Yes, I know it’s football season now and we are in the midst of both the NHL and NBA playoffs.
The entire Major League Baseball season is essentially the playoffs this year with only 60 games before the postseason.
I guess it’s easy for sports fans and bettors to forget about golf right now, especially since this is normally the slowest time of the year on the PGA Tour.
We were pretty much on schedule plus or minus a week or two with the Tour Championship.
After that, though, we usually have to wait until the new year and a trip to Hawaii for the Tournament of Champions to get a lot of high level golfers together for a competition.
Dustin Johnson just won 15 million bucks for winning the Tour Championship.
The top guys’ time is worth a decent chunk of change it looks like.
Normally, we have to wait half a year for the Masters in April.
We didn’t even have a Masters this year.
It’s coming, though.
Hopefully, this is before they announce the winner of the election and the entire country starts rioting.
Nah, I think Augusta National might be a safe space.
Before the Masters, though, we have to play the US Open.
And that is this week!
It’s gonna be a doozy too. Lemme tell ya.
Winged Foot Golf Club is an absolute nightmare in every sense of the word.
Winged Foot in Mamaroneck has hosted the US Open in the past.
Flashback to 2006 and Geoff Ogilvy won the tournament by shooting 5 over par.
The 20th place golfers were 12 over.
This is an incredibly difficult golf course for any and every style of player.
The greens may be the biggest mystery of the entire setup.
The 80/20 Poa Annua/Bentgrass mix is not the favorite surface of most but it’s not just that.
The word for today, kids, is undulating.
When I hear golf experts talk about what it takes to win here, I can’t help but crack up.
The fairways average 20 yards wide so you have to drive the golf ball accurately.
Oh, and the past winners here have all been in the top 20% in driving distance.
The rough is ridiculous and the sand traps suck.
Tee-to-green is vital.
And putting is paramount.
Man, golf isn’t that bad.
Seriously, though, this golf course swallows grown men alive at such a high volume that they can only hold the US Open here once every 15 years or so.
Scrambling ability is a statistic we often ignore because the theory is if a golfer needs to scramble well to win, then they probably won’t because they are staying off schedule to borrow an NFL term.
BetOnline.AG has the betting odds on the tournament.
Let’s take a look at the PGA Tour betting odds and make our best picks and predictions for the US Open.
Daniel Berger: +125
This is normally when I tell you guys why I am picking so and so.
I will blabber on for several minutes and do my best to sell ‘em.
I don’t think I have to do that anymore for Daniel Berger. He has been a money mule for me this Summer.
I just wish I would have jumped on the bloody bandwagon before then.
The Florida State Seminole started his run way back in the pre-lockdown days back in February.
Feels like forever and this time I’m positive it’s not just me.
9th, 5th, and 4th in consecutive tourneys heading into the quarantine.
He won the first tournament the PGA held upon return, the Charles Schwab Classic.
Then 3rd, missed cut, 2nd, 13th at the PGA Championship, 3rd, 25th, and 15th at the Tour Championship.
Winged Foot isn’t designed for any one particular style of golf to succeed.
You know, I take that back kinda. There are particular attributes that help succeed.
- Mental strength
- The art of caring while not caring…
Well-rounded golfers who make the least amount of mistakes but more importantly probably is just keeping your head together.
If it means up and downing the entire back 9 when you’re already 2 over for the day, then that’s what golfers will need to do to give themselves the best chance to win.
He would never have been able to place so high on the leaderboard week after week if his mental game was weak.
Berger is going to be a staple for me until he loses several top 20 bets in a row.
Paul Casey: +225
I mentioned mental strength and emotional maturity, right?
Well, Paul Casey is a good example of each I believe.
He seems to stay pretty even keeled out there and he is 43 years old.
Paul also played in the US Open the last time it was held up here at Winged Foot.
It has been a while, sure, but I still value his experience at one of the toughest golf courses on Earth.
His current form isn’t too shabby either.
Normally a guy who struggles mightily with the flat stick in his hand, Paul has performed better than average over the past month or so.
Here is an interesting statistic for you.
Winged Foot is much more about making pars than birdies or eagles.
I think I have made that point clear.
138th in birdie average.
Even though the greens at Winged Foot are absolutely mad and that is the weakest part of Paul Casey’s golf game, I still think he will putt well.
This is because I see him putting himself in more advantageous positions on the greens than not.
Paul ranked 15th in shots gained off the tee in 2020 and 8th in approach.
Casey did finish second behind the electrifying youngster Collin Morikawa at the PGA Championship.
The Brit didn’t follow up with the best playoffs but 16th at the BMW a few weeks ago was pretty solid.
Let’s give the old man some love here and hope he makes some putts.
Jason Day: +160
Going with the Aussie here.
We are expecting windy conditions throughout the weekend of around 12-15 MPH.
Jason had a really rough start to the year so his statistics aren’t exactly representative of his recent play and skill set.
He still managed to finish first in shots gained around the green.
2nd in sand saves was a big part of that.
We will need Jason to keep his drives between the navigational beacons.
His wind play advantage should hopefully even out the driving accuracy advantages some of Day’s colleagues have on paper.
That’s a bad Day right there.
In the previous 4 weeks, though, culminating with the PGA Championship, Jason Day had finishes of 7th, 4th, 6th, and 4th.
That, along with his putting prowess, maturity, experience, and elite play in less than favorable conditions makes him a solid play this week.
I’m not going higher than top 20, though.
The US Open should be a fun one!
If you’re a hardcore golf fan, I don’t know how you can miss this one.
Betting on this tournament is going to be tough.
For money-making purposes, I prefer the smaller tournaments like we had at last week’s Safeway Open.
Dustin Johnson is that dude and Jon Rahm has been playing pretty darn well over the past month too.
I just like the value on these other guys.
DJ and the Spaniard are both juiced to finish inside the top 20.
I can’t get behind that.
Paul Casey, Jason Day, and the biggest surprise on the PGA Tour of 2020, Daniel Berger, are my picks!