2024 Women’s US Open Picks, Predictions: Navigating Nelly Korda as Huge Favorite

2024 Women’s US Open Picks, Predictions: Navigating Nelly Korda as Huge Favorite article feature image

Elsa/Getty Images. Pictured: Nelly Korda.

Around since 1946, the U.S. Women’s Open is the oldest major on the women’s side of professional golf, with an outstanding history of all-time winners from the Babe Didrikson Zaharias’ and Betsy Rawls’ or the early days to the Annika Sorenstam’s and Michelle Wie’s of the modern era.

This year, Lancaster Country Club plays host to the U.S. Women’s Open, with the largest prize fund ever available ($12 million) for a women’s golf major up for grabs. It continues an overall trend in the game.e

Reaching new heights

With our new partner @ally, we will pay out record prize money at Lancaster. pic.twitter.com/2sDwbeJ73n

— U.S. Women's Open (@uswomensopen) February 1, 2024

It will be the second time Lancaster has hosted this event, the first coming in 2015 when In-Gee Chun emerged victorious over Amy Yang with a final score of 8-under.

Heading into this year’s U.S. Women’s Open, the big story, though, is Nelly Korda. In case you’ve been living under a rock (or, you know, watching mainstream sports media which has paid not nearly enough attention to what Korda is doing), the 25-year-old Florida native has won six of her seven starts in 2024, including five straight to start the season. The five straight wins tied a record, and she’s playing about as good a level of golf that we have seen since the days of the aforementioned Sorenstam—this is a generational event happening in front of our eyes.

As respect to Korda, she is currently around +350 to win this event, in an absolutely stacked field, and somehow it almost feels crazy not to bet on her. That being said, there are plenty of other players and angles for this tournament, so let’s highlight a few of those plays and players with action set to get underway Thursday morning (coverage starts on Peacock at noon ET, and moves to USA Network from 2 p.m.-8 p.m. the first two days).

2024 Women's US Open Picks, Predictions

Hannah Green — Winner Without Nelly Korda (+2800, Caesars)

I debated leading with a Korda top-five bet at +108, but it’s just too patently absurd of a recommendation even if it's potentially worth betting given her run of form. Instead, we’re going to try to avoid Korda entirely by heading over to the “winner without” market and pulling her name out of the running entirely.

Green is a trendy pick this week and with good reason. If it wasn't for Korda, Green would be getting a lot of early Player of the Year buzz. She already has a pair of wins, an impressive accomplishment even before considering that Korda has barely allowed anyone else to win this season.

Green is also a great horse for course fit. When the No Laying Up crew did their LPGA season preview, they highlighted her for Lancaster, and that was even before her excellent run of play.

Lancaster is going to require impressive length off the tee and — like any good major — will reward the best approach players in the game. Green balances those two parts of the game better than anyone else in the field. With her putter performing solidly to start the season, there’s no reason she should be outside of the top two or three in the field odds-wise. Instead, she’s in the 10-12 range behind a number of names she has no right to be behind.

Carlota Ciganda over Celine Boutier (+105, Caesars)

Speaking of balancing distance off the tee and strong iron play, Ciganda was the other name that popped to me when I looked at players who excel at both. She’ll be getting about 10 extra yards off the tee over Boutier, who also hasn’t been in peak form this season.

Boutier had a runner-up at the Women’s World Championship back in February, but her overall run of play has been far off her standard, highlighted by her missed cut at the first major of the season.

Gabi Ruffels Top 5 (+1000, DraftKings)

Ruffels is a player whose ceiling I absolutely love betting. She will have off weeks and could certainly miss the cut here, but the 24-year-old Aussie also already has three top fives this season, two of which have come in May.

Lottie Woad Top 10 (+1200, bet365)

Woad has had quite the 2024. On April 6, the 20-year-old took down Bailey Shoemaker at Augusta to win ANWA (the Augusta National Women’s Amateur). Just two weeks later she competed in her first LPGA major — the Chevron Championship — and finished T-23. She was in the top 10 heading into the weekend before shooting 73-74.

Now that Woad has a bit of experience under her belt and given how well she has shown she can play on the toughest courses, I want to bet on her some way this week. I’d prefer a Top 20 market, but the only book with that available (BetRivers) has seen Woad’s number tanked. If you do see a Woad Top 20 in the neighborhood of +400, I'd snatch that up.

In Gee Chun First-Round Leader (+10000, BetMGM)

I have to shout Matt Cooper of Sporting Life for this angle that he laid out in his excellent preview of this tournament (he also has Green, while Stark and Yamashita were two names I debated highlighting here, as well).

There are a lot of reasons to be sprinkling Chun this week. For one, she won this tournament eh last time it was played at Lancaster back in 2015. She did so as a 21-year-old, breaking onto the scene with an outright win in just her third major appearance.

Now 29 years old, Chun has three majors to her name. While I’m a touch worried about her distance off the tee and recent form (she has as many finishes outside the top 100 this year as she does in the top 30), she holds a special connection to this course and the town itself. She’s a bit of a hometown hero, having set up her educational foundation (the aptly named In Gee Chun LCC Educational Foundation) in association with the club.

Taking a 100-1 on her riding the vibes at a course she clearly knows well for 18 holes on Thursday is a great dart to complete this card.

2024 Women's US Open Picks

Hannah Green — Winner Without Nelly Korda (+2800, Caesars, 0.5 units)
Carlota Ciganda over Celine Boutier (+105, Caesars, one unit)
Gabi Ruffels Top 5 (+1000, DraftKings, 0.25 units)
Lottie Woad Top 10 (+1200, bet365, 0.25 units; 0.5u if you can find the aforementioned Top 20)
In Gee Chun First-Round Leader (+10000, BetMGM, 0.1 unit)

How would you rate this article?

This site contains commercial content. We may be compensated for the links provided on this page. The content on this page is for informational purposes only. Action Network makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the information given or the outcome of any game or event.