US Open

US Open 2023 Each-Way Tips: 16/1 Hovland ready for first Major victory

Norway's Viktor Hovland
Viktor Hovland is Dave's headline pick to land another trophy

The US Open heads to California this year and Dave Tindall has four bets for this week's action at Los Angeles Country Club...

  • 16/117.00 Viktor Hovland can gain his first Major win

  • 33/134.00 Justin Rose arrives in excellent form

  • 40/141.00 2020 US Open winner Bryson DeChambeau is fresh

  • 80/181.00 Denny McCarthy has a red-hot putter


The US Open heads way out west this year so UK viewers will have to get used to some late nights if they want to see the world's best slugging it out in California.

Yes, we're on Pacific Time which means an eight-hour time difference and play running into the early hours.

Hopefully the lack of sleep will be worth it as the vast majority of us get a first glimpse of The Los Angeles Country Club - a par 70 measuring 7,423 yards.

An initial thought is that it seems fairly long but firm, fast conditions and a hot weather forecast suggest shorter players can thrive too.

The course was designed by George Thomas, the same architect responsible for LA's regular PGA Tour stop at Riviera. But presuming that form from the Genesis Invitational will provide great clues could be flawed even though both are parkland tracks just seven miles apart.

Los Angeles Country Club, very unusually for this part of the United States, has Bermuda rough in the fairways and Bentgrass greens, a contrast to the Kikuya and Poa Annua grass types at Riviera.

This week's course also has more space off the tee and a rare figuration for a Majors track of five par 3s and three par 5s.

It'll all be brand new to most of the pros although Scottie Scheffler (won one, lost one) and Collin Morikawa (won all three matches) played there in the 2017 Walker Cup.

Max Homa, who holds the course record of 61 (established in a Pac-12 event in 2013), came up with some interesting quotes at Riviera earlier this year, saying "LACC is a second shot golf course" and "you could play the ball along the ground a lot at LACC if you wanted to".

Adam Scott, another with course experience, says: "Iron control is going to be at a premium."

Defending US Open champion Matt Fitzpatrick also played there a few months ago. "I like the look of it. It's very rugged It's only February and it's already firm and fast, so come June it'll be even firmer, even faster which will be exciting.

"The big thing at LACC is around the greens. It looks like you can't miss them. I think it's going to be really difficult to make up and downs. It definitely strikes me as a US Open style course. You've got to be really strong tee to green."

Viktor Hovland @ 16/117.00

Go through the quotes at the recent Memorial Tournament and the words "firm" and "fast" crop up numerous times.

Given the similarity in conditions and proximity of that event (two weeks ago), it makes plenty of sense this week to pay particular attention to results at Muirfield Village.

The winner was Viktor Hovland and I simply have to make him the headline bet this week.

I'm more and more convinced that once a Majors season is up and running, the same cast list keep appearing on the leaderboard.

Hovland is one of the leading actors so far. He finished seventh at the US Masters after sitting first, fourth and third respectively after the first three rounds while his round positions in the US PGA were sixth, first, second and second.

To add some extra context, the Norwegian had never previously finished better than 21st in the US Masters or beaten 30th at the US PGA.

Also tied fourth in last summer's Open, Hovland's last three Major finishes now read 4-7-2. It's becoming a given to see his name up there in contention.

With the 25-year-old in such great form, it's almost a case of asking if there are any reasons not to back him.

One last season would have been that, somewhat extraordinarily, he ranked 191st out of 193rd in Around The Green. There were times when he was last - and by some distance.

But this year he's climbed to 135th and, importantly, his short game has been pretty strong in Majors.

Hovland was ninth for SG: Around The Green in the US PGA and also in positive figures when 39th ATG at Augusta. Go back to last year and he ranked 4th Around The Green at St Andrews.

Overall, Hovland has gained strokes on the field in the ATG category in each of his last four Majors so add that to all his obvious other strengths and it's easy to see why he's flourishing at the highest level.

SG: Approach looks set to be a big stat this week and he topped that category in the US PGA, picking up a whopping 10.661 strokes on the field. On the season-long stats he's 10th while also 7th Off The Tee and 11th Tee To Green.

With Bermuda grass in play from tee to green here, Hovland's exceptional Florida form could also prove relevant. From his last nine starts in the Sunshine State he has two seconds, two thirds (including this year's Players Championship) and two further top 10s.

As noted, nearby Riviera is a different track but two top fives there in his last three visits along with a second place at Torrey Pines (a former US Open venue) add 'thriving in California' to the positive ledger.

And finally, back in 2021/2022, Hovland won three times in five starts (Mayakoba, Hero World Challenge and Dubai Desert Classic) so when he's hot, he's hot.

Yep, this looks to be Viktor's time.

Back Viktor Hovland each way (8 places) @ 16/117.00

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Justin Rose @ 33/134.00

Can Justin Rose win a second US Open 10 years on from his first?

Hale Irwin won his first in 1974 and his third in 1990 while the late Payne Stewart triumphed in 1991 and 1999 so it's possible to go a long time between drinks.

Rose has had a few lean years on Tour since his 2013 win at Merion but he's always been some sort of presence in the Majors.

Starting from 2015, the Englishman boasts 12 top 10s at this level and only once did he complete a Majors campaign without a top 10. That was in 2022 when he played in three and managed a best of 13th.

So far this season he's finished 16th at Augusta National and ninth in the US PGA. Once again he's showing his ability to get it right in these most important of weeks.

Rose heads into this US Open showing a real renaissance. Since winning February's Pebble Beach Pro-Am, he's posted those two good Major finishes along with sixth at The Players, 25th at Hilton Head, 12th at Colonial and 8th at last week's Canadian Open.

And after spraying it off the tee at the US PGA, he's finished in the top 10 for Driving Accuracy at both Colonial and the Canadian Open.

Rose was 1st for SG: Approach at Colonial (also 12th in Canada) while he has some strong putting stats in this year's two Majors: 1st for SG: Putting in the US Masters (6.060) and 13th at the US PGA (4.445).

Par 3s (there are five here): he's 19th in that category (as is Hovland).

Reading around, a number of courses have been mentioned as similar in some sort of nature to Los Angeles Country Club. So far I've seen Augusta, Southern Hills and Shinnecock.

Replay the videos of those tournaments and Rose pops up like a Forrest Gump type figure in all of them: two-time runner-up at Augusta, 12th and 13th at Southern Hills, 10th at Shinnecock.

Looking at location form, his last two PGA Tour wins have come in California (2019 Farmers Insurance Open and 2023 Pebble Beach Pro-Am) while in two of the last three Majors held there he's finished third (2019 US Open at Pebble) and ninth (2020 PGA at Harding Park).

In Canada, he was asked the inevitable questions about LIV and it was interesting to note that he went down the retirement home/one last payday angle. In short, Rose wasn't ready to dial things down.

"Obviously I was kind of in that age category where you could see that I was maybe a good candidate to sort of think about going. But I didn't, I wasn't ready for anything like that.

"I still believe in myself and like I said I still feel like I've got that Indian summer of my career to look forward to. So I still feel hungry. I still love the game. I still think I can get better."

Rose, the current World No.25 having ended 2022 in 76th, is definitely worth an each-way bet at.

Back Justin Rose each way (10 places) @ 33/1

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Bryson DeChambeau @ 40/141.00

It's hard to assess where the LIV dynamic is following the deal with the PGA Tour.

Previously, it was easy to think the LIV players had extra motivation when getting to share the stage again with the majority of the world's best.

That could have explained the Masters outcome which saw Brooks Koepka, Phil Mickelson and Patrick Reed make the top four and then the US PGA result when Koepka triumphed and Bryson DeChambeau took tied fourth.

But perhaps that idea of increased motivation and "we'll show you" was a red herring. Maybe the main dynamic was much simpler: that LIV players were fresher.

If the freshness factor is at play then surely it'll be on display again - and perhaps even more so given that the PGA stars have been playing lots of designated events as well as this being the third Major in as many months.

Koepka is now joint-second favourite with Jon Rahm after regaining his mantle as the modern-day Majors king but I'm going to head further down the betting and back Bryson DeChambeau.

While many of us throw cash at Patrick Cantlay, Max Homa and Sam Burns in these events and mostly get nothing back, DeChambeau keeps delivering.

He was fourth at the 2020 US PGA, won the 2020 US Open at Winged Foot by six shots, was eighth in last summer's Open and fourth again at this year's US PGA.

Checking his most recent interview - opening line: " Let's welcome the Crushers to the press center" - DeChambeau picked up on the idea of fatigue.

Asked about what he liked/disliked about 54 holes versus 72, he responded with one word: "rest". Elaborating, DeChambeau added: "I love rest. It's so nice being able to go in fresh to another Major or get another week off to work with your coach or get your body healthy or spend time with family."

Healthy again thanks to a new diet, DeChambeau insists the huge hitting power is still there - "yeah, I had 200 mile-an-hour ball speed yesterday" - and after fifth and ninth in LIV events either side of his top four in the US PGA, the results are coming.

Koepka won the US PGA and DeChambeau made a special point of congratulating the man who was once billed as his arch rival. Perhaps we'll see the reverse here.

I fancy the bigger price so will take the 40/141.00 (8 places) on DeChambeau doing a Retief Goosen and winning a second US Open in the space of four years.

Back Bryson DeChambeau each way (8 places) @ 40/141.00

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Denny McCarthy @ 80/181.00

The last time we saw Denny McCarthy, he was trying to hold it together after being interviewed following his playoff loss to Viktor Hovland at Memorial.

Speaking at Jack's event, an emotional McCarthy said: "I'm heartbroken right now. It really sucks. I've put myself in a spot with a chance to win a number of times and it hasn't happened yet. But just got to keep working really hard. I know a lot of good golf is very close by."

Wisely, he took last week off so hopefully he's been able to process his week at Muirfield Village and see the big list of positives.

One extra nugget from his post-Memorial press conference came when asked if he was playing this week at LACC. McCarthy revealed: "I've played there four or five times, so I have a good feel for the course and I'm excited for it.

"I like hard golf courses. I like championship golf. I'm a very fierce competitor, so when the lights are the brightest and everyone's watching these elevated events and Major golf championships, I love that.

"So with a couple Majors around the corner, another elevated event coming up, I'm excited about where my game is and looking forward to having another opportunity to win a tournament."

McCarthy was seventh in last year's US Open at Southern Hills and has made the cut in six of the seven Majors he's contested.

His putter was on fire at Memorial but, with him, there's every reason it will be again this week given how beautifully he rolls his ball on the greens.

Some numbers: he gained 11.279 strokes with the putter at Muirfield Village while he was also ranked 1st for SG: Putting three starts earlier when eighth at the Wells Fargo Championship - another event that is a good pointer to Major success.

With five top 25s in in his last six starts in California, including a fourth and a sixth, McCarthy enjoys the Golden State while 13th (Players) and 19th (Valspar) were recent examples of him playing well in Bermuda conditions. He was 23rd and 9th for SG: Tee To Green respectively.

Of the bigger prices, he's the one I like best although nods to Gary Woodland, Sepp Straka and Mito Pereira,

Finally, Patrick Cantlay is my 10-year-trends pick so I'm happy to have him onside there while if Scottie Scheffler putts well he'll be incredibly hard to stop.

Rory? I now have a feeling he'll next win a Major (another Open probably) in his 40s. For now, I'm happy to leave him at short prices.

Back Denny McCarthy each way (10 places) @ 80/1

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Recommended bets

Staked: £950
Returned: £365.16
P/L: -£584.84

Previous:
2021/2022 P/L: -£315.35
2020/2021 P/L: +£1475.87
2019/2020 P/L: +£13.83
2018/2019 P/L: -£338.25
2017/2018 P/L: +£362.84
2016/2017 P/L: +£1179.89

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