Pinehurst Breakdown for U.S. Open

By Chris Havlicek

Updated 6/11/24 8:31pm ET

America’s golf championship returns to the Sandhills of North Carolina for the U.S. Open this weekend. The 124th U.S. Open at the historic Pinehurst No. 2 course will be contested over the Donald Ross design and provide a major challenge to the world’s top golfers.

World No. 1 Scottie Scheffler — fresh off a win at the Memorial Tournament — is the overwhelming betting favorite to hoist the hardware in North Carolina, sitting at +280. In majors this season, Scheffler donned his second green jacket at the Masters, and the only thing that stopped him at the PGA Championship was a bizarre arrest.

Scheffler is followed by Xander Schauffele +1000, Rory McIlroy +1100 and Bryson DeChambeau +2000. Wyndham Clark, the defending U.S. Open champion, is among the potential sleepers at +7500.

Of note, three-time U.S. Open champ Tiger Woods will be in the field this week. Woods’ last U.S. Open start came in 2020, when he missed the cut at Winged Foot. Woods has gone 11 consecutive rounds in the majors without breaking par.


What: The US Open

Where: Pinehurst, North Carolina

When: Thursday-Sunday, June 13 – June 16

Purse: $20 Million, $3.9 Million (Winner)

Defending Champion: Wyndham Clark

The Field:

The U.S. Open is the most accessible major in all of golf. So long as you have a handicap index of .4 or lower (or are a professional), you can enter to play in our national championship.

The USGA received over 10,000 entries for this year’s U.S. Open — and just 156 men will tee it up in the Cradle of American Golf. To get to Pinehurst, every member of the field had to earn their way in, whether through qualifying or exemptions for past play.

PGA Tour winners, major champions and future Hall-of-Famers are featured in this year’s field. There are also some major championship rookies, journeymen and long-shot dreamers who will compete.

The Course:

Pinehurst No. 2 is a golf course worthy of the nation’s championship. The course will have a scorecard yardage of 7,550 yards, though it will likely play shorter because of the firm conditions. The venue plays as a traditional par 70 (two par 5s and four par 3s). Four par 4s measure over 500 yards and will test players’ ability to hit a solid mid-to-long iron this week.

The Donald Ross design, which sits among nine other courses at the Pinehurst resort, has stood the test of time and remains one of the premier courses in this country. It’s also one of few old-school golf courses big enough and difficult enough to challenge the best players in the world.

Pinehurst is known for two things: its “turtle-back” greens, which resemble upside-down salad bowls that force balls to run off the putting surface, and its wiry, unpredictable rough.  Both elements will be major factors this week in determining a winner.

Pinehurst No. 2 has hosted a PGA Championship, a Ryder Cup, the Tour Championship, three U.S. Amateurs, the U.S. Senior Open, the U.S. Women’s Open, and now its fourth men’s U.S. Open this week.

Top 10 Odds: (Courtesy of FanDuel):

Scottie Scheffler +280

Xander Schauffele +1000

Rory McIlroy +1100

Colin Morikawa +1600

Viktor Hovland +1800

Bryson DeChambeau +2000

Brooks Koepka +2000

Ludvig Aberg +2200

Jon Rahm +2800

Justin Thomas +4000

Keys To Victory:

Pinehurst tests all facets of the game but ultimately it’s a true test of tee-to-green brilliance that puts pressure on the driver and long irons.  Players who hit it straight off the tee and are particularly accurate with the long irons and wedges can score here.  The greens are exceptionally penal, so scrambling for par will be of the utmost importance.

Photo Courtesy: Shutterstock

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