U.S. Open 2022 Odds, Picks, Predictions for Shane Lowry, Daniel Berger, Rory McIlroy, More
Andrew Redington/Getty Images. Pictured: Shane Lowry.
Click arrow to expand 2022 U.S. Open odds via PointsBet
2022 U.S. Open Odds
|Mito Guillermo Pereira||+5000|
|Harold Varner III||+8000|
|Si Woo Kim||+12500|
|Erik Van Rooyen||+25000|
|Min Woo Lee||+30000|
|M. J. Daffue||+40000|
|Adrien Dumont de Chassart||+50000|
|Andrew D. Putnam||+50000|
BROOKLINE, Mass. – Once upon a time, the U.S. Open was the domain of the little guys.
You know, the plodders. The guys who knocked it in the short stuff, aimed for the middle of greens and two-putted for pars. The ones who rarely made any major mistakes.
From champions such as Corey Pavin to Lee Janzen, Jim Furyk to Graeme McDowell, it was widely known that big-hitting aggressive players didn’t have the patience of these types.
It would be too imperceptive to suggest that all changed when Dustin Johnson won at Oakmont in 2016 — especially after he shoulda, coulda, woulda won the previous year at Chambers Bay — but it’s impossible to ignore the recent list of winners and the commonalities amongst them.
Johnson’s win led to a pair of victories by Brooks Koepka, which in turn led to Gary Woodland, Bryson DeChambeau and Jon Rahm. If we were putting together a golfers-only arm wrestling team, the roster might look very similar to this list of winners.
The advantage for these big hitters has been twofold, essentially offering an edge both off the tee and on approach shots.
What’s happened in recent years is that U.S. Open fairways have been narrowed to the point where even the most accurate players off the tee will find the rough pretty frequently. Of course, those who hit it 320 yards into the rough own a massive advantage over those who hit it 280 into the rough. Then there’s the matter of these big, strong players being able to gouge the ball out of this thick grass when needed, as opposed to other players who might be forced to lay up on more occasions.
We can argue as to whether this tournament should be more equitable — the best venues are often undiscerning in the types of players who can find success — but it’s tough to debate this trend which has taken place in recent years.
Perhaps a 7,264-yard track like The Country Club, hosting this event for the first time since 1988 and the first time for any event featuring the world’s best professional golfers since the 1999 Ryder Cup, will buck the trend a bit. Early reports are that it very much resembles other U.S. Open venues, with a premium on accuracy, sure, but a massive advantage to the stronger players when — not if — that accuracy goes awry.
Let’s get to this week’s picks, starting with a player who’d be a very popular winner here in the Boston area.
One player to win the tournament.
Shane Lowry (+3000)
I’ve had a few players earmarked for this event over the past few months, but Lowry stands out as a strong outright value with high upside more than anyone else.
It’s tough to argue that the former Open Championship winner isn’t best suited for that major, considering his background and prior success, but I’ve always believed that Lowry might be similarly primed to win a U.S. Open.
Lowry has made the cut in six of his last seven U.S. Open starts and while he hasn’t seriously contended since a runner-up result at Oakmont six years ago, Lowry is inarguably playing some of the best golf of his life right now.
Earlier this year, he fell victim to an untimely rain storm at the Honda Classic, which helped keep him from winning that title, but he soon afterward suggested that karma could manifest itself in a special week at the Masters — and it did, in the form of a T-3 result.
He wasn’t wrong about that suggestion, but there’s a chance Lowry’s best is still yet to come this year. He’s continually been on the brink of his next victory and it shouldn’t surprise anyone if it happens this week.
Potential selections for one-and-done options.
Rory McIlroy (+1100)
For those who are new here, a lesson — and for those who aren’t, a reminder: Picking players for OADs is as much about game theory as it is about the picks themselves.
You like Rory this week? So do I — and so does everyone else in your pool. It’s nearly impossible to dislike a guy riding a heater right now, one who’s often shown in the past that when he gets hot, he usually stays hot.
The decision, of course, is whether you’re near the top and trying to give everyone else the Heisman or toward the bottom and playing catch-up. He’s a smart pick for the former but might be too chalky for the latter.
As for the betting markets, well, that price is getting shorter virtually by the minute, but we’re only a year removed from the tourney favorite in Jon Rahm — like Rory, also the most obvious play on the board — winning this one, so if you love it, don’t be scared to get after it.
Scottie Scheffler (+1400)
I promise, they’re not all going to be chalky OAD selections, but it’s worth pointing out that it isn’t out of the realm of possibility that the reigning Masters champion might ultimately find more success at the U.S Open, where he was low amateur in 2017 and finished T7 at Torrey Pines last year.
Scheffler is certainly running hot right now, but with fellow poolsters blinded by the exploits of Rory and JT, perhaps Scottie will see lower ownership percentages than he deserves.
Will Zalatoris (+3000)
The same goes for Zalatoris, who now has runner-up finishes at both the Masters and the PGA Championship over the last two years, but his ball-striking might someday render him a better fit for the U.S. Open than the others. If nothing else, he’s just really good at major championships, sort of following in the recent footsteps of Brooks Koepka and Xander Schauffele as guys who tend to play their best golf in the biggest events.
Matt Fitzpatrick (+3000)
There occurred a shift in the balance of power atop perhaps the PGA TOUR’s most telling statistic this week. With his victory in Canada, McIlroy usurped Fitzpatrick for the top spot in the Strokes Gained: Total category, a stat which the Englishman has led for most of the past several months.
Even so, Fitzpatrick is still second — and there aren’t any better ways to measure which players are playing the best golf than this one. Throw in the fact that he won the U.S. Amateur right at this very course back in 2013 and often plays his best golf when the total score is closer in relation to par, and I’d expect him to not only be a popular play, but a very smart one this week.
Cameron Young (+6500)
There are those who will bet Young this week and those who will play him in DFS, but very few will use a valuable OAD selection on a rookie that they’re somehow still not completely sure about. Use this knowledge to your advantage, because Young is an absolute stud, with five top-three finishes in his freshman campaign so far.
Maybe I’m wrong here, but when it comes to the majors, OADers tend to rely on the proven commodities more than the up-and-comers, but his T3 at the PGA Championship showed he’s hardly afraid of the bigger moment.
Justin Rose (+8000)
It’s a bit difficult to recommend Rose in the betting market, considering he was 80-1 before last week’s RBC Canadian Open and now opens at the same number in an obviously much deeper field. Of course, that’s what happens when you post a final-round 10-under 60 that includes three bogeys.
Really, Rose wasn’t too far off from making some serious history in Canada on Sunday. He obviously knows what it takes to get it done on a U.S. Open track — especially a short, tight track, as one could suggest there are similarities between Merion, where he won in 2013, and The Country Club. If you like playing a longshot with a pedigree and some momentum, he’s your guy.
One player to finish top-five.
Daniel Berger (+650 for top-five)
If Lowry is No. 1 on the list of players I’ve been eyeing for this event, then Berger is a close second.
A few reasons for this: Besides being extremely talented and the type of player who doesn’t make too many mistakes, the South Florida native is a de facto New Englander, having spent parts of many summers in this region, largely honing his game at The Misquamicut Club in Rhode Island. Throw in a playoff loss to Jordan Spieth at the Travelers Championship a few years ago and there’s reason to believe Berger should feel right at home this week.
Not long ago, I thought I might have to back off this assessment, as a combination of injuries and mediocre results left him a bit undesirable here, but a T5 at the Memorial Tournament in his most recent start has me feeling good about Berger’s game once again.
One player to finish top-10.
Max Homa (+400 for top-10)
It wouldn’t be a surprise to see a few repeat performers on this leaderboard who also contended at the Wells Fargo Championship last month. Homa won that week, of course, on a tough, exacting TPC Potomac track which tested players’ mental fortitude as much as the physical and technical.
That same characteristic often separates the pretenders from contenders at a U.S. Open. If Homa has proven anything over the last couple of years, it’s that he shouldn’t be mistaken as a pretender.
Homa has finished in the top 25 in his last four starts and a T5 at the Memorial only helped cement the feeling that his prospects might be most dangerous on a more difficult venue.
As a player who undeniably looks more confident with each passing week, contending in a major is the next step in his progression as a pro. Last month’s T13 at the PGA Championship was his first major championship result better than 40th, and I think he closes a few notches even better this time.
One player to finish top-20.
Aaron Wise (+300 for top-20)
It’s usually not beneficial to go chasing recent results, but I can’t help myself this week. I’ll back up the Berger and Homa props with one on Wise, who played even better at Muirfield Village, finishing runner-up to Billy Horschel.
The truth is, Wise is one of the players I continue backing on a regular basis, because I believe big things are coming very soon. He’s also shown an early-career propensity for playing well at majors, with six straight made cuts, dating back to the beginning of 2019 and including a T23 at last month’s PGA Championship.
I’m willing to concede that a top-20 play could be a bit too conservative; if you want to take the longer odds for a top-10, I don’t hate it.
One player to finish top-30.
A big-hitting Spaniard, Arnaus won his first career DP World Tour title last month, right on the heels of a second- and third-place finish on that circuit.
While the 27-year-old hasn’t played many stateside events at the professional level, he did compete collegiately at Texas A&M and proved he’s not intimidated playing against the game’s best, with a T30 at the recent PGA Championship.
Believe it or not, he’s now his country’s second-ranked player, behind only Jon Rahm and ahead of Sergio Garcia, so another top-30 at a major is hardly a reach here.
One player to finish top-40.
Scott Stallings (+250 for top-40)
Most of the feel-good stories we hear out of final qualifying are in regard to a guy who has three jobs to help care for his six children under the age of 10 and sold his golf clubs last year, but decided to give it one more go and qualified to play on Father’s Day weekend.
OK, so maybe that’s an exaggeration of an amalgamation of tales, but it’s rare that a PGA TOUR player qualifies as one of those stories. Stallings, however, spoke of how much this one meant to him, as he was born in Massachusetts and still has a lot of family members in the area.
Put that narrative together with the fact that he’s probably the strongest player this side of Brooks Koepka and there’s reason to believe this could be a solid week for him.
DFS Free Bingo Square
A safe plug-and-play option for DFS.
Patrick Cantlay (DraftKings $9,200; FanDuel $10,800)
There might not be trouble brewing in Camp Cantlay, but there’s at least some cause for concern. Over the past year-plus, Cantlay’s four worst results have occurred in three major championships and THE PLAYERS. In every other start, he’s finished inside the top-35 — and in most cases, well inside of that.
All of which should leave us asking ourselves a question: Is Cantlay currently incapable of performing on the biggest stages, or is this just some lull on his way to winning his first major? I happen to believe the latter, which makes him a ripe target at a (slightly) lower cost with (potentially) lower ownership.
If everyone else in DFS is going to zig, it usually pays to zag. Cantlay might’ve sufficiently scared off a lot of people based on those recent results. I like taking a shot on him reversing that trend, especially when it comes to DFS.
A lower-priced option for DFS.
Taylor Montgomery (FanDuel $7,000)
As you might recall, Montgomery’s decision to try and qualify for last year’s U.S. Open cost him dearly, as he got into the field at Torrey Pines and made the cut, but since Korn Ferry Tour players can’t accumulate points from majors, he ultimately ended the season one spot out of the top-25 qualifiers, which led to another season on the KFT.
Montgomery is currently inside the top-10 on that points list and recently told me on “Hitting the Green,” my show on SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio, that he would’ve skipped qualifying if he was lower on the list. Now that he’s in, though, he’s a viable DFS option, as he’s finished top-15 in each of his last five starts, seven of his last eight and nine of his last 13.
Last week, I wrote about a dozen lesser-known players who qualified for this field, and it could be valuable to know these lesser-knowns. In addition to Montgomery, Erik Barnes, M.J. Daffue and Brandon Matthews have similarly been tearing up the KFT this season and are each worth a look this week, as well.
One player to post the low score Thursday.
Mito Pereira (+5000 for FRL)
Maybe it’s the Golf Gods way of giving back to the media contingent (you know, a little something for the effort), but first-round leaders at majors over the years have often had some redeeming storytelling quality to their lead, as well.
Looking down the list, there aren’t many better early week tales than that of Pereira, who of course led the PGA Championship with one hole to play, carded a double-bogey and lost by a stroke.
Rather than wallow in that disappointment, though, Pereira has played very well since then, with a T7 and T13 in his last two starts. While he didn’t break 70 on Thursday in either of those, he did post opening scores of 66-64-68 in his previous three tournaments.
One player who should beat comparable players.
Tony Finau (+3300)
Uh-oh, somebody woke up Top-Five Tony.
As I wrote in last week’s RBC Canadian Open preview, Finau followed last year’s Northern Trust victory with 16 consecutive finishes outside the top-five. He has now cashed those tickets in three of his last five, including a runner-up result in Canada.
At this price, I don’t mind having a nibble on some outrights (yeah, I know, even with his low win equity) and I love him for top-fives, DFS and OADs, though he might be most valuable in head-to-heads.
At 40-1, Finau is the same price as a guy like Koepka and I’d absolutely hammer Tony in anything close to an even-money matchup there.
Also Receiving Votes
Other players who should provide value.
Justin Thomas (+1200), Jordan Spieth (+2800), Hideki Matsuyama (+3500), Sungjae Im (+5000), Keegan Bradley (+8000), Alex Noren (+15000), Thomas Pieters (+20000), Sepp Straka (+20000), Matthew NeSmith (+25000), Brandon Matthews (+40000)
The Big Fade
One top player to avoid at this tournament.
Viktor Hovland (+2800)
It feels like every time we list Hovland as a fade, it’s for one specific reason and, well, that’s not a reason we can overlook this time, either. He remains DFL in Strokes Gained: Around the Green, still an anomaly of the highest power — a top-10 player with an obvious, glaring weakness.
At a U.S. Open, where greens will absolutely be missed, chipping is even more vital than usual, which is bad news for the Norwegian. There are two other reasons he’s a fade here, though: The first is that his recent record pales in comparison to the way he was playing at the beginning of the year, with no finishes better than 18th in his last half-dozen starts.
And the second is that if I’m buying a player at similar odds, I’d much rather have Cantlay, Jordan Spieth, Fitzpatrick or Collin Morikawa.