It’s that time again! The 2021 U.S. Open will be played this weekend from the world famous Torrey Pines Golf Course. As always, we have you covered with a full preview and betting tips for the 3rd major of the year below.
Torrey Pines Golf Course, 17th-20th June
It’s been 13 years since the U.S. Open was played at Torrey Pines. Back in 2008, it was Tiger Woods who reigned supreme in one of the most memorable moments in U.S. Open history, beating out Rocco Mediate in an 18 hole playoff to lift his third trophy.
Woods won’t be out there this weekend, but the field is still absolutely jam-packed full of talent, as you’d expect in a major championship.
Bryson DeChambeau, the No.5 ranked player in the world and the reigning U.S. Open Champion will be back to defend his title this year and will open as one of the favourites for the tournament. He headlines a star-studded list of players, including all of the top 10 players in the world in Dustin Johnson, Justin Thomas, Jon Rahm, Collin Morikawa, Xander Schauffele, Patrick Cantlay, Patrick Reed, Tyrrell Hatton and Brooks Koepka.
Rory McIlroy dropped out of the top 10 for the first time in years this week, and will be keen to put in a solid performance to regain his spot this weekend.
Past winners of the U.S. Open who will be back in an attempt to win another title include Gary Woodland, Brooks Koepka, Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth, Martin Kaymer, Justin Rose, Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell.
Phil Mickelson became the oldest major championship winner in history a few weeks ago when he claimed the PGA Championship at the age of 50 and will look to complete the career grand slam with his first U.S. Open win this weekend.
Torrey Pines Golf Course is one of the most famous public golf courses in the world. The South Course plays as a Par 71 at just over 7,640 yards, making it one of the longest courses that we’ve seen on the PGA Tour this season. Considering how hard a U.S. Open course is annually set up, the length of this course combined with the sheer difficulty of the greens, the length of the rough and the narrowness of the fairways, the winner should only be just under par here. Tiger Woods won at Torrey Pines back in 2008 with a score of 1 under par, and we think it will be pretty similar this weekend.
Players will need to be dialled in with both their drivers and their long irons if they want to tame the length of this course. All in all, the course will probably play in a pretty similar fashion to last year’s U.S. Open at Winged Foot, which was almost 7,500 yards long and boasted treacherous rough and greens.
The set-up of the course gives a massive advantage to the long hitters like Bryson DeChambeau, Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm and Brooks Koepka. I think it also takes a bunch of players who don’t have that power off the tee out of contention immediately.
Jon Rahm ($10/Top 10 $1.91)
What a turmultuoues few weeks it’s been for the No.3 player in the world. The Spaniard was on his way to his 6th PGA Tour victory and a successful defence of the Memorial Tournament last weekend, leading the event by six shots at the end of the third round. Officials approached Rahm on the 18th green to tell him that he had contracted the COVID-19 virus and was then forced to retire from the tournament. There’s no doubt Rahm will be on the warpath this weekend, looking to get one back and his game sets up perfectly for this course.
Brooks Koepka ($19/Top 10 $2.80)
The other big dog who I really like this weekend is Brooks Koepka. No matter what form Koepka is in, he seems to always show up in the major tournaments and he becomes even better when the course is suited towards a big bomber. He was in the mix down the stretch against Phil Mickelson in the PGA Championship last month, recording his 14th top 10 finish in his last 25 attempts. His last three U.S. Open finishes have read 1st, 1st, 2nd.
Viktor Hovland ($26) It seems like it’s only a matter of time before Hovland breaks out for a career defining win. Collin Morikawa got his in the PGA Championship last season, Matthew Wolff almost got his in the U.S. Open last season, this year it might be Hovland’s turn. Of the three gun youngsters, his game sets up the best for Torrey Pines and he is coming off a strong T30 at the PGA Championship.
Joaquin Niemann ($67) I really liked the value of Niemann for a decent finish at the PGA Championship and he didn’t disappoint, finishing T30 for at decent odds. I’m going back to the well here with the young Chilean, who has strong power off the tee and has been T23, T40 and T30 in his last three major championships.
Tommy Fleetwood ($71) It’s hard for me to look past Tommy Fleetwood when I have to scroll so far down the betting list to find his name. Regardless of form, the Englishman is one of the best players in the world and any-time I’m getting $71 for him to win a tournament, I’ll be having a flurry. Missed the cut in the 2020 U.S. Open but has two top 5’s two his name in previous years.
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