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  • Writer's pictureTom Ford

The US Open Tournament preview and golf betting tips 2023


Brooks Koepka

Tom Fords US Open Tournament Golf Tips

Brooks Koepka – 14/1 2pt Win

Viktor Hovland – 16/1 2pt Win

Jordan Speith – 30/1 2pt Win

Cam Smith - 35/1 1pt Win

Max Homa - 38/1 1pt Win

Justin Rose – 50/1 1pt E/W (5 Places)


Welcome to La La Land

With the golf world in shock a week ago with the PIF/PGA merger, we land in a week where golf is being talked about everywhere. And this week the golf can actually take centre stage instead of just rumours and speculation. This is one of the most anticipated Majors we’ve had in a long time, and they’ve been setting up Los Angeles Country Club for this moment and they’ve been doing that for the best part of 15 years. Not only have I heard every punter going on about this place all year, but also every time I’ve seen a player questioned on this place, their face lights up with excitement. Playboy Mansion, Beverly Hills and all, let's get into this week's US Open.


Truest US Open test

Take a calm rolling southern country club, add mounds and canyons, ridiculous green and fairway complexes and 13 holes where par is a good score; pick that up and place it in east Los Angeles with the city in the back drop and you have this year’s US open. That doesn’t give it all away though because, this place is going to mess with your head more than any other. You wouldn’t want a Rahm meltdown or Tyrell Hatton self talk around here, you need calm, you need smart and you need pure courage to win this years edition.


This 7400 yard North Course, Thomas Design, familiar with Riviera and Bel Air, will play a completely different yardage every day. Tee boxes are everywhere and my expectations are that the winner this week has probably played this course many times and will know exactly what to expect from different areas of the course. The 1st, which is a par 5, already offers you your first birdie opportunity which sets the tone because there isn’t many of them. Suddenly then, you are faced with two Par 4’s which you’d be happy to get out of that stretch 1 under. Both these holes really emphasise what LACC is all about. You stand on the tee and think you’ve got loads of room ahead of you, when actually you’ve got to land your ball really only in one spot if you want to find the fairway. Fairways round here are on clever slopes, fast run offs and bunkers and canyons just waiting to swallow your ball up from nowhere. Your 2nd shot like most of your approaches this week, if you do manage to find yourself on the short stuff, will ask your brain to rack your head round the right way to play it. The greens can be large but they are like 10 greens wrapped into one. You will see players this week landing 50 yards short of greens to prevent leaving themselves downhill putts of even balls flying down the back of run offs into stupendous thick rough. The par 3’s with much smaller greens, all surrounded by teethed bunkers will play from 80 yards to 290 yards, YES you heard that correct, a 290 yard par 3. The ’peoples hole’ this week and for many, maybe the players hole too, will be the 330 yard par 4, 6th, a hole like no other. You can lay up with an iron, you can drive it all the way, you could even hit driver and still find yourself with 100 yards left in, the options are endless and it’s going to be fantastic to see how the best players in the world play this course. At the turn you may want to take a breath after you’ve laid up on another 290 yard par 3, the next stretch is all about Precision and that word I cannot emphasise enough. Four 500 yard par 4’s on the back 9 which all canver into fairway bunkers if you don’t get it right, it’s relentless and will test your mental resilience like never before, especially if you start getting on a bogey train.

So to summarise, Precision and Control wins this golf tournament.


U.S. Open Winners: 2022: Matt Fitzpatrick (-6); 2021: John Rahm (-6); 2020: Bryson DeChambeau (-6); 2019: Gary Woodland (-13); 2018: Brooks Koepka (+1); 2017: Brooks Koepka (-16); 2016: Dustin Johnson (-4); 2015: Jordan Spieth (-5); 2014: Martin Kaymer (-9); 2013: Justin Rose (+1); 2012: Webb Simpson (+1); 2011: Rory McIlroy (-16); 2010: Graeme McDowell (E); 2009: Lucas Glover (-4).


The LACC model

As I’ve already made clear above I’m really looking for the profile of my picks to be calm and clever golfers, I really don’t want to be backing a golfer this week that makes silly mistakes, and more than ever, this is going to be a really tactical week and what comes with that is major experience and a mature head. At the very top of any US Open though should be Bogey Avoidance, if you didn’t know, the average winning score in a US Open is -5 and I don’t expect much less this week, in fact, there will be a lot of wedges in hand, so the top of the leaderboard will be about those who have survived the rough and the bunkers and the winning score is likely to stagnant a little come Sunday. Anyhow its clear Par on any hole being vital to winning.


I want to include some driving into my model, but this years edition it really hard to gauge how much accuracy and distance is going to matter. Let’s be clear this isn’t a bombers golf course, but it definitely helps to be able to clear some fairway bunkers out there. I am also hearing that a lot of 3 wood’s and irons are going to be used off tees, a lot more than you would think as well. You could be only hitting 5 drivers off tee boxes in your whole round at LACC especially if you know you are able to get those clubs out there still and let them run on. I’m going to weight my driving using Total driving as a piece in my model, I believe the fairways are wide enough to get away with some wayward drives however, if you are clever enough, the accuracy becomes a lot easier with those shorter clubs in the bag, so total driving is the stat I’m looking at.


With the approach we all know the USPA are going to set this up exactly how they want to and we all expect it to be hard and fast throughout the week. High ball flight, distance to apex is a good bit of knowledge to look at, not dissimilar to Augusta really, stopping the ball on the greens its going to be key. I also expect lots of wedges being played as mentioned above so the main target area I see second shots being played are around 150 or less, so it’s something I’m definitely having to factor in and those trends of players who have recently gained in that yardage.


LACC is known, of what we know that is, for its hills and sheer vast variety off the tee, everything will look enlarged and huge this week and it’s the type of course you’d expect someone who is used to playing with severe up and downhill elevation changes will thrive or at least is not competing on complete George Thomas design debut. This is also linked into seeing players who are used to turning the ball both ways. I’d like someone tactical, some

one who is not afraid to try something different from shot to shot and my players all to have some kind of invention.


My last main point I’ll be adding to this week's model is around major form. The last 5/6 winners of the US Open have finished in the top 10 of the previous major and I feel that major form as well as major experience is as vital as any other stat and I’ll be making sure that’s important in my outright picks for the week.


This Memorial Model;

SG : Tee to Green

SG : Approach

SG : Around the Green

Total Driving

Technical Positive

Long Course Positive

Bogey Avoidance

Approach 150>

Scrambling

Firm positive

Distance to apex

US Open Form

Green in Reg

Par 3 performance

Golf Tips Checker Packages

Top 25 players in the model and my thoughts on each:

Scottie Scheffler 7/1

Any kind of average putting week from Scottie and rightly he is favourite, its only really the price that puts me off


Jon Rahm 9/1

Slipping down the radar with a couple of bad putting weeks, but we all know he is capable of turning up and blowing the field away


Rory McIlroy 11/1

Mentally he’s not quite right and you need your head more than ever at a US Open, great off the tee I’m sure he will be again, but can’t close his lunchbox on a Sunday


Xander Schauffele 20/1

Question marks over his major form, but this edition may surprise many, sneaky price into the 20’s and if you prefer him over the couple below then why wouldn’t you


Patrick Cantlay 14/1

Almost guaranteed to be hitting most fairways here, but it won’t be fun, you will likely be leading yourself into a painful top 5 finish, ignore


Viktor Hovland 16/1

Really stepped up the last few weeks, probably comes into this in the form of his life. Course will suit, stays out the rough he can compete


Tyrrell Hatton 30/1

Price is probably fair the way he’s been playing, he should of won last week with two 64’s. His temperament however will not suit here when Par is a good score, I can see him losing his mind


Hideki Matsuyama 40/1

Different surface and I’d be having a serious good look, maybe he’ll make the cut but I don’t know if he enjoys this type of event enough


Tony Finau 30/1

Losing strokes in patches since his last win, others preferred


Jason Day 35/1

Won a month ago for the first time in 5 years, shown nothing since, tough ask


Bryson DeChambeau 45/1

I can see why people like his chances, great finish at PGA, the fact he’s popular this week, puts me off


Tommy Fleetwood 40/1

The way he putted last week was eye catching, if he hadn’t of gone through the play off he’d be on my card, probably a top 10 play


Brooks Koepka 11/1

No words needed, looks absolutely Top Gun here


Justin Rose 35/1

Turns up in majors again and again, his form is the best its been since no1 status, he can play with the big boys


Dustin Johnson 35/1


Max Homa 30/1

Horse for a course, depends on whether he can be bothered to eat dessert, chance


Collin Morikawa 25/1


Matthew Fitzpatrick 28/1

If he wasn’t defending champ, and hadn’t of taken his braces off then this suits him really well, his game is not as strong as a year ago, that tells me enough


Rickie Fowler 55/1

Concerned about back issues


Sergio Garcia 175/1


Gary Woodland 155/1

Can’t putt, frustrating


Cameron Smith 30/1

If he can make the weekend, hit the ball straight then be worried


Shane Lowry 150/1

Has the game, putter too cold to win, top 10 play


Denny McCarthy 110/1


Joaquin Niemann 80/1

Plays well in California, likes it firm and fast, not a bad price


I’ve tossed and turned about this week more than any other week this year. Don’t be surprised to see a strange leaderboard early on, but I believe the cream will rise to the top come Sunday and it won’t be a guy that’s attacked pins all week. Stick to your guns, maybe even have a look at who you picked for Augusta and you won’t be far away.


I hope I have at least given you a few hinters again and feel free to interact and get involved with my picks and my card published this week. I will be on Chasing Pars podcast on Tuesday and will have updates throughout on my twitter.


As always if you want to be part of my weekly fantasy competition, look out for my updates on my twitter and my site www.drawshankgolf.com.


Selections:

Brooks Koepka – 14/1 2pt Win

Brooks is a stud, and there is no reason he can’t win us back to back Majors. He’s done it before and he’ll do it again.


Viktor Hovland – 16/1 2pt Win

Viktor surprised me big time at Memorial, he’s most in form, he drives it so well off the tee and he’s surely just got to keep it on the green and he wins this week. One of the easiest picks.


Jordan Speith – 30/1 2pt Win

Jordan has been on my card a lot this year, and I’ve had him close on many occasions, part of this pick is because I don’t know what I’d do if I missed it. The other part is this is a speith course. Turns the ball both ways, incredible invention and bunker play, and his driving has only got better.


Cam Smith - 35/1 1pt Win

Another horse for a course. I’m willing to take the risk here and I really like his chances. Has openly spoke about the last 6 weeks being the best golf he’s played this year and when we landed him at the open it wasn’t far off this price. We know he can be the best in the world in and around the greens, gets his driver right and we won’t be far away.


Max Homa - 38/1 1pt Win

There is not much I need to say here, has the course record, has the LA form, just the recent form that doesn’t stack up, but he will be more prepared than anyone out here, will know what club to take and when, don’t see him melting down, lets go Max.


Justin Rose – 50/1 1pt E/W (5 Places)

Another guy I haven’t been afraid of standing by this year, in the best form for years, loves a US Open test and is coming off a lovely Top 10 stretch and does it time and time again in majors, great price.

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