Saturday, June 22, 2024

Golf Tips: 5 Outright Picks for the US Open include a 200/1 shot

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Brooks Koepka (each-way)
Hideki Matsuyama (each-way)
Sahith Theegala (each-way)
Si Woo Kim (each-way)
Cameron Davis (each-way)

All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change.

US Open
Pinehurst, North Carolina
TV: Sky Sports Gold, Thursday 13th – Sunday 16th June

With the dust barely having settled on Xander Schauffele’s win at the PGA at Valhalla, it’s time for the year’s third Major, the US Open.

This year the tournament returns to Pinehurst No 2 in North Carolina for the fourth time. A par 70 measuring just over 7500 yards, Pinehurst last hosted the event in 2014 when Martin Kaymer triumphed.

A Donald Ross design, Pinehurst is not your typical US Open test featuring thick rough, rather it is more akin to an Australian-type sand belt test where errant tee shots will be greeted by native sandy areas and patchy wire grass. Meanwhile, the greens feature typical Ross ‘upturned saucer’ style surfaces, which will repel errant tee shots onto treacherous run off areas.

With finding greens likely to be at a premium this week, short-game imagination will be key.

So let’s take a look at the market leaders and it is Scottie Scheffler’s name that once more looms large. A winner for the fifth time in eight starts last week at Memorial, the Texan is simply by far the best player in the world at the moment and he is very much the man to beat this week. At prohibitive odds though I am happy to take him on and see if we can find some each-way value.

With Rory McIlroy seemingly sidetracked by PGA/LIV golf negotiations once more the main threat to Scheffler could well come from recent PGA Champion Xander Schauffele or Collin Morikawa who is once again knocking on the door.

Schauffele brushed off the cobwebs of his PGA win at the Memorial and I would not rule out him going back to back in the Majors. Ultimately though he has never been a serial winner and the layers have well and truly got his number odds-wise now. Morikawa meanwhile tends to stick with his stock fade every shot and I just wonder if he will have the creativity needed here.

Brooks Koepka

With Viktor Hovland still searching and Jon Rahm withdrawing injured at LIV Houston I will start our team by going back to the well with Brooks Koepka who has drifted out to more attractive odds.

A two-time US Open winner, we know that Koepka has the patience for the toughest of tests and I am certain he will much prefer the grind of Pinehurst to the straightforward challenge at Valhalla recently.

Fourth here back in 2014, Koepka is sure to have good memories of Pinehurst, and having landed the PGA last year on another Ross layout at Oak Hill he is clearly a fan of the renowned designer.

The five-time Major Champion rounded out his LIV week in Houston on Sunday with a closing 65 so he should arrive in good heart and I am happy to give him another chance.

Hideki Matsuyama

Next up I will turn to Hideki Matsuyama. With the ever-present injury concerns seemingly factored into his odds we have a world-class player who is in strong form at a more than attractive price.

Leading the tour around the greens this season the Japanese star has always been at his best on a tough test and he reminded us of his star quality when triumphing at Riviera earlier this year.

An ideal warm-up of eighth place at Memorial, where all areas of his game were in good working order, Matsuyama can make a bold showing for his second Major.

Sahith Theegala

With six top 12 finishes already this season Sahith Theegala rarely produces a poor week. The Californian currently sits in the top 25 on tour from tee to green, approach play and putting and I expect his all round game and his creative swashbuckling style to flourish here.

Si Woo Kim

Kim meanwhile who landed his first PGA Tour title at Donald Ross’ Sedgefield CC, is strong from tee to green and the possessor of a great scrambling touch, which should hold him in good stead here.

Quietly putting a really solid 2024 together with seven top 20 finishes to his name if the Korean’s balky putter cooperates this looks a great place for him to flourish.

Cameron Davis

Finally, I will roll the dice on Cameron Davis. A winner at the Rocket Mortgage Classic on a Ross design, the Aussie also produced his best Major performance to date on a Ross track, Oak Hill, at last year’s PGA when fourth.

The 29-year-old from Sydney should relish the Australian sand belt feel of Pinehurst and in an event where Paddy are paying to 10 each-way places I can see him having a big week at big odds.

Brooks Koepka (each-way)
Hideki Matsuyama (each-way)
Sahith Theegala (each-way)
Si Woo Kim (each-way)
Cameron Davis (each-way)

All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change.

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