U.S. Open at Pinehurst: Who’s going to win?

With 156 of the world’s best golfers teeing it up, a natural question to ask is, “Who’s going to win?”
Bryson DeChambeau signs autographs for fans outside the practice green at the 2024 U.S. Open at Pinehurst. (Matt Hahn/USGA)

Whether you’re planning to take advantage of North Carolina’s new online gambling laws or just looking for someone to root for, it’s always good to know who is expected to contend for the championship. Here’s a look at the favorites and some dark horses to watch in the 124th U.S. Open.

The favorite:

Scottie Scheffler has been having an historic year. He’s won five tournaments already. He’s finished in the top 10 of his last eight tournaments, and he’s the top-ranked golfer in the world. Even arresting him mid-tournament, as happened last month in Louisville, couldn’t slow him down. With a field this large, even picking a prohibitive favorite like Scheffler will give you a good payout, should you choose to partake in playing the odds.

Other top contenders:

Xander Schauffele is the No. 2 player in the world and won the PGA Championship earlier this year. He’s never won the U.S. Open, but he’s been close and consistent. He’s the only player to finish in the top 15 in the Open each of the last seven years. It might be time for a breakthrough.

Rory McIlroy is No. 3 in the world and has the second or third-best odds at most online books.

Colin Morikawa and Bryson DeChambeau are a bit farther down the lists of odds, but they’ve been playing some of the best golf of their careers. Morikawa finished in the top four of the first two majors this year and has been in the top five in two of the last three U.S. Opens. DeChambeau has also been in the top 10 of both majors this year.

Viktor Hovland, Ludvig Aberg and Brooks Koepka are next, in various orders, at most bookmakers.

The heartstrings picks:

Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson are both in the field. These golf legends are extreme long shots to recapture past glory. But even if they don’t win, they’ll be interesting to watch. Plus, If they do happen to contend for the top spot, it will be an all-timer of a story.

The longshots:

Looking for someone who will help pay for your kids’ college funds if he wins? Or just looking to appear smart when you tout someone early in the week who comes down the stretch with a shot to win on Sunday? If so, here are players who could surprise the so-called experts.

Pinehurst is known for its unforgiving greens and its nasty rough, if you don’t stay in the middle of the fairway. So we looked at people who were in the top 20 in both putting and driving accuracy this year. And we found a pair of dark horses that might be worth watching.

Christiaan Bezuidenhout is a South African golfer who has never won on the PGA Tour or finished higher than 30th in a major. However, he’s No. 17 in drive accuracy and No. 2 in putting this season. So he may have what it takes to tame Pinehurst. He has +15,000 moneyline odds.

So might Russell Henley, who is 12th in putting and fifth in drive accuracy. He tied for 14th in last year’s U.S. Open. His moneyline odds are at +10,000.

By Shawn Krest

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