The 121st US Open will get underneath manner on Torrey Pines’ South Course, in San Diego, California tomorrow (June 16), the place 155 of the world’s greatest gamers will hope to wrestle the trophy from defending champion Bryson DeChambeau.
The final and solely time Torrey Pines has hosted the US Open was again in 2008, the place Tiger Woods hobbled spherical to beat Rocco Mediate in a playoff and was subsequently discovered to be enjoying with the fractured leg.
The 18th gap at Torrey Pines, which boasts slender fairways and penal bunkering
Measuring 7,643 yards from the again tees, Torrey Pines is an everyday cease on the PGA Tour for the Farmers Insurance coverage Open, the most recent renewal of which was received by 5 photographs by Patrick Reed again in January. The course hugs the San Diego shoreline and options undulating fairways, thick tough and small greens seeded with poa annua. Torrey Pines additionally has deep bunkering guarding the greens — 14 of 18 holes have bunkers that sit on the left and proper aspect of the placing floor, ensuring the golfers don’t have a simple bailout away from hazard.
There’s no secret what you could do nicely at a US Open, and Torrey Pines will demand a lot of the identical. The final 4 winners of the US Open had been all very respectable drivers of the ball. DeChambeau completed first in Strokes Gained: Off-the-Teeon the finish of the season final yr, whereas Gary Woodland, Brooks Koepka and Dustin Johnson all completed inside the highest 20 in driving on the finish of the season they received the US Open. The highest 5 in Strokes Gained: Off-the-Tee over the earlier 24 rounds coming into this week is DeChambeau, adopted by Jon Rahm, Matt Fitzpatrick, Abraham Ancer and Cameron Champ.
Hitting it nicely off the tee received’t rely for something, nevertheless, in the event that they don’t have a sizzling week on the greens. A lot of the placing surfaces at Torrey Pines are angled from again to entrance and have plenty of slope and undulation. The previous winners on the Farmers Insurance coverage Open, courting again to Jason Day, gained a mean of 4.125 strokes on the greens. With the elevated greens and bunkers in particular touchdown areas, golfers who price extremely in Strokes Gained: Round-the-Inexperienced and sand saves also needs to be within the combine this week.
The previous six winners of the US Open had a mean world rating of 12 main into their victories, with the bottom being Woodland at No.24 in 2019 and the very best being Jordan Spieth at No. 2 in 2015, so that you won’t must look too far down the betting lists to seek out your winner in 2021.
5 to think about for US Open glory
The defending champion’s declare to win back-to-back US Opens are arduous to disregard. Whereas but to grasp Augusta and by no means threatening at Kiawah Island, higher type guides come from Winged Foot and Harding Park, and related circumstances right here make him a standout candidate. An extended course, mixed with slender fairways and lengthy tough units up simply because it did final yr, and DeChambeau’s ‘bomb and gouge’ method will serve him nicely, though it’s price remembering that he additionally hits it fairly straight and is a world class putter.
The truth that he’s received two out of the final 4 US Opens and completed runner-up on the PGA Championship final month must be motive sufficient to think about Koepka this week. Though he often misses the PGA Tour’s California Swing throughout the common season, Koepka’s Main championship pedigree ought to see him someplace close to the highest of the leaderboard on Sunday, offering he hasn’t had a struggle with Bryson DeChambeau within the automotive park on Saturday evening.
Collin Morikawa is fancied so as to add to his PGA Championship victory in 2020
Final yr’s PGA Championship winner comes into the US Open in nice type, with the world No.4 having completed eighth at this yr’s PGA, seventh on the RBC Heritage, second on the Memorial and received the WGC-Workday Championship at The Concession. A terrific driver of the ball, he’s additionally laser-like together with his irons, rating first in Strokes Gained: Method-the-Inexperienced over the earlier 50 rounds, gaining a mean of slightly below seven strokes together with his irons. The place he loses photographs is together with his putter, but when the Californian native can get that working this week, he’ll be arduous to maintain out of the body.
The reigning Open Champion is admittedly discovering his toes within the US now, have purchased a house in Florida and settled into the American lifestyle. Three prime 10s and a prime 5 in his final 4 begins, together with the Memorial Match and the PGA Championship, ought to give the hero of Portrush a lift of confidence heading into this week. He has three made cuts at Torrey Pines throughout the Farmers Insurance coverage Open, ending seventh in 2015 and thirteenth the next yr. He additionally is available in with a swathe of US Open expertise and success. In 2016 at Oakmont, he was the 54-hole chief with a four-shot lead heading into the ultimate spherical. His Sunday wasn’t perfect, capturing a 76, however his first three days had been close to perfection.
Though the younger Norweigan’s two PGA Tour wins so far have been achieved in low-key tournaments in Puerto Rico and Mexico, Hovland has continued to climb the rankings this yr and now sits on the fringes of the sport’s elite. No fewer than six top-six finishes in 12 strokeplay begins display how persistent a menace he’s been in 2021, and the primary of them got here at Torrey Pines in January when he completed second to Patrick Reed within the Farmers Insurance coverage Open, throughout which he carded a second-round 65 on the South Course. He ought to take loads of confidence from that efficiency and it’s certainly one of a number of wonderful shows to this point in California, the place he received the US Newbie, then completed twelfth within the US Open earlier than turning skilled, and likewise took fifth place on his debut at Riviera in February.
For the listing of tee occasions for the primary two rounds of the 2021 US Open, click on right here.