2022 US Open Preview
The Bearded Talisman’s 6 pre-tourney picks for the 122nd US Open – Brookline, Massachusetts
Patrick Cantlay to WIN (20-1) – The reigning FEDEX Champion started 2022 with 4 straight Top 10s. Toss the PGA Championship, and in his last 3 starts he lost a playoff to Jordan Spieth at RBC Heritage, won The Zurich Classic with Schauffele, and finished T-3rd at the Memorial. Ranked 4th in the world, he’s won more money than anyone in the world playing golf since the start of the 2021 season. He’s also putting better now than at any point in the season. He’s putting like he did when he won the FEDEX Cup. I walked the course with Cantlay’s group over Super Bowl weekend in Phoenix, and he probably should have won – instead he lost the playoff to Scheffler. Same with RBC Heritage the week after The Masters - he very easily could have won in regulation – instead he lost the playoff to Spieth after his ball got plugged in the bunker. My point is, his putting is much, much better now than it was earlier in the year, and with any luck he would have won both of those tournaments even while putting poorly. Now with his putting at an elite level, he’s the total package, and he has the mental toughness to handle the emotional Boston crowd. They will love him anyway – he was born on St. Patrick’s Day – hence, his first name.
Jordan Spieth to WIN (28-1)/for Top 5 (5.5-1) – Currently ranked 10th in the world after being ranked 82nd in the world at the end of 2020. Has 3 Top 10s in his last 5 starts. Three-time major champion. Longer off the tee than at any point in his career. Improved accuracy off the tee as well. Lethal with his irons. Only question mark is his putting, but I’m betting he will have it figured out this week. I just watched the flyover of this course layout for the 87th time. It requires a lot of shot shaping. Lots of fades off the tee on the front. More draws on the back. When I think of great shot shaping, I think of Jordan Spieth. At 28-1, he is flying under the radar. Bryson DeChambeau won The US Open in 2020 with these same odds. 😉
Sam Burns to WIN (28-1)/for Top 10 (3.3-1) – Ranked 9th in the world after being ranked 163rd in the world at the start of 2021. His meteoric rise has seen him garner a whopping 13 Top 10s since the start of the 2021 season. He has 2 wins in his last six starts. I think he gets a 14th Top 10.
Cameron Young for Top 5 (9-1) – Ranked 31st in the world, Young has finished in the Top 3 three times in his last 4 starts, including a T-3rd at the PGA Championship. His closing 84 at the Memorial 2 weeks ago was an outlier. Otherwise, he has been sensational over the last 2 months. He pounds it off the tee and is a very good putter.
Max Homa to WIN (45-1) – Ranked 23rd in the world, Homa has one of the game’s most technically sound and effortless swings. He is also an excellent putter. He said recently that he was at a better place mentally that at ANY point in his career – and, his plays reflects that. Homa has 2 Top 5s in his last four starts, including a WIN at Wells Fargo. His wife is expecting a baby boy in a few months.
Davis Riley for Top 10 (6-1) for Top 20 (2.5-1) – After missing the cut at the Arnold Palmer, Davis Riley was ranked 395th in the world. In his 8 starts since, he has finished in the Top 20 6 times, and in the Top 10 4 times. He’s now ranked 85th in the world. I think he continues to climb the world rankings with another strong showing this week.
Regarding Rory McIlroy (10-1) and Jon Rahm (12-1), I will not make any pre-tourney bets on them due to short odds. I may make some in-tourney bets on them Saturday morning when there is better value.