2024 US Open Golf Pools: Strategy Ideas And Picks For Pinehurst No. 2

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Written By John Haslbauer | Last Updated
us open golf pool picks

It’s another major week in the golf world, so you’ve probably gotten another email from your favorite pool host. For all the casual sports fans out there who aren’t glued to the week-to-week PGA TOUR odds grind, fear not —we’ve got you covered! The strategy guide below will walk you through some of the best options in each tier for your 2024 U.S. Open golf pool picks.

If you’re more interested in making a wager than a pool you can still use this info for some insight into various markets. Find the best odds below and click to make a bet at sports betting sites.

GOLF POOL STRATEGY

Similar to a daily fantasy sports tournament strategy, game theory is key in U.S. Open golf pool picks. First, one must identify the popular players in each tier. Then, decide which ones you’re comfortable fading in favor of a contrarian option. Below, we’ll go through the consensus popular and pivot plays in each tier. The format in each golf pool will vary. But the tiers below are structured in order of consensus betting odds, as is most common.

Typically, the best-combined score under par of the players rostered from each tier wins. Some pools will severely penalize one of your players’ scores if they miss the cut. For example, if a player misses the cut with a score of +2, the pool may add ten strokes and make the player +12, making it critical that your U.S. Open golf pool picks make the cut. Also, check your pool rules to see if the worst score is not counted among your picks. Sometimes, this is a feature of golf pool rules and scoring.

Tier 1: Top 1-6 Players

The Popular Play: Scottie Scheffler

There is some added randomness at Pinehurst No. 2 compared to your typical Major venue that accentuates the most premium skillsets of driving distance and long-iron approach play. While that would, in theory, take Scheffler’s massive edge away, he happens to be a generational freak golfer who is versatile enough to also lap the field in Driving Accuracy and SG: ARG. I think the greens will give Scottie trouble putting, but he seems to be a virtual lock to finish top five this week anyway.

The Pivot Play: Collin Morikawa

If you want to go super contrarian to start your pool lineups, skip right past Scheffler, McIlroy, and Schauffele for a player in Morikawa who suits Pinehurst perfectly and enters form that is just as encouraging. Despite always losing to the field in terms of Driving Distance at Majors, Morikawa has bucked all trends and managed to contend on longer courses anyway. Already a winner at The Open and PGA Championship, Pinehurst No. 2 is likely to be Morikawa’s best opportunity to win a U.S. Open, too.

Tier 2: Top 7-20 Players

The Popular Play: Brooks Koepka

We’re at a Major, which means Brooks Koepka is going to be considered and highly owned in pools. The closest U.S. Open venue to simulate how Pinehurst No. 2 will play is Shinnecock Hills, where Koepka won in 2018. While known for his brute strength, Koepka has a very impressive resume on links courses overseas, a skillset that will suit him well on this course. He’ll ride in with great form, shooting -8 in his final round at LIV Houston last week.

The Pivot Play: Tommy Fleetwood

My pick to win this week is Tommy Fleetwood. Similar to Koepka, Fleetwood’s resume is decorated with high finishes at both the U.S. Open and Open Championship, so this combination of a links-style USGA setup is perfect for his game.

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Tier 3: Top 21-45 Players

The Popular Play: Will Zalatoris

Do I think Will Zalatoris should be a very popular U.S. Open pool pick? No. But his track record in Majors speaks for itself, and he will feel like a “safe” play for casual golf fans who only tune in four times a year to see his name routinely at the top of those leaderboards. Zalatoris finished T9 at The Masters earlier this season and has two top-6 finishes under his belt at the U.S. Open over the last four years.

The Pivot Play: Sungjae Im

Personally, Zalatoris is a fade for me, and I see many opportunities to differentiate your Pool lineups in this range. My favorite in this tier though, is Sungjae Im, who continues to ride some sneaky hot form over the last month into an ideal course fir for his strengths of position off-the-tee and scrambling on firm and fast Bermuda greens. He’s contended in Majors before, and won’t command as much ownership as he deserves to.

Tier 4: Top 46-63 Players

The Popular Play: Robert MacIntyre

MacIntyre skipped a signature event last week just so he could celebrate his first career PGA TOUR victory back home in Scotland. His win at the RBC Canadian Open was far from an aberration, as his game has continued to trend well over the last couple of months. He’s piled up four top-15 finishes over his last six starts now, including a T8 in his previous Major start at the PGA Championship. He has consistently risen to the occasion on golf’s biggest stages, with just one career missed cut and four top-12 finishes in Majors.

The Pivot Play: Adam Hadwin

Those less clued into the Memorial Tournament last week may have missed Hadwin’s surprise stand-out performance. He looked dialed in all facets of his game en route to a solo third-place finish and ranked No. 2 in the field in terms of SG: APP. Hadwin has a great history at firm, positional courses, with four career top-3 finishes between The AmEx and Shriners Children’s Open. Hadwin also has a pair of top-5 finishes to his name at Detroit Golf Club to demonstrate a repeated fit at Donald Ross courses.

Tier 5: Top 64+ Players

The Popular Play: Cam Davis

As we get to the bottom tier in U.S. Open pools, it’s best to chase upside, as a missed cut won’t hurt as much from your last player in. Davis, a member of the latest International Presidents Cup team, has demonstrated that upside with a win under his belt at Donald Ross’ Detroit Golf Club. Pinehurst No. 2 should feel reminiscent of the Australian Sand Belt Davis grew up around and will accentuate his strengths of Total Driving on positional venues and crafty short game.

The Pivot Play: Beau Hossler

If we assume these turtle shell greens will reject any imperfect approaches, then we could see a scenario where ball striking is prioritized, and the 2024 U.S. Open boils down to a bona fide scrambling contest. In that scenario, Hossler is an ideal contrarian sleeper candidate, as he ranks top-10 in terms of SG: ARG and Bogey Avoidance. He rode his elite short-game skills to a T14 finish at the RBC Canadian Open in his previous starts and should enter Pinehurst No. 2 feeling confident in his overall game.

Best of luck with your U.S. Open golf pool picks!

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