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6D AGO

Odds Outlook: Scottie Scheffler favored over Xander Schauffele, Rory McIlroy at Pinehurst for U.S. Open

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    Written by Mike Glasscott @MikeGlasscott

    The third major championship of the season, the U.S. Open, returns to Pinehurst Resort for the 124th edition.

    Designed by legendary architect Donald Ross in 1907, Pinehurst No. 2 will welcome America’s national championship for the fourth time.

    The hottest player in golf, Scottie Scheffler (+333), sits on top of the odds board at BetMGM Sportsbook as the best choice of the 156 players entered. Picking up his fifth win of the season last week at the Memorial Tournament presented by Workday, the No. 1 player in the Official World Golf Ranking is adding his name to impressive historical lists. With his win at the Memorial, the Texan joined Tiger Woods as the only player in history to win the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard, the Masters and the Memorial in the same season. He joined Palmer as the only other player since 1962 to win a major championship and secure five victories before the U.S. Open. Tom Watson, in 1980, was the last player to win five times before the U.S. Open. Playing the 7,548 yards (Par-70) layout for the first time, the new father will look to extend his streak of top-10 paydays in this event to four consecutive years.

    At the top of the BetMGM board, there are no changes to the top three players this week. PGA champion Xander Schauffele (+1200) will attempt to win back-to-back major championships. Many, including myself, thought the U.S. Open would provide his breakthrough in major championship golf. Making his eighth start, the Californian has cashed T14 or better, including three top-five paydays in every start. Cashing in 25 of 28 career appearances in majors, he has 13 results in the top 10. Not showing signs of a letdown after his first major championship at Valhalla, he signed for T8 last week at the Memorial, his tenth top-10 result of the season and third straight. Sturdy throughout the bag, he leads the TOUR in Scrambling, a massive key to contending and winning this week.


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    The 2011 U.S. Open champion at Congressional, Rory McIlroy (+1200), is dialed in annually for this event. After missing the weekend in three consecutive years from 2016 through 2018, the four-time major champion has put together a streak of five straight finishes inside the top 10. The runner-up last year at Los Angeles Country Club by one shot, the Ulsterman cashed T23 in the 2014 edition in the sandhills of North Carolina. With two wins in the last two months and 22 top-10 paydays in major championships since the 2014 U.S. Open, the most on TOUR, he’s looking for his first visit to the top 10 in the majors this season.

    Picking up his fifth top-10 result in his last seven starts with a solo second to Scheffler at the Memorial, Collin Morikawa (+1400) should be laser-focused on this second-shot examination this week. The greens at Pinehurst No. 2 are difficult to hit, and not many control the shape and distance on approach better than the two-time major champion. Running T3 at the Masters, and T4 at the PGA Championship, the 2023 winner of the ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIP was beaten by only seven players over his last three starts. Dueling shot by shot with Scheffler at the Memorial on Sunday, the 27-year-old Californian had chances to knock off the eventual winner but secured his third-consecutive top-four finish on TOUR.

    Since spring has arrived, Viktor Hovland (+1800) has blossomed back into the form that was expected to carry over from his FedExCup-winning summer of 2023. Finishing on the podium (third place) at the PGA Championship, the star from Oslo, Norway, shared second at the Memorial after 69-69 over the first two rounds. Fading on the weekend to T15 in the difficult scoring conditions, he still managed 47 of 72 GIR, tied for second-best in the field. Sitting at 173rd SG: Around the Green and 150th in Scrambling, he will need a big week from his driver and irons. The 2019 low amateur at AT&T Pebble Beach, his T12 paycheck is his best from five U.S. Open visits.


    Viktor Hovland’s FedExCup heroics


    Bryson DeChambeau (+2000) is only the second former champion in the top seven choices at the BetMGM Sportsbook this week. Playing Pinehurst No. 2 for the first time, the winner at Winged Foot in September of 2020 will try to pick up his second check in the top 10. Entering the week after T6 at the Masters and solo second at Valhalla, the big-hitting scientist has produced the goods in the first two majors of the season. Making his 10th start, he has cashed in the last six U.S. Opens.

    After finishing runner-up to Scheffler at his first major championship, Ludvig Åberg (+2000) proved he was a quick study. The trajectory of the Swedish star slowed after missing the cut at Valhalla. A bothersome knee saw him miss the tune-up at the Wells Fargo Championship the week prior, but he did not miss out last week at the Memorial. On a demanding Muirfield Village Golf Club layout, he cashed T5 and was one of just 10 players to break par for the week. Providing inspiration this week, his hero, ball-striking star Henrik Stenson, shared fourth here in 2014.

    Joining three-time champion Tiger Woods (+20000), Brooks Koepka (+2200) is the other two-time winner in the field. Breaking on to the scene at Erin Hills in 2017, the now five-time major champion successfully defended his title the following year at Shinnecock Hills. The more difficult the golf course is, the more attention to the task at hand is given to competing. Missing the cut on debut in 2012, he has rattled off nine straight weekends of T18 or better, apart from 2022, including T4 here in 2014. Interestingly, his last four majors over the past two seasons have not produced a result better than T17.

    Wyndham Clark (+6000) returns as the defending champion after earning his first major last year at LACC. Clark was a runner-up at THE PLAYERS Championship and won the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am but has missed his last two cuts.

    Here's a look at other notable odds via BetMGM, including Adam Scott (+12500) who gained entry into the field Monday and will extend his run of 92 majors in a row:

    • +2800: Jon Rahm (2021 winner)
    • +4000: Matt Fitzpatrick (2022 winner), Cameron Smith, Hideki Matsuyama, Justin Thomas, Max Homa, Tommy Fleetwood, Tony Finau
    • +5000: Patrick Cantlay, Sahith Theegala, Sam Burns
    • +5500: Tyrrell Hatton
    • +6600: 2016 winner Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth (2015 winner), Cameron Young, Min Woo Lee, Shane Lowry, Tom Kim, Will Zalatoris
    • +8000: Corey Conners, Jason Day, Keegan Bradley, Russell Henley, Sepp Straka, Sungjae Im, Robert MacIntyre
    • +10000: Alex Noren, Brian Harman, Byeong Hun An, Si Woo Kim, Dean Burmester
    • +20000: Martin Kaymer (2014 winner at Pinehurst)
    • +25000: Lucas Glover (2009 winner)
    • +30000: Gary Woodland (2019 winner), Webb Simpson (2012 winner)

    How it works:

    • A field of 156 players, including amateurs.
    • The OWGR is represented by 68 of the top 70 players, including all 50 players in the top 50.
    • After 36 holes, the field will be cut to the top 60 and ties.
    • If there is a tie after 72 holes, a two-hole aggregate playoff will determine the champion.
    • The purse and winner’s share will be announced later this week. The champion receives 750 FedExCup points, the Jack Nicklaus medal, exemptions into the next 10 U.S. Open Championships, and exemptions into the next five Masters, PGA Championships, and Open Championships.

    - Odds courtesy of BETMGM.COM -

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