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11D AGO

Sleeper Picks: U.S. Open

3 Min Read

Sleeper Picks

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    Written by Rob Bolton @RobBoltonGolf

    NOTE: Sleeper Picks did not appear in Rob’s Power Rankings, but each presents value for the bet specified.

    Outright

    Shane Lowry (+8000) … It’s adorable that BetMGM goes through the effort of releasing a full board for this market. However, there also is a market sans Scottie Scheffler, so that’s the better bet for the other 155 in the field. Lowry is +6000 to beat everyone but the world’s top-ranked talent. Meanwhile, his value among the outrights that includes Scheffler matches Wyndham Clark’s odds ahead of the 2023 U.S. Open. Like Clark, who won the Wells Fargo Championship a few weeks before his major breakthrough, Lowry also has a victory a few weeks ahead of this edition. While it was in tandem with Rory McIlroy at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans, it still counts the same. The Irishman then added a T6 on his own ball at the PGA Championship. Already a major champion (2019 Open Championship), he also has a T2 in the U.S. Open on his resumé. That was in 2016 at Oakmont Country Club where he held a four-shot lead entering the finale.

    Top 5

    Tommy Fleetwood (+650) … If only his name occupied this space, it’d be understandable. That he’s 10th on the PGA TOUR in scrambling and eighth in bogey avoidance are mere constants to define his grit. He’s also T8 in par-4 scoring, which plays up on par 70s like Pinehurst No. 2. While not yet a winner on the PGA TOUR, he’s posted ... count ‘em ... seven top fives in the majors. Three of those were in the U.S. Open, including last year at Los Angeles Country Club (T5). He also just finished T3 at the Masters three months after winning the Dubai Invitational. Four of my touts for a Top 5 in Sleepers this season have hit. It’s always a bonus but he’s arguably in a better position to connect than all before him.

    Top 10

    Christiaan Bezuidenhout (+900) … The nugget of Fleetwood’s rank in bogey avoidance started a trend that extends down the page. Bezuidenhout is 18th in the stat that’s always in focus in the U.S. Open. He’s also ninth in proximity to the hole, eighth in Strokes Gained: Putting, ninth in adjusted scoring and T3 in par-4 scoring. He’s fresh off a solo fourth at the Memorial Tournament presented by Workday where he fortified all of those strengths. It was his fourth top 10 worldwide this year, three of which in his last eight starts. Another two of his last four were top 20s.

    Top 20

    Aaron Rai (+450) … Although also plus value for a Top 40 (at +150), the top-40 machine deserves the reach. No one finds more fairways on average than the Englishman and only Scottie Scheffler hits more greens in regulation. Rai is ninth in Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green, T7 in proximity, 11th in adjusted scoring and inside the top 20 in both par-3 and par-4 scoring. He’s also 16th in scrambling and fifth in bogey avoidance. His last start at the RBC Canadian paid off a T14 for what was his fourth top 20 of the season.

    Top 40

    Greyson Sigg (+333) … To consider him in earnest, you must accept that he’s missed seven cuts this year, including three of his last four, and now he’s facing the toughest cut in golf of low 60 and ties after two rounds. If you do, then you’re in position to collect on a finish inside the top two-thirds of what advances. That’s one way to distill it, but there’s considerable evidence to get you there. Two top 10s and a T13 in his last six starts, so there’s plenty of recent confidence. Currently 10th on TOUR in greens hit, T23 in proximity, 32nd in adjusted scoring, T8 in par-3 scoring, ninth in scrambling and fourth in bogey avoidance. The native of Georgia is positioned on the inside lane of those projected to benefit from Pinehurst No. 2’s transition to Bermudagrass greens. It’s what he knows best and the surface on which he’s performed well often.

    Odds were sourced at BetMGM.

    For resources to overcome a gambling problem, call or text 1-800-GAMBLER today.

    Rob Bolton is a Golfbet columnist for the PGA TOUR. The Chicagoland native has been playing fantasy golf since 1994, so he was just waiting for the Internet to catch up with him. Follow Rob Bolton on Twitter.

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