The U.S. Open Halfway Update: Third Time Lucky for DeChambeau

Written by: Matt Cooper
Published June 15, 2024
6 min read
  • Young Swedish star Ludvig Aberg leads on his U.S. Open debut

  • Fan favorite Bryson DeChambeau is contending for the third major in a row

  • Rory McIlroy is just two shots back of the lead 

  • Tiger Woods missed the cut

The U.S. Open Halfway Odds

Odds from BetMGM Sportsbook. Use our BetMGM promo code WSNMGM - bet $5, get $150 in bonus bets. * Bonus Bets expire in 7 days. One new customer offer only. Additional terms.

ScorePlayerOdds 
-5Ludvig Aberg (Sweden)+333
-4Bryson DeChambeau (U.S.A.)+450
-4Thomas Detry (Belgium)+1400
-4Patrick Cantlay (U.S.A.)+800
-3Rory McIlroy (Northern Ireland)+450
-3Tony Finau (U.S.A.)+1200
-3Matthieu Pavon (France)+5000
-2Hideki Matsuyama (Japan)+1800

The U.S. Open Halfway Picks and Predictions

  • Bryson DeChambeau to win at +450 with BetMGM

  • Tom Kim top five at +500 with DraftKings Sportsbook

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The U.S. Open Halfway Update

Two rounds into this year’s U.S. Open and the field has already encountered difficulty, but hold on to your hats - the weekend could witness carnage.

Bryson DeChambeau knows what to expect. He’s not only a championship veteran, he was the the 2020 winner, and when asked about the final 36 holes he grinned and said: “It’s going to be diabolical.”

Pinehurst looks great. The fairways and greens ribbon through the pine forest, the “rough” is a mixture of hardpan sand and gnarly grass, but it is also a fearsome test.

So far the fairways have been relatively easy to hit. They will dry and, as they do so, more drives and approach shots will play Russian roulette with that rough.

Meanwhile, the greens are already hard, fast, and difficult - they will only get more fiendish.

The Swede Ludvig Aberg leads on 5-under-par for the week and has looked serene so far. The weekend will be a huge examination of his game and mental strength.

DeChambeau is among his closest pursuers, alongside Patrick Cantlay and Thomas Detry. Rory McIlroy is only two shots back, Hideki Matsuyama three, and Xander Schauffele four.

Last 5 U.S. Open Winners

Year Champion, Nationality, Winning Score, And Venue
2023 Wyndham Clark (U.S.A.) -10, Los Angeles CC
2022 Matt Fitzpatrick (England) -6, The Country Club
2021 Jon Rahm (Spain) -6, Torrey Pines
2019 Bryson DeChambeau (U.S.A.) -6, Winged Foot
2018 Gary Woodland (U.S.A.) -13, Pebble Beach

Halfway Notes

  • The last U.S. Open debutant to win was Francis Ouimet in 1913

  • DeChambeau opened with scores of 67-69 - the only other times he started a major with two sub-70 rounds he won the 2020 U.S. Open and was second in this year’s PGA Championship

  • McIlroy went bogey-free in round one and he is 3-for-3 at winning majors when that happens

  • This is the first time Cantlay has been top-five at halfway at a major championship

Halfway Trends at the U.S. Open

In the last 30 years of the U.S. Open, no less than 27 champions were tied-seventh or better after 36 holes and all of them were within six shots of the lead.

Of the three exceptions one, Matt Fitzpatrick two years ago, was T13th and yet just three strokes off the pace.

Webb Simpson in 2011 at the Olympic Club was the greatest outlier - he was T29th at this stage and six shots back. In 1995 Corey Pavin was T11th and also six back.

Staying solid or making a move on Saturday matters because each of those last 30 champions was tied-8th or better after 54 holes.

In all, 47 golfers have held or shared the halfway lead after 36 holes of the championship over the last 30 years and 13 of them converted the win.

What about the three U.S. Opens hosted by Pinehurst?

In 1999 Payne Stewart was sharing the halfway lead with Phil Mickelson in 1999, he inched one shot clear after 54 holes and maintained that advantage through to the finish.

In 2005 Michael Campbell was tied sixth after 36 holes and two shots back. He moved up to tied fourth after the third round but slipped four shots back before posting a final round 69 to win by two from Tiger Woods.

The three co-leaders at halfway that year had disastrous weekends. Jason Gore carded 72-84, Olin Browne 72-80, Retief Goosen 69-81. None of them ended the week in the top 10.

In the most recent Pinehurst U.S. Open, in 2014, Martin Kaymer led by three after 18 holes, by six after 36, by five after 54, and won by eight. 

Third Time Lucky For DeChambeau 

Bryson DeChambeau shared the halfway lead in this year’s Masters and was superb when finishing second in last month’s PGA Championship.

He’s already won one U.S. Open (he was one shot back and second on that occasion too), he’s playing well and he’s never been happier off the course.

“I’m excited for the test and challenge,” he said Friday about the weekend ahead and he added that he is playing with 1999 Pinehurst U.S. Open winner Payne Stewart in his heart (and a Stewart-like hat in his bag).

Back him to win with BetMGM offering +450.

Repeat for Kim

In last year’s U.S. Open the Korean star Tom Kim ended the first round T107th before bursting through the field to finish eighth.

This year he was T31st after 18 holes and after a second round 68 he is in a share of ninth.

“I just enjoy this tournament,” he said afterward. “It's a tough test. It’s mentally tough.”

He backed up his fondness for a difficult major championship test when second at Royal Liverpool in last year’s British Open, and he can kick on again.

Take him to finish in the top five with DraftKings Sportsbook offering +500.

How to Watch The U.S. Open

  • Tournament: The U.S. Open

  • Location: No. 2 Course, Pinehurst Resort, North Carolina

  • Date: Thursday, June 13 - Sunday, June 16

  • How to watch: Thursday 6.30 a.m.-5 p.m. ET (USA), 5 p.m.- 8 p.m. (Peacock), Friday 6.30 a.m.-1 p.m. (Peacock), 1 p.m.-7 p.m. (NBC), 7 p.m.-8 p.m. (Peacock), Saturday 10 a.m.-12 p.m. (USA), 12 p.m.-8 p.m. (NBC), Sunday 9 a.m.-12 p.m. (USA), 12 p.m.-7 p.m. (NBC). And all four days on Sky Sports.


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Matt Cooper

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Matt Cooper has been a sports journalist since 2009 with his work appearing at ESPN, Sky Sports, NBC, Sporting Life and the Planet Sport Network among many others, in addition to guest appearances on the BBC and CNN. Although a specialist in golf, who has traveled the world to cover the sport, Matt has also covered rugby, cricket, football and the Olympics.
Nationality: British
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