US Open - Golf: Preview

16 June 2022 02:12:06 GMTPlus10
Jon Rahm defends his title at Brookline

The 122nd US Open takes place at The Country Club in Brookline this year and a star-studded field will be battling it out for glory.

It was back in 1988 when The Country Club last hosted the US Open - Curtis Strange overcame Nick Faldo to claim the spoils that day - while the course is well-remembered for staging the 1999 Ryder Cup between the USA and Europe.

What: 122nd US Open

Where: The Country Club, Brookline, Massachusetts

When: Tournament starts 11:45, Thursday 16th June 2022

How to watch: Sky Sports Main Event, Sky Sports Golf and bet365's Live Golf Tracker

Odds: Rory McIlroy 10/1, Justin Thomas 12/1, Jon Rahm 12/1, Scottie Scheffler 14/1, Cameron Smith 20/1

Stellar field ready for battle

Spanish ace Jon Rahm is the defending champion and can be backed at 12/1 to become just the ninth player since the inaugural US Open in 1895 to successfully retain the title, while recently-crowned PGA Championship winner Justin Thomas is 12/1 to triumph.

A lot of attention will be on Northern Irishman Rory McIlroy ahead of Thursday's opening round after the fantastic defence of his RBC Canadian Open crown on Sunday and he is priced at 10/1 to land his first Major since 2014, while he is 20/1 in the first round leader market.

World number one Scottie Scheffler broke his Major duck at the Masters in April - his fourth victory of the year - and he is 25/1 to continue what has been a stunning rise for him, while his fellow American Sam Burns is a two-time winner in 2022 and is 35/1 to add his first Major to his CV.

There are plenty of European hopefuls teeing it up in Massachusetts, including Englishman Matthew Fitzpatrick who won the U.S. Amateur Championship at this course in 2013, and you can check out the Top Five European Hopes, while Steve Palmer has also provided his expert US Open - Golf: Top Category selections.

The Country Club course details

At 7,264 yards, The Country Club is by no means long compared to some of the courses on the PGA Tour, but the USGA will do everything they can to make this as difficult a test as possible for the 156-strong field.

Expect the rough to be thick, ready to catch any errant drives, while the small, contoured greens will likely have some devilish pin positions that only some of the bravest may take on.

There are a total of 12 par-fours; four par-threes and just two par-fives, while there are also (five key holes) that could play a huge role throughout the tournament and we have taken a closer look at the quintet.

Accuracy off the tee will be imperative to success, while distance control with the irons and keeping that greens in regulation percentage high will prove hugely beneficial.

Related US Open News

US Open - Golf: Defending champ Rahm heads out early

US Open - Golf: Top Five European Hopes

US Open - Golf: Top Category Selections

US Open - Golf: Five Key Holes at Brookline

Three to follow

Sungjae Im

The South Korean rarely misses an event on the PGA Tour, so there shouldn't be any worries about a heavy workload, and he is priced at 35/1 to break his Major duck this week.

At 24 years of age, Im is a two-time winner on the US circuit and he has posted two top-10 finishes at the Masters, with a T2 in 2020 followed by a T8 this year.

The world number 21 is rock-solid from tee-to-green and his statistics on the PGA Tour this season show that. He is 12th in strokes gained: off-the-green and ninth in tee-to-green, while he is also fifth in SG: around-the-green and eighth in greens in regulation.

If Im can get the flat stick going, which only has him ranked 74th in strokes gained: putting, then there is every chance he could be in contention come the back nine on Sunday.

Viktor Hovland

The Norwegian started off 2022 like a house on fire, with a victory at the Dubai Desert Classic on the DP World Tour followed by three top-10 finishes in his next four starts on the PGA Tour.

It has been more of a struggle over the past couple of months, with his best showing over his last six appearances a T18 at the WGC Match Play, but he has had two top-15 finishes from his three US Open outings and he clearly likes a hard test.

Hovland is 17th in strokes gained: off-the-tee and seventh in strokes gained: approach-the-green, while he is also 26th in strokes gained: putting and 10th in scrambling from the rough.

Priced at 30/1, the world number eight could be a big player this week.

Billy Horschel

The American claimed his seventh PGA Tour title at the Memorial Tournament at the start of this month and he currently occupies 11th place in the world rankings - his highest ever position.

All seems rosy in the 35-year-old's camp right now and it also bodes well that his best Major finish came at the 2013 US Open, where he ended up in a tie for fourth.

Horschel is bullet-straight off the tee and he ranks 10th in driving accuracy, while he also finds the putting surface more often than not with a greens in regulation percentage of 68.29 (ranked 27th).

The Florida-born star is also one of the best putters on Tour, he is 10th in strokes gained: putting, and he could be worth a go this week at odds of 50/1.

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