The third major of the 2023 golf season is here, as the U.S. Open is set to tee off on June 15th at the Los Angeles Country Club. Typically this is an event that draws a ton of attention, but it will be even greater this week since it is the first major event that will take place following the PGA/LIV merger. Here we’ll be breaking down what you need to know about the course, along with all of our betting picks for the event.
Viktor Hovland to Win (+1600): Coming in with the sixth-best odds to win is the 25-year-old Hovland, and I have liked what I’ve seen from him in majors this year. Hovland’s playstyle suits him well for this course and event, as he enters the tournament 13th in total strokes gained, 10th in strokes gained in approach to the green, and 7th in strokes gained off the tee.
Hovland has been knocking on the door of a major win, and I think with his scrambling from the rough ability, he’s one of the few who can take on the course head-on.
Brooks Koepka to Win (+1100): Brooks Koepka lives for major events, and there is no other way around it. The two-time U.S. Open champ is fresh off a PGA Championship win and oozes the confidence you want to see a golfer have when you bet on them.
Koepka has finished top five in five of his nine U.S. Opens, and his ball striking recently has been phenomenal. With his ability to play his best when the pressure is the highest, I find it hard to believe he isn’t in striking distance on Sunday.
Tyrell Hatton Top 5 (+600): You always like to see the golfers you’re backing have some positive momentum heading into an event, and Hatton certainly has that. The fiery Englishman has six straight Top-20 finishes, including a T15 at the PGA Championship and a T3 at the Candian Open this past weekend. Hatton is also 3rd in total strokes gained and 17th in approach to the green, so I think he’s primed to be around the top of the leaderboard all weekend.
Typically the U.S. Open features a golf course that haunts golfers in their sleep, and while this year’s course may not be at that level, it will still be a big challenge. With videos already being released of the daunting rough and fast fairways, players could find themselves in a bad spot early on. If you add in the fact that most of these guys are under even more pressure since it's a major, then this is appointment viewing.
One of the keywords you’ll likely hear on the broadcast or see on Twitter this week is “fast.” The putting greens at the LACC are bentgrass which typically leads to faster-putting speeds, and with the dry conditions that will likely be played on, putts won’t be the only shots that give a solid roll and move fast.
With that said, as nice as gaining distance off the tee is, where golfers might truly separate themselves is with their wedges. Stokes gained around the green is a stat that I was looking at more as opposed to off the tee because of that factor. Barranca is another word you will hear quite often this weekend due to the course layout, and because of that, I want those guys who are good around the green instead of guys who try to make up for their lack of short game with driving distance.
Bryson DeChambeau Top 20 (+170): After a brutal run at the Masters, DeChambeau responded with a T4 finish at the PGA Championship, where he looked the best he has in quite some time. The wide fairways make this course suitable for a player of his style, and with the improvements made to the other areas of his game, I like DeChambeau to be competitive this weekend.
Tommy Fleetwood Top 20 (+150): Fresh off his impressive performance at the Canadian Open, in which he finished second, Fleetwood looks primed for a T20 finish in his second straight major. Fleetwood is currently above tour average in strokes gained around the green and with putting, as he was +2.20 in strokes gained with putting just last weekend.
Viktor Hovland to Win (+1600)
Brooks Koepka to Win (+1100)
Tyrell Hatton Top 5 Finish (+600)
Bryson DeChambeau Top 20 Finish (+170)
Tommy Fleetwood Top 20 Finish (+150)