Travelers Championship

TPC River Highlands



Ranking

U.S. Open picks 2024: The 13 best bets to win at Pinehurst No. 2

1499773225

Ross Kinnaird

May 23, 2024

Xander Schauffele took his name off the best-player-without-a-major list with a thrilling PGA Championship victory at Valhalla, but the good news for golf fans? We've still got two more men's major championships remaining in 2024. Next up is the U.S. Open at Pinehurst No. 2, where the new World No. 2 would like nothing more than to win major No. 2.

Of course, it won't come easy—nor with as many birdies—especially with World No. 1 Scottie Scheffler back as a huge favorite once again. And odds are Scheffler won't spend any tournament mornings in a jail cell this time.

As always our ranking is of the best bets, not the best golfers or the most likely to win (and one of our top-five guys has won each of the first two majors of 2024). Although, with Schauffele and Scheffler that's almost one and the same at this point. Anyway, here's our weekly list (odds via DraftKings) as we approach the third leg of golf's Grand Slam.

1. Xander Schauffele (14/1)

2153256067

Darren Carroll/PGA of America

Reason to pick: He just won his first major, he's playing the most consistently great golf of anyone not named Scottie Scheffler, and this could be a "floodgates are open" situation. Heck, his dad has already predicted he'll win another major this year.

Cause for concern: Will there be a letdown after climbing to the top of the major champion mountain?

2. Brooks Koepka (16/1)

2153172499

Scott Taetsch/PGA of America

Reason to pick: He's a two-time U.S. Open champ and he finished T-4 at Pinehurst in 2014.

Cause for concern: Will he have time to recover from what's likely to be more "punishment" workouts following another disappointing (for him) finish in a major (T-26 at Valhalla).

3. Scottie Scheffler (4/1)

2153439232

Patrick Smith

Reason to pick: If not for an arrest and his caddie missing the third round at Valhalla, we still could be talking about this guy going for the calendar Grand Slam.

Cause for concern: Another run-in with the law. And, on a more serious note, those low odds.

4. Cameron Smith (28/1)

1612793664

Mike Stobe

Reason to pick: A T-63 at the PGA has this Aussie a bit under the radar, but Pinehurst No. 2 should be a much better fit for this short-game wizard.

Cause for concern: He finished near the bottom of the field at Valhalla in strokes gained/off-the-tee.

5. Justin Thomas (35/1)

2153576186

Patrick Smith

Reason to pick: Another guy with a great—and creative—short game, Thomas will also have an advantage with his ability to shape shots into Pinehurst's sloped fairways. And he's coming off his first top 10 at a major in two years.

Cause for concern: He lost .75 shots per round putting at Valhalla. Yikes.

6. Bryson DeChambeau (20/1)

2153591798

Ross Kinnaird

Reason to pick: The 2020 U.S. Open champ dazzled with a Sunday 64 at Valhalla, nearly tracking down winner Xander Schauffele for a second career major. DeChambeau was also in contention at the Masters, an indication that he's back to peak form.

Cause for concern: That being said, Pinehurst No. 2 will present a much different challenge than Valhalla did, and not to mention, Winged Foot in 2020.

7. Jon Rahm (14/1) (WD with foot infection)

2153429460

Ross Kinnaird

Reason to pick: Another past U.S. Open champ, Rahm has a variety of short-game shots that should give him a great chance of winning this championship for a second time.

Cause for concern: Then again, he hasn't been sharp in the year's first two majors, finishing T-45 at the Masters and missing the cut at the PGA.

8. Jason Day (50/1)

/content/dam/images/golfdigest/fullset/2024/4/jason-day-masters-2024-pants-thursday.jpg

J.D. Cuban

Reason to pick: Doesn't it feel like this guy has at least one more major moment in him? And if so, wouldn't it make sense that it comes at a place like Pinehurst where he has pretty good vibes (T-4 in 2014)?

Cause for concern: After finishing in the top 10 in five of his first six U.S. Opens, the Aussie hasn't finished in the top 20 since.

9. Wyndham Clark (28/1)

1500160592

Ezra Shaw

Reason to pick: We couldn't leave the defending U.S. Open champ off the list and a guy who has won more big tournaments in the past 13 months than anyone not named Scottie Scheffler.

Cause for concern: However, this course doesn't seem to be as well-suited for him, and he's missed the cut in the year's first two majors.

10. Rory McIlroy (9/1)

2153068582

Michael Reaves

Reason to pick: He's won two of his past three starts on the PGA Tour.

Cause for concern: The one he didn't win was a PGA Championship that seemed tailor-made for him as his major drought nearly reaches a decade.

11. Viktor Hovland (16/1)

1555911118

JARED C TILTON

Reason to pick: The reigning FedEx Cup champ seems back in great form after reuniting with coach Joe Mayo ahead of a PGA Championship, where he was in contention until the 72nd hole.

Cause for concern: Hovland's chipping has always been the main concern, and it's even more so at a place like Pinehurst.

12. Jordan Spieth (35/1)

2151326603

Aric Becker/ISI Photos

Reason to pick: He's a short-game magician and this might be the major championship venue that rewards that most. He also finished T-17 at the 2014 U.S. Open here when he was just 20.

Cause for concern: Otherwise, there's not much reason to back him based on recent form.

13. Ludvig Aberg (16/1)

/content/dam/images/golfdigest/fullset/2024/4/ludvig-aberg-masters-2024-saturday.jpg

J.D. Cuban

Reason to pick: He's played in two career majors and he already has a runner-up in one of them. He also advanced to the second round of match play at the 2019 U.S. Amateur at Pinehurst.

Cause for concern: Now the other major start was a MC at the PGA a week after a WD at the Wells Fargo with a knee injury, but he's young! He'll bounce back.