Pine Trees Golf Course

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PICKS FOR THE THIRD MAJOR OF THE SEASON

We arrive at another major with a familiar story. The dominant Scottie Scheffler is a short favorite. Despite increased competition taking on the world number one, he’s still +300 and it’s probably fair. He’s now yet to finish outside the top 10 in 11 straight events, winning five of them.

It’s difficult to make any case against him this week as Pinehurst is a course that should suit well. Our top tip is most certainly to avoid the outright betting and simply enjoy Scheffler’s brilliance. We are instead in the top finishing position markets for our four bets.

TOP 10 FINISH: KEEGAN BRADLEY (+600, DraftKings)

Martin Kaymer blew the competition away 10 years ago when the U.S. Open was last staged at Pinehurst, but a host of the names in behind then are here again and hold strong chances this week. Keegan Bradley is one of them.

T4 in 2014, Bradley had three excellent rounds (and one not so good) to finish with Jason Day, Dustin Johnson and Brooks Koepka. They’ve all won a major since, while Bradley hasn’t lived up to the hype that came with his 2011 PGA success. He has picked up victories in the past two seasons though and is unlucky not to have claimed another this year. The revival is there.

Bradley looked excellent until the weekend at the Memorial, as he did two weeks ago when finishing T2 in the Charles Schwab Challenge. That wasn’t his only T2 this season either.

His driving has been the catalyst to these results, T12 on tour and if he can consistently put himself in position this week to attack these unique greens, he’ll fare well. Top 10 is well within his grasp.

TOP 10 FINISH: ALEX NOREN (+700, DraftKings)

After a number of up and down years, Noren has become Mr Consistent in 2024. One missed cut in 14 events and after finishing middle of pack through January and February, the Swede elevated his game to log eight finishes straight inside the top 25.

These excellent results are in no small part to his incredible par 4 scoring. Noren is a huge -28 on tour for par 4 scoring, one bettered by Schauffele and Scheffler. Pinehurst offers 12 par 4 holes a round, and is very much where the leading players will make their mark this week.

His impressive stats are not isolated simply to par 4s however, on tour this season he’s; 4th in Strokes Gained, 5th in GIR%, 1st in Scrambling and brings a reasonable 50th in Driving Accuracy to consistently put him in position.

After a T12 at the PGA Championship last month, we like Noren to build on this and at least go two places better on a more suitable course.

TOP 5 FINISH: SAHITH THEEGALA (+900, DraftKings)

The presence of Scheffler, and the other elites around him, makes it feel somewhat impossible that Theegala could get his first major this season, but he’ll be close.

His all-round stats are excellent, among the best, and only around the greens has he had various issues, but he can lean on his fantastic approach play to avoid bringing scrambling into calculations as much as possible.

T12 at the PGA Championship, T9 at the Players, T6 at the Arnold Palmer and T12 last week at the Memorial – Theegala reserves his best this season for when the competition is at its hardest.

TOP 20 FINISH: HARRY HIGGS (+900, DraftKings)

Higgs is one of the most in-form players arriving at Pinehurst this week. Prior to last week’s understandable missed cut, the 32-year-old won back-to-back on the Korn Ferry Tour.

This is obviously a huge jump in standard, but Higgs will feel every right to be part of this field, as he clearly has done on previous major starts. In three majors, Higgs has finished T4-T14-MC.

An excellent putter, Higgs should enjoy the challenge presented by the greens of Pinehurst and make ground on the competition.

Whilst he won’t be threatening the leaders, +900 is good value odds for the American to keep his form going strong and land a top 20 in his national tournament.

All odds as of Tuesday June 11.

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