2022 U.S. Open First Round PrizePicks Plays: Scottie Scheffler Among 5 Thursday Picks
Ben Jared/PGA TOUR via Getty Images. Pictured: Scottie Scheffler.
With the RBC Canadian Open now in the rearview mirror, we move on to the U.S. Open.
The Country Club at Brookline in Massachusetts hosts the U.S. Open for the first time since 1988. This track is famous for various reasons, whether for being the oldest country club in the country or the place where amateur Francis Ouimet (you may know him from the movie The Greatest Game Ever Played) won the U.S. Open in 1913.
Early reports from Brookline are that the rough will be as thick as the TOUR has seen in recent memory, which is typically a signature of U.S. Open courses. This will benefit the younger and stronger players on TOUR as getting some shots out of that rough and putting it in a good spot will be extremely difficult.
Additionally, Brookline is known for its small greens that are difficult to hit in regulation unless you are one of the world's best players from the tee-to-green. Along with recent form and major championship experience, we will look at Greens in Regulation, Birdie Percentage from the Rough, and SG: Tee-to-Green to narrow down the best bets in this tournament.
Below, I give out my five Round 1 PrizePicks flex plays for the 2022 U.S. Open. For those unfamiliar with PrizePicks flex plays in golf, different combinations of overs/unders generate different payouts.
Using the five plays below, getting five-of-five correct registers a 12.5x payout, four-of-five correct registers a 2x payout, and three-of-five correct registers a 0.4x payout.
U.S. Open PrizePicks Plays
Scottie Scheffler: Round 1 Under 70.5 Strokes
The world's No. 1 golfer is searching for his second major championship this season following his Masters Tournament victory in April. Scheffler has been in great form this year as he has four victories on TOUR, including two over his last seven tournaments.
This course should benefit Scheffler, which may propel him to reach yet another major championship victory. This season, Scheffler ranks 13th on TOUR in SG: Tee-to-Green, ninth in Birdie or Better Percentage from the Rough, and second in Greens in Regulation Percentage.
I would play this total down to 70.
Sam Burns: Round 1 Under 71.5 Strokes
I am backing another top-10 golfer in the world this week in Sam Burns. Like Scheffler, Burns has been in tremendous form recently as he has made the cut in seven of his last nine tournaments with two victories during that span.
This season, Burns ranks 18th on TOUR in SG: Tee-to-Green, 82nd in Birdie or Better Percentage from the Rough, and fifth in Greens in Regulation Percentage. Burns has plenty of major championship experience (eight starts) in his young career, including his top-20 finish at the PGA Championship earlier this season.
I would not play this number any lower than 71.5.
Talor Gooch: Round 1 Under 72.5 Strokes
The last player I am backing in this first round is Talor Gooch. Before leaving the PGA TOUR for the LIV circuit, Gooch was in tremendous form as he made the cut in five of his last six tournaments.
Of those five made cuts, Gooch finished among the top 30 in each of them. This season, Gooch ranks 26th on TOUR in SG: Tee-to-Green, 35th in Birdie or Better Percentage from the Rough, and 20th in Greens in Regulation Percentage.
Additionally, Gooch has made the cut in four straight major championships and has finished inside the top 20 in each of the last two.
I would play this total down to 72.
Tyrrell Hatton: Round 1 Over 72.5 Strokes
The first of two golfers who I am fading in this tournament is Tyrrell Hatton. Due to his difficulties in hitting greens in regulation, Hatton could struggle mightily at this course.
On TOUR this season, Hatton ranks just 195th in Greens in Regulation Percentage. With substantially smaller greens than he has been aiming at all year, I don't see much opportunity for positive regression at the U.S. Open.
If Hatton is scrambling throughout this entire first round, I would be surprised if he gets under this total.
I would not play this number any lower than 72.5.
Bryson DeChambeau: Round 1 Under 6.5 Fairways Hit
The other golfer I am fading in this tournament is Bryson DeChambeau. Leaving the TOUR for the LIV circuit is probably the change of scenery that DeChambeau needs as he has struggled this season while battling his wrist injury.
Entering this week, DeChambeau has missed the cut in each of his last three tournaments. This season, he has a driving accuracy percentage of just 44.77%, which would put him at dead-last on TOUR if he qualified.
I would not play this total at anything lower than 6.5.