2024 U.S. Open Preview: Everything To Know About Pinehurst No. 2

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Written By John Haslbauer | Last Updated
us open odds

The U.S. Open comes to Pinehurst No. 2 for this season’s third major championship. Find bigger golf odds at the best sports betting sites to increase your potential payouts. Scottie Scheffler, Rory McIlroy, and Xander Schauffele are the favorites for this year’s U.S. Open.

Now batting, for the 2024 golf season, the U.S. Open at Pinehurst…No. 2 (shout out to Bob Sheppard). I say this June of every year, but the U.S. Open is the week I look forward to the most on the golf calendar each year. It is synonymous with great Fathers Day weekend memories, and a great recent run of U.S. Open bets has kept those sweet memories going. When it comes to the U.S. Open, we know to expect carnage, the threat of double-bogey-or worse on any given hole, and any shortcomings in a player’s game to be exploited.

In the case of Pinehurst No. 2, we’ll get a nice break from the homogenous Bethpage Black, Torrey Pines, and Winged Foots of the world, following suit with where Los Angeles Country Club brought to the table last year. That is, a visually attractive landscape that challenges the field with hardpan, unpredictable runouts into natural hazards running parallel alongside each fairway. LACC drew an unfortunate weather forecast in 2023, softening due to heavy rainfall the week of the tournament and struggling to dry out due to the Marine layer. That won’t be the case at Pinehurst this week, as North Carolina has hardly seen a drop of rain, allowing the course to play as firm and fast as intended. If that holds true, any score under par by Sunday is a commendable one.

In true Donald Ross fashion, these greens will be the most diabolical, turtle shell surfaces we’ve seen in years for a Major championship venue, and will require patience over four days to navigate. This is a venue that requires consistency around the green off tight lies, and controlled total driving to avoid falling out of position.

Without further ado, let’s run through U.S. Open odds, key facts, and info about Pinehurst No. 2 ahead of the 2024 U.S. Open.


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The U.S. Open presents the strongest field in the world of golf. Compared to The Masters, the U.S. Open offers a full field of 156 players with invites for past champions cut off at 10 years. Compared to the PGA Championship, any spots that would have been reserved for PGA TOUR professionals are instead up for grabs via regional qualifying. We’ll still have potential for some cinderella storylines for the select amateurs and club pros who successfully advanced through qualifying, but by and large, this field is as strong as it gets.

Adam Scott is perhaps the most notable player absent, failing to qualify on the merit of his OWGR rank, and falling in a U.S. Open Qualifier playoff to Cam Davis. He has an opportunity to back in as an alternate, but is in jeopardy of ending the longest active streak of consecutive majors played (91). All other players in the OWGR top-60 will be in the field the field at Pinehurst No. 2.

Wyndham Clark is back to defend as reigning U.S. Open champion, announcing himself to the world at LACC this time last year. The list of former U.S. Open champions teeing it up this week also includes: Matt Fitzpatrick, Jon Rahm, Bryson DeChambeau, Gary Woodland, Brooks Koepka, Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth, Martin Kaymer, Justin Rose, Webb Simpson, Tiger Woods, and Rory McIlroy.


One of the most historically significant courses on the American golf scene, Pinehurst’s rich history dates all the way back to the 1800s. As Donald Ross’ most famous and recognized accomplishment, No. 2 is best known for its dramatic “turtle shell” greens, which repel any approach shots or chips from its outer perimeter. When describing No. 2 after his extensive Renovation project in 2010, Bill Coore stated it is better to count your trips to the green, rather than greens in regulation, given how often balls land on and repel off of the putting surface.

When Ross designed No. 2 in 1907, he described it as “The fairest test of championship golf I have ever designed”. A century later, No. 2 is a rare public course gem that continues to thread the needle as playable for for 20-handicappers and incredibly challenging (yet fair) for the best professional golfers in the world.

Over time, the sand and wiregrass neighboring each fairway began to fade away, and my the mid-60s, Pinehurst No. 2 had almost entirely lost its original identity. In 2010, Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw were brought on to restore that look and feel to Donald Ross’ original intention. The Restoration Project felt more like a complete renovation, as over 40 acres of fairway grass were removed by project’s end. The result was one of the most uniquely distinct layouts in American golf, that could only be found in this neck of North Carolina where the pines meet the sand.

There is so much rich history on the grounds of Pinehurst No. 2. It has hosted three U.S. Opens (2014, 2005, 1999), one PGA Championship (1936), one U.S. Women’s Open (2014), three U.S. Amateurs (2019, 2008, 1962), one U.S. Senior Open (1994), and the 1951 Ryder Cup. In 2014, Pinehurst No. 2 became the first course to host a Men’s and Women’s U.S. Open.

Payne Stewart’s memorable win here at Pinehurst’s first U.S. Open in 1999 has been immortalized with a statue of his signature fist pump behind the 18th green. Michael Campbell won the 2005 U.S. Open with a score of Even par (two better than his nearest chaser, Tiger Woods), and Martin Kaymer displayed one of the most dominant displays in U.S. Open history when we were last here in 2014, clearing the field by a staggering eight strokes.

Breaking Down Pinehurst No. 2

A 7,543 yard par-70, Pinehurst No. 2 offers isn’t long for the sake of being long like many other U.S. Open hosts (Torrey Pines, Winged Foot). With only two par-5s and the course stretched to its limits, there are breather holes to find out on the course. There are two par-4s (No. 3 and No. 13) measuring under 400 yards. Depending on where tee boxes shift around to throughout the week, these holes can be drivable, however that reward of reaching the green will come with the risk of making bogey-or worse for playing two of the most nuanced greens on the course from out of position.

True to U.S. Open history, the par-4s are otherwise very long. Eight measure beyond 450 yards and three stretch beyond 500 yards (two converted from par-5s in the non-tournament routing). It’s no wonder only three players managed to shoot under par when the U.S. Open was last here in 2014, and with the weather cooperating, par will continue to be a good score on seemingly every hole this week.

You won’t have to search hard to find hole-by-hole breakdowns this week. The overarching takeaway from the visuals of this course is that Pinehurst is entirely “Bomb and Gouge” proof, with firm conditions leading to unpredictable runouts into lateral sand and wiregrass hazards. It is a long course, standing over 7,500 yards as just a par-70, but it not diabolically long like other recent U.S. Open venues. Control off-the-tee with average driving distance or elite long iron play should do the trick here, not dissimilar to the game plan Brian Harman used to navigate Royal Liverpool.

The test has only just begun, however, for players who manage to stay in the fairway after their tee shots. Donald Ross’ infamous turtle-shell greens will give players fits all week with any inexact approach shots towards the edge of the green destined to trickle off into the tightly mown greenside surrounding areas. Players will need to understand where they can and cannot miss, as certain greens are designed to repel errant shots into tricky natural bunkers, or offer no respite for balls that will trickle down some 30 yards from the hole.

As golf fans, we should all be licking our chops to finally see some real carnage at a major championship. Firm, fast, and the unpredictability of where a ball might kick to, or the roulette feeling of not knowing whether a ball that misses the fairway has a good or awful lie is what builds intrigue amongst golf fans. At Pinehurst No. 2, it only takes one near misfire with any club in your bag to bring bogey into play on all 18 holes, given the way the lateral hazards and turtle shell greens interact with each other.

Finally, a Dry Major

As golf fans seeking carnage, rainfall is the biggest deterrent. From that aspect, we are on an absurd run of bad luck when it comes to Mother Nature’s intervention into how the courses are designed to be played. It’s rained during or leading up to each of the last 7 majors. There was constant rain at Royal Liverpool, Oak Hill, and the 2023 Masters, and softer-than-expected conditions at Los Angeles Country Club last year robbed us of that course’s greatest defense, the unpredictability of bouncing balls into tight runoffs throughout its firm and fast slopes.

When you add water to these styles of courses, you get record-low scores like we saw from Xander Schauffele and Rickie Fowler in the opening round of the 2023 U.S. Open, as players can comfortably point and shoot at pins without consequence of skipping off the green and beyond. Soft and wet conditions are what transforms venues like the Plantation Course at Kapalua from a moderate scoring track (-14 winning score in 2020) to the easiest birdie fest on the PGA TOUR (average winning score of -30 over the last three years in soft conditions).

All of this to say, players will finally not be bailed out by soft conditions this week at Pinehurst No. 2, and will have nowhere to hide with its lateral fairway and greenside hazards poised to interact exactly as intended.

For Pinehurst course specs, hole-by-hole breakdown with yardages, and past U.S. Open winners with their pre-tournament odds, visit our U.S. Open Odds page.

Editor’s Note


At this year’s PGA Championship, 2014 performance at Valhalla needed to be taken with a grain of salt given the considerable amount of course changes the transpired over the course of the following decade. That is not going to be the case this week, at Pinehurst No. 2 has been left relatively untouched – both for professional tournaments and weekend warriors alike – since Coore & Crenshaw’s massive 2010 renovation.

Martin Kaymer’s runaway victory at the 2014 U.S. Open the last time we came to Pinehurst No. 2 certainly reads as an outlier. He cleared the field by eight strokes with a winning score of -9. Rickie Fowler and Erik Compton were the only two other players to not shoot over par for the week. In Kaymer’s case, he simply brought a mistake-free game with him to Pinehurst, steadily keeping the ball in play with his ball-striking and catching a streaky putter. While Kaymer feels like a bit of a random U.S. Open looking back 10 years later, he was trending leading into this event in 2014, having just won THE PLAYERS, and opened at 40-1 pre-tournament odds.

Pinehurst is a unique beast unlike the traditional parkland, heavy-rough courses we see week-to-week on the PGA TOUR, so Kaymer’s dominant victory is a reminder that great preceding form may supersede course fit at this unicorn of a venue.

U.S. Open History

The USGA embodies the same core characteristics in each of its chosen venues. Even though thick rough and pinched fairways won’t play a part in this year’s U.S. Open, longer hitters and elite ball strikers who can grind in difficult scoring conditions should continue to rise to the top of the leaderboard.

Twelve players avoided missing the cut over the last five U.S. Open contests (min. three starts): Xander Schauffele, Rory McIlroy, Hideki Matsuyama, Brian Harman, Jon Rahm, Patrick Cantlay, Harris English, Brooks Koepka, Bryson DeChambeau, Dustin Johnson, Adam Hadwin, and Rickie Fowler.

Ten players finished in the top 15 multiple times at the U.S. Open in the last five years: Scottie Scheffler, Jon Rahm, Xander Schauffele, Rory McIlroy, Brooks Koepka, Matt Fitzpatrick, Collin Morikawa, Viktor Hovland, Patrick Cantlay, and Gary Woodland.

Over the last five years, the top 10 players in U.S. Open Event History are: Scottie Scheffler, Will Zalatoris, Xander Schauffele, Collin Morikawa, Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm, Viktor Hovland, Matt Fitzpatrick, Brooks Koepka, and Dustin Johnson. This list further justifies a trend of elite ball striking – particularly with long irons – among annual contenders at the U.S. Open. While Pinehurst No. 2 is unlike any U.S. Open venue before it, elite ball striking from longer hitters should continue to translate well to success.

Course Comps

I usually spend a majority of my research time identifying the best course comps to project recent results within the past year onto the field for the upcoming week. In Majors, I tend to de-prioritize the importance of Comp Course History, as the atmosphere of a standard TOUR event is not comparable to that of a Major. However, there’s still value in referencing results on regular TOUR courses that ask for a similar style of play. In this case, Bogey Avoidance in difficult conditions and long rough, Scrambling from tightly mown greenside runoffs, long iron proximity, and all around tee-to-green strengths still translate.

The absence of rough at Pinehurst No. 2 is intentional, as 40 acres of grass were removed to instead make room for sand and grasswire, which wait for tee shots to run out beyond the fairway. Similarly around the greens, there is no rough to stop approaches to the green from running out. This makes Pinehurst No. 2 unique from a majority of the traditional U.S. Open or PGA TOUR courses. So, when looking for comp courses, I’m honing in on difficult firm and fast courses that reward total driving and great touch around the greens.

Shinnecock Hills, host of the 2018 U.S. Open, comes to mind as the best overall comp course to Pinehurst No. 2. Both will feature extreme firm and fast conditions and offer scarce birdie opportunities. Brooks Koepka won the 2018 U.S. Open at +1, and it would not surprise me to see a similar winning score at Pinehurst No. 2 this week.

The firm fairway runouts bare similarities to other recent links Major venues, particularly Chambers Bay, Royal Liverpool, and Royal Portrush.

Amongst the other recent Major venues, Augusta National will serve as a solid reference point, if only as a measure of crafty short game on tight lies into perched greens. In terms of Driving, Augusta and Pinehurst are very opposite of one another, as there is far more of a premium on driving distance and far less of a consequence for wayward tee shots at Augusta compared to Pinehurst. Los Angeles Country Club, Kiawah Island, and Southern Hills also embody similar characteristics from an agronomy standpoint.

On a more tertiary basis, TPC Scottsdale, Congaree Golf Club, PGA National, The Plantation Course at Kapalua, and Memorial Park are more recent examples of firm and fast courses with challenging, undulating Bermuda greens and severe runoffs into tightly mown areas for wayward approaches.

Wrap that all together, and the top 10 players in comp course history are: Scottie Scheffler, Cameron Smith, Jon Rahm, Xander Schauffele, Tyrrell Hatton, Brooks Koepka, Rory McIlroy, Matt Fitzpatrick, Wyndham Clark, and Collin Morikawa.


  • SG: T2G (Recent Form)
  • SG: APP / Prox: 175+
  • SG: ARG / Scrambling (Firm & Fast)
  • SG: TOT (Difficult Scoring Conditions)
  • Bogey Avoidance (Difficult Scoring Conditions)
  • SG: Putting (L36, Bermuda)
  • Comp Course History
  • SG: TOT (L5 Majors)

Having hosted just two U.S. Opens since 2005, we don’t have as much of a relevant course stats to pull from to directly ascertain how players need to profile to find success at Pinehurst No. 2. But, we’ll do the best we can with the eight rounds of sample size we do have over that period.

You won’t have to search hard to find hole-by-hole breakdowns this week. The overarching takeaway from the visuals of this course is that Pinehurst is entirely “Bomb and Gouge” proof, with firm conditions leading to unpredictable runouts into lateral sand and wiregrass hazards. It is a long course, standing over 7,500 yards as just a par-70, but it not diabolically long like other recent U.S. Open venues. Control off-the-tee with average driving distance or elite long iron play should do the trick here, not dissimilar to the game plan Brian Harman used to navigate Royal Liverpool.

Model Focus For U.S. Open Odds

I’m putting a significant emphasis on Scrambling, SG: ARG, and SG: P (Bermuda) in my models this week. Six players rank top-30 in each Tyrrell Hatton, Alex Noren, Harris English, Denny McCarthy, Beau Hossler, and Mac Meissner.

From an approach standpoint, the firm conditions and dramatic runoffs make it difficult to project the expected approach distribution. With two Par-5s, three 205+ yard Par-3s, and eight 450+ yard Par-4s, we can assume long iron proximity will continue to be important, typical at a U.S. Open. The top-10 in Prox: 175+ are: Scottie Scheffler, Corey Conners, Tom Hoge, Xander Schauffele, Aaron Rai, Si Woo Kim, Shane Lowry, Rory McIlroy, Tony Finau, and Ludvig Åberg.

After SG: APP and SG: ARG, you cannot dismiss the importance of SG: OTT. Distance is always advantageous, but accurate drivers can capitalize just as well here with firm fairways creating longer rollouts and mitigating the advantage of carry distance. Just 13 players rank above average in SG: OTT, Driving Accuracy, SG: APP, and SG: ARG: Scottie Scheffler, Xander Schauffele, Aaron Rai, Si Woo Kim, Rory McIlroy, Lucas Glover, Alex Noren, Hideki Matsuyama, Collin Morikawa, Chris Kirk, Mark Hubbard, Tyrrell Hatton, and Tommy Fleetwood.

Scoring In Difficult Conditions

Anytime the USGA is involved, you know the intent is to make scoring conditions as difficult as possible. Where else would you find three 500+ yard Par-4s and a 242 yard par-3? Given the unique topography and likelihood to move tees and pins daily, it’s difficult to use performance on standard courses to project success here.

Instead, scoring in difficult conditions will more broadly capture those who are best equipped to handle everything Pinehurst No. 2 throws their way. The top 10 in SG: TOT (Difficult Scoring Conditions) are: Scottie Scheffler, Viktor Hovland, Rory McIlroy, Xander Schauffele, Patrick Cantlay, Wyndham Clark, Denny McCarthy, Tyrrell Hatton, and Collin Morikawa.

Pinehurst No. 2 And Hole Length

Judging from the scorecard, eight holes will play over 450 yards and with five will play at 490+ yards. The top 10 players in scoring from 450+ yards are: Scottie Scheffler, Rory McIlroy, Viktor Hovland, Brooks Koepka, Tyrrell Hatton, Collin Morikawa, Patrick Cantlay, Tommy Fleetwood, Xander Schauffele, and Jon Rahm.

The top-10 players in SG: Short Game under Pinehurst’s firm and fast conditions are: Denny McCarthy, Hideki Matsuyama, Sam Burns, Scottie Scheffler, Christiaan Bezuidenhout, Justin Thomas, Beau Hossler, Jason Day, Cam Smith, and Tommy Fleetwood.

The ideal player for Pinehurst No. 2 should rank above-average in SG: OTT, SG: APP, SG: ARG, SG: P (Bermuda), Comp Course History, Bogey Avoidance, and SG: TOT (Difficult Scoring Conditions).

Just 6 players fit that criteria: Xander Schauffele, Rory McIlroy, Alex Noren, Tommy Fleetwood, Tyrrell Hatton, and Kurt Kitayama.


While we don’t have much to go off for Pinehurst No. 2, there’s still merit in pulling what it’s taken to find success at past U.S. Opens to project an ideal profile for this week, given the constant throughline of the USGA governing.

Looking over the stats, I prioritized Par-5 Scoring and SG: OTT at the U.S. Open far less compared to TOUR average. That makes sense, considering the USGA historically converts usual Par-5s into long par-4s, commonly playing to Par-70.

From an OTT standpoint, we’ve seen players start to freely swing driver over the last few contests. They accept that fairways will be difficult to hold and instead opt to play their second shots closer to the hole. Conditions will be much different at LACC, though elite total driving will still give players a leg up if able to drive to the correct slots of these expansive fairways.

Par-4 Scoring

Par-4: 400-450 is another stat that plays far less an important role at the U.S. Open compared to average. The USGA typically extends tee boxes back to play closer to to 500 yards and rewards a player with an all-around complement of both distance and accuracy. Just two Par-4s at Pinehurst No. 2 fall between 400-450 yards.

The stats that take the biggest leap forward in terms of importance at a U.S. Open are Par-4: 500+SG: ARGDriving Distance, and Doubles Avoided. Each of these categories will continue to be crucial at No. 2, although fairways may level the playing field for Driving Distance this week. Notably, each of these stats rank inside the top 15 of importance at the U.S. Open while outside the top-25 on average.

Top-10 Correlated Stats with SG: TOT
Top-10 Correlated Stats with SG: TOT at the U.S. Open

Nine players in the field rank above average in each of the above key stat categories I’m looking for this week: Scottie Scheffler, Xander Schaufele, Rory McIlroy, Collin Morikawa, Hideki Matsuyama, Alex Noren, Aaron Rai, Tyrell Hatton, and…


Throw the Masters aside, which carries its own unique history of trends, and a streak of three consecutive first-time Major winners carries into the 2024 U.S. Open. Could Tommy Fleetwood be the next to follow suit after Wyndham Clark, Brian Harman, and Xander Schauffele? The 33-year-old has developed a reputation as a notorious non-winner as he’s still in search of his first career PGA TOUR victory, but it’s not from lack of opportunity. Just two years ago, Matt Fitzpatrick demonstrated that good recent form and close calls in past Majors were enough of a blueprint to predict his first career Major victory coming at the 2022 U.S. Open.

Fleetwood’s game is a quintessential fit for a layout like Pinehurst No. 2. He’s a creative shot-shaper who has gained in both Driving Accuracy and Driving Distance in 12 of his last 15 starts. His 2024 campaign includes a win at the Dubai Invitational and five top-15 finishes over 12 starts. And his success has translated to Majors already, finishing T3 and T26 in the 2024 Masters and PGA Championship.

Looking longer term, Fleetwood has found himself in the mix often at Majors, amassing nine top-10 finishes since 2017. His closest claim to a Major championship came at the top overall comp course to Pinehurst No. 2, where a surging Sunday 63 at Shinnecock Hills left him one stroke short of Brooks Koepka in 2018. It’s no coincidence that Fleetwood’s best U.S. Open finish came on a links-style golf course, as hist ability to hit controlled, flighted tee shots has produce four top-12 finished at The Open Championship since 2018.

It will take a complete all-around game to score and survive at Pinehurst No. 2, and Fleetwood is on a short list of players who enter without a glaring weakness vulnerable to being exploited on this course. He is one of just six players to rank above-average across all four major strokes gained categories, historically a great indicator for a high baseline in majors. With Pinehurst No. 2 so prone to randomness, it would not surprise me to see a player like Tommy Fleetwood emerge as a first-time Major champion this week.


With all the course-fit profiles in mind, I’m leaning early toward the below player pool. Naturally, I’m looking their way in the 2024 U.S. Open odds as well. I’ve broken the list down by projected pricing/odds tier for DraftKings.  


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Tier 1

Scottie Scheffler
Xander Schauffele
Rory McIlroy

Tier 2

Tommy Fleetwood
Joaquin Niemann
Cameron Smith
Collin Morikawa
Brooks Koepka

Tier 3

Sahith Theegala
Justin Thomas
Sam Burns
Tom Kim
Hideki Matsuyama
Alex Noren

Tier 4

Tyrell Hatton
Sungjae Im
Si Woo Kim

Tier 5

Billy Horschel
Beau Hossler
Aaron Rai
Denny McCarthy
Harris English


In my BTN model, I’m emphasizing SG: APP, SG: T2G, SG: ARG, and Comp Course History, followed by a balanced mix of Prox: 175+, SG: OTT, SG: P (L36, Bermuda), SG: TOT (Difficult Scoring Conditions), Bogey Avoidance, SG: Short Game (Firm & Fast), and SG: TOT (L5 Majors).

U.S. Open Odds: Model Favorites

Unsurprisingly, it’s Scottie Scheffler who comes out on top of the model. Ranking No. 1 in SG: T2G, SG: OTT, SG: APP, SG: ARG, Bogey Avoidance, and SG: TOT (Difficult Scoring Conditions), it’s tough to argue against Scheffler’s chances to pick up his third career Major championship, especially on a course like Pinehurst No. 2 which will allow him to flex his greatest strength of chippign from tight lies. The odds agree, and he’ll make me think twice before betting out of the “Without Scheffler” market.

After Scheffler, the rest of my model’s top 10 is rounded out by: Xander Schauffele, Rory McIlroy, Alex Noren, Ludvig Åberg, Tyrrell Hatton, Hideki Matsuyama, Cameron Smith, Collin Morikawa, and Tommy Fleetwood.

Last year, I went with a rare single-bullet card with Scottie Scheffler at the 2023 U.S. Open. Considering his odds have halved a year later, I won’t be doing the same in 2024, but I also believe Pinehurst No. 2 is prone to more randomness and “bad breaks” on well-struck shots that will play against the odds on favorite.

I haven’t placed any futures just yet, but will be eying Tommy Fleetwood, Cameron Smith, Joaquin Niemann, Hideki Matsuyama, and Justin Thomas in the mid-tier of the odds board when 2024 U.S. Open odds adjust Monday.

Check back in later this week for more updates. Best of luck navigating 2024 U.S. Open odds!


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