Tuesday, June 13th, 2023
By Riley Magnuson
It has been four long months since the PGA Tour’s California swing back in January and February, but this weekend the boys head back to the Golden State for the 123rd running of the US Open. The redirect to the west coast is a welcome site for myself as the California portion of the golf calendar has been without a doubt one of my most profitable points on the golf calendar year in and year out.
I have been licking my chops for this weekend’s action for quite some time now, and have some Cali boys on my radar this week that could finally break through for their first win of the PGA season, despite their top tier status.
The Los Angeles Country Club will be the site for this year’s event and proves to be a challenge worthy of a US Open golf course. It’s going to take four full days of work for whoever ends up the victor this weekend, and with any luck, we’ve got the winner right in our hands. Best of luck and have some fun this weekend!
2022-23 PGA Record: 12-40 (+2.10u)
All-Time PGA Record: 31-72 (+18.97u)
Patrick Cantlay Outright Winner (+1700) (0.1 Units) Top 5 (+370) (0.25 Units) Top 10 (+170) (0.5 Units)
I know the Cantlay train does not exactly contain the most fireworks and excitement, or for that matter quick or timely golf play, but it does however come with a great deal of consistency and strong form. While he has not found the winners circle dating back to last August, he has circled the wagons in 2023 with four Top 5 finishes, and not a single missed cut since February 12th.
Without any victories, or any close efforts to a victory, the average fan might consider this a disappointing season to this point for Cantlay. Despite that knowledge, Cantlay ranks as the fifth best scoring average per round on the entire tour. Take away a couple of fourth round outliers off of his record, and you can really look at this in a different light. His fourth-round scoring average over 11 rounds this season is 69.55, good enough for 42nd on tour and his lowest average of the four rounds. Now remove a 78 and 75 from that average, and his round four scoring average drops to 68 on the dot.
If Cantlay can keep a high level of play through all four days, there really is not any reason why he cannot win this thing going away. A native of California, and an alum of UCLA, Cantlay should feel right at home this weekend.
Xander Schauffele Outright Winner (+1900) (0.1 Unit) Top 5 (+350) (0.25 Unit) Top 10 (+165) (0.5 Unit)
In a number of ways, I could write a very similar script to the one that I just typed out regarding Patrick Cantlay, not because they are pals, but because Schauffele has been just as consistent, if not more, yet has not managed to find the winners’ circle since July of last year where he won consecutive starts.
Frankly, Schauffele’s season has got to be one of the more impressive of 2023 without a victory that there is to offer. Before these last two runs finishing T24 and T18, he put together five straight Top 10 finishes from March-May. Not including a withdrawal in January of this year, Xander has not missed a cut in over an entire calendar year, dating back to last year’s Masters Tournament.
In addition to his consistency and strong form in the present tense, his US Open track record is worth mentioning. Of course, each edition of the US Open is at a different course, but Schauffele has risen to the occasion at this event, and frankly has to be a contender for best active US Open record without a victory. Over six attempts, he has five Top 10 finishes and three Top 5 finishes. His worst and only non Top 10 finish came last year with a T14 where he shot a 75 in round 3. Had he shot even par in that round, he would’ve elevated into the Top 5.
Another native of California, Xander actually is in search of his first victory on his home soil, despite strong success in his home state. I see no reason to think he can’t contend with the best this weekend.
Tom (Joo-Hyung) Kim Outright Winner (+13000) (0.1 Units) Top 5 +2200 (0.1 Units) Top 10 +850 (0.15 Units) Top 20 +330 (0.15 Units) Top 40 +100 (0.5 Units)
For a number of reasons, the early season darling finds his way onto our betslips for the first time this season. Along with a solid fit this weekend, I am very much buying low on Tom Kim hoping to hunt down some bounce back potential after missing the cut in consecutive tournaments for the first time in his PGA career.
After outright victories in August and October of 2022, the masses thought Tom Kim would be poised to be the easy favorite for breakout star of the 2022-23 campaign. While he has not been a scrub by any means, Kim has finished Top 20 only twice since February, causing him to fall out of the graces of the average golf fan.
I am looking to pick off some great progression potential on the heels of his biggest dip of the season, but also using last season’s surge from around this time last year as a potential omen that he could be in for some serious success again from June-August and beyond much like last year.
As long as you can get some plus money on a Top 40 finish, and craft your wagering on Kim in the same format as I did, a Top 40 finish at +100 would get you a break even for Kim alone.
Thank you all for following along and cheers to a fantastic weekend filled with strong and profitable wagers!