The 122nd U.S. Open is set for June 16-19, and this week’s major golf tournament will be the first U.S. Open at The Country Club since 1988. The Brookline course also was the site of the famous 1999 Ryder Cup, where Tiger Woods chipped-in on his way to a singles match victory to bring roars from the crowd in the “Battle at Brookline.”
Now more than 20 years later, Tiger Woods announced last week he will not play in the 2022 U.S. Open, but plans to return to St. Andrews for the British Open in July.
Six-time U.S. Open runner-up Phil Mickelson will play this week at The Country Club, along with 13 other pro golfers who committed to the new LIV event in London last week.
The Country Club’s U.S. Open history
The exclusive The Country Club looks to be a physically taxing test over four days, particularly having to power through the U.S. Open’s notoriously thick rough. In the last U.S. Open held at The Country Club, Curtis Strange won in a 18-hole playoff over Nick Faldo in 1988. Strange’s final score through four rounds was 6-under par 278 when the course played to a par 71 and 7,010 yards. The prize pool then was $1 million.
In the 1963 U.S. Open at Brookline, Julius Boros won with a score of 9-over par, 293. He too had to go extra holes and won a three-man playoff that included Arnold Palmer.
For the 2022 U.S. Open, the Championship Course will be altered from the course used in prior championships. The par-70 layout will play approximately 7,254 yards. The course yardage changes each round because of course setup and conditions. The par 4 4th hole of the main course is removed and the par 3 12th hole of the main course added.
A month ago, the rough was 3 1/2 inches in many places off the fairways. For the U.S. Open this week, it will be 5 1/2 inches thick, including around the greens. And the word “fescue” will be repeated often during U.S. Open broadcasts. In the roughest spots, the fescue will be dramatic, as tall as 3 feet. Good luck taking a hack from the heavy fescue, and mix of ryegrass and poa annua.
The prize pool is to be announced, but it will increase from last year’s $12.5 million and $2.25 million payout to 2021 U.S. Open champion Jon Rahm.
From amateurs at The Country Club to pros in the U.S. Open at Brookline
The 2013 U.S. Amateur was held at The Country Club and won by current PGA Tour pro Matt Fitzpatrick. Look at the other amateur’s who competed that year at Brookline, and you’ll see 10 other current PGA pros who are among the best in the world. A total of 10 of the 11 are currently in the top 35 of the Official World Golf Rankings.
- Scottie Scheffler
- Justin Thomas
- Xander Schauffele
- Will Zalatoris
- Matt Fitzpatrick
- Bryson DeChambeau
- Max Homa
- Cameron Young
- Corey Conners
- Talor Gooch
- Aaron Wise
Max Homa’s memory of the course nearly 10 years later?
“I remember the golf course was very difficult, like old-school, tree-lined, and kind of quirky,” Homa said. “It’s a monster.”
The U.S. Open field and odds
While Massachusetts does not have legal sports betting, the state took a step toward legal sports betting Thursday when lawmakers met in conference committee for the first time to discuss differences in dueling legalization bills.
Fans and gamblers like to follow their favorite golfers and odds to win. Boston-based DraftKings Sportsbook has had odds to win the U.S. Open available for many months. The odds are always subject to change, but a week ahead of the U.S. Open at The Country Club, here are the leading favorites in the field of 156 golfers:
- +1100 – Scottie Scheffler
- +1200 – Jon Rahm, Justin Thomas
- +1400 – Rory McIlroy, Collin Morikawa
- +1800 – Dustin Johnson, Cameron Smith, Xander Schauffele
- +2000 – Brooks Koepka
- +2200 – Patrick Cantlay, Jordan Spieth
- +2500 – Viktor Hovland, Will Zalatoris
- +3000 – Matthew Fitzpatrick
- +3500 – Shane Lowry, Bryson DeChambeau, Hideki Matsuyama, Tony Finau, Sam Burns
- +4000 – Cameron Young, Joaquinn Niemann, Louis Oosthuizen, Daniel Berger, Tyrrell Hatton
- +5000 – Webb Simpson, Billy Horschel, Mito Pereira, Tommy Fleetwood
Some New England golfers to watch with interest include pros Keegan Bradley (+10000) and Scott Stallings (+15000), and qualifiers Michael Thorbjornsen, Fran Quinn and Caleb Manuel.