US Open

Steve Palmer's US Open predictions & free golf betting tips: Scottie Scheffler set to continue his dominance of the golfing world

Free golf tips, best bets and predictions for the US Open, plus get up to £50 in free bets with AK BETS if your player misses the cut

When to bet on the US Open

By 11.45am UK and Ireland time on Thursday

Bet on the US Open with AK BETS and claim up to £50 in free bets if your player misses the cut. 

Click here to grab that offer or read on for further instructions.

Where can I watch the US Open

Live on Sky Sports Main Event and Golf from 12.30pm on Thursday

Steve Palmer's US Open predictions

Scottie Scheffler
8pts 7-2 AK Bets

Hideki Matsuyama
3pts each-way 45-1 bet365, Hills

Sahith Theegala
2pts each-way 50-1 bet365, BoyleSports, Hills

Nick Dunlap
1pt each-way 175-1 bet365, BoyleSports

New AK BETS customers can claim up to £50 in free bets if their player misses the cut in the US Open

Steve Palmer's US Open preview

The third Major of the season is being staged at an iconic venue and bookmakers and punters alike have been left wondering who can stop the world number one succeeding at Pinehurst? Memorial glory in Ohio on Sunday sustained Scottie Scheffler's dominance of the sport.

There is not much of a premium on lusty driving at Pinehurst – the fairways are fast-running and the targets off the tee are relatively generous for a US Open – so Rory McIlroy is difficult to fancy. Disciplined, percentage golf is required – especially distance control on approach to bouncy greens – and McIlroy may be found wanting.

Xander Schauffele's post-US PGA celebrations were hearty – he made visits and phone calls to everyone who helped him turn from a small boy to a Major champion – and his approach-play was ragged on his return to action at Muirfield Village last week. Lady Luck was on his side and he was carrying a sizzling putter, but the Valhalla victor will need to tighten up his irons for Pinehurst.

Viktor Hovland's weekend capitulation in the Memorial does not bode well for the US Open, while Ludvig Aberg continues to be troubled by a knee strain. The two weakest aspects of Bryson DeChambeau's game – iron-play and chipping – are exposed at Pinehurst. And he was disappointing in LIV Golf Houston last week.

Steve Palmer's top tip

Scottie Scheffler 7-2

Tom Watson won five PGA Tour events prior to the 1980 US Open. Nobody had repeated that feat since – not even Tiger Woods – until Scottie Scheffler won the Memorial Tournament on Sunday. Master Scheffler is putting together a truly historic season.

With a bit of fortune here and there, Scheffler could have won ten of his last 11 tournaments, such is the consistently magnificent standard of ball-striking he has been producing. The Pebble Beach Pro-Am was cancelled with a round to go when he was stalking the leaders, he was enduring putting nightmares when letting the Phoenix Open slip, he lost by a shot in the Houston Open, endured all manner of challenges in the US PGA, then was second at Colonial.

This is already one of the best PGA Tour seasons anyone has ever conjured, but it could have been so much better. The idea that the winning is over for Scheffler this year seems fanciful – further silverware appears almost inevitable – and this US Open looks at his mercy.

Scheffler has won five of his last eight tournaments and the gap between him and McIlroy in total world ranking points is the same as the gap between McIlroy and world number 613 Anthony Quayle. Scheffler has taken a Tiger-like stranglehold on world-number-one status.

Scheffler gained 13 shots on approach at Memorial, topping the greens in regulation statistics at a tough track with firm dancefloors, showcasing the best temperament in sport and winning his first title as a father. He has moved to a similarly challenging test looking to build on US Open form figures of 7-2-3.

Scheffler won the Heritage in South Carolina in April and can triumph in North Carolina on Sunday. He is the best iron-player in the game – his distance control is incredible – and he is a top-class scrambler. Scheffler loves hitting low bump and runs around the greens, which should be a hugely effective tactic at Pinehurst.

Par fours are the meat of Pinehurst – 12 of the 18 holes – and Scheffler is so far clear of his rivals in par-four performance. He is 79 under par for PGA Tour par-fours this season, with Schauffele second in the list at 40 under. The Tour average is eight over par.

An over-zealous traffic cop at Valhalla unsettled Scheffler in the USPGA – as did having his caddie Ted Scott absent for round three – but golf's top dog still managed to finish eighth. The Masters champion can win a third Major title this week in what should be a fair fight. The weather forecast provides no hint of a draw bias and the best player in the tournament can be backed with confidence.

Next best bet

Hideki Matsuyama 45-1

Japanese ace Hideki Matsuyama comes with no fitness guarantees – his back and neck can give him jip – but the 2021 Masters champion is well worth risking for a hugely suitable assignment this week.

Matsuyama has had a light schedule – Masters, US PGA, Memorial – to keep his body fresh. And the signs at Muirfield Village last week were greatly encouraging. He was one of few in the field who managed an under-par round on Sunday – a 70 was enough for eighth place.

Only two players in the Memorial field outscored Matsuyama on Sunday. His approach-play and scrambling was typically excellent all week. The tight Pinehurst lies will be of no concern for a 32-year-old with a superb Majors record.

Matsuyama can boast eight top-20s in the Masters, six top-20s in the US Open and he has twice finished in the top five in the US PGA. He was tenth on his US Open debut in 2013, 35th at Pinehurst in 2014, second in the 2017 US Open and fourth in 2022.

A share of 13th place in January at Torrey Pines – a US Open venue – hinted that this could be a strong campaign for Matsuyama. He followed up with a final-round 62 to win the Genesis Invitational by three shots in February, then was 12th at Bay Hill, sixth at Sawgrass and seventh in the Texas Open.

Other selections

Sahith Theegala 50-1
Nick Dunlap 175-1

Punters should be concentrating on players who are typically strong on approach and in possession of a razor-sharp short-game. Sahith Theegala fits the bill and has matured into a potential Major champion.

Theegala enjoyed a tremendous amateur career, then made his PGA Tour breakthrough at the end of last year in the Fortinet Championship. He has quickly shown an ability to handle Major venues, finishing ninth on his Masters debut last year, then 27th in the US Open.

Theegala, ninth in the Players Championship in March, was 12th in the US PGA a month ago, growing ever more comfortable in elite company. He has twice finished second in Signature events this year – The Sentry and the Heritage – and 12th place at Muirfield Village on Sunday was a greatly encouraging warm-up spin for Pinehurst.

Theegala's driving was excellent in the Memorial, his approach-play was top-class and he was solid around the greens, but he carried an uncharacteristically cold putter. If he can marry last week's ball-striking with a more typical putting performance this week, expect this rising star to contend.

Complete a four-pronged attack with Nick Dunlap, who has had some success at Pinehurst in the past, winning last year's North and South Amateur at the track. He also won the 2021 US Junior Amateur at the Country Club of North Carolina, which is just down the road from this week's venue.

Dunlap, a superstar amateur who won the US Amateur last year, has returned to Pinehurst this week as a PGA Tour champion. He became the first amateur to win on the PGA Tour since Phil Mickelson when topping the leaderboard at The American Express in January, carding a spectacular third-round 60.

Dunlap turned pro soon after lifting the AmEx trophy – it was a sudden leap from college golf to full-time pro-tour golf – and he understandably took time to settle. Recent outings, though, have been eyecatching. He was 11th in the Houston Open at the end of March, 24th in the Wells Fargo Championship and 12th last week in the Memorial, where his approach-play and putting was stellar. He has got the power to cut Pinehurst down to size and looks a lively outsider for the title.

Course guide for the US Open

  • Course Pinehurst Resort & Country Club (Course No. 2), Pinehurst, North Carolina
  • Prize money $20m ($4m to the winner)
  • Length 7,548 yards
  • Par 70 – two par-fives; 12 par-fours; four par-threes
  • Field 156 The cut The top 60 and ties qualify for round three
  • Highest-ranked players in field (world ranking in brackets) Scottie Scheffler (1), Xander Schauffele (2), Rory McIlroy (3), Wyndham Clark (4), Viktor Hovland (5)
  • Course records - 72 holes 271 Martin Kaymer (2014) 18 holes 65 Martin Kaymer (2014)
  • Course winner taking part Martin Kaymer
  • Playoff format Two-hole aggregate playoff, with sudden-death from there if tied
  • When to bet By 11.45am UK and Ireland time on Thursday
  • When to watch Live on Sky Sports Main Event and Golf from 12.30pm on Thursday
  • Time difference North Carolina is five hours behind the UK and Ireland
  • Last week – Memorial Tournament 1 S Scheffler (15-4), 2 C Morikawa (14-1), 3 A Hadwin (175-1), 4 C Bezuidenhout (90-1), T5 M Fitzpatrick (55-1), L Aberg (22-1), S Straka (66-1), T8 H Matsuyama (45-1), S Im (55-1), T Finau (55-1), X Schauffele (9-1); LIV Golf Houston 1 C Ortiz (35-1), 2 A Meronk (30-1), T3 D Puig (80-1), P Reed (30-1), 5 S Garcia (28-1)
  • Course type Parkland
  • Course overview Pinehurst No. 2, designed by Donald Ross, is an iconic venue which has hosted three previous US Opens. Payne Stewart won the 1999 edition with a one-under-par total just four months before dying in a plane crash. Walton Heath qualifier Michael Campbell shocked the world by winning the 2005 US Open at level par in 2005, leaving Tiger Woods as runner-up. The last US Open at Pinehurst became a procession – Martin Kaymer won by eight shots in 2014 after going nine under par for 72 holes. The difficulty of Pinehurst No. 2 comes from the typically firm, fast-running terrain and the heavily domed greens which repel approaches. Hardpan sand and native scrub borders the fairways. The US Amateur Championship in 2008 and 2019 provides some extra course form for punters to study
  • Story of last year Wyndham Clark became a Major champion, repelling Rory McIlroy and others to triumph at Los Angeles Country Club
  • Weather forecast Sunny, hot and calm throughout, with a small thunderstorm threat for Saturday afternoon. Temperatures ranging from 20C to 33C
  • Type of player suited to the challenge Accurate iron-play and distance management on approach is the key to success at Pinehurst No. 2, while razor-sharp scrambling is required for the inevitably missed greens
  • Key attribute Accuracy

Steve Palmer's US Open key stat

Seven of the last eight US Open winners had never won a Major before

Claim up to £50 in free bets with AK BETS if your player misses the cut in the US Open

Place your first bet on a golf 'Tournament Winner' market and get 50 per cent of your initial stake back as a free bet up to £50 if your player misses the cut (£100 WIN or £50 EW).

New customers can follow these simple steps to take advantage of this exclusive AK BETS golf betting offer.

  1. Head over to AK BETS through this link
  2. Sign up for a new account using promo code SWEETSPOT50
  3. Place a bet of up to £100 on a golf 'Tournament Winner' market.
  4. AK BETS will credit 50 per cent of your stake as a free bet up to £50 if your player misses the cut

AK BETS golf betting sign-up offer: terms and conditions

It's worth taking a few minutes to read through the terms and conditions associated with the new golf betting sign-up offer before signing up. Doing so will help you get a better grasp of this AK BETS free bets offer and what's expected of you as a new customer.

  • Applies if your first bet is placed on a golf Tournament Winner market (win or each-way)
  • AK BETS will credit 50% of your stake as a free bet up to £50 IF YOUR PLAYER MISSES THE CUT. 
  • Applies to new customers who sign up to AK BETS using the promo code SWEETSPOT50
  • May not be used in conjunction with any other AK BETS promotion or offer. 
  • Free Bet can be used at any price. 
  • Free Bet will be credited within 24 hours of settlement of Qualifying Bet and will expire after 7 days. 
  • Free Bet stake is not returned with any winnings. Free Bets cannot be exchanged for cash. 
  • Free Bet will not be granted if the Qualifying Bet has been Cashed Out or Voided. 
  • This promo code can be used only once per household / IP address. 
  • In the event of a customer opening more than one account to claim multiple offers AK BETS reserves the right to suspend/close duplicate accounts and void any Free Bets placed. 
  • AK BETS reserves the right to withdraw or refuse any Free Bet promotion at any point.
  • Visit AK BETS for additional T&Cs
  • Gamble responsibly
  • 18+. For more info visit

Click for free bets and betting offers from the Racing Post

Commercial notice: This article contains affiliate links. Offers are handpicked and come from operators our experts have first-hand experience of. Opening an account via one of these links will earn revenue for the Racing Post, which will be used to continue producing our award-winning coverage of horseracing and sports betting.

Racing Post Sport

Published on inUS Open

Last updated