Weekly PGA Preview: U.S. Open

Weekly PGA Preview: U.S. Open

This article is part of our Weekly PGA Preview series.

The U.S. Open

Pinehurst No. 2
Pinehurst, NC

The PGA Tour heads to Pinehurst, NC for another edition of the U.S. Open.

As we get ready for the year's third major, the story entering this week is again Scottie Scheffler. This time it's all about what he did on the course. It's getting nearly impossible to describe how well Scheffler is playing. Stats can't do it, results can't do it, heck we're running out of words to explain how crazy his numbers have been over the past two years, so with that in mind, I'm going to do it, I'm invoking Tiger Woods. Before you get up in arms, realize that I'm just talking about the past couple years. Scheffler is not about to break any of Tiger's career records, but if he stays on this trajectory, and I'll admit, that's a huge "if" at this point, but if he keeps playing like this, his only peers will be the all-time greats. As I've mentioned during this long run, we've seen others that have looked the part over the past 15 years, but none have had the staying power of Scheffler. The guy is going off at 3-1 and winning almost every time he tees it up and when he's not winning, he's often just missing. Post-Tiger, I never thought I would see the day where a golfer would have such short odds to win any event, let alone a major, but I'm starting to get that feeling that I used to get while watching Tiger, one of inevitability. If Scheffler gets off to a good start it's all but over. Watching Tiger hold onto nearly every early lead he ever attained really skewed my view of how difficult golf is. Post-Tiger, I would watch in wonder as the best golfers in the world would blow 54-hole leads, thinking, why can't you just do what Tiger did? Now we have a guy who shuts the door nearly every time he gets the lead and while I'm getting ahead of myself a bit, I have to say, this feels like we're watching something historical in the game of golf.  Is he Tiger? No, but he's now unquestionably the best we've seen since Tiger's prime. 

All odds via FanDuel Sportsbook as of 7:00 PM ET Tuesday.                   


Wyndham Clark shot a final-round 70 on his way to a one-stroke victory over Rory McIlroy.


Scottie Scheffler (14-5) 

Less than 4-1 to win a major. I have to admit, I never thought we'd see odds like this again. More surprising is that I actually think there's value here. I've generally been in the camp post-Tiger that anything under 10-1 is not worth my time, but as I mentioned earlier, if Scheffler gets the lead at any point on the weekend, it's pretty much over. The only thing that kept everyone else in the game over the past two years was Scheffler's putter, but that's no longer an issue, so how the heck does anyone stop him? It's going to take another golfer playing out of his mind, which is possible, but not as likely as Scheffler just winning again.        

Xander Schauffele (10-1)

Scheffler seems unbeatable right now, but just this past month Schauffele managed to do it. Now, there were some extenuating circumstances that helped Schauffele win beat Scheffler, but a win is a win. Schauffele now has the confidence of a major winner, and he returns to an event where he's played really well over the years. Yes, the U.S. Open plays a rotation of courses, but the mindset of the golfer is generally the same, hit fairways, stay out of trouble. Schauffele has shown the ability to do that at a high-level, so if you are fading Scheffler this week, Schauffele should be at the top of your list.                

Rory McIlroy (10-1)

After a slow start to the season, McIlroy has really turned his game around over the past couple months and should be ready to make some noise this week. It was this event just 12 months ago where he nearly broke his major drought, but he came up just short against Wyndham Clark. It's going to be tough for McIlroy to break the now decade-long winless major streak because he now needs to best Scheffler among others, but he still has the game to win. The problem of course is that if he's in position to win on Sunday, will the pressure be too much? 10 years is a long time to go between major wins.                    


Bryson DeChambeau (20-1)

I'm probably late to the party here as DeChambeau has been in contention at both of the majors this season, but I see no reason why he can't contend again this week. Koepka and Jon Rahm were thought to be the best bets from the LIV Tour at the majors this season, but DeChambeau has stolen the show each time. It's easy to forget how good DeChambeau is because most of us don't see him play on a regular basis anymore, but his game is as good as ever right now and he already has an Open under his belt.     

Brooks Koepka (20-1)

Speaking of Koepka, he hasn't been much of a factor at each of the first two majors, but he hasn't played terribly either. This pick is more of a hunch that he's bound to show at one of the majors this season and it seems more likely that he'll do it here than at the Open Championship next month. In four starts from 2017-2021, Koepka won two Opens and finished no worse than T4. He's certainly due to make a run this week and he's one guy that won't crumble if up against Scheffler on Sunday.                                                     

Ludvig Aberg (22-1)       

When considering who can win this week, you have to factor Scheffler into every decision. Can this guy handle the pressure of Scheffler down the stretch if need be? Aberg seems to handle everything thrown his way and I see no reason that he can't compete with anyone on the PGA Tour right now. He still has a lot to accomplish, but the game and the mindset appear to be in place. Though he's played very well early in his career, he's still got more to show and sometime soon he'll play his best at a major.                           


Cameron Smith (40-1)  

I was high on Smith entering both of the season's first two majors and while he never threatened the leaders in either event, he did play well. For Smith it's all about the driver and if he can find fairways, if so, he's going to be in the hunt on Sunday, if not, he's going to be back home on Sunday, but that's okay when looking for value on win wagers, hit or miss, right? A runner-up does you no good if you're holding a win ticket.  

Wyndham Clark (70-1) 

Clark got off to a great start this season, but his play recently has dropped dramatically. With that said, he's still one of the best 10 players on the planet and he's the defending champ this week, so 70-1 seems a little ridiculous. This seems to be a trend with Clark as he hasn't received any respect from the odds makers or the betting public all year, but I'm not going to complain. I'll take massive value on a huge talent that's already won a U.S. Open.                                     


Highly-Chosen Pick: Xander Schauffele - I'm putting Schauffele in this spot because I can't imagine there are many OAD players that have Scheffler left on their squad. If you have Scheffler and you haven't used him yet, then obviously you should do that now, but if not, Schauffele seems like the second best play this week. The only issue of course is that he'll be really popular this week

Moderately-Chosen Pick: Bryson DeChambeau - Considering that you only get four shots to use the LIV players this season, OAD players will tend to lean their way if the pick makes sense. Throw in that most OAD players have probably used Koepka already and Rahm doesn't look like a good option and suddenly DeChambeau looks like a solid play. 

Lightly-Chosen Pick: Matt Fitzpatrick - With so many good options this week, there are going to be some bigger names that get overlooked and Fitzpatrick might be one of them. Fitzpatrick is not having a great season, but he may have found something this past week at the Memorial where he finished inside the top-5. He also picked up his lone major championship at the U.S. Open in 2022. 

Buyer Beware: Patrick Cantlay - I'm not sure what has happened to Cantlay this season, but he has not been himself. I used him in the OAD this past week with the hope that returning to a site where he's had a lot of success could kick start his season, but that didn't work as he missed the cut. He'll come around at some point, but asking him to find his game under major conditions is a tall task.                                          

This Week: Xander Schauffele - I'll start by stating that this pick has a lot to do with my OAD league in that nearly 2/3rds of the league have used Schauffele already. This came as a surprise, but a good surprise as Xander was my first pick, with DeChambeau a close second. I probably won't use DeChambeau this season because I'm passing on him here, but I feel like this is the spot for Schauffele, so I should use him here.    

Previous Results

TournamentGolferResultEarningsRunning Total
the Memorial Tournament presented by WorkdayPatrick CantlayMC$0$10,703,287
RBC Canadian OpenAdam HadwinMC$0$10,703,287
Charles Schwab ChallengeJustin RoseT32$51,961$10,703,287
PGA ChampionshipCameron SmithT63$25,202$10,651,326
Wells Fargo ChampionshipRory McIlroy1$3,600,000$10,626,124
THE CJ Cup Byron NelsonStephan JaegerT20$112,100$7,026,124
Zurich Classic of New OrleansNick Taylor10$122,375$6,914,024
RBC HeritageLudvig AbergT10$521,000$6,791,649
The MastersBrooks KoepkaT45$57,200$6,270,649
Valero Texas OpenCorey ConnersT25$67,735$6,213,449
Texas Children's Houston OpenJason DayMC$0$6,145,714
Valspar ChampionshipSam BurnsMC$0$6,145,714
THE PLAYERS ChampionshipScottie Scheffler1$4,500,000$6,145,714
Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by MastercardWill ZalatorisT4$920,000$1,645,714
Cognizant Classic in The Palm BeachesEric ColeMC$0$725,714
Mexico Open at VidantaBrandon WuT13$145,125$725,714
The Genesis InvitationalMax HomaT16$329,000$580,589
WM Phoenix OpenWyndham ClarkT41$30,404$251,589
AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-AmJordan SpiethT39$70,125$221,185
Farmers Insurance OpenHarris EnglishT64$19,080$151,060
The American ExpressSungjae ImT25$63,980$131,980
Sony Open in HawaiiSahith TheegalaMC$0$68,000
The SentryTom KimT45$68,000$68,000


Upper Range:  Xander Schauffele ($12,000) 
Middle Range: Russell Henley ($9,200) 
Lower Range: Alex Noren ($8,800)


This week: Scottie Scheffler - Pulling out the big gun as I need to break this run of two MCs in a row. You have to use Scheffler at some point and he's probably a better play this week with the predictable conditions vs. the Open Championship where being on the wrong side of the draw can doom your chances.

Previous Results      

the Memorial Tournament presented by WorkdayPatrick Cantlay0
RBC Canadian OpenAdam Hadwin0
Charles Schwab ChallengeBrian Harman7
PGA ChampionshipRory McIlroy6
THE CJ Cup Byron NelsonAlex Noren5
Zurich Classic of New OrleansNick Taylor4
The MastersJon Rahm3
Valero Texas OpenCorey Conners2
Texas Children's Houston OpenMackenzie Hughes1
Valspar ChampionshipSam Burns0
THE PLAYERS ChampionshipJustin Thomas0
Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by MastercardCameron Young9
Cognizant Classic in The Palm BeachesShane Lowry8
Mexico Open at VidantaPatrick Rodgers7
The Genesis InvitationalSahith Theegala6
WM Phoenix OpenHideki Matsuyama5
AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-AmJordan Spieth4
Farmers Insurance OpenTony Finau3
The American ExpressSungjae Im2
Sony Open in HawaiiChris Kirk1

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Greg Vara
Vara is the lead golf writer at RotoWire. He was named the FSWA Golf Writer of the Year in 2005 and 2013. He also picks college football games against the spread in his "College Capper" article.
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