Perry’s U.S. Open Best Bets: Fleetwood, Fitzpatrick and 2 Major Longshots at Winged Foot
Andrew Redington/Getty Images. Pictured: Tommy Fleetwood
- The 2020 U.S. Open kicks off Thursday, and Joshua Perry has four outright bets this week that he's taking.
- Thanks to a brutal course setup Perry is banking on a pair of Brits who have fared well in USGA conditions before.
- Get his full betting breakdown of the 2020 U.S. Open below.
It may have taken a few extra months to arrive this year, but U.S. Open week is finally upon us.
Judging from the early reports and practice rounds from Winged Foot, the USGA will be up to the their usual tricks, combining deep rough with fast greens to give the players a stern test.
Winged Foot Golf Club will host the event for the first time since 2006. The course is a par 70 measuring 7,477 yards.
The extremely long set up will give the bombers an edge. There’s a good chance everybody is going to be missing Winged Foot’s narrow fairways, and the rough is troublesome, so it’s best to miss further down the hole.
Geoff Ogilvy won the event here in 2006, and he ranked 119th in driving accuracy that season, so you may not need to be pinpoint to succeed in this field. Where Ogilvy excelled was with his wedges from inside 125 yards, scrambling and putting.
We normally associate the wedges from that short range with setting up birdie opportunities. But more often than not this week, it will likely be to create a chance at saving par after the rough forced a layup, which could be just as valuable.
That year was notably Phil Mickelson’s best shot at winning the tournament. Again, another player who’s never been known for accuracy.
A lot of bettors will focus on picking guys who can find the fairway, but I think the tight fairways will hurt everyone this week and, like in 2006, the short game and timely par-saving putts will determine who comes out on top.
Nearly all the stars will be here this week. Only Brooks Koepka pulled out early due to a knee injury that’s given him problems for most of 2020. We also lost Scottie Scheffler from the field this past weekend after a positive COVID test.
There are no surprises at the top of the board. Dustin Johnson, fresh of his FedEx Cup victory, opens as the favorite at +800. Jon Rahm is next in line at +1000 and Justin Thomas is right there as well at +1200.
After posting the best 72-hole score at East Lake, Xander Schauffele finds himself with the fourth-shortest odds at +1400. Rory McIlroy and Collin Morikawa are the only other golfers below 20-1 at +1600 and +1800, respectively.
Bryson DeChambeau is in that next tier at +2200 along with Webb Simpson at +2800. Simpson is on my card at +5000 from early in the summer, but I wouldn’t recommend him in this range.
If the course played in the 7,200 yard range, he’d be worth a look, but the added length here will impact him most of any of the top names. If his number drifts into the +3000s, then it could be something to consider.
Like most weeks, this is where I’ll start to construct my card.
I’ll start by mentioning the two other players who I bet earlier in the year: Tyrrell Hatton and Jason Day. I added Hatton in March at 125-1 and he’s currently nestled at +4000. Day was at +7500 a couple of weeks ago and now is down to +3500.
A lot like with Webb, I wouldn’t really be interested at the current numbers, but if you see some drift to the +5000, that would be worth a shot.
In terms of beating the lines, the early plays worked out well this week. But there’s always the added risk that someone pulls out like Koepka and Scheffler. Most sportsbooks don’t refund early betting for majors. I was able to dodge that bullet this week, but was on the wrong end of it at the PGA Championship when Branden Grace pulled out. It’s just important to be aware of all the risks that go along with betting the early markets for majors.
Now on to the actual bets for this week.
I’ll start with Tommy Fleetwood at +4000. Fleetwood is coming off a third-place finish in Portugal last week where he absolutely dominated the field from tee to green. The Merseysider gained 4.44 strokes per round. Nobody else gained more than 3. Unfortunately, Fleetwood lost a shade over six strokes with his putter and finished three shots off the pace.
Basically, in a weaker field, I saw the kind of separation with the ball-striking that I wanted to take a chance on Fleetwood. And per usual, it’s now about combining that kind of play with a good putting week.
He’s also got a good recent track record at the U.S. Open, finishing in the top-5 two of the last three years.
I’ll add another Englishman in this range with Matthew Fitzpatrick at +6000. Fitzpatrick has been in a good run of form lately. He’s finished sixth-or-better in three of his last five starts, including a sixth-place finish at a very difficult Olympia Fields course a few weeks ago.
The U.S. Open has been Fitz’s best major. He’s made all five cuts in his career, including a low-amateur performance in 2014. He’s also been steadily improving in the event since turning pro, highlighted by 12th-place finishes in each of the last two years.
A few names down here caught my eye.
I’ll start with Corey Conners at +21000. Conners is a great ball-striker and has played fairly solid throughout the summer. When his game is on, he hits the ball as well as anyone.
Conners’ short game is clearly a weakness most of the time, but down in this range, I’ll take a chance on him and look to add a top-20 play around +800 as well.
And for fun, I’ll add my guy Davis Riley at +50000. If you’ve read my Korn Ferry Tour coverage, you’ll be familiar with Riley. One of the pillars of my KFT betting strategy this year was to bet Riley every week. He’s got two wins on that tour, notably on some of the harder courses they play.
Riley fits the profile of someone you’d want to bet to be the first-round leader since he can get white hot and string together birdies on tough layouts.
But he’s also just as likely to get on the bogey train and shoot 80 this week. Either way, I’ll have a small top-20 bet on him in the +1500 range as well and see if this future PGA TOUR star can string together four solid days. Be advised this bet is mostly for peace of mind. I can’t bet him each week on the KFT and then miss out on a good major week.
The US Open Card
- Tommy Fleetwood +4000 (.83 units)
- Matthew Fitzpatrick +6000 (.55 units)
- Corey Conners +21000 (.16 units)
- Davis Riley +50000 (.07 units)
- Webb Simpson +5000 (.66 units)
- Jason Day +7500 (.44 units)
- Tyrrell Hatton +12500 (.26 units)
Total Stake: 2.97 units