2020 U.S. Open Betting Preview: Which Stats Matter the Most at Winged Foot?


Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images. Pictured: Dustin Johnson.

Sep 12, 2020, 06:35 PM EDT

The 120th U.S. Open will be begin on Sept. 17 at Winged Foot Golf Club in Mamaroneck, N.Y. Winged Foot most recently hosted the 2006 U.S. Open, won by Geoff Ogilvy (+5). That tournament was the last major championship that any golfer has won without shooting under par for any of the four rounds. The 2006 U.S. Open also produced the fewest average birdies per round of any major in the past 14 years (1.8). It seems likely that the 2020 U.S. Open will prove to be an excruciatingly difficult test for the best golfers in the world.

Winged Foot is a mammoth par 70 measuring in at 7,469 yards. The course features Poa Annua greens, which often play differently on the East Coast compared to the West Coast. The greens will be exceptionally fast and undulated. Further complicating matters, the rough will be extremely thick and penal. The combination of the length of the course, thick rough and difficult greens will make this U.S. Open one of the most difficult in recent memory.

Past U.S. Open Winners

  • 2019: Gary Woodland (Pebble Beach: -16)
  • 2018: Brooks Koepka (Shinnecock Hills: +1)
  • 2017: Brooks Koepka (Erin Hills: -16)
  • 2016: Dustin Johnson (Oakmont: -4)
  • 2015: Jordan Spieth (Chambers Bay: -5)

Let’s take a look at several key metrics for Winged Foot to determine which golfers boast top marks in each category over their last 24 rounds.


Strokes Gained: Approach

SG: Approach tells us how close a golfer is getting to the hole on his approach to the green. This is often a strong indicator of which golfers are in the best form heading into any given tournament. This will be very important this week due to the the undulating putting surface. Golfers will need to put their approach shots close in order to be on the correct level of the green.

Total strokes gained in category in past 24 rounds:

  1. Dustin Johnson (+23.5) (+650)
  2. Justin Thomas  (+20.6) (+1400)
  3. Scottie Scheffler (+20.0) (+4000)
  4. Si Woo Kim (+19.5) (+10000)
  5. Henrik Stenson (+16.9) (+10000)


Strokes Gained: Off the Tee

Winged Foot is very long and narrow. Both driving distance and driving accuracy will be important this week. Short hitters facing long approach shots will have a hard time keeping the golf ball on fast and firm greens, while golfers playing from the rough will have to hack it out unpredictably. This U.S. Open will be a strong test off the tee that will suit the best overall drivers.

Total strokes gained in category in past 24 rounds:

  1. Bryson DeChambeau  (+25.7)(+1800)
  2. Jon Rahm (+39.5)(+1100)
  3. Cameron Champ(+19.3)(+10000)
  4. Xander Schauffele (+18.7)(+1400)
  5. Sergio Garcia (+17.4)(+8000)

Bogeys Avoided

In a U.S. Open where the winner will potentially be over par, there will be plenty of bogeys to go around. The golfer who can minimize mistakes and find ways to save difficult pars will be able to seperate themselves from the field.

Total strokes gained in category in past 24 rounds:

  1. Xander Schauffele (+27.1)(+1400)
  2. Jon Rahm (+26.1)(+1100)
  3. Paul Casey (+18.2(+5000)
  4. Webb Simpson (+16.7)(+2000)
  5. Patrick Reed (+16.3)(+3300)

Greens in Regulation

In order to save par at a tough course, players must hit fairways and greens. Missing greens and scrambling hole after hole will eventually result in high scores. Being on the green in regulation will be a key indicator of success at Winged Foot.

Total strokes gained in category in past 24 rounds:

  1. Dustin Johnson (+33.0)(+650)
  2. Scottie Scheffler (+32.0)(+4000)
  3. Jon Rahm (+30.0)(+1100)
  4. Matthew Wolff (+29.9)(+6600)
  5. Bubba Watson (+27.5)(+10000)

Strokes Gained: Around the Green

While hitting fairways and greens is the recipe to contend at Winged Foot, even the best players won’t be able to do that on every hole. Being able to get up and down from off of the green is a must at this year’s U.S. Open. It is inevitable that whoever hoists the trophy when all is said and done will have made some tough up and downs on the back nine in the final round.

Total strokes gained in category in past 24 rounds:

  1. Brian Harman (+16.5)(+20000)
  2. Jason Day (+13.0)(+3300)
  3. Harris English (+12.6)(+6600)
  4. Ryan Palmer (+12.2)(+12500)
  5. Stephan Jaeger (+12.0)(+50000)

Statistical Model

Below, I’ve reported overall model rankings using a combination of the five key statistical categories previously discussed.

These rankings are comprised of SG: APP (23%), Off the Tee: (23%), SG: ARG (18%), Bogeys Avoided (18%), GIR (18%).

  1. Scottie Scheffler (+4000)
  2. Dustin Johnson (+650)
  3. Jon Rahm (+1100)
  4. Justin Thomas (+1400)
  5. Xander Schauffele (+1400)
  6. Collin Morikawa (+2000)
  7. Luke List (+25000)
  8. Sergio Garcia (+8000)
  9. Daniel Berger (+3300)
  10. Corey Conners (+15000)


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