IT’S U.S OPEN SEASON! All the best ball strikers descend on the Los Angeles Country Club for the 123rd playing of this great championship. This is the 3rd Major of the season, and perhaps the most dramatic one given the PGA-LIV merger news. While we await to see how/if the partnership shakes out, let’s turn our focus to the actual golf in The City of Angels, not the court room or Twitter debates.
Course: Los Angeles Country Club
Course Notes: Par 70 / 7,421 Yards
Defending Champion: Matt Fitzpatrick (+2500)
Prize Money / Winners’ Share: $17.5M / $3.15M
Los Angeles Country Club, an ultra-private club located on in the heart of Beverly Hills on Wilshire Boulevard in LA, will expose itself as it hosts the U.S Open for the very first time. It’s the site of Larry David’s tee shots in Curb.
The North Course is a tricky track, consisting of some of the more difficult holes players will face all season, mainly on the back 9. There are five par 3s and three par 5s on the scorecard. Speaking of par 3s, the featured 11thhole is a 290-yard beast, with a gorgeous backdrop of LA emerging behind the green.
The finish will provide high drama on Sunday, as 16,17 & 18 are all grueling par 4s that the leaders must navigate correct. With textbook U.S Open heavy rough bounding fairways, driving accuracy (finding fairways) is a premium. Scoring on the par3s is also more vital this weekend than the usual U.S Open.
Gator Wagers Tickets:
Outright Winner / Top 10 Finish
Cameron Smith +3000 / +240 (BetMGM) – The Australian stud Smith is a threat on any property he comes to. His scintillating final round 64 at last year’s British Open gave him his 1st major, but Smith has had close finishes at other majors (T9 at the PGA this year, T2 at 2020 Masters, T4 at 2015 U.S Open). One of the great iron players in the world, expect the LIV Golf star Smith to navigate the 5 par 3s and maintain his sharp putting prowess in LA.
Hideki Matsuyama +4500 / +450 (PointsBet) – Hideki rolls into weekend in good form, off the heels of a T16 at Memorial, T29 at PGA, T23 at Byron Nelson. At the 2022 U.S Open, Matsuyama made a final round charge to capture solo 4th. A big game hunter, the 2021 Masters champion thrives in majors and seems to be fully recovered from a nagging neck injury. Hideki ranks #6th on TOUR in “Scrambling” and #21 in “Strokes Gained – Total”, 2 key metrics to lean on in Tinseltown.
Sungjae Im +5000 / +450 (FanDuel) – The South Korean ace checks most of the boxes for a player to succeed at a tough track. Finding fairways will be paramount, and Im ranks #16 on TOUR in “Driving Accuracy”. Sungjae has been a tad off recently, but the numbers suggest a bounce back, as he’s ranked #16 in “Strokes Gained – Total”, #14 in “Birdie Average”, and #9 on “Approaches from 225-250 Yards” which is the distance range of most of the par 3s this weekend.
Wyndham Clark +8500 / +700 (FanDuel) – Clark is simply playing the best golf of his career. After picking up his 1st PGA win at the Wells Fargo in May, Wyndham has been a staple on leaderboards all season. The #10 golfer in the FedEx Cup standings is ranked 12th on TOUR in “Scoring Average”, #18 in “Par 4 Scoring”, and 26th in “Greens in Regulation” and is full of confidence, making him an intriguing longshot gamble in Los Angeles.
Russell Henley +11000/ +850 (Bet365) – The Georgia native sits at #32 in the FedEx Cup Standings and is quietly assembling a nice season. Ranked #1 in “Driving Accuracy” Henley plays from the fairways more than anyone on TOUR. He’s also ranked #9 in “Proximity” so his iron and wedges have been dialed in. If the putter can be neutral, dare I say hot, Henley can vault up the leaderboard in LA and is worth a small wager at those odds.
The odds you see above were posted on Monday June 12th. Odds subject to change
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