2023 US Open Golf Pools: Strategy Ideas And Picks For LACC

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Written By John Haslbauer | Last Updated
golf pool picks

Outside of The Masters, the U.S. Open is likely to be the most popular event on the schedule for golf betting and golf pool picks each year. And with Beverly Hills in center stage at the ultra-exclusive Los Angeles Country Club from Thursday through Sunday, this event is sure to grab the attention of casual sports fans nationwide. If that sounds like you, and you’re looking for a little guidance to fill out your office pools, you’ve come to the right place! The below strategy guide will walk you through some of the best options in each tier for your 2023 U.S. Open golf pools picks.

Each player’s best available odds to win the tournament are in parentheses below. Click on those odds to bet now and lock in the best sportsbook promo codes if you are a new user at that app.

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STRATEGY FOR GOLF POOL PICKS

Similar to a Daily Fantasy tournament strategy, game theory is key for all golf pool picks, including U.S. Open week. 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 below tiers are structured in order of consensus betting odds, as is most common for golf pools.

View the full U.S. Open odds board from the best sports betting sites.

TIER 1: TOP 1-7 PLAYERS

The Popular Play: Scottie Scheffler ()

In the first two majors of the season, there was a clear “big 3” of Scheffler, Rahm, and McIlroy with slim margins between them, and consequently an even balance of golf pool picks spread across the first tier. That’s not likely to be the case at the U.S. Open however, as Scottie Scheffler has recently separated from the pack with his dominant tee-to-green form. He has all the shots in his bag needed to combat LACC and if he fixes the putting issues (which I believe is reasonable to expect), he has the potential to dominate the field in the same fashion as his 2022 Masters win.

The Pivot Play: Patrick Cantlay ()

Most people will start their pools with Scheffler, and if they don’t the next logical step would be to choose Jon Rahm, the 2023 Masters winner with four wins of his own this year. There’s likely to be a steep drop off from there, however, so Patrick Cantlay presents a great leverage opportunity with very low expected ownership. The UCLA graduate is plenty familiar with LACC, a luxury of experience not many others in this field can claim. A top-15 finisher in each of the first two majors this season, Cantlay has been rock solid from tee-to-green throughout the year, and is well equipped to handle everything LACC throws his way.

TIER 2: TOP 8-23 PLAYERS

The Popular Play: Xander Schauffele ()

Schauffele finds himself just outside the elite tier in many pools this week, and as a player with the shortest odds amongst the next tier, he’ll naturally command plenty of ownership. Schauffele’s US Open is immaculate, the best in this field over the last five years with top-15 finishes in all prior U.S. Open appearances dating back to 2017. He continues to trend well leading into this event with eight consecutive top-25s, so there’s plenty to like about the California native’s chances yet again in 2023.

The Pivot Play: Cameron Smith ()

My cornerstone pool play this week is going to be Cam Smith. I’m very bullish on the course fit for Smith at Los Angeles Country Club, with its strong comparisons to the playability of Augusta National and hints of Southern Hills (where he led the 2022 PGA from T2G) and firm and fast links golf. You don’t want to spray it off the tee at LACC, but the fairways are still open enough for Smith to get away with some loose drives here and there. He’s in full health now, which was not the case at The Masters earlier this season, so with five consecutive top-10 finishes between LIV and the PGA Championship, Smith is poised to make a run at his second major championship this week.

TIER 3: TOP 24-45 PLAYERS

The Popular Play: Sungjae Im ()

I see a lot of balance in ownership coming out of tier 3, but Sungjae Im is a consistent, reliable, and safe play at fairly short betting odds, so I expect a majority of people to land on Im in this range. Sungjae’s all-around prowess from tee-to-green and ability to catch a streaky putter makes him a sensible fit on any course you put him on. The Augusta National comps are most encouraging though, as his success in majors has primarily come at The Masters, where he’s picked up three top-16 finishes over four career appearances.

The Pivot Play: Adam Scott ()

Available at nearly double the betting odds as Im, casual sports fans may overlook Adam Scott in this tier. Looking at recent results, however, the case to play Scott over Im is a little more clear. Scott is currently firing on all cylinders with three top-10 finishes over his last four starts. His combination of length off the tee, elite long iron play, and streaky putting on Bentgrass greens all make for an encouraging fit at LACC. His last PGA TOUR win came at another George Thomas design in LA at the 2019 Genesis Invitational, and I don’t think many would be surprised if his name was atop the leaderboard again this Sunday.

TIER 4: TOP 46-63 PLAYERS

The Popular Play: Cam Davis ()

There is a growing narrative for Australians to fare well at Los Angles Country Club, given how similar these firm and fast conditions may feel to the Australian sand belt. Davis is an elite talent who’s shown volatile flashes this season. That boom or bust nature gives me some pause if ownership is as high as expected, but with three top-10s in the last three months, he may be worth the risk for pool lineups that differentiate in other places.

The Pivot Play: Sergio Garcia ()

On the contrary, a player who has no steam at all behind him this week is Sergio Garcia. Much has been made about his Ryder Cup status in recent weeks, and while there doesn’t appear to be a path for him right now, he’ll be motivated to forge one for himself in the same way Brooks Koepka did with his PGA Championship performance. It’s hard to say where Sergio’s form currently lies based on his LIV results, but he was able to easily play his way into this tournament via regional qualifying, so the game is certainly not lost. At his best, Sergio’s elite distance and ball striking make him a fit for any US Open track.

TIER 5: TOP 64+ PLAYERS

The Popular Play: Eric Cole ()

It’s hard to find anything not to like about Eric Cole these days. The marathon man will be teeing it up for the 10th consecutive week at the US Open, but he’s shown no signs of fatigue throughout that stretch. In his rookie season, Cole has already picked up three top-6 finishes, including his T6 at last week’s RBC Canadian Open. Casual fans may be less familiar with Cole, but it’s hard to imagine his five top-25s over his last seven starts will go overlooked in this bottom tier.

The Pivot Play: Adam Hadwin ()

Hadwin has been the butt of all the jokes this week, going viral for getting tackled by security while celebrating his friend Nick Taylor’s victory at the RBC Canadian Open. That should not distract us from Hadwin’s prospects this week, however, as his game continues to trend nicely with three top-40s over his last four starts. That includes a T12 at last week’s Canadian Open where he ranked 8th in SG: T2G for the week. Four of Hadwin’s five best career finishes have come in the state of California, and he should return with more confidence after an impressive T7 showing at the 2022 U.S. Open.

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

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