey Conners (Semi-Finalist): “Just made a lot of smart decisions and hit the ball really solidly. I was always on the correct side of the hole. There’s some treacherous greens out here, and it’s really important to have yourself in good positions because you can be not that far from the pin but in nearly impossible places. I hit a lot of really solid shots. My ball‑striking was good, drove the ball great, but yeah, just lots of smart decisions, and gave myself lots of chances, but easy pars basically.”
“You can look kind of silly out there if you get on the wrong side of the hole. Sometimes the best chip might be 30 or 40 feet away. But if you leave yourself with uphill shots, you’re always going to have a chance to get it close, and I was able to do that, and I did hit some really nice chips and pitches when I was below the hole to give myself nice looks at par.”
Brookline Country Club: Famous for its postage-stamp sized greens.
7 Major Championships have been played in the Northeastern United States since the start of 2013. New York has staged 3 Majors, with Pennsylvania and New Jersey 2 Majors apiece, going back to the 2013 US Open won by Justin Rose at Merion. Nationality-wise, Justin has been the only non-American to triumph with Jason Dufner, Dustin Johnson, Jimmy Walker, Brooks Koepka (x2) and Bryson DeChambeau all being victorious for the home nation.
Below you’ll find the top 10 finishers across those 7 Majors held in the Northeastern United States since 2013:
Another intriguing aspect to the last 7 winners of Major Championships held in the Northeastern United States is a proven track record in the area prior to capturing their title. Now the degree of pedigree varies across champions – as it would with winning prices which vary from 16/1 (Dustin Johnson) to 150/1 (Jimmy Walker) – but what is irrefutable is that every winner of a Major Championship held in this area since the start of 2013 had previous wins or top 10 finishes in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York or Pennsylvania, prior to lifting their respective trophy:
Bryson DeChambeau – 2020 US Open Winner
Brooks Koepka – 2019 PGA Championship Winner
Brooks Koepka – 2018 U.S. Open Winner
Jimmy Walker – 2016 PGA Championship Winner
Dustin Johnson – 2016 U.S. Open Winner
Jason Dufner – 2013 PGA Championship Winner
Justin Rose – 2013 U.S. Open Winner
In this day and age of statistics, it’s interesting to look at what inbound player skill strengths, if any, are particularly shared by US Open winners. Naturally this cannot be an exact science as the US Open moves from course to course, with venues changing in terms of key requirements required by the eventual winner. Nothing highlights that more than the difference between Erin Hills, Shinnecock Hills, Pebble Beach, Winged Foot and Torrey Pines over the past 5 US Open renewals. However there are definite patterns which are not exact, but definitely highlight trends.
For instance 11 of the last 15 winners of the US Open ranked in the top 13 in the All-Round skill category in their last appearance. It’s also fact that no US Open winner over the same timescale has been outside the top 18 for Greens in Regulation in the week they won. Naturally hitting your irons and approaches well is a huge upside.
But if we’re looking for strong skill sets in a winner’s previous appearance, we actually need to look for top-level driving. In Brooks Koepka (twice), Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth, Martin Kaymer and Justin Rose we have 5 players who ranked 25th, 1st, 1st, 16th 1st and 8th for Total Driving in their previous appearance. For Martin Kaymer that happened to be at Wentworth, so he has to be excluded from the Strokes Gained stat angle, but that Total Driving number also translates very well to Strokes Gained Off the Tee. Here DeChambeau (16th), Koepka (5th), Koepka (2nd), Johnson (4th), Spieth (5th) and Rose (13th) clearly had real confidence with the driver when they arrived at Winged Foot, Shinnecock Hills, Erin Hills, Oakmont, Chambers Bay and Merion respectively. If the European Tour had a consistent Strokes Gained Stat back in 2014, Kaymer would have been very close to the top of it at Wentworth as well.
If we go back to 2010 and look at Graeme McDowell’s lead-in to his US Open victory, he played the Wales Open on the European Tour, which he won. That week he topped Greens in Regulation at 80.6%, was 15th for Total Driving and was 2nd in the All-Round category.
2019 US Open champion Gary Woodland was 52nd in his previous appearance at the Memorial Tournament, which showed absolutely no hint of a Pebble Beach victory, but even with Woodland the All-Round, Total Driving and Strokes Gained Off The Tee angle works when you extrapolate a little. Prior to Muirfield Village, Gary had finished 8th at the PGA Championship – that was his second Major top-10 in his last 3 attempts. At Bethpage Black he’d ranked 4th for All-Round, 7th for Total Driving and 7th for Strokes Gained Off The Tee.
Now 2021 champion Bryson DeChambeau muddies the waters again, although in Covid times it’s worth noting it was played in mid-September. DeChambeau undoubtedly struggled with his All-Round came on his previous outing at East Lake. However both his Strokes Gained Off the Tee and Greens in Regulation numbers were in decent enough shape.
And to bring this full circle, Covid again impacts the trend with Jon Rahm. Remember Rahm was leading the Memorial Tournament by 6 shots heading into Sunday when he tested positive for Covid-19 and had to withdraw. To say he was miffed was an understatement. Look at his numbers through 54 holes and as you would expect they were top drawer. 1st for Strokes Gained Off the Tee, 3rd for Total Driving and 1st for All-Round at the time of withdrawal, safe to say Jon was at the very peak of his powers and I am inclined to use those numbers for US Open research purposes ongoing.
|Year||US Open Winner||GIR||Previous Event||All Round Rank||Total Driving||SG Off Tee|
|2021||Jon Rahm||68.5% (6th)||Memorial - 54 Hole WD||1st||3rd||1st|
|2020||Bryson DeChambeau||66.67% (13th)||East Lake||28th||25th||16th|
|2019||Gary Woodland||72.22% (2nd)||Memorial||40th||39th||66th|
|2018||Brooks Koepka||61.1% (33rd)||St Jude||25th||25th||5th|
|2017||Brooks Koepka||86.1% (1st)||St Jude||13th||1st||2nd|
|2016||Dustin Johnson||76.4% (1st)||St Jude||2nd||1st||4th|
|2015||Jordan Spieth||76.4% (6th)||Memorial||5th||16th||5th|
|2014||Martin Kaymer||62.5% (18th)||BMW PGA||1st||1st||N/A|
|2013||Justin Rose||69.4% (9th)||Memorial||8th||8th||13th|
|2012||Webb Simpson||58.8% (16th)||Memorial||MC||MC||MC|
|2011||Rory McIlroy||86.1% (1st)||St Jude||18th||16th||20th|
|2010||Graeme McDowell||80.6% (1st)||Wales Open||2nd||15th||N/A|
US Opens are all about the length of the rough. Every year, from the Monday of tournament week, we see videos on Social Media with balls disappearing into rough and never reappearing! In every player interview prior to the off, the mantra is “got to keep the ball in the fairway”, as it’s continually repeated. The time old discussion point prior to US Opens is how does the USGA’s policy of 4+ inch rough actually affect the outcome of the tournament. “Long and straight works” is something I utter on our US Open Golf Betting System Podcast every year, but is that actually true?
Well a perusal of the last 7 winner’s season long statistics is quite revealing. Jordan Spieth in 2015 was the shortest off the tee, although he ranked 43rd for Driving Distance All Drives – which is long enough. But, from 2016 onwards, it’s clear that brute power off the tee is paramount. That was certainly the strategy for Bryson DeChambeau at Winged Foot in 2020, who with his immense power was hitting short irons and wedges from the rough as close to the green as possible. That dynamic was always going to slightly change last year on a Torrey Pines South Course which features gnarly, tough Kikuyugrass rough. Sure enough long and straight won the day, with Jon Rahm ranking in the top 5 for Strokes Gained Off the Tee, the top 10 for Total Driving and 13th for Driving Distance.
|Year||US Open Winner||Driving Accuracy||Driving Distance||Driving Distance All Drives|
This is Steve’s pre-event preview for the 2022 US Open. Steve’s final US Open tips for 2022 will be published here around 18:00GMT on the Monday of the event.