Golf's Third Major - US Open 2023 Picks and Predictions
Players to bet and fade for the 2023 US Open at the Los Angeles Country Club.
The golf world turns to LA this week as it will host the third major of the year at the LA Country Club (LACC). This will be a first time US Open venue and should provide some exciting challenges for the players. LACC features Bermuda grass tee-to-green with Bentgrass greens. It has the dramatic elevation changes and land movement of a place like Augusta National or Southern Hills. The turf will be firm and fast like it typically is at a US Open. Tee shots will bound down the fairway, this will put a premium on ball placement off the tee and it will be very tough to get balls to hold on these greens that will no doubt be firm and lightning quick.
Key Stats for Success
Good Drives Gained
SG Around the Green
SG Off the Tee
SG Par 4
3 Putt Avoidance
Players that we like this week and would suggest looking for in matchups, finishing markets, and beyond.
Scottie Scheffler - Obvious choice but you can't ignore Scottie this week as he has contended in every tournament that he's played seemingly the entire year. If he was putting better he would be racking up wins left and right including potentially the PGA Championship. He has demonstrated his ability to have success in majors and stacks up incredibly well when you look at the stats above. Put him in parlays, look for matchups, finishing positions, and any other market you can find. It's tough to bet him at 7/1 but you can find much worse parlay legs. Also if by chance he stumbles a bit on Thursday don't hesitate to grab him more juicy of a price ala Rahm at the Masters.
Victor Hovland - Another player that is tough to get behind in the outright market because his number is so short, but he stacks up very well in each of these statistical categories. It seems like his short game is improving which is scary for the competition. He is coming off his first win and has been in contention in every major so far. It would be a surprise if he doesn't have a good week.
Justin Rose - This is another player who is coming in playing well. He has a good history at the Genesis Open which is another LA course and he stacks up well statistically too. It's been awhile since he's actually won a tournament but he has won in the past and if he keeps flirting with it he'll win one eventually. At upwords of 50/1 he is also someone that you can get behind for an outright as we think it holds some value, we have his fair price at 41/1.
Hideki Matsuyama - He comes in with good, not great form but he is a previous major champion who has a good history on California courses. Also a nice outright number that we can get behind right around 50/1 similar to Rose.
Mito Periera - This is one of two LIV golfers that we're looking at this week. He is a great statistical match for the course and has played pretty well in majors over his career. At more than 100/1 he makes a lot of sense as a long shot and as someone to at for matchups as he may be undervalued coming over from LIV.
Joaquin Niemann - LIV golfer number two, another young up and coming player who we really liked before he went to LIV. It's tough to gauge the level of commitment and competion that the LIV players are exposed too but after Koepka won the PGA it seems they can still compete. He played well at the Masters and he won the Genesis just last year. He can be found at 100/1 but even at 80/1 he still shows some value in our model.
Players that we DON'T like this week and would suggest fading in matchups, miss the cut, and beyond.
Sung Jae Im - It pains me to put Sung Jae on this list because he's been a top 20 machine for much of the year. Something seems to be off with him recently however, especially across his last 24 rounds or so. He's got two missed cuts in his last three events which is not normal for him. He also doesn't have a great history in US Opens and hasn't had good results previously at Riviera either. You should be able to get some quality players to go against him with in matchups and we will be looking to do so.
Cameron Young - Another player that I don't like fading, I really like his game and was expecting big things from this year. But he didn't show up for us at the PGA Championship which was a course we had him pegged for and was located very close to where he grew up. After contending in numerous tournaments and majors last year he has come crashing down to earth. Statswise he doesn't match up well on this course either so he's another quality player that makes the fade list this week.
Corey Conners - He actually comes in playing very well this year. He was in contention last week at the RBC Canadian and was in the final group at the PGA Championship until he completely blew up on Sunday. Conners has a nice game and he could easily win a major in the next few years but it seemed like something cracked on that Sunday at the PGA and it appears to be lingering around a bit. He missed the cut at the Memorial, a course that he statistically looked like a good fit for. Then he faded steadily last week in his home country's major tournament. He doesn't model horribly this week but also not near the top. He has tended to peak on the Florida, Southern, East Coast swings in previous years as well and doesn't have a great track record on west coast courses.
Abraham Ancer - He's not longest hitter off the tee and performs better on shorter courses. His approach game and around the green skills also aren't great. He hasn't won any LIV events, which isn't a promising sign, and he doesn't have a great track record on hard courses further highlighted by him missing the cut at the PGA Championship this year.
Sam Burns - Something isn't right with Burns, he's very up and down with his game. You see volatility in his game, a lot of bogeys and doubles but mixing in some birdies as well. Statistically he hasn't had a good year. He's another player with a lack of success on the west coast, he seems to pop in these tournaments in Texas or other southern states. He's the kind of player you can back in a birdie fest but when it comes to saving par and grinding out a decent score it's not really his game. If he's got his game he can compete with anyone but he has definitely been out of form this year.
Aaron Wise & Chris Kirk - Not gonna break down too much here other than the numbers just really don't like them and they both haven't shown much in the way of results recently.