The first round of the year’s penultimate major is officially in the books and with the way the leaderboard is stacking up at The Country Club at Brookline, we are shaping up for an exciting weekend of action at the 2022 U.S. Open.
Canadian Adam Hadwin set the pace in the opening round, shooting a 4-under 66. But 2011 champion Rory McIlroy, who is coming off a win in Hadwin’s native country, is just one shot off the lead — and still atop the U.S. Open odds board — while major winners Dustin Johnson, Jon Rahm, and Collin Morikawa are just a few shots back.
Now, we turn our heads to Friday’s second round and give you a three-ball’s worth of best plays.
2022 U.S. Open Round 2 picks
Picks were made on 6/16/2022 at 11:05 p.m. ET.
Best 2022 U.S. Open Round 2 picks
Max Homa outright (+3,000)
Despite never finishing higher than T13 in a major and never making a cut at the U.S. Open, Homa is certainly trending in the right direction. The 31-year-old has already notched victories at the Fortinet Championship and Wells Fargo Championship back in May — and hasn’t finished worse than T23 in each of his last five starts, including a T13 at the PGA Championship.
Homa has set himself up well after Day 1, despite some surprising struggles with the flatstick. He sank five birdies, to go along with four bogeys, as he lost -0.46 strokes with his putter on Thursday.
That ranked 99th in the field.
He should be able to bounce back, however, as he ranks 20th on the PGA Tour in Strokes Gained: Putting for the season.
The best thing to take away from Homa in Round 1 is that he led the field in Strokes Gained: Approach and was sixth in Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green. And while SG: Off-the-Tee might be the most important stat at Brookline, if Homa keeps giving himself opportunities with excellent shot-making, the putting should come around.
He’s just three strokes back of the lead and is oozing confidence heading into Friday. You know that putter is going to heat up at some point this weekend and if he can keep up this iron play (he ranks 18th on Tour in SG: Approach), he can be in contention come Sunday.
Best odds: Max Homa outright (+3,000 at DraftKings)
Jon Rahm Top-5 finish (+225)
The defending U.S. Open Champion looked just a little off at times with his irons on Thursday and he missed a couple of short putts to boot. Despite those setbacks, Rahm still managed to shoot a 1-under 69 and sits just three shots behind the leader.
Rahm’s biggest weapon is his driver. He’s the best in the world in the tee box and that didn’t change in Round 1, as he led the field in SG: Off-the-Tee on Thursday. See the rough at The Country Club was as advertised, it’s not just about distance: It’s about setting up your second shot — something Rahm excels at.
He struggled a bit with his irons yesterday, but he has proven that he can work things out on the fly and still ranks 22nd on Tour in SG: Approach.
Even though Rahm has had disappointing results in majors so far this season, he had nine Top-10 finishes in his previous 15 major starts and has all the tools to succeed on this course. This is a solid value to back Rahm to have a solid finish in this tournament.
Best odds: Jon Rahm Top-5 finish (+225 at DraftKings)
Corey Conners over Webb Simpson in Round 2 (-125)
While his countryman grabbed all the headlines on Day 1, fellow Canadian Corey Conners didn’t have a bad day at The Country Club either. He shot a 1-over 71 but finished in the Top 10 of both SG: Approach and SG: Off-the-Tee, which shouldn’t be shocking for one of the better ball-strikers on Tour.
But you can really get behind this bet because of the current state of Webb Simpson’s game. While he’s capable of putting up a good round, his iron game hasn’t been where we’ve been accustomed to seeing it over the years — and he has been struggling a bit as a result.
Simpson ranks 63rd in SG: Approach and 106th in SG: Off-the-Tee and his last five results have been T35, T39, CUT, T20, T27. The second round has been problematic for him, as he is averaging 73.4 strokes on Fridays over those five tourneys.
Conners has the game to be successful on this course and has been much more consistent than Webb of late — back him to have the better performance in Round 2.
Best odds: Corey Conners over Webb Simpson in Round 2 (-125 at DraftKings)
2022 U.S. Open odds
This odds widget represents the best odds available for each betting market from regulated sportsbooks in your region. Odds are best used between rounds. When available, our fair line is updated once per hour between 6 a.m. ET and 11 p.m. ET.