Complete Guide to the 2022 US Open at The Country Club

Lyle Fitzsimmons@@fitzbitzFeatured Columnist IIIJune 15, 2022

Complete Guide to the 2022 US Open at The Country Club

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    David L. Ryan/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

    Welcome back to major championship week.

    For the third time this year, the eyes of the golf world will focus on one place—it's The Country Club in Brookline, Massachusetts this time around—to see which player can best negotiate 72 (or more) holes and add himself to the sport's history books.

    The 122nd U.S. Open will be played on an 18-hole, par-70 layout that covers 7,264 yards and has hosted the national championship event three other times—1913, 1963 and 1988—in addition to a Ryder Cup, six U.S. Amateurs and three U.S. Women's Amateurs.

    Guaranteed entrants include all U.S. Open winners since 2012; recent winners of the other three majors and the Players Championship; the top 10 finishers (with ties) from the 2021 U.S. Open; and the top 60 players in the Official World Golf Ranking as of May 23.

    Jon Rahm is in the field to defend his title, and Matthew Fitzpatrick, who won the 2013 U.S. Amateur at the venue, is also on hand looking for his eighth professional title and first major.

    It ought to be a memorable week, and the B/R golf team has collected all the information you'll need as you prepare to be immersed from start to finish.

Where to Watch on Television

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    David John Griffin/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

    NBC and USA Network will provide 36 hours of live broadcast coverage Thursday through Sunday, with an early evening finish scheduled for the final round.

    Peacock will be the primary streaming home for the tournament, including early round coverage, featured groups and featured hole coverage for all four days.


    9:30 a.m.-2 p.m., USA Network

    2-5 p.m., NBC

    5-7 p.m, USA Network


    9:30 a.m.-4 p.m., USA Network

    4-7 p.m., NBC


    Noon-8 p.m., NBC


    10 a.m.-Noon, USA Network

    Noon-7 p.m., NBC

Biggest Storylines

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    Phil Mickelson, left, and Tiger Woods talk at the first tee before a golf match at Shadow Creek golf course, Friday, Nov. 23, 2018, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
    AP Photo/John Locher

    Tiger is NOT in the Building

    The arrival of Tiger Woods at each of 2022's first two majors was by far and away the biggest storyline, so it's no surprise that his decision to go public last week with the news that he won't play at the U.S. Open was just as big a needle-mover.

    "My body needs more time to get stronger for major championship golf," he said.

    The 16-time major winner, including U.S. Opens in 2000, 2002 and 2008, made the cut at both the Masters and the PGA this spring. He finished tied for 47th at Augusta in his first competitive tournament since a car crash in February 2021. He then shot 74 and 69 in his first two rounds at Southern Hills but withdrew after a third-round 79, citing pain.

    Woods said he still plans to play at The Open Championship next month.

    But Phil Mickelson and Others CAN BE

    Phil Mickelson's annual quest to add a U.S. Open and thereby complete a career grand slam has been an annual headline-maker since 2013. He's won six majors but has never gotten over the hump at the U.S. Open, finishing in second place—either tied or outright—six times.

    Still, the news cycle may treat him a bit differently this time around.

    Mickelson declined to defend his PGA Championship title last month at Southern Hills and is in hot water with the golfing establishment thanks to his decision to play on the rival LIV Golf Invitational Series. But the USGA said last week that players who'd qualified for the U.S. Open this year would not be barred based on other tournaments they've chosen to play.

    "We simply asked ourselves this question—should a player who had earned his way into the 2022 U.S. Open, via our published field criteria, be pulled out of the field as a result of his decision to play in another event?" a USGA statement said (h/t Golf Digest).

    "And we ultimately decided that they should not."

The Top Groupings

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    Rory McIlroy, of Northern Ireland, left, and Xander Schauffele line their shots on the fourth green during the third round of the Travelers Championship golf tournament at TPC River Highlands, Saturday, June 27, 2020, in Cromwell, Conn. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
    AP Photo/Frank Franklin II

    Thursday, 7:40 a.m. ET; Friday, 1:25 p.m.

    Rory McIlroy, Hideki Matsuyama, Xander Schauffele

    Three players ranked among the world's top 13 who've combined to win five majors and finish in the top five at 20 others.

    That's a pretty solid grouping no matter how you analyze it.

    McIlroy is coming off a win at last week's Canadian Open and arrives this week as the betting favorite, according to DraftKings. Matsuyama also has a win this year at the Sony Open in Hawaii, and Schauffele has climbed steadily since finishing 2016 ranked No. 299.

    To suggest all three will be in contention come Sunday is hardly hyperbolic.

    Thursday, 1:36 p.m. ET; Friday, 7:51 a.m.

    Matt Fitzpatrick, Webb Simpson, Dustin Johnson

    If you're looking for a black sheep in the field this week, there may be none bigger than Johnson, who's playing a USGA event after resigning his PGA Tour membership to compete in the LIV series.

    In fact, he and Mickelson—the LIV tour's highest-profile participant—will tee off 11 minutes apart both Thursday and Friday.

    Eyes will be on those two for as long as they stay competitive this week, but it'd be worthwhile to focus on Fitzpatrick, too, considering he has significant street cred on the course thanks to his win there in the U.S. Amateur nine years ago.

    He has seven top-10 finishes in 12 events in 2022 and arrives ranked 18th in the world, two slots behind Johnson. Simpson hasn't hit the leaderboard with any regularity this season, but he does arrive as a past U.S. Open champion thanks to his win at Olympic in 2012.

    Thursday, 7:18 a.m. ET; Friday, 1:03 p.m.

    Collin Morikawa, James Piot, Jon Rahm

    Already a two-time major winner at age 25, Morikawa will play alongside defending U.S. Open champion Rahm and Piot, who won the 2021 U.S. Amateur before turning pro last month and participating with Johnson and Mickelson at the LIV event in London.

    Piot tied for 25th and made $166,000.

    Morikawa is a serious major contender after bagging the PGA Championship in 2020 and The Open Championship last year, and Rahm established his own major street cred with a final-round 67 last year at Torrey Pines that vaulted him from a sixth-place tie to a one-stroke win.

    A repeat win could get Rahm back to his former perch as the world's No. 1 player, while a win for Morikawa would make him the 47th men's golfer in history to win at least three majors.

The Top Contenders

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    JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images

    Justin Thomas

    It's hard to find anyone better included in a list of contenders for a major championship than the guy who won the last time a major was played.

    That's where things stand with 29-year-old Thomas, who added the 2022 PGA Championship at Southern Hills in Tulsa, Oklahoma, to the one he'd won five years earlier at Quail Hollow in Charlotte, North Carolina.

    Even though the U.S. Open hasn't been his go-to event, as evidenced by nothing better than a tie for eighth in 2020, Thomas has been a top-10 finisher at seven career majors—including both so far this year—and warrants a long look with the +1100 tag hung by DraftKings.

    Rory McIlroy

    Lots of guys can claim to be lots of things heading into this week. But only one can claim to be Rory McIlroy. And when it comes to golf's major championships, that still matters.

    The 33-year-old Northern Irishman is a four-time major winner, including the U.S. Open in 2011, and he remains one of the game's most recognizable players around the world.

    He's been in the top-10 in six of the events he's played this year, including both majors, and has a Sunday afternoon presence unlike many others who'll be in the field. So getting him at +1000 off a Canadian Open win isn't the worst thing that could happen to a bettor.

    Xander Schauffele

    Some guys are made for certain courses. And others are made for certain events.

    Consider Schauffele one of the latter when it comes to the U.S. Open.

    Now 28, the Californian has played the national championship five times at five different courses, but he has never finished worse than a tie for seventh. It'll be his first try at The Country Club in Brookline, but pedigree and a lofty world ranking make him a +1600 bargain.

The Dark Horses

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    Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

    Matthew Fitzpatrick

    It's been nine years, but Fitzpatrick does have a win on the course in the country's biggest amateur event, and he comes in off his best finish in a professional major—fifth at the PGA.

    He's been in contention with six top-10s in his first 11 events and had a second at the Wells Fargo Championship last month. Get him at +3000 and remember where you heard it.

    Tyrrell Hatton

    He doesn't drive the ball as far as the biggest hitters, but Hatton is good with his wedges and irons and moves to an elite level once the ball is safely on the green.

    The fact that he's missed 13 cuts in 28 major outings shows why he's on the dark-horse list and not among the favorites, but the skills are there to make a +8000 flier pay off.

    Will Zalatoris

    The 25-year-old from San Francisco got as close as you can get at the PGA without hoisting a trophy, where he lost in a playoff to Thomas after leading for parts of three rounds.

    Such an agonizing miss sets some players off to oblivion, while it galvanizes others and makes an eventual win almost inevitable. Go with the latter here and get in on him at +3000.

The Favorite

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    Jon Rahm, of Spain, celebrates with his caddy after making his birdie putt on the 18th green during the final round of the U.S. Open Golf Championship, Sunday, June 20, 2021, at Torrey Pines Golf Course in San Diego. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
    AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez

    Once you get to a certain level, it's about building a legacy.

    Jon Rahm began doing that in 2021 when he became the first Spaniard to win the U.S. Open, and he can add to it this year by becoming the first Spaniard to repeat that feat.

    And we're not about to suggest it won't happen here.

    He's been a top-six player on the world stage at the end of every year since 2017, and he was the No. 1 this year until Scottie Scheffler's historically hot start (four wins in eight starts) unseated him in April. And by the time he broke through and won the event last summer, Rahm had already finished in the top 10 in seven of the 20 majors he'd played.

    He's finished 10th or better in six of the 12 events he's played this year, and more than a few people suggest he'll be adding majors with regularity throughout his prime.

    DraftKings agrees and has made him a +1200 proposition.

    "I think Jon Rahm is the guy for the next 10 years," veteran PGA Tour pro Pat Perez said on a Golf Magazine podcast (h/t ESPN). "I don't think anyone is going to beat Jon Rahm consistently for a decade."

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