The 121st US Open will get below method on Torrey Pines’ South Course, in San Diego, California tomorrow (June 16), the place 155 of the world’s finest 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.
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 newest renewal of which was received by 5 pictures 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 straightforward bailout away from hazard.
There’s no secret what you should do properly at a US Open, and Torrey Pines will demand a lot of the identical. The final 4 winners of the US Open have been all very first rate drivers of the ball. DeChambeau completed first in Strokes Gained: Off-the-Teeon the finish of the season final 12 months, 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 properly off the tee received’t depend for something, nevertheless, in the event that they don’t have a scorching week on the greens. A lot of the placing surfaces at Torrey Pines are angled from again to entrance and have a variety of slope and undulation. The previous winners on the Farmers Insurance coverage Open, relationship again to Jason Day, gained a median of 4.125 strokes on the greens. With the elevated greens and bunkers in particular touchdown areas, golfers who charge 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 median world rating of 12 main into their victories, with the bottom being Woodland at No.24 in 2019 and the best being Jordan Spieth at No. 2 in 2015, so that you may not have to 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 laborious 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 comparable 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 12 months, and DeChambeau’s ‘bomb and gouge’ method will serve him properly, 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 needs to be cause sufficient to think about Koepka this week. Though he normally 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 combat with Bryson DeChambeau within the automotive park on Saturday evening.
Final 12 months’s PGA Championship winner comes into the US Open in nice type, with the world No.4 having completed eighth at this 12 months’s PGA, seventh on the RBC Heritage, second on the Memorial and received the WGC-Workday Championship at The Concession. An important driver of the ball, he’s additionally laser-like together with his irons, rating first in Strokes Gained: Strategy-the-Inexperienced over the earlier 50 rounds, gaining a median of just below seven strokes together with his irons. The place he loses pictures is together with his putter, but when the Californian native can get that working this week, he’ll be laborious to maintain out of the body.
The reigning Open Champion is de facto 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 12 months. 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 ultimate, taking pictures a 76, however his first three days have been close to perfection.
Though the younger Norweigan’s two PGA Tour wins to this point have been achieved in low-key tournaments in Puerto Rico and Mexico, Hovland has continued to climb the rankings this 12 months and now sits on the fringes of the sport’s elite. No fewer than six top-six finishes in 12 strokeplay begins exhibit 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 one among a number of wonderful shows to date in California, the place he received the US Beginner, 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 record of tee occasions for the primary two rounds of the 2021 US Open, click on here.