PGA Tour Picks: 123rd U.S. Open


Eighth-ranked Matt Fitzpatrick is defending champion in the United States Open this week, but there isn’t anything in that which will give him an advantage in the third PGA Tour major of the season.

That’s because our 123rd national championship is being played on the North Course at The Los Angeles Country Club, which very few players in the field saw until this week and is hosting the tournament for the first time.

And who knows how the United States Golf Association will set up the course come Thursday?

Two players who knows at least a little bit about LACC are top-ranked Scottie Scheffler and seventh-ranked Max Homa of Valencia and Cal

Scheffler posted a 1-1 record while helping the United States defeat Great Britain and Ireland, 19-7, when the Walker Cup was played on the course in 2017and Homa set a course record by shooting 9-unde4-par 61 on the North Course while winning the 2013 Pacific 12 Conference Championships.

However, fourth-ranked Patrick Cantlay of Los Alamitos probably knows the course better than any of the other pros from his days at nearby UCLA.

“I probably played it a few dozen times,” said Cantlay, who has won eight times on the PGA Tour, but is seeking his first major victory. “It’s a golf course I’ve played a lot. I played it in December and saw that the USGA’s going to set it up quite differently than how it plays week to week for the members.

“ … I’ve heard some guys say that they think it’s going to play really easy, but I don’t think it will.”

This will be the first time the U.S. Open is played in Los Angeles in 75 years, since Ben Hogan won the title at Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades in 1958, and it’s the first professional  event at LACC since the 1940 Los Angeles Open.

The Los Angeles Country Club was the site of the first Los Angeles Open won by Harry “Lighthorse” Cooper in  1926.

In addition, LACC hosted the 1930 U.S. Women’s Open and three more Los Angeles Opens in 1934, 1935 and 1936. Until now, the closest LACC came to hosting a U.S. Open came when club President Charles Older led a campaign to bring the 1986 Open to the North Course, but reportedly the LACC board voted it down, 5-4.

Fitzpatrick will attempt to become the eighth player to win the U.S Open in consecutive years, joining Willie Anderson (1903, 1904, 1905), John McDermott (1911, 1912), Bobby Jones (1929, 1930), Ralph Guldahl (1937, 1938), Ben Hogan (1950, 1951), Curtis Strange (1988, 1989) and Brooks Koepka (2017, 2018).

Other former U.S. Open champions in the field include second-ranked Jon Rahm of Spain, third-ranked Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland, Bryson DeChambeau, Gary Woodland, Brooks Koepka, Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth, Justin Rose of England and Martin Kaymer of Germany.  

The North Course was designed by greats George C. Thomas and William P. Bell, so no matter what the USGA decides to do this week, the golfers will be playing the 123rd Open Championship on a classic.


1. Scottie Scheffler, United States – Claimed his only major title in the 2020 Masters, but has other seven top-10 finishes in the Grand Slam events in the last four years including ties for second in the recent PGA Championship and the U.S. Open last year. The top-ranked Scheffler has two victories this season among 12 finishes in the top 10, including the last four in a row.

2. Jon Rahm, Spain – The reigning Masters champion also captured the 2021 U.S. Open and has posted 10 results in his career in the major championships, including two thirds and two fourths. The second-ranked Rahm has claimed four of his 11 PGA Tour victories this season, which he started with seven consecutive finishes in the top 10 and he leads the FedEx Cup points list.

3. Brooks Koepka, United States – Returned from LIV Golf this season to tie for second in the Masters and claim his fifth major title in the PGA Championship. Koepka won the U.S. Open back-to-back in 2017 and 2018, and captured the PGA back-to-back in 2018 and 2019. He also has 13 other top-10s in he majors. He claimed the LIV Golf Invitational Orlando in April.   

4. Viktor Hovland, Norway – The fifth-ranked Hovland claimed his fourth PGA Tour victory and eighth as a professional recently in the Memorial Tournament, in addition to tying for second in the PGA and tying for seventh in the Masters among eight top-10 finishes this season. He has finished in top 10 in the last three majo4s, including a tie for fourth in the Open Championship.

5. Rory McIlroy, Northern Ireland – Has captured four major championships, but none since the 2014 PGA Championship, although he has been so close with 28 top-10 finishes in the Grand Slam events in his career. The second-ranked McIlroy has won the CJ Cup in South Carolina and the Dubai Desert Classic this season and has 36 victories in his career, 23 on the PGA Tour.     

6. Patrick Cantlay, United States – The fourth-ranked Cantlay might have an advantage his week because he played LACC often while attending nearby UCLA. He is seeking his first major title, though he did win the 2021 Tour Championship and has four top-10 finishes in the Grand Slam events. This season, he has six top-10 finishes, including a tie for second in the Shriners.  

7. Max Homa, United States – It’s time for the seventh-ranked Homa to step up in the majors, as he has never finished in the top 10 in 15 starts in the Grand Slam events, with a tie for 13th in the 2022 PGA Championship. He captured the 2013 Pac-12 title for Cal at LACC thanks to a course-reco4d in round one. Won the Fortinet and Farmers this season, giving him six PGA Tour tiles.

8. Xander Schauffele, United States – The sixth-ranked Schauffele has yet to win a major, but captured the 2021 Olympic Gold Medal in Japan and won the 2017 Tour Championship. But he has played well in the majors, with 10 finishes in the top 10, including ties for second in the 2018 Open and 2019 Masters. Hasn’t won on PGA Tour this year, but has seven results in the top 10.   

9. Jordan Spieth, United States – Spieth has claimed three major championships, but none since the 2017 Open Championship, and he has finished in the top 10 on 11 occasions in the majors, including second four times. Ranked 10th in the world, he hasn’t won this season, losing in a playoff to Matt Fitzpatrick, and has six top-10 results, including a tie for fourth in the Masters.

10. Cameron Smith, Australia – After leaving the PGA Tour, Smith has returned and is still ranked ninth in the world, thanks to his only major victory in the 2022 Open Championship. That’s only one of his 10 pro victories, with six coming on the PGA Tour, including the 2022 Players. He won the Australian PGA in November and is coming off a tie for ninth in the PGA.

OTHER PLAYERS TO WATCH: Matt Fitzpatrick, England; Justin Thomas, United States; Rickie Fowler, United States; Tyrrell Hatton, England; Tony Finau, United States; Hideki Matsuyama, Japan; Justin Rose, England; Bryson DeChambeau, United States; Sungjae Im, South Korea; Jason Day, Australia; Tommy Fleetwood, England; Phil Mickelson, United States; Adam Scott, Australia; Collin Morikawa, United States.


1. Tom Kim, South Korea – The 20-year-old Kim has already won twice on the PGA Tour and aa times as a pro. He finished T-16 in Masters in April, was solo 23rd in U.S. Open last year.

2. Adrian Meronk, Poland – Has four professional victories after winning Australian Open and Italian Open on DP World Tour this year and closed with a 68 to salvage a T-40 in the PGA.

3. Justin Suh, United States – Winner of the 2022 Korn Ferry Tour Championship finished T-6 in the Players, T-5 in Honda and in the hunt before closing with 73-74 for a T-26 in the PGA.

4. Carlos Ortiz, Mexico – Six-time winner as a professional is coming back from LIV Golf, where he lost ou5 in a playoff at LIV Golf Houston and recorded five finishes in the top 20.  

5. Taylor Moore, United States – Claimed his third professional victory in the Valspar Championship and has recorded nine finishes in the top 2t on the PGA Tour this season.

For first-round tee times and scores once the tournament starts, visit

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