We’re just one sleep away from the 2022 U.S. Open at The Country Club in Brookline.
It’s a loaded betting field with nine golfers priced 20-1 or shorter at most American sportsbooks and there’s certainly no shortage of fireworks with all the commotion around the PGA Tour and the LIV International Golf Series. Rather than dive inside that drama, let’s try and make you some money.
Understanding the golf course is the first order of business.
“I want guys who drive the ball straight (at Brookline),” Fore! Profit host and golf handicapper James Mazzola told NESN. “All the undulations and the blindness on a lot of the second shots make it extremely important to live on the fairways. And the greens are absolutely tiny, so it puts even more emphasis on being in the fairway, so you can control your spin onto rock hard greens.
“I want accuracy off the tee and preferably long accuracy.”
There’s one golfer that perfectly fits the Mazzola mold at the U.S. Open.
“Jon Rahm is so far above everyone else in total driving, which combines distance and accuracy,” Mazzola said. “He’s at the top of the board for me. He’s the defending champion and USGA courses typically play pretty similar. Rahm has the perfect game for Brookline.
“If you’re looking for somebody down the board, I love Patrick Cantlay. He’s got a super solid, all-around golf game. He’ll live on the fairways and his game fits really well. He’s the kind of guy that can make some noise in that 25-1 price range.”
Bettors like Mazzola will spray several outright bets to win a given golf tournament, but they also love the exotic markets. These offer much more realistic chances for victory albeit at smaller odds. There’s always a golfer or two that a handicapper may not like to finish first, yet they’re live in many other ways.
So how about a 32-year-old from Salt Lake City who’s running hot off back-to-back top-five finishes?
“Tony Finau is the guy I have the most exposure to,” Mazzola admitted. “I want him in every single derivative market that’s available. I’ve got him top five, top 10, top 20 and in every head-to-head matchup. He’s playing excellent golf and has had success at U.S. Opens. He also has second and fourth-place finishes in his last two starts and he’s gained strokes putting in four straight tournaments.”
I’m a sucker for punishment, so I’ll be betting Xander Schauffele at a rather bloated price (25-1). He’s been an absolute maniac at the U.S. Open with five consecutive top-10 performances.
Schauffele has finished fifth, sixth, third, fifth and seventh dating back to 2017.
“The sharps are all over Xander, but they always love him,” Mazzola cracked. “He’s down to 20-1 at some sharp shops, while other outs are dealing 25-1. He hasn’t won a (solo) PGA Tour event since 2019 and that’s concerning. But he’s been a Top 10 machine at the U.S. Open.”
I’m playing Schauffele to win and finish Top 10 and tailing Mazzola on Rahm. Let’s go.
Jon Rahm +1400
Xander Schauffele +2500
Xander Schauffele finishes Top 10 +200
RECORD: (117-114, +30.7)