2022 US Open Picks, Odds: Expert Predictions, Field Favorites at The Country Club


2022 US Open Picks, Odds: Expert Predictions, Field Favorites at The Country Club

With the 2022 US Open fast approaching its start, everyone in the golfing world is asking one key question: who are you picking to win at The Country Club in Brookline, Massachusetts? An enormous field of participants characterizes the third Major of the year, as the list contains most of the best professionals in the world. The US Open should be an epic ride from Thursday’s first round as the USGA returns to that side for the first time since 1988.

This year’s US Open may have a huge field, but there’s plenty of momentum behind a finite list of names to capture the national championship. Rory McIlroy enters a heater after defending his RBC Canadian Open title. Justin Thomas is looking to go back-to-back in the majors after his second PGA Championship title. Scottie Scheffler’s game has cooled but he’s trying to get airborne with a Masters-US Open double. All of that is not to mention Jon Rahm hanging around and Brooks Koepka’s usual dominance at the event, which has seen him defeated by just four golfers combined at the US Open since 2017.

And then of course there is the story of Phil Mickelson and Dustin Johnson. What do you do with a few big names and several big winners who don’t play good golf but continue to make headlines when they compete in a major championship? Without Tiger Woods, Mickelson will command even more attention than usual this week.

Adding it all up, it looks like we’re in for a wild US Open full of unexpected twists and turns, but also plenty of familiar names at the top of the leaderboard.

So what’s going to happen at Brookline this week? Let’s take a look at a full set of predictions and tips from our CBS Sports pundits as we attempt to predict who will win and what will happen in the third Major of the season. Odds via Caesars Sportsbook.

2022 US Open Expert Tips, Predictions

Kyle Porter, senior golf writer

Winner – Justin Thomas (11-1): Playing the best golf of his career, he has an ever-present confidence that no one in the world is better than him, coupled with a wisdom that can only be matched with age and experience. JT is one of the top three iron players in the world, and his hot putter has resulted in wins and near-wins over the past two months. That won’t change this week as he draws level with Jordan Spieth with three major championships in his career.

Sleeper – Davis Riley (60-1): Riley quietly plays some of the best courses in the world and Riley’s swing reeks of one that could win a trophy at the US Open. What he does best (smashing irons) is exactly what you do best in major championships and particularly the US Open. Five straight top 20 for Riley (including the PGA Championship), I expect him to make six.

Top 10 Castle – Brooks Koepka: I’m betting on getting US Open Brooks instead of “rest of the year” Brooks. He’s finished 1-1-2-T4 in a row in this tournament and understands his rhythms perhaps better than anyone in history. does he play well Not really, but he missed and almost won three out of four cuts en route to the US Open last year.

Star Who Definitely Won’t Win – Dustin Johnson: The reasons here are manifold. First, he doesn’t play particularly good golf. He is also without a win since the 2020 Masters and has only had a top 10 in a PGA Tour stroke play event so far this year. Also, this week was such a circus that even DJ must feel it. He’s among those leading the rival LIV golf league, and while his exterior seems opaque, the noise has gotten so loud I’m not even sure he can ignore it.

Surprise prediction – duel between Thomas and Rory McIlroy on Sunday: I don’t know if it’s a surprise that two of the top five golfers in the world would beat each other for one of the four most coveted titles, but the dream scenario (a replay of last weekend’s Canadian Open) rarely plays out like this. It would be the perfect ending to a fortnight of madness in the golfing world.

Phil Mickelson Prediction – Relevance has already passed this week: We’ve already heard what we’re going to get from Mickelson this week. He’s not playing good golf at the moment and certainly won’t make it at a US Open. He hasn’t made the top 25 at this tournament since he almost won in 2013.

Lowest lap: 65 (-5)
Winning Result: 278 (-2)
Sunday result of the winner: 70 (E)

Patrick McDonald, golf author

Winner – Patrick Cantlay (25-1): The Major championship record is poor, but take out his missed cuts at the PGA Championship and Players Championship and Cantlay has had an incredible year. In those 10 starts, he has one win, two playoff losses, three top 5 finishes and another top 10. I love the reigning PGA Tour Player of the Year when we put him on a golf course that shows his skill off the tee will be influential in determining the winner. He’s got the complete package, and it’s time for him to throw the monkey off his back.

Sleeper – Corey Conners (45-1): He was a semi-finalist at the 2013 US Amateurs, which is nice, but the Canadian’s current state of play is tailor-made for a US Open. Accurate off the tee and deadly with his irons, Conners has seen his short game numbers surge over the past three months. If he can convert enough of those crucial up-and-down saves, he should be right there next Sunday.

Top 10 Castle – Shane Lowry: Lowry’s first taste of a major championship fight was the 2016 US Open in Oakmont. Since then, I’ve believed his game was perfect for the most rigorous test in golf. He is in the best shape of his life and the consistency with which he generally hits fairways and greens will allow him to be a factor at The Country Club.

Star Not Winning – Cameron Smith: Accuracy wasn’t too important at the last US Open, but this year will be different. If this theory holds true, the Australian will be in trouble as his stubbornness with driver in hand will see him lose shots off the tee on a regular basis. Smith has competed in the first two Majors of the year so it comes with a high degree of risk, but I could see the world No. 6 playing in defense from the start.

Surprise Prediction – Rory McIlroy misses the cut: I’ve got McIlroy missing the cut one time out of five, so his prop has some value if you decide to indulge. The four-time major champion was runner-up at the Masters, first-round leader at the PGA Championship, and all signs point to his picking No. 5 at The Country Club. It’s been a busy week in Canada and while his game is beginning to mirror that of 2014, the occasional mental lapse and inaccuracy off the tee could cause problems.

Phil Mickelson Prediction – Missed Cut Despite Positive Fan Reaction: With two sharp takes out of the way, let’s move on to something much more faded. The perception around Phil isn’t great right now, but I expect Boston fans to welcome him with open arms – barring the occasional heckling. Nevertheless, let’s recall that this is a 52-year-old who has only played three competitive rounds in the past four months and has shown significant rust in London.

Lowest lap: 66 (-4)
Winning Result: 278 (-2)
Sunday result of the winner: 70 (E)

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Kyle Boone, writer

Winner – Cameron Smith (18-1): Brookline will demand exactly what Smith can bring: a killer short game for his lightning fast greens and precision off the tee shots for the numerous blind shots golfers will be making this week. Smith is third on the PGA Tour in strokes won with his putter this season and 11th in strokes won with his putter. If he plays his game, he’ll be in the mix, and we’ve already seen him this season with victories at The Players Championship and the Sentry Open, as well as top-five finishes at the Masters and the RSM Classic.

Sleeper – Mito Pereira (55-1): With eight top-25 finishes in 21 events throughout the season, 27-year-old Pereira is quietly preparing for a breakthrough year in his rookie campaign. He has finished in the top 10 three times, including twice in his last three appearances. One of those ended in heartbreak when he held the lead on the #72 hole in the PGA Championships before giving up the lead thanks to a botched drive. Nonetheless, Pereira is a name that could – but shouldn’t – be overlooked given his game so far this week. At 55-1, he qualifies as one of the most capable underdogs in this year’s US Open field.

Top 10 Castle – Rory McIlroy: It feels like this week is going to be a Rory coronation. In addition to a win at the Canadian Open last weekend, he has top-10 finishes in three of his last four events: the Masters, the Wells Fargo Championship and the PGA Championship. It’s no coincidence at this point: McIlroy has found his form and is picking up momentum at just the right time. He’s the favorite this week for a reason, and placing in the top 10 should be the parquet.

Star Who Definitely Won’t Win – Dustin Johnson: If you haven’t caught the news lately, DJ might be a little, well, distracted these days. He became the first major domino to compete on the LIV Golf Tour for $125 million and subsequently retired his PGA Tour membership. There’s a lot going on in his world. Down the course, there’s reason to believe the former world No. 1 won’t win. He finished the first LIV event, which featured a weak field, six strokes behind the leader. And in the PGA Tour season, he had more missed cuts than top 10 finishes that year.

Surprise prediction – Sam Burns finishes in the top five: Burns is 25-1 to win straight. Don’t hate those odds one bit, but a top 5 finish is a much safer bet. Since winning the Valspar Championship in March, he has two top-five finishes and another win (at the Charles Schwab two weeks ago). He also comes into the weekend with a T4 at the Canadian Open, where he has faced the likes of Thomas, Shane Lowry and Scottie Scheffler.

Phil Mickelson Prediction – Missed Cut: Lefty shot past 10 in three rounds last weekend, his first competitive action since a month-long hiatus that began in February. There’s no reason to expect he’ll do anything but miss the cut. Even before his break, he missed cuts in his last two appearances. He’s a long way from finding the same form that helped him to a stunning PGA Championship win a year ago.

Lowest lap: 64 (-6)
Winning Result: 267 (-13)
Sunday result of the winner: 68 (-2)

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