US Open 2023
Midjourney's take on the long rough in LA.

US Open 2023

The US Open, one of golf's four major tournaments, once again invites the world's best players to test their game. Here's our preview, stats analysis and betting picks.

The US Open, one of golf's four major tournaments, once again invites the world's best players to test their game under conditions where an average club player would likely struggle to make it back to the clubhouse. The national championships held in the United States is known for its highly challenging, annually changing courses and conditions. The setup of the tournament's course favours players who can combine accuracy and distance while enduring the pressures that come with the event's reputation and the demands of the course.

The US Open tests mental fortitude

The history of the US Open dates back to 1895 when the first tournament was played at the Newport Golf Club in Rhode Island. Over the years, the tournament has seen many legends of the sport, such as Bobby Jones, Ben Hogan, and Jack Nicklaus, as well as moments that have made their mark in the history books.

Last year, Matt Fitzpatrick stepped into the spotlight by winning the US Open, solidifying his place among the world's elite. The cornerstone of his game was long drives, precise approach shots, and the ability to navigate difficult situations (such as escaping the 18th hole fairway bunker in the final round) - qualities that have been integral to every US Open winner's game. Winning the US Open is not only a testament to skill but also to resilience and mental toughness. The unforgiving nature of the course and the intensity of the competition make it one of golf's greatest tests. Even as average club players watch, they can relate to the game of the professionals. Below you'll see the bermuda rough that surround the greens this week:

A hidden gem in the heart of Los Angeles

This year's host course, a private Los Angeles Country Club, stands out from contemporary courses in many ways. George Thomas' masterpiece, restored by Gil Hanse, challenges players with its canyon-like ravines, sandy barranca areas, and extreme slopes. There are no water hazards, and the key aspect of the course design has been to make players find the right approach angles to the green with their tee shots.

The fairways are wide, but the firmness of the course and the 3-4-inch rough make them effectively narrower. The course features surprising elevation changes and is surrounded by undergrowth, tall Bermuda grass, and sandy barrancas. The bunkers with "soft sand" are heavily contoured, adding an extra challenge with their steep grassy edges. Players are required to execute precise and strategic shots, as the firm fairways and numerous blind approaches increase the challenge throughout the course.

"It's a tough golf course. These bunkers are incredibly soft, which I've found quite interesting," he said. "If you're in these fairway bunkers, it's extremely penalizing because you're not going to get a good lie, number one, and it's not like the ball is going to funnel to the middle of the bunker." Brooks Koepka

There are three par 5 holes and five par 3 holes on the course (one of which has been estimated to measure 290 yards and one that could be under 100 yards this week). The numerous par 4 holes bring challenges with their sloping fairways, where incorrect spin can lead the ball into challenging rough or, at worst, the bottom of a canyon. The video below provides an opportunity to explore each hole of this unique course.

Los Angeles Country Club flyover of every hole.

The recipe for success at the US Open

Over 10,000 players competed for 45 spots in this year's US Open to put their games in a true test this week. Historically, success at the US Open has required exceptional ball-striking and nowadays, also length off the tee. According to analysis, this year will not be an exception, but the particularly thick and tricky Bermuda rough will also elevate the importance of short game shots. Scottie Scheffler is a clear favorite and for good reason. John Bodenhamer, who is responsible for the setup of the tournament's course, commented on the course as follows:

"If we get conditions that we hope for, and the weather cooperates, and we get bounciness and firm and fast conditions, we think the best players in the world will rise to the top. When the ball hits the ground here, it will go all over the place."

Betting card and thoughts

Major weeks are the best weeks for betting without a doubt. There's a boost in the offerings with bookmakers (if you're able to use them) and lots of soft money in the exchanges. We went through a lot of different sites and types for finding the value this week and below you'll find our picks and open bets for in-play market.

In a nutshell this weeks looks like a week where the top players will shine. Scheffler looks undervalued, as does Xander and the top 5 takes about 40% of the market in our predictions. We combined our new model with the addition of US Open history to really dig in deep and found a hefty selection of bets.

The top market share movers (over 10% move) so far this week have been:

This data is collected from the time the market has reached a trustworthy level of matched bets until the time of publishing. Note that it moves quite a bit in last 24 hours before the start.

Market share LOSERS
Gordon Sargent | -27.00%
Patrick Rodgers | -24.07%
Andrew Putnam | -22.95%
Gary Woodland | -21.74%
Shane Lowry | -21.05%
Hideki Matsuyama | -20.00%
Luke List | -18.89%
J.T. Poston | -18.00%
Matt Kuchar | -17.39%
Lucas Herbert | -17.39%
Michael Kim | -16.00%
Denny McCarthy | -15.79%
Tommy Fleetwood | -15.38%
Justin Rose | -15.38%
Patrick Reed | -15.38%
Tom Kim | -12.50%
Joaquin Niemann | -12.50%
Matt Fitzpatrick | -12.00%
Adam Hadwin | -12.00%
Adam Schenk | -11.76%
Chris Kirk | -11.63%
Keegan Bradley | -11.11%
Austin Eckroat | -10.59%
Rory McIlroy | -10.53%
Taylor Montgomery | -10.14%

Market share WINNERS
Justin Suh | 112.50%
Padraig Harrington | 61.29%
Sepp Straka | 41.67%
Keith Mitchell | 25.00%
Harris English | 24.24%
Min Woo Lee | 23.08%
Ryan Fox | 15.38%
Adam Svensson | 11.11%
Collin Morikawa | 10.53%
Scottie Scheffler | 10.26%
Bryson DeChambeau | 10.00%
Adam Scott | 10.00%

So what can be done with this information? Most of the time it gives a hint of a player's performance during practice rounds and their current health status. There's also some instances that some players are tipped by "experts" and thus move on the market (making their winning odds lower). It also highlights the narratives of a week pretty well. F.e. Tommy was close to winning last week so people overreacted and Morikawa's been having back problems lately scared some people.

To see our picks and model - sign in / get your "Green Jacket" as we like to say. We do not spam and work hard to bring well thought selections every week.

There are big plans for Golf Betting Masters in the near future so sign up for the newsletter. All early members will get exclusive access to our upcoming AI-models predictions, automated betting picks (so you get in early) and tools for betting as soon as we publish them!

Here is the card and preview of data for the week is in the Tools section.

Winners :
Xander Schauffele @ 24
Collin Morikawa @ 40 (not a good bet anymore - playing with injury)
Tyrrell Hatton @ 42
Matt Fitzpatrick @ 50
Tommy Fleetwood @ 65
Rickie Fowler @ 65
Russell Henley @ 150
Denny McCarthy @ 170

Aiming for a 100 unit payout so f.e. with Xander is a 4,4 unit bet.
Top 20s:
Tyrrell Hatton @ 2.50 - 3 units
Rickie Fowler @ 3.30 - 2 units
Russell Henley @ 4.10 - 2 units
Denny McCarthy @ 5 - 2 units

These will be held for in play:
Viktor Hovland @ 2.22 - 3 units
Xander Schauffele @ 2 - 3 units
Collin Morikawa @ 2.94 - 2 units
Matt Fitzpatrick @ 2.86 - 2 units
Tommy Fleetwood @ 3.15 - 2 units
Hideki Matsuyama @ 3.4 - 2 units
Adam Scott @ 4.4 - 2 units
Wyndham Clark @ 4.3 - 2 units, did not fill.
H2Hs (in
Brooks Koepka vs. Rory McIlroy @ 2.28
Cameron Smith vs. Tony Finau @ 2.14
Jason Day vs. Cameron Young @ 1.99
Hideki Matsuyama vs. Cameron Young @ 1.94
Russell Henley vs. Sam Burns @ 2.03
Keegan Bradley vs. Mito Pereira @ 2.08
Adam Scott vs. Corey Conners @ 1.96
Nick Taylor vs. Matt Kuchar @ 1.9
Harris English vs. Keith Mitchell @ 1.884
Sepp Straka vs. Taylor Montgomery @ 1.91
Romain Langasque vs. Adam Svensson @ 1.95
Pablo Larrazabal vs. Abraham Ancer @ 2.1

All bet with 2 units.
CUT Bets:
Short / lay bets
Sahith Theegala @ 1.5 - risk 1 unit to profit 2
Corey Conners @ 1.5 - risk 1 unit to profit 2
Abraham Ancer @ 2.1 - risk 2.6 unit to profit 2.3
Billy Horschel @ 2.1 - risk 2.6 unit to profit 2.3

Long / back bets:
Pablo Larrazabal @ 2.86 - risk 1 unit to profit 1.9

In addition, we're looking for adding several FRL bets tomorrow (EDIT. no FRL bets because of high variance course & lack of data for too many players) and make a new column for 3-ball / 2-ball round bets that will be published later (EDIT. can be found here). Winner and top bets are placed in Betfair Exchange. Sign up here.

I will possibly update this / add some more picks in Shorts section later on.

Good luck for the week!

Hopefully this week will not end up in this..