The second U.S. Open in nine months will be at a course that a good chunk of the field knows well. Unlike the U.S. Open at Winged Foot in August, which was won by Bryson DeChambeau, the 2021 U.S. Open will be held at Torrey Pines Golf Course. That is the annual home of the Farmers Insurance Open.
Sure, Torrey Pines will look and play a little bit different this, just like it did in 2008 when Tiger Woods beat Rocco Mediate in a playoff at 1-under. The winning scores at the Farmers have been a lot better than that. We know that the U.S. Open often has a gnarly setup with penal rough and tough pin placements, not to mention a long course.
We’ll probably see Torrey Pines check all of those boxes, which means that the world’s best will need to be at their best to take down the third of four majors set for 2021 and the fourth of five set for the 2020-21 PGA Tour schedule.
We’ll take our odds from DraftKings Sportsbook because they have a special offer this week, as the Bet $1, Win $100 offer is back. All you have to do is make a first-time deposit of $5 or more in your DraftKings account and bet at least $1 on ANY U.S. Open market. If Bryson DeChambeau makes a birdie, you’ll win four $25 free bets.
2021 U.S. Open Betting Odds
The only things that were going to beat Jon Rahm at the Memorial was an injury or a positive COVID test. Unfortunately, he had the latter. The seemingly asymptomatic Rahm has been away for the requisite 10 days and he will go into the U.S. Open as the favorite. DraftKings lists him at +1050.
Reigning U.S. Open champ Bryson DeChambeau was the only player under par at Winged Foot and he’ll try to uphold his title at +1500. Dustin Johnson and Xander Schauffele are priced the same. Two-time U.S. Open champ Brooks Koepka, who seems to hit another gear in majors, is +1900 alongside Jordan Spieth, also a U.S. Open champ at Chambers Bay.
Rory McIlroy leads the crowd in the +2000s that includes Patrick Cantlay, Tony Finau, who is a popular pick this week, Justin Thomas, Patrick Reed, who is also a popular pick this week, Collin Morikawa, and Viktor Hovland.
This is a star-studded field, which means a lot of good players are priced at +4000 or higher, like one of last week’s runners-up, Tyrrell Hatton, the surging Paul Casey, Daniel Berger, Webb Simpson, and past Farmers Insurance Open champs Justin Rose and Marc Leishman. Imagine Berger at +5500, Rose at +6600, and Leishman at +8500. This really is a talented field.
Torrey Pines and the U.S. Open
Torrey Pines hosted the U.S. Open back in 2008 and Tiger Woods won in that memorable playoff against Rocco Mediate. Tiger had season-ending knee surgery the following week. The winning score was 1-under that year, which is way off from what the winning score typically is at Torrey Pines for the Farmers Insurance Open in January.
The weather looks flawless this week in San Diego, so the course will play fast and firm. The rough will be penal, as it always is for the U.S. Open. We’ll see some tough pin placements and a lot of length out of this course. Long rough shots are going to make the par 5s really interesting this week.
Who Has Had Success Here?
Unlike past U.S. Opens, we have a ton of course form data and history to rely on, if that’s your thing, of course. I mentioned that Finau was a popular pick this week already. While he hasn’t finished off a tournament on a stage this grand, he’s finished in the top 15 in four straight events here and has been in the top 25 in all seven of his starts at Torrey Pines. He was second earlier this year to Patrick Reed.
Reed’s win was the culmination of four straight top-25 finishes, including a sixth in 2020. Another ‘R’ that does well here is Rory, who has only played three times at Torrey, but has two top-five finishes and a 16th. Another ‘R’ is Justin Rose, who won here back in 2019 and has three career top-10 finishes in San Diego.
How about another ‘R’? Ryan Palmer was runner-up in January and also finished second at the Farmers back in 2018. He’s been in the top 25 in four straight starts at this course.
Marc Leishman has a big number this week and is a past winner at this course in 2020 and a two-time runner-up with two other top-10 finishes. If we get some winds this week, Leishman is an excellent wind player.
These aren’t the only guys. Lots of players have had success at this event and the Farmers Insurance Open is a very popular one because of the course.
Who Has Had Recent Success?
As far as recent form, there are a lot of guys on this list as well. Garrick Higgo won last week at Congaree and had won two events on the European Tour prior to coming stateside. Tyrrell Hatton was second last week, among others.
Collin Morikawa was runner-up at the Memorial and has five top-20 finishes in his last six events. Patrick Cantlay won the Memorial, though it would have been Jon Rahm, so we can include him here. Jordan Spieth has a couple top-five finishes and an additional top-10 over his last five starts. Jason Kokrak won the AT&T Byron Nelson.
Phil Mickelson has taken a ton of money this week at U.S. books after winning the PGA Championship. He missed the cut the following week, which was no surprise. Abraham Ancer had five top-20 finishes and three top-10 finishes before his MC at the Memorial. Xander Schauffele was third at The Masters and has a lot of high finishes lately. So does Paul Casey and Louis Oosthuizen has been a runner-up twice recently.
Those that use course form or recent form have a lot of considerations this week.
U.S. Open Picks & Best Bets
Collin Morikawa checks a lot of boxes this week. Torrey Pines is largely a first and second shot course. Morikawa peppers drives into the fairway and is the best iron player in the world. He’s +2550 to win and +500 for a top-five finish. I like both of those.
Corey Conners has a big number at +7500 with some lackluster play recently, but Conners is a great ball-striker with a knack for fairways. He still has five top-25 finishes in his last seven events, so it’s not like he’s playing bad. It seems he’s been forgotten about with the strength of this field.
Lastly, let’s shoot for the moon with Cameron Champ. He’s 300/1, but he’s a big hitter off the tee and a guy that can really shorten this course. He actually struck the ball really well in January, but couldn’t make a putt to save his life and missed the cut. He was tied for 16th here two years ago. Big number, but let’s just get him to the weekend. He’s +2000 for a top-10 finish and that doesn’t seem too outlandish.
Group and head-to-head matchups are also an option, like Leishman at -114 over Tommy Fleetwood or Conners at -110 against Gary Woodland.