US Open Preview by Ryan Hamilton – @Golftipster5
This week sees the best in the golfing world come to San Diego California to take on Torrey Pines – South Course in the 121st US Open. The Willian Bell Designed 7802 Yard par 72 course looks set to be as tough as always for the US open with its narrow fairways & thick penalising tough. Accuracy off the tee & mental strength will be required to have any chance of picking up the US Open Trophy on what should be an eventful & drama filled Sunday evening
The South Course was designed by William Bell & opened in 1957. Rees Jones Redesigned the course in 2001 in prep for the Us open in 2008 but also the Farmers insurance Open which has been held at Torrey since 1968 which makes use of both the North & South course, However the US open will be Solely played on the south Course. 4 pars 3s, 10 par 4s & 4 pars 5s make up the par 72 course. The course measures 7802 yards off the black tees which is the currently the longest course on the PGA tour calendar.
2008 US Open
The last time Torrey played host to a US open was in 2008 when Tiger Woods prevailed in a Monday playoff against Rocco Mediate. The win more famous for the time tiger won with a stress fracture of the tibia & a torn ACL which ruled him out of the rest of the season. The playoff victory was the last time a US open was decided by a play off.
How it finished
Farmer’s Insurance Form
Patrick Reed was the most recent winner of the Farmers insurance Open with a score of -14 winning by 5 shots from Tony Finau, Viktor Hovland, Henrick Norlander, Ryan Palmer & Xander Schauffele who were all T2.
Two of the most recent winners of the Farmers haven’t qualified, Jason Day & Brand Snedecker both two times winner at Torrey failed to make it past the 36 hole local qualifiers last week. Three other recent winners however will be participating & they are Marc Leishman 2020, Justin Rose 2019 & John Rahm 2017. Course form will help this week, but it should be a different test of golf to what the usuals are used to. Recent winning scores of -21 by Justin Rose shouldn’t be available as the USGA always strive for Par to win the US open.
I could have made a case for many of the field this week however these are the six I feel have the best value from the bookies & one player who could land us some large place money.
Brooks Koepka – 18-1 William Hill 9 Places
Even with all the media hype surrounding Brooks & Bryson that will no doubt appear again this week especially if they get paired together. Brooks will just laugh it off & also use it to his advantage. He is a major player who usually always shows up in the majors even with his knee injury that has hampered his season. He showed at the PGA he is still capable of competing on the big stage even if his reading of putts looks a bit unorthodox at times as he winces in pain. He has missed the cut at the Palmetto so that means he can get to Torrey a few days earlier. He has only played 3 times since the masters which looks like this MC-2(PGA)-MC. This week should hopefully get rid of any rust he has so he is prepared for his crack at winning his 3rd US open Title.
Xander Schauffele – 20-1 William Hill 9 places
The San Diego Native Grew up just a few miles from Torrey Pines so for him it will almost feel like a home major. All his family will be able to be around the course which could give him the boost he needs to get his maiden major. Xander finished 2nd in January behind Patrick Reed & has already been putting in Time at Torrey as shown by his socials online. He ranks 4th in stroke Gained Total this year on tour as well as 1st in sand saves which will come in handy with the 54 bunkers on show this week. His has been a little wayward off the tee this year hitting 59.75% of fairways which is 111th however his green in regulation he ranks 11th with 69.23% but how will he fair in the longer rough on show this week? One more key attribute at a US open Is putting, the USGA will be making the green a lot quicker than players will be used to at a regular event & Xander ranks 9th in putting this year * finished 8th at the Farmer so he should be capable of handling he quicker greens. He also loves a US Open his last 4 starts he has finished 5-6-3-5 & should be inspired by Hideki winning his 1st major at the Masters & gain his first major at Torry.
Shane Lowry – 50-1 Betfred 10 Places.
The current (for a few more weeks) Open champion has hit form at the right time this year. His last 2 starts on tough tracks the PGA & the memorial he has finished 6th & 4th respectively to top his top 10s for the season up to 4 in 13 starts. Shane has played at Torrey 4 times before with 2 top 25 finishes, so he has enough experience to know how to get round with 7 under par rounds from 14 played. Ranking 37th off the tee this season & 60.64% of fairways hit he can get into play on most holes this week to give himself the best of chances. With Ryder cup points on offer he will be keen to stamp his ticket to whistling Straights in September.
Will Zalatoris – 50-1 Mansion Bet 7 Places
Will was in the same bracket for me as Reed. Both have great course form, Will finished 7th this year on debut at Torrey. He loves playing in majors, he finished 8th at the PGA, 2nd at the Masters on US open debut last year when he was 200-1 he finished 6th. He has shown this year that he is more than capable of teeing it up every week with the world’s best. He ranks 3rd this season on approach to the green which will be vital to achievable a winnable score. One stat I’m not a fan off is his putting this year which ranks 127th however he was 24th in January so it shows he likes the Torrey Greens. This season in 14 starts Will has had 4 top 10s in 14 starts.
Marc Leishman 66-1 Sky Bet 11 Places
The Aussie has a fantastic record at Torrey, he has played here 12 times in his career winning in 2020 & had 5 top 10 finishes. 66 I feel was a steal as I was thinking more 40s for Marc this week. He has 2 top 10s this year so far as well as the duo win with Cam smith. His stats for the year could put a few people off taking him this week, his best of the rest strokes gained is for approach to the green he sits at 67th. he finished 18th in January so that was good enough for me to take him this week especially with his course form in previous years.
Lee Westwood 100-1 Boyle Sports 10 places
Lee should be in a very happy place right now after getting married to his long-term partner & in some cases Caddy this week. The current race to Dubai Champions was in fantastic form between Arnies tournament & the players with two 2nd places back to back. He has since missed a couple of cuts & has two to 25s since. He has only played Torrey once in a regular event where he finished 47th but his clubs were lost on the flight to San Diego so his Prep could have been better. One if his best chances of his maiden major was in 2008 when he finished 3rd 1 shot behind the playoff. 13 years on he has a wealth of more experience & 15 more wins could he pull off a Phil Mickelson & show that the youngsters how it’s done.
Rikuya Hoshino 1000-1 Paddy Power 10 places
With a lot of US Open qualifying spots up for grabs there are numerous players over 500-1 this week. 69 of the 156 players are currently 500-1 or higher. These include recent Korn Ferry Tour winner Paul Barjon, Eduardo Molinari & Taylor Pendrith. However, there is one guy who I feel has gone under the radar a bit. Rikuya Hoshino has 2 wins this year from 5 events on the Japanese tour which has projected him to the world no 79. He played in the PGA & missed the cut but appears to have stayed in the US to prep for his 2nd US Open appearance.
Victor Hovland – I took an antepost bet on Victor at the Farmers this year at 50-1. He is in cracking form currently trading at 28-1 with 2 top 5s in his last 4 starts. He also finished 2nd at the Farmers this year.
Louis Oosthuizen 55-1 another player in fine form with 3 top 20s in 3 starts one of the being his 2nd in the PGA. A 29th at the Farmers this year I wouldn’t be surprised to see his name up there come Sunday.
Good Luck with all Bets