Preview: 121st United States Open

Bryson DeChambeau picked up his first major championship in style at Winged Foot. He’ll lead the field of 156 at Torrey Pines South Course for the SECOND US Open of the season.

Via @usopengolf

121st United States Open

Torrey Pines Golf Club

South Course

La Jolla, California

Yards (per official scorecard):7,685
Par:71 (35-36)
Greens:Poa annua; 5,000 square feet.
Stimpmeter:Tournament speed.
Rough:Kikuyugrass at 3.5 inches.
Architects:William P. Bell (1957); Rees Jones (2001; 2018-19)
Purse:Not disclosed; $12.5 million and $2.25 million (winner) 2020.
Defending Champion (event):Bryson DeChambeau bombed Winged Foot to the tune of 6-under and won by six.
Fact of the Week:156 players up from 144 last September.
Fact of the Week II:2nd time Torrey Pines hosting the event; 14th time in California.


  • 156 players; Top 60 and ties play the final two rounds.
  • 10 amateurs (or making pro debuts)
  • 34 players experiencing their first US Open.

2020-2021 Season Winners

*- First-time winner**- First-time winner AND rookie winner

Safeway OpenStewart Cink
120th United States OpenBryson DeChambeau
Corales Punta Cana ChampionshipHudson Swafford
Sanderson Farms ChampionshipSergio Garcia
Shriners Hospitals for ChildrenMartin Laird (playoff)
Bermuda ChampionshipBrian Gay
Vivint Houston OpenCarlos Oritz*
84th Masters TournamentDustin Johnson
The RSM ClassicRobert Streb
Mayakoba Golf ClassicViktor Hovland
Sentry TOCHarris English
Sony Open in HawaiiKevin Na
The American ExpressSi Woo Kim
Farmers Insurance OpenPatrick Reed
Waste Management Phoenix OpenBrooks Koepka
AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-AmDaniel Berger
The Genesis InvitationalMax Homa
WGC – Championship at The ConcessionCollin Morikawa
Arnold Palmer InvitationalBryson DeChambeau (2)
THE PLAYERS ChampionshipJustin Thomas
The Honda ClassicMatt Jones
WGC- Match PlayBilly Horschel
Corales PuntacanaJoel Dahmen*
Valero Texas OpenJordan Spieth
85th Masters TournamentHideki Matsuyama
RBC HeritageStewart Cink (2)
Zurich Classic of New OrleansCameron Smith/Marc Leishman
Valspar ChampionshipSam Burns
Wells Fargo ChampionshipRory McIlroy
AT&T Byron NelsonKH Lee
103rd PGA ChampionshipPhil Mickelson
Charles Schwab ChallengeJason Kokrak (2)
Memorial TournamentPatrick Cantlay (2)
Palmetto Championship (Congaree)Garrick Higgo*

Check out HORSES FOR COURSES for more details on those who play well here.

Event Winners:

2020Bryson DeChambeauDestroyed Winged Foot as he posted 6-under and won by six.
2019Gary WoodlandPosted 13-under at Pebble Beach Golf Links to defeat Koepka by three.
2018Brooks KoepkaOutdueled Dustin Johnson from the final group to defend his title at Shinnecock Hills.
2017Brooks KoepkaBombed defenseless Erin Hills into the record books for his first major title.
2016Dustin JohnsonMade up four shots in the final group on Shane Lowry for his first major at Oakmont.
2015Jordan SpiethWatched Johnson three putt from 15 feet to hand him the title at Chambers Bay.
2014Martin KaymerBlew the doors off the field at Pinehurst No.2  for his first US Open victory.

Facts and Figures:

Tournament Record:268(-16); Rory McIlroy, Congressional Country Club (2011).
Lowest Round – major:62; Brendan Grace, Royal Berkshire (2017)
Lowest Round – US Open (last)63; Tommy Fleetwood, Shinnecock Hills (2018).
Recent Defending Champion(s):Koepka (2017, 2018)
Multiple Winners (event or course):Brooks Koepka; 2-time US Open winner; Phil Mickelson (Farmers Winner 3 times).
Oldest  Winner:Hale Irwin, 47, 1990.
Youngest Winner:John J. McDermott, 19, 1911
First Time TOUR:Graeme McDowell (2010).
Odd Fact:Last 40-something to win was Payne Stewart, 42, Pinehurst No. 2 1999.
Odd Fact II:Sectional and Local Qualifiers in the field again.  
Odd Fact III:Martin Kaymer (2014) is the last international winner if you enjoy a #TrendNotATrend

Quick Thoughts on Torrey Pines

Big, long and strong yet familiar.

It’s always pointed out during the Farmers that this course isn’t very far away from US Open conditions.

Take away a Par-5 hole and it’s Par-71 and a scoring chance off the books.

Weather looks to be great so that’s not going to be a lingering issue.

Weird that multiple Farmers champions Brandt Snedeker and Jason Day didn’t qualify.

The formula this week is simple: Find GIR, two putts and go.

Hitting fairways is great but since nobody is going to hit many GIR will be the advantage.

Please remember that the USGA wants to test every club in the bag, the six inches between the ears and ability to handle the pressure of the moment. A victory this week will need great scrambling, putting and bunker play as well.

South Africans grew up on Kikuyu like Florida folks on Bermuda.

Length is beneficial but not absolute. Zach Johnson was T8 at Oakmont so a top finish is not impossible. Brian Harman was T2 at the longest US Open ever (Erin Hills) and he’s never been accused of fleecing it off the tee.

I believe there are guys who are made for this and those who are happy to be in contention. Now, I just have to sort them correctly!

Throw out all of the first-timers. Throw out all of the amateurs. Throw out any local qualifiers.

Orville Moody was the last local/final qualifier to win (1968).

Lucas Glover was the last qualifier to win (2009).

If you’re gonna die, die standing up with one of the best of the best.

Let’s recap last week first:

Last Week – Palmetto Championship at Congaree

Dustin Johnson (+800): That’s all you get in a field with Omar Uresti. He’d be half of that if Koepka wasn’t playing! T10 as probably expected.

Brooks Koepka (+850): The question of his health should be answered if he tees it up. It has to be better or he wouldn’t be here. He has the better form of the two and isn’t the hometown favorite. And he MC. Ha. Couldn’t make anything as he took 62 putts over two rounds. Easy fix.

Matthew Fitzpatrick (+1400): Fantastic putter on Bermuda and if that’s your angle this week, I can’t argue. Best form of the top players over the last three or so months. T10 after a quiet 71-70 start.

Tyrrell Hatton (+1400): Steady. Super ball-striker. Last top 10 was in Saudi Arabia early doors of 2021. Whatever rust was lingering was knocked off with T2 and all four rounds par or better.

Sungjae Im (+2200): Gives zero enchiladas about anything. Where’s the first tee and what’s the course record. Rolls in on MC in three of his last four starts so there’s that. Did well to make the cut after opening 75.

Tommy Fleetwood (+2800): Best finish is on a new track (Concession). Plays API and those greens well annually. T14 on the last Fazio (Quail Hollow Club). Dots connected. Value found. Win, Top 10 and Top 20. The mystery continues as the Englishman backed up 68 in Round 1 with 75 on Friday. 70-68 weekend = T35 and L L L .

Harris English (+3000): Practices there every now and again says the internet. Last time he saw a new track he picked up T13 at TPC Craig Ranch, his best of the season since winning at Kapalua to open 2021. Interesting. Top 10 and Top 20. I feel terrible for those of you who were holding win tickets here. I feel bad for myself as well as I needed one less bogey to win both of these bets. L W.

Ian Poulter (+3300): Tell him it’s for a spot on the Ryder Cup team! His son was playing the Pete Dye Junior up the road from me this week. He dislocated his knee and continued playing! Musta got that toughness from the old man! Fazio also designed Lake Nona where Poulter lived in Orlando. Top 10, Top 20. T25 gets you absolutely nothing. Relying on Poults to deliver in any even other than the Ryder Cup is fool’s gold. LL

33-1 or worse

Alex Noren (+3500): Too many really good ones (6 straight) but none of them are great (T13 Memorial). Top 20 and enjoy. Add another L. Congaree and me ain’t too good.

Harold Varner III (+3500): Like most, he’ll enjoy the open spaces and bigger targets this week. T2 Harbour Town will catch some eyes.

Patton Kizzire (+4500): MC after back to back T3 suggests there’s something here. I prefer him on Bermuda but those T3 are on bent! He also had T9 at Valero on Bermuda. Those three top 10s this spring are in Texas. His best finish otherwise is T58. Something’s gotta give. Top 20 just in case. MC as he didn’t break par in two rounds. L.

Lucas Glover (+4500): Some above him would suggest the extra course knowledge means little. He’s cashed in nine of 10 and he’s behind a few who haven’t. Interesting. But not that interesting. Pass. MC.

Kevin Kisner (+4500): I’ll argue a change of scenery will help. Nothing else has. Not RBC. Not Colonial. Not Bermuda. But he’s an Ambassador as well. So no. MC. Not happening. At all.

Keith Mitchell (+4500): With three T26 or better including a top 3 at Quail Hollow, I can make sense of this. Top 20. MC. L. Copy and Paste.

Garrick Higgo (+5000): I don’t like any newbies on TOUR set ups with slick Bermuda. That’s me. You do you. And I hope you did. Winner in his second TOUR event. Bravo. Last guy to do that was Jim Benepe last century.

Brandt Snedeker (+5000): It’s wide open off the tee! Not many scramble on this level. Nibble on a win ticket, Top 10, Top 20. T60. Wasn’t dead last but sure felt like it. Lit money on fire this week, fam. Sorry.

Luke List (+6000): Had/holds the course record so if that’s an angle you need, saddle up.

Jhonattan Vegas (+6600): Cashed 4 straight and 8 of 9. Heat is good. T2 so I guess I was on to something here.

Doc Redman (+7000): Cashed three straight and Clemson ties. Can knock it. T2 so I guess I was on to something here.

CT Pan (+7000): Former winner at Harbour Town, podium this year at Honda. Respectable T31 and is starting to heat up again. Keep your eye on him for Wyndham, right?

Rafael Cabrera Bello (+8000): Sneak in a top 20 ticket. Only one bad round last week. Snuck in two more this week as that’s all he got with his MC. L.

Vince Whaley (+9000): 10 straight on TOUR. That streak is now over.

Long Shots: Do Whatcha Like

Matthew NeSmith (+10000) – Shot 65 on Sunday to push him to T35

Bronson Burgoon (+11000) – MC

Satoshi Kodaira (+11000) – T19 makes it three straight in the top 20

Vaughn Taylor (+14000) – T52 after opening 4-under

Hank Lebioda (+15000) – Opened with 68 and closed with 67 for T31

Robby Shelton (+16000) – T57

Mark Anderson (+30000) – 71-77, MC

DJ Trahan (+40000) Top 20 ANOTHER LOSING TICKET – MC

Ben Taylor (+75000) Top 40 – T35, finally a winner. Nothing like a long shot to come in to close the week.

This Week – 121st US Open

Jon Rahm (+900): Absolutely ridiculous number in a field with 50 of the OWGR top 50 playing. The book’s job is not to give away money so you’ll have to take a deep breath and then swallow it. Not many on his level after Memorial but he’s never won a major.

Dustin Johnson (+1600): Stopped playing FIO after the 2017 edition after playing nine of the 10 previous years. The appearance fees in the Middle East? Disdain for the track? Anyhow, I was disappointed in his weekend last week at Congaree. Was it the “home town pressure”? Couldn’t hit any fairways or greens last week.

Bryson DeChambeau (+1800): We’ll see if he can cut thru the Kikuyu like he did the ryegrass at Winged Foot. This time around he will not have a level playing field (nobody basically plays Winged Foot) where his super powers can just carry the day. There are plenty in this field who know how to get it around Torrey South. Never played the weekend or broke 70 in four rounds here.

Brooks Koepka (+1800): Bet him blind in this event. If he’s playing, he’s contending. Across the board, Win, Top 10 and Top 20.

Xander Schauffele (+1800): Has done everything in this event except win it and finish outside the top 6. That’s amazing. Toss in Torrey is in his backyard and we have a developing situation. Across the board as well.

Jordan Spieth (+2000): I wrote in OAD that I’m interested to see which version shows up this week. He’s played the TOUR event six times and has one (T19) inside T35. I know he’s in form. I’ll enjoy the theatre but I’m not buying a ticket.

Rory McIlroy (+2000): The breakthrough came on a course he knows like the back of his hand. The momentum didn’t last as he relived the vibes of 2012 at Kiawah but not the golf. He likes Torrey South (T16, T3 and T5 last three editions) so maybe that helps.

Collin Morikawa (+2200): Can get back to just being a one-time major non-defending champion. West coast kid on a west coast track and not many hit it better. T21 on debut here in January suggests, as we already knew, he’s a very quick study.

Justin Thomas (+2200): It’s been pointed out in here a few times his win at THE PLAYERS was the exception, not the rule. Thomas historically heats up as summer hits and rolls on. The evidence is the WGC-FESJC and East Lake. Not many burn bright from opening day thru the final week.

Patrick Cantlay (+2500): Not many win the week before or the event before. MC-T51-MC in three visits to Torrey doesn’t inspire. Too many dots that have to connect. Yes, he was in my EXPERTS PICKS lineup Monday before I dug deeper. Minds can change.

Viktor Hovland (+2500): Only three players who have NOT won majors have shorter odds (Rahm, Schauffele and Cantlay) so that tells you what the books think of the Norwegian.

Tony Finau (+2800): Loves the hardest tracks possible and I love him on those courses. The West coast vibe, Kikuyu, and having zero pressure or expectations won’t hurt either. Across the board.

Patrick Reed (+2800): Doing the double less than six months apart on the same routing would be one hell of a story. I don’t think Reed cares about narratives or anything except getting the ball in the hole. Dominant here in January as the only player double digits under par as he won by five. Across the board.

33-1 or worse

Hideki Matsuyama (+4000): Masters win, Tokyo hangover. Just one top 10 in eight visits to the South Course.

Will Zalatoris (+4000): All he does is top 10 at majors haha. Oh and T7 here on debut in January. Take my money! Top 10. Top 20.

Tyrrell Hatton (+4500): First visit didn’t bother him at Congaree. Different class of track and field here. I like the form and I like his game. He was hot entering Winged Foot and crashed early. I’ve just talked myself out of him. I think.

Scottie Scheffler (+4500): Top 50 GIR and Fairways but shot 79 here on the South Course in January.

Shane Lowry (+4500): Shit fire hot. Across the board. He’s playing with the house’s money for eternity after winning at Royal Portrush. Across the board.

Paul Casey (+4500): Last player to win in their 40s was Payne Stewart.

Louis Oosthuizen (+5000): Can I bet him to just finish second? Top 10. Top 20.

Abraham Ancer (+6600): Full bag. Playing great. Across the board. Nine straight in the top 25 and three of the last four in the top 8.

Jason Kokrak (+6600): T29 or better in four of his last five at Torrey. Top 20.

Anybody from San Diego: Hoffman has the most heat. Phil has the most hate for the place. Spaun is struggling a bit.

Anybody from South Africa: Kikuyu won’t bother them as much as the others.

Longer Shots

Brian Harman (+12500): T18 or better in six of his last seven.

Kevin Streelman (+15000): Too many good tournaments. Best major was Kiawah T8. Momentum definitely rolling here. Top 10. Top 20.

Chez Reavie (+27500): Top 20.

Brendan Steele: Top 20.

Tom Hoge (+40000): Top 40.

Wyndham Clark (+40000): Top 40

Tyler Strafaci (+75000): To make the cut

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out through Twitter or email me


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