US Open In-Play Betting Tips: Back Bhatia & Straka to win their 3-Balls

 | Friday 14th June 2024, 9:19am

Friday 14th June 2024, 9:19am

jamie worsley pga tour

Day 1 of the 2024 US Open certainly provided us with plenty of action and our golf tipster Jamie Worsley thoroughly enjoyed the opening 18 holes.

He's here with a couple of selections ahead of Day 2 as he takes us through the latest over at Pinehurst and his US Open Golf 2024 In-Play Betting Tips...

US Open Golf In-Play Betting Tips

  • Akshay Bhatia and Sepp Straka to win their 3-balls – Double @ 3.62/1 – 2 pts
  • Akshay Bhatia, Sepp Straka and Brian Harman to win their 3-balls – Treble @ 11.12/1 – 1 pt

Anticipation for the 124th US Open at Pinehurst No. 2 was as high as any recent US Open I can remember and Thursday’s opening round certainly delivered.

This brilliant, firm golf course and its slick, upturned-saucer greens were the star of the show, with players rewarded with plenty of birdies for quality play but punished severely for even minor inaccuracies, especially into the putting surfaces.

US Open leaderboard after round one:

T1 – Patrick Cantlay (-5)

T1 – Rory McIlroy (-5)

3rd – Ludvig Aberg (-4)

T4 – Matthieu Pavon (-3)

T4  - Bryson DeChambeau (-3)

T6 – Tony Finau (-2)

T6 – Tyrrell Hatton (-2)

T6 – Akshay Bhatia (-2)

Two players mastered the day one conditions better than anyone else. Patrick Cantlay came into this week somewhat under the radar after generally underwhelming performances this year, but made his best ever start to a major. Posting a six-birdie 65 to take the clubhouse lead from the morning wave at 5-under-par.

Cantlay was joined at the top by a brilliant Rory McIlroy in the afternoon, whose bogey-free round was packed full of quality throughout his bag. Winning three of his four previous major titles after similarly mistake-free starts, there will be plenty of excitement about the Northern Irishman’s chances of earning a first major victory in 10 years this week.

Ludvig Aberg began his second ever major start similarly to how he played in his first at Augusta a couple of months ago, producing a pretty faultless display of ball-striking to sit one behind those joint-leaders after 18 holes. Meanwhile, the highly-fancied Bryson DeChambeau and Frenchman, Matthieu Pavon sit just a further shot behind in T4 and got there in contrasting ways, as Bryson took the course on with his driver and Pavon relied on a hot day on the greens.

As for world #1, Scottie Scheffler, despite enduring a terrible day off-the-tee, his strong iron play and quality touch around-the-greens stopped the round from getting away from him, shooting a 1-over 71 to sit in 34th place after round one. It’s hard to see him driving it so poorly again and I’d expect to see a charge up the leaderboard today.

While the majority of the main candidates for success this week have started well enough, the biggest disappointments from day one would have to be the trio of Viktor Hovland, Justin Thomas and Sahith Theegala. With Hovland at +8 and the other two at +7, they will  need to find one of the lowest rounds of the day today to progress to the weekend.

Tiger Woods looked impressive early on but his round started to unravel around the turn. However he steadied the ship over the closing holes and is well in reach of advancing to rounds three and four from 86th spot. Whilst defending champion, Wyndham Clark, was heavily reliant on some sharp short-game play to hang on, though will likely need to find something with his ball-striking if wanting to be here on Saturday and Sunday.

*For all the latest US Open Golf Odds, remember to check out the main market page over on betfred.com

SELECTIONS

Akshay Bhatia to beat Eric Cole and Erik Van Rooyen

Akshay Bhatia was mightily impressive in yesterday’s opening round, firing a 2-under 68 to get to 6th place. This was five shots ahead of Eric Cole and eight shots better than Erik Van Rooyen, and as one of the standout tee-to-green players in the field, ranking 4th, it looks like an advantage he can sustain today.

Bhatia rediscovered some form at Memorial last week after a quartet of underwhelming displays, finishing 22nd and has looked solid in his short major career so far, making two of three cuts.

Whilst Van Rooyen has some good major efforts to his name, he hasn’t been playing as well lately as he was earlier in the season, and I’d worry about his short game around such a demanding course. In Eric Cole’s case, he’s simply struggling to maintain the performances of last season, coming into this week without a top-40 in his last eight starts and one top-10 all season.

Bhatia’s amateur pedigree and gradual progression to become a two-time PGA Tour winner at the age of 22 very much suggests a future of contending at majors. With that tee-to-green game looking so strong yesterday, I see no reason why he can’t hold this handy position heading into the weekend thanks to another solid round today, beating his playing partners in the process.

Sepp Straka to beat JT Poston and Peter Malnati

Sepp Straka did little wrong yesterday and if it wasn’t for a cold day on the greens, he could’ve gone even better than his strong level-par start. Having said that, this was still enough to beat playing partners, JT Poston and Peter Malnati by three and four shots respectively, who made just one birdie between them. Entering this week as one of the form players in the field, I expect him to stamp his authority again today.

Straka hit plenty of fairways and shone with his iron play, ranking 4th in approach and 7th in GIR. He was also strong around-the-greens, ranking 12th, but ranked 130th in putting. That was somewhat of a surprise as he had been putting well of late and as a good putter throughout his career – in which he’s generally glowed on bermudagrass – I expect him to put that right today.

Malnati feels relatively easy to rule out. He hasn’t made a cut in five previous major appearances, has done little of note since his surprise win in the Valspar and was the third-least accurate driver yesterday. Which is going to get you in serious trouble around here.

Poston is certainly more dangerous and had found a little form entering this week. Though still nothing like the standard of golf Straka has been producing and with the Austrian possessing the superior major record, you have to fancy him to come out on top in this 3-ball today.

Brian Harman to beat Wyndham Clark and Nick Dunlap

Brian Harman made a sluggish start yesterday, going +4 thru his opening eight holes. However, he battled back brilliantly on the back nine, going bogey-free and picking up three birdies. This was enough to beat both of his playing partners by two strokes and with momentum on his side, I think he’ll do so again today.

Harman hit the ball well yesterday and was typically excellent on the greens, though ranked low around them. Having said that, this was predominantly due to his double bogey on the seventh – where he took four shots to get it up and down - and he was reasonably sound throughout the rest of the round in this area.

Both Clark and Dunlap hit the ball poorly and struggled on the greens; with each relying on their scrambling to stay in it. It was just a continuation of recent form for Clark and while Dunlap has had a couple of positive performances of late, his inaccuracies off-the-tee were bound to cause trouble here and thus far, he hasn’t especially excelled around-the-greens on the PGA Tour.

Harman was comfortably the form player of the three coming into our third major and I’m expecting him to take care of his playing partners again today.

You can find all Jamie's latest Golf Betting Tips over on our dedicated golf Insights hub.

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