For those who missed it, please check out the 2020 U.S. Open Preview and Betting Strategies column for the types of golfers you should look to target in U.S. Open golf odds. With that in mind, here are my picks for the best odds to win the 2020 U.S. Open (with odds courtesy of MyBookie.ag).
2020 U.S. Open Golf Odds
Jon Rahm – 10/1
The statistics speak for themselves. Over his last four tournaments Rahm has gained over a stroke per round with his ball striking and over half a stroke per round with his scrambling. He also has the best combination of length and accuracy off the tee in the field, and he’s one of the best putters between 4-8 feet on the PGA Tour. He literally checks every box of a player I’m looking for to win the U.S. Open.
The hesitation everyone has is if he has the temperament to stay patient and not blow up to win one of these things. And despite the narrative that he’s a “more mature Jon Rahm”, he still slams his club into the turf plenty of times for my liking.
But it’s hard to say he’s not mature enough to tackle a tough, grinding U.S. Open when the two tournaments he won this year featured by far the toughest playing conditions thrown at the players. Both the Memorial and the BMW Championship featured firm and fast conditions with rock hard, tricky and fast greens and penal rough. If he’s already shown he can win in these conditions, is he really too impatient to then go on to win at Winged Foot?
For a long time I thought the major Rahm would win first was a PGA because of an overall lack of adversity. But given how well he’s played in tough scoring conditions over the last year, I think this year’s U.S. Open is the one where he finally gets over the hump.
Xander Schauffele – 16/1
Coming into this tournament, Xander wasn’t a guy I was too thrilled to back. Despite technically winning the Tour Championship, he did it mostly on the back of his putting where he gained two strokes per round on the greens of East Lake. Not only does that usually scream for a putting regression the following week, but the fact his iron play hasn’t been great for the last month had me discounting his chances for Winged Foot.
But then I started to dig into how Winged Foot will play, and I started to fall in love with Xander again. Fairways are going to be very tough to hit overall this week because of the narrow and firm nature of Winged Foot. Most players are going to be playing out of the rough more than they typically would, and according to interviews given by the USGA a lot of balls are going to be sitting up in the rough to give guys a shot at making good contact. That’s not really good news for the field, though, as it’s going to make both trajectory and distance control into the rock hard greens a very tall task.
Xander gains an edge in these conditions for two reasons. First – he has a great combination of length and accuracy in that even if he’s just OK with his irons in the fairway, the name of the game this week is to two putt for par and go on to the next hole. And second – the field in general is going to struggle more than they normally would with their iron play, which should shrink the gap between the best ball strikers and him.
Add to it that Xander is a great scrambler and one of the best putters from 4-8 feet, I’ve come full circle on Xander and his chances to win.
Webb Simpson – 28/1
Webb is behind the eight ball without as much pop off the tee as most of the top contenders in the field, but it’s not like he’s Jim Furyk or Brendon Todd short. Webb has added distance off the tee this year and averages a little over 296 yards per drive. By comparison, that’s only about one yard less than 2020 PGA Champion Collin Morikawa, and longer than guys like Patrick Reed, Jason Day and Rickie Fowler. He has adequate length off the tee.
With that said, Webb checks off every other box you can think of for a U.S. Open contender. He’s one of the best with his irons and scrambling in the field, he’s one of the most accurate players and is nails on putts between 4-8 feet. His U.S. Open win in 2012 was at Olympic Club, which featured a very similar setup that he’ll see this week at Winged Foot.
Webb has a great shot at adding a second U.S. Open trophy to the cabinet this week.
Daniel Berger – 30/1
I’ve come to realize about Daniel Berger that my love for him in tournaments that required a ton of birdies or guys to reach their max ceiling might have been too lofty expectations for him. At his core, he’s a good, solid player with a high floor but maybe not the biggest ceiling as several other guys.
But at a traditional U.S. Open setup that requires patience, accuracy and consistency like this one is shaping up to be, Berger is an excellent choice for a possible contender. Par is going to be a great score all week, and Berger has so many ways he can do just that. He has a great combination of length and accuracy off the tee, he’s a great scrambler and he’s a good putter who has a nice track record on the critical 4-8 foot par putts everyone will face this week.
Berger is more than capable of grinding out par after par all week, and that’ll be more than enough to get the job done.
Adam Scott – 35/1
Adam Scott isn’t a statistical darling in any of the models this week. Most of his good performances came before the restart, and with a limited sample size since the return of the PGA Tour it’s tough to properly gauge him.
With that said, I’m in on Adam Scott based more on the idea of the type of player his is, despite what the stats might say about him. At his purest form, Adam Scott is one of the best and most consistent ball strikers in the field and is a great scrambler. And despite his reputation otherwise, he does convert the critical 4-8 foot putts at a decent rate with his 70.3% conversion rate this year on the PGA Tour.
On a hard, firm and fast golf course, Adam Scott is exactly the type of player I want to back. We saw he can still win on a difficult firm and fast golf course in February at Riviera. He’s more than capable of doing it again this week.
Tyrrell Hatton – 40/1
There was momentum building for a good finish for Hatton coming into East Lake, as despite great tee-to-green figures he was struggling due to poor putting. He finally got a good putting performance at East Lake on top of a continued good streak of ball striking, and comes into Winged Foot with great mojo.
Over his last four tournaments, Hatton has gained 1.05 shots per round with his ball striking and just under 0.4 strokes per round scrambling. This combination is one of the highest clips in the field. In addition, he’s been great in converting putts 4-8 feet, which is something the eventual winner will have to do many times at Winged Foot.
Like Rahm, there are concerns that his attitude can get the best of him. But in spite of it, he won on very difficult conditions at Bay Hill, which featured similar firm and fast conditions where grinding out pars became the name of the game. If he can channel all that again this week, then he can come out as a mildly surprising winner.
Si Woo Kim – 100/1
It’s too bad Si Woo Kim had such a poor 2020 overall that caused him to get cut after the Northern Trust, because his form lately is one of the best in the field. Over his last four tournaments, Si Woo has gained over 1.7 strokes per round tee-to-green. That’s good enough for second in the field overall!
Tee-to-green, Si Woo should put himself in position to grind out pars over and over and at least put him in the mix. And considering you’re betting on the 2nd best ball striker over everyone’s last 4 tournaments at 100/1, it’s great value.