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2022 U.S. Open First-Round Leader Odds & Picks: Value on Joaquin Niemann and Jordan Spieth

2022 U.S. Open First-Round Leader Odds & Picks: Value on Joaquin Niemann and Jordan Spieth article feature image
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Via Gregory Shamus/Getty Images. Pictured: Joaquin Niemann.

The U.S. Open returns to a classic golf course this year as we head to The Country Club in Brookline, Massachusetts. The course is incredibly unique by today’s standards with the first holes on the course initially built in 1893. The Country Club has withstood the test of time and should be a true test of the players’ all around games. 

In terms of a weather advantage, as of now it appears that the AM wave will have the preferable draw. Wind is expected to gust around 10-14MPH in the AM with gusts projected to reach 18-22 MPH in the afternoon. 

In the past 10 U.S. Opens, there have been nine leaders or co-leaders who teed off in the AM and three leaders or co-leaders who teed off in the PM wave. With both the weather and historical trends in the AM wave’s favor, it’ll be necessary to target the early starts, although PM starters shouldn’t be completely ruled out. 

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2022 U.S. Open FRL Bets

Jordan Spieth (+3500)

It should be noted that there have been reports that Jordan Spieth left the course on Wednesday with an illness, and his status for Thursday is uncertain.

However, if Spieth tees it up, I like his chances to come out of the gates quickly. 

Typically, we see high profile elite players at the top of the board after round one of the U.S. Open. Due to the difficulty of the event, it’s not a surprise that the cream tends to rise to the top even in the context of only one round. 

Spieth’s tee-to-green game is in immaculate form. He has had an off season with the putter, but there may be some signs of that turning around as he gained a season-high 5.0 strokes with the putter in his most recent start at The Memorial. If his putter is indeed back, it would be an incredible asset to add to his stellar ball striking and around the green game so far in 2022. 

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Joaquin Niemann (+5000)

Niemann has played his best golf in the first round this season and leads the PGA TOUR in first-round scoring average. The Chilean is an all-world driver of the golf ball, and that will give him a massive advantage this week. In his past five starts, Niemann has gained an average of 3.5 strokes on the field off the tee.

In addition to his spectacular form with the driver, the 23-year-old found a groove with his irons in his most recent start at The Memorial Tournament. The 6.3 strokes he gained on approach marked his fifth-best performance in that category of his career. 

When Niemann won the Genesis Invitational at Riviera, he took down an elite field by gaining an early lead and never looking back. His first-round 63 was one of the best rounds we’ve seen all season. The last time we saw Niemann shoot a first round score of 70 or worse was six starts ago at the Honda Classic. 

Niemann’s propensity to start fast combined with his hot current form and an ideal course fit make him a logical choice to be the first-round-leader at this year’s U.S. Open Championship. 

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