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U.S. Open picks and predictions for the third major championship of the year. The world's best will head to Boston for the U.S. Open. Golf handicapper Andy Lack is here to break it all down and give us his early picks.

U.S. Open Picks and Predictions: Look for Joaquin Niemann, Sungjae Im as Values

It's time for some U.S. Open picks!

For the first time since 1989, the U.S. Open returns to the Country Club at Brookline, a venue steeped in tradition. Along with Shinnecock Hills, Chicago Golf Club, Newport Country Club, and St. Andrews, the Country Club is one of the founding clubs of the USGA. It was also the host to arguably the most famous U.S. Open of all time when amateur Francis Ouimet took down Harry Vardon and Ted Ray in 1913.

While the Country Club has been the host to some of golf's most iconic moments, this will be our first look at it since the 2013 U.S. Amateur, won by Matthew Fitzpatrick. Fitzpatrick, along with 155 other hopefuls will attempt to etch their names into the history books, in what one can only imagine will be a championship to remember. Let's take a closer look at the venue before we dive into the odds for the U.S. Open and my U.S. Open picks.

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U.S. Open Course Preview: The Country Club at Brookline

The composite course at the Country Club is a par 70, measuring 7,264 yards on the scorecard. As is the case with most U.S. Opens, the Country Club features extremely thick rough, narrow fairways, and slick putting surfaces. While last year's U.S. Open venue, Torrey Pines, was defined by its sheer length, the Country Club is characterized by its microscopic putting surfaces. Even after Gil Hanse expanded the greens, they still measure only 4,388 square feet on average, making them the second-smallest to Pebble Beach in major championship golf.

With such incredibly small targets, precise iron play and short game will be at an absolute premium this week. The Country Club plays far longer than the scorecard suggests, and players still face a large plurality of approach shots from over 175 yards. For this reason, I believe that even the best iron players will miss their fair share of greens, and we will see a greens in regulation percentage close to 50%, undoubtedly the lowest of the season. With that being said, players will not even be in a position to hit these greens if they cannot get off the tee.

Total driving remains one of the most crucial statistics at the U.S. Open, as eight of the last 10 winners ranked top-15 in driving distance, and eight of the last 10 winners ranked top-30 in driving accuracy. Bryson DeChambeau's infamous bomb and gauge strategy that he deployed in 2020 at Winged Foot will not be possible this week, as there is too much native grass and an absence of runways to the putting surfaces. With that being said, distance will still be a huge advantage this week, as players are still bound to miss their fair share of fairways as well.

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U.S. Open Picks: Brookline Key Stats

  • Total Driving
  • Proximity 175 plus
  • Strokes Gained Around the Green
  • Putting 5-15 feet

Without further ado, let's dig into my predictions and outright U.S. Open picks.

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U.S. Open Picks and Predictions - Outright Winner

Joaquin Niemann (+4000) (Bet $100 to Win $4,000)

*Odds available at DraftKings at time of publishing*

The U.S. Open has a history of crowning its young starts, as seven of the last 10 winners have been first-time major winners. I firmly believe that Joaquin Niemann has all of the tools to win a U.S. Open, and he proved his pedigree by going wire to wire earlier this year at Riviera, one of the most prestigious tournaments of the year. He has great U.S. Open odds. The young Chilean is rock solid off the tee, an excellent long iron player, and has one of the most improved short games on the PGA Tour. He's coming off a third at the Memorial where he gained a whopping 11 strokes of ball-striking. A 23rd at Winged Foot and a 31st at Torrey Pines in his last two U.S. Opens show a player with the wherewithal to compete on a USGA set-up. The World No. 16 is ready for his coming-out party, and I expect him to be firmly in the mix in Boston come Sunday afternoon.

Sungjae Im (+6000) (Bet $100 to Win $6,000)

*Odds available at PointsBet at time of publishing*

Sungjae Im is another young player with great U.S. Open odds. He has an incredibly well-rounded game that should serve him well on a USGA set-up. Similar to Niemann, Sungjae is coming off back-to-back top-35 finishes in his last two U.S. Opens, and I would argue he's a much better player now than he was then. The World No. 22 is coming off a 10th at the Memorial where he gained strokes in all four major categories. His driver is an absolute weapon right now, as he's gained over 2.5 strokes off the tee in four straight starts. The two-time PGA Tour winner also ranks eighth in proximity from 200 yards plus, second in strokes gained around the green, and second in bogeys avoided. Im embodies the exact statistical profile that I am looking for this week, and my numbers have him as the best value on the board at +6000.

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Article Author


Andy Lack is a PGA Tour writer and podcaster from Manhattan, New York. Andy came to OddsChecker in January 2022 after previously writing for Golf Digest, GolfWRX, Rotoballer, and the Score. Andy is also the host of a golf betting and daily fantasy podcast, Inside Golf Podcast, as well as "The Scramble” with Rick Gehman, and a recurring guest on the Pat Mayo Experience. In his free time, Andy is still grinding away at his lifelong dream of qualifying for the U.S. Amateur, and if not writing, can likely be found somewhere on a golf course.


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