Preview and picks for the 2022 U.S. Open
Normally, when it's US Open week, all the talk is about the difficulty of the course, and which golfers have a shot at prevailing Sunday after 72 grueling holes.
However, this time the tournament comes on the heels of the Saudi-funded debut of the LIV Golf Invitational. It will feature the return of more than a dozen players who were in the London area to compete.
Charl Schwartzel, a former Masters champion, was the winner in London, securing $4 million for the individual victory, then another $750,000 as his four-man team won a $3 million team event.
It's a lot of money, but it has come with a price. He resigned from the PGA Tour to play in London, and the sponsors of the PGA have held fast with their tour partner and withdrawn sponsorships for the defecting players.
For the U.S. Open, however, all of the LIV players that previously qualified are allowed to play.
USGA at Odds with PGA Tour
The US Open is not a PGA Tour event. It is run by the USGA, and they have said that Dustin Johnson, Sergio Garcia, Phil Mickelson and the others that chose to spurn the Tour for the moneyed pastures of the LIV Invitational can still play in the Open at Brookline, Massachusetts.
There are a total of 14 US Open qualifiers who played in London. All 14 have been welcomed to the Open, welcomed by the USGA. As for the fans, and their fellow golfers that remain on the PGA Tour, we will see just what sort of welcome they receive.
Media will surely play a role in how these players are received, based on how hard they go after them in press conferences. Also setting the tone is PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan, who has previously said that the issue isn't Saudi Arabia, rather competition. This week, however, that tone has changed.
“I would ask any player that has left, or any player that would ever consider leaving, ‘Have you ever had to apologize for being a member of the PGA Tour?’ “
It's a clear reference to Saudi Arabia's record on human rights, but it does ultimately open up the PGA Tour for criticism as a predominantly White-dominated sport through the years.
Betting the U.S. Open
As for the golf being played this week, that’s nothing to do with the golf of the LIV Invitational, the favorites board, according to US Open odds posted at BetUS, looks this way . . .
|Golfer||Odds to win|
There are also quite a number of intriguing props out there, as per US Open odds.
Jon Rahm is the defending champ, winning last season at Torrey Pines. He wasn't great at the PGA Championship this year, finishing T48. However, he was T10 at the Memorial and won the Mexico Open. Also, he’s always a good bet to perform well through the final two rounds.
Justin Thomas was the winner at the PGA, just finished third at the RBC Canadian Open and was in the top-five in three of his last four. Based on recent form, Thomas is a great bet to win at Brookline.
Scottie Scheffler has been the best golfer in 2022, having compiled four wins thus far. He was T7 in the US Open last year. He missed the cut at the PGA, but was top-20 in Canada and should be in Sunday’s final mix.
Best Value Plays
There are a number of good reasons to consider Tommy Fleetwood an excellent bet at +5500. He was 14th at the Masters, did finish fifth at the PGA Championship and twice finished in the top-five at the US Open.
Also paying +5500 is Max Homa. He was the winner in May at the Wells Fargo Championship and finished T5 at the Memorial the first week of June. He was also T13 at the PGA and T13 at THE PLAYERS Championship. Thus, a good run in the US Open feels inevitable now.