122nd United States Open Preview

Jon Rahm will look to join a very exclusive bunch if he defends the the title this week at The Country Club in Brookline, Massachusetts.

122nd United States Open

The Country Club

Brookline, Massachusetts

Weekly Readers:

Horses for Courses click here

Expert Picks click here

Pick ‘Em LIVE click here

PGATOUR Champions – off this week

Korn Ferry Tour Power Rankings click here

The Country Club

Yards (per official scorecard):7,246
Par:70 (35-35)
Greens:Poa annua/Bentgrass; 4,388 square feet.
Stimpmeter:Championship speed (13 feet and up).
Rough:Bluegrass/Ryegrass/Poa annua approaching four inches.
Bunkers/Water Hazards82/4 (Water in play on 4 holes).
Architects:Composite course; Gil Hanse (2019, last).
Course Record (last):64; Peter Jacobson (1988).
Tournament Scoring Record:Previous US Opens 1913, 1953 and 1988.
Fact of the Week:Matt Fitzpatrick won the 2013 US Amateur here in celebration of the 100th anniversary of Francis Ouimet’s victory.

Notes:

  • Full field of 156
  • Top 60 and ties play the final 36 holes.
  • 600 FedExCup points to the winner (purse to be determined).
  • For records please read Horses for Courses above.

OAD

Spotter’s Game 2022

2022 EventsGolferPlaceTotal $$
    
Sentry Tournament of ChampionsMarc LeishmanT10188,000
Sony Open in HawaiiKeith MitchellT7227,812
The American ExpressSeamus PowerT14119,700
Farmers Insurance OpenJon RahmT3445,200
AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-AmMaverick McNealyT3343,548
WM Phoenix OpenHideki MatsuyamaT8248,050
The Genesis InvitationalPatrick CantlayT3364,000
The Honda ClassicSungjae ImMC0
Arnold Palmer InvitationalRory McIlroyT13228,000
THE PLAYERS ChampionshipDaniel BergerT13327,222
Valspar ChampionshipKeegan BradleyMC0
WGC – Dell Match PlayPaul CaseyT6041,000
Corales PuntacanaEmiliano GrilloMC0
Valero Texas OpenCorey ConnersT3541,925
Masters TournamentJordan SpiethMC0
RBC HeritageMatt FitzpatrickMC0
Zurich Classic of New OrleansIan Poulter13th69,803
Mexico Open at VidantaDavis Riley5th299,300
Wells Fargo ChampionshipTony FinauT4133,750
AT&T Byron NelsonWill ZalatorisMC0
PGA ChampionshipScottie SchefflerMC0
Charles Schwab ChallengeMax HomaT2377,700
Memorial TournamentCollin MorikawaMC0
RBC Canadian OpenJhonattan VegasT5320,387
    
Total Events: 24Top 10: 5MC: 8      $2,475,397
    

This Week – 122nd United States Open

I love all of the major championships in different ways.

Like many I enjoy watching the best players battle what should be the most demanding golf course set up of the season.

The Country Club should be a proper test of all 14 clubs and the space between the ears. It shouldn’t be easy but it should be fair. As the saying goes, marginal shots should not be rewarded in major championship golf.

Neither should be marginal picking.

This isn’t the week to get cute or clever.

If the majors have shown us anything recently is that proven commodities step to the plate and knock it out of the park. Sure the ghost of Francis Ouimet can linger but Julius Boros and Curtis Strange weren’t up and comers.

The only surprise this week, and it happens EVERY major championship, will be the names who blow up and don’t see the weekend.

I’m excited to see The Country Club in all of its glory. I’m also thrilled that Mother Nature is taking Father’s Day weekend off!

She gets me.

THE CHOICE: Xander Schauffele (+2200)

Just going about his business, as usual, and not making any tremendous waves, as usual.

He’ll be noisy this week because it’s an event that suits his game and demeanor. With T7 or better from five starts on multiple styles of USGA fun I’ll be looking for him to continue the streak this week.

I’d love for him to be in the form of JT or Rory or but he’s been rolling along just fine. I’m more concerned about how he approaches and handles major championship golf. He’s cashed in 17 of the 20 he’s entered and nine have resulted in top 10 paychecks. Not a bad rate of return! Of those nine, six have been in the top five so he won’t be counting his dollars Sunday afternoon if he’s in the mix. He should have a nice scar tissue built up to handle just about anything late on Father’s Day weekend.

Please don’t tell him that I’ve selected him this week. I’d hate to be the one who puts an end to the streak!

Warm Blankets: The guys who should. Safe selections that will help maintain leads. Opinions on why or why not for this event or save for later.

Rory McIlroy (+1000): How could he not be No. 1 on this list after that performance last week? It’s been 11 years since his last US Open triumph, the same amount of time between Julius Boros and Hale Irwin, the longest gap in history.

Justin Thomas (+1200): Winning two majors in the same season has the deck stacked against him from the word go. I doubt he’ll care one cent. He’ll look to join Brooks Koepka (2018) as the last to accomplish that feat. It will be easier finding a grounds ticket this week than finding any holes in his game.

Jon Rahm (+1200): He told us all today he doesn’t play for money but rather competition and history. It’s odd to type that his three worst finishes when making the cut in 2022 are the two majors and THE PLAYERS Championship. Odd indeed. Short game has been the issue.

Scottie Scheffler (+1400): I’m old enough to remember when every time he teed it up he would win! After three wins in four starts he’s fallen apart. His next five include one MC and four results of T18 or better, including a playoff loss to Sam Burns. For shame! Scrambling is also his weakest part but only Rahm hits more GIR. Hit more, scramble less!

Cameron Smith (+2000): Already destroyed one “trend” recently (see his record at the Memorial) and will have to do so again this week. He’s just 4/6 in US Opens and nothing better than T38 after his T4 display at Chambers Bay. His other four top 10s in majors are at the Masters. This is quite the opposite of the Masters.

Patrick Cantlay (+2200): Same questions circling here as the Californian has had ZERO form concerns (2nd, WIN, T3 in his last three non-majors). From 21 majors starts he’s pocked two top 10 paydays. One at the Masters when he led in the final round (T9) in 2019 and followed it with T3 at the PGA Championship. T17 is his next best finish since and he’s MC in two of his last three. Confounding to say the least.

Jordan Spieth (+2500): Hell, let’s make it three in a row! His best US Open finish since his 2015 title at Chambers Bay was another West Coast event as he cashed T19 at Torrey Pines. One top 10 from 10 events doesn’t inspire but he was T3, like Cantlay, at Bethpage Black in 2019. Nobody said this would be easy.

Shane Lowry (+2800): Excels when putting the ball in the fairway is required and this week qualifies. Doesn’t have to worry about winning that first major either. One finish outside the top 25 on his own ball in stroke play.

Matthew Fitzpatrick (+2800): Only player in the field to win the last time he stepped foot on this course. Too many good results and too many good vibes for this week.

Sam Burns (+2800): Keeps checking off box after box after box in his breakout season. Now do it in a major. Doubt him at your own peril but this is pressure he hasn’t faced yet. Learning curve ain’t steep but it’s still there.

Will Zalatoris (+2800): Went close at Southern Hills. Went close at ANGC. In eight majors he’s hit the top 10 in five of them with a top 10 at every one minus The Open Championship. I still can’t believe he hasn’t won on TOUR yet. He’ll have to make some putts this week for pars and that’s the issue here.

Collin Morikawa (+2800): 10 played total, two wins and five top 10s. Just majors. Since solo fifth at the Masters his best payday is T26. How many guys “fix it” at a major?

Spicy: This might be a week for sending out an “unknown” and saving a start. You just might get lucky. Or MC.

Tony Finau (+3000): Hotter than a lobster pot on boil. Confidence matches on tracks like this. Get me down.

Sungjae Im (+3500): No PGA Championship because of COVID-19 but T15 at Colonial and T10 at Memorial in his last two suggests he’s on song.

Max Homa (+4000): No value because he’s demonstrated time and time again that he’s a factor on the more difficult tracks. Don’t look up his US Open record though…

Brooks Koepka (+5000): One of these numbers that I just can’t let slide by. Nothing major but I want to make sure I’m not shaking my head on Sunday. Injuries, a wedding, and a quiet 2022 on the course don’t inspire. I liked that he was pissed off at his press conference. Maybe that’s the jolt he needs. If this course plays impossible and he’s 90% healthy he’ll factor. At this price, I’ll see.

Daniel Berger (+5500): Cashed in four straight of these and has top 10s at Shinnecock and Torrey. I’ll point out he’s posted an 80 in each of the first two majors this season but also cashed T5 at a difficult Memorial his last time out. OH THE CHOICES!!!

Tommy Fleetwood (+7000): The anti-Berger! Best finishers are the majors and T10 at Harbour Town on smallllll greens.

Abraham Ancer (+9000): Like the fairway finder, but this number isn’t as deep as I would like. His T9 at Southern Hills stands out from a chilly spring.

3 AM at the Blackjack Table: Caution is thrown to the wind. Maybe not the best for this format but what the hell, right? Might throw these in if you’re in need of a miracle.

Webb Simpson (+11000)

Brian Harman (+17500)

Ryan Fox (+17500)

Sepp Straka (+22500)

Funny Money Long Shots:

Lanto Griffin (+27500)

Matthew NeSmith (+30000)

Denny McCarthy (+30000)

Last Time – 111th Canadian Open

THE CHOICE: Jhonattan Vegas – T53

Well, that didn’t work.

Of the nine players below who sat +2500 or better pre tournament, SEVEN hit the top 10. I can’t remember the last time that happened nor am I tracking such things!

Those of you who went chalk should have been chuffed to bits.

Warm Blankets: The guys who should. Safe selections that will help maintain leads. Opinions on why or why not for this event or save for later.

Scottie Scheffler (+850): Should enjoy the ball-striking challenge similar to Colonial where he lost in a playoff. Before the last major he made 26 birdies for T15 at TPC Craig Ranch. T18 with just 19 birdies this time around.

Justin Thomas (+900): What track isn’t he comfortable playing? First start after the incredible comeback at the PGA Championship. The week prior he was T5 in preparation. No rust here as he finished bogey-bogey for solo third. Impossible to fade.

Rory McIlroy (+900): Another week of head scratching followed his weekend 73-74 when in contention at Muirfield. The results are there but sadly the value is not. “Defending” champion this week on a different course. WINNER. Fantastic final round 62 backs up his 61 from his other RBC title. Destroyed the place tee to green and holed putts. Unbeatable combo when he’s doing that. Just ask JT.

Cameron Smith (+1200): With two wins from 12 starts and nothing outside of T35 in 2022, yeah. Also blew a tire Sunday at Memorial to drift to T13. Imagine T13 being frustrating. The Friday best 65 was more impressive after the 76 to open on Thursday. No momentum carried into the weekend, sadly. T48

Sam Burns (+1600): Free as a bird as he keeps stacking wins. Interesting angle this week is how he handles northern grasses as he’s been killing it on Bermuda. Hard to believe he MC in a personal stretch of three events in late January/early February. I’m waiting for more Bermuda…Just a chill 65-65 weekend for T4. Fantastic season and a fantastic talent.

Matt Fitzpatrick (+1600): Yep. Tight, small greens, less than 7,500. All systems go. Opened with 64 to trail by one but couldn’t stay hot. Another top 10 with T10. Keep knocking.

Shane Lowry (+1800): I’m saving him for The Open. The end. T10 as he didn’t make anything. Do it again this week and he’ll be just fine.

Corey Conners (+2000): Careful, no Canadian has won this event since 1954. Had no chance of winning but his 62 on Sunday gave the home fans plenty to cheer about! Solo sixth as his stretch of fantastic golf rolls into Brookline.

Tony Finau (+2500): Top 25 in both Off the Tee and Approach so he won’t have to hole a ton of putts this week. Navigated another top 10 at Colonial last time out. Interesting. Closed 62-64 for solo second thanks to a bomb on the green at the last.

Spicy: This might be a week for sending out an “unknown” and saving a start. You just might get lucky. Or MC.

Harold Varner III (+2800): The angle is both of his wins are international victories so his game travels. Cashed in seven straight with six going for T21 or better including three T6 or better. Make it eight straight with seven going for T21 or better after T13.

Chris Kirk (+4500): Solid Colonial and PGA Championship on demanding tracks shouldn’t be omitted after a tough (for everyone not named Horschel) weekend at Muirfield Village. Tee to Green numbers, including Around are fantastic. Another who loves Colonial played great here, T7. Make it three T15 or better in his last four on TOUR.

CT Pan (+6600): Steady plotter should be fully interested at less than 7,100 yards. Seven straight paydays. Pre tourney WD.

Dylan Frittelli (+10000): Nine straight.  10 straight with T61.

3 AM at the Blackjack Table: Caution is thrown to the wind. Maybe not the best for this format but what the hell, right? Might throw these in if you’re in need of a miracle.

Aaron Rai (+10000) – T13

David Lipsky (+11000) – MC

Tyler Duncan (+12500) – MC

Matthias Schwab (+15000) – MC

Funny Money Long Shots:

Charley Hoffman (+20000) – T35

Brian Stuard (+25000) – MC

Luke Donald (+27500) – MC

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s