2021 U.S. Open: Best value bets, predictions

reynolds

In 2020, the U.S. Open was pushed back to September due to COVID-19. This year it returns to its customary date over Father's Day weekend and returns to the West Coast at Torrey Pines Golf Course in San Diego. While the U.S. Open has not been held at Torrey Pines since 2008, the course is the annual host of the Farmers Insurance Open near the end of January. For the year's third major, Torrey Pines' South Course will host all four rounds and the setup will be the typically difficult USGA layout in lieu of what players ordinarily see earlier in the calendar year.

The last time we saw Jon Rahm, he was nearly dropping to his knees alongside the 18th green two weeks ago after finding out he had tested positive for COVID-19 and would be forced to withdraw from the Memorial Tournament, where he was the defending champion and was en route to a repeat victory, holding a six-stroke lead after 54 holes. The Spaniard's 10-day COVID-19 isolation period ended Tuesday. Rahm (11-1), still part of the "it's not a matter of if but when" category, is the favorite to win his first career major. Four of the last five and nine of the last 12 U.S. Open champions won their first major at this event. World No. 1 and 2016 U.S. Open champion Dustin Johnson (14-1) was in the thick of contention Sunday for the Palmetto Championship in his home state of South Carolina before carding a triple bogey on the 16th hole. Brooks Koepka, the runner-up at the PGA, and defending U.S. Open champion Bryson DeChambeau have been a major topic in the golf world because of their public feud. Both are priced at 16-1. 

Jordan Spieth (18-1) is barely inside the top 25 of the Official World Golf Rankings (OWGR) but has played his best golf in three or four years in 2021 with a win, six top-5s, and eight top-10s in 13 total starts. Rory McIlroy (20-1) won the Wells Fargo six weeks ago for the third time but has not looked like vintage Rory for almost two years now. Xander Schauffele (20-1) has finished in the top 5 of the U.S. Open in three of the last four years and had yet another near-miss at a major back in April finishing tied for third at the Masters. Collin Morikawa (22-1) and Patrick Cantlay (25-1) were the biggest beneficiaries of Rahm's withdrawal at the Memorial as they were his playing partners on Saturday and were left to fight it out in a Sunday playoff before Cantlay won his second Memorial in three years. World No. 2 Justin Thomas (25-1), who won the Players Championship in March, has seen his price drift upward as he has failed to post a top-10 finish or better in any of his last seven events. 

Viktor Hovland (28-1), along with Schauffele and Tony Finau (25-1) and a couple others, finished tied for second earlier this year at Torrey Pines for the Farmers Insurance Open five strokes behind Patrick Reed (35-1). Reed is attempting to join the exclusive company of Ben Hogan (1948 L.A. Open and U.S. Open at Riviera), Jack Nicklaus (1972 Bing Crosby National Pro-Am and U.S. Open at Pebble Beach) and Tiger Woods (2000 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am and U.S. Open at Pebble Beach; 2008 Buick Invitational and U.S. Open at Torrey Pines) as players to win a PGA Tour event and a U.S. Open on the same course in the same year. 

THE EVENT

The U.S. Open returns to Torrey Pines Golf Course for the first time since 2008 when Tiger Woods, essentially on one leg, defeated Rocco Mediate in an 18-hole Monday playoff. In 2018, the United States Golf Association (USGA), the event's organizer and sanctioning body, adopted a two-hole aggregate playoff format. If players are tied after two holes, play continues as sudden death.

There are 156 players in this field and only the low 60 players and ties will make the weekend, so this is arguably the hardest cut to make in all of the major championships. 

This list details the exemption criteria for the 2021 U.S. Open and the players who qualified under them; any additional criteria under which players are exempt is indicated in parentheses.

1. Recent winners of the U.S. Open (2011-20)

Bryson DeChambeau (2,10,11,15), Dustin Johnson (2,5,10,11,15), Martin Kaymer, Brooks Koepka (6,15), Rory McIlroy (2,8,10,15), Justin Rose (15), Webb Simpson (2,10,15), Jordan Spieth (7,15), Gary Woodland (15)

2. The top 10 players and ties in the 2020 U.S. Open

Harris English (10,15), Tony Finau (10,15), Zach Johnson, Louis Oosthuizen (15), Xander Schauffele (10,15), Justin Thomas (6,8,10,11,15), Matthew Wolff (15), Will Zalatoris (15)

3. The winner of the 2020 U.S. Amateur

Tyler Strafaci

4. The runner-up in the 2020 U.S. Amateur

Ollie Osborne (a)

5. Recent winners of the Masters (2017-21)

Sergio García (15), Hideki Matsuyama (10,15), Patrick Reed (10,15)

Tiger Woods not playing.

6. Recent winners of the PGA Championship (2016-21)

Collin Morikawa (10,11,15), Jimmy Walker, Phil Mickelson (15,18)

7. Recent winners of the British Open (2016-19)

Shane Lowry (15), Francesco Molinari, Henrik Stenson

8. Recent winners of the Players Championship (2019–2021)

9. The winner of the 2020 BMW PGA Championship

Tyrrell Hatton (10,15)

10. All players who qualified for the 2020 Tour Championship

Abraham Ancer (15), Daniel Berger (15), Cameron Champ, Lanto Griffin, Billy Horschel (15), Viktor Hovland (15), Mackenzie Hughes, Sungjae Im (15), Kevin Kisner (15), Marc Leishman (15), Sebastián Muñoz, Kevin Na (15), Joaquín Niemann (15), Ryan Palmer (15), Jon Rahm (11,15), Scottie Scheffler (15), Cameron Smith (15), Brendon Todd

11. Winners of multiple PGA Tour events from the originally scheduled date of the 2020 U.S. Open (June 21, 2020) to the start of the 2021 tournament

Patrick Cantlay (15), Stewart Cink (15), Jason Kokrak (15)

12. The leading 10 points winners from the "European Qualifying Series" who are not otherwise exempt

Marcus Armitage, Richard Bland, Dave Coupland, Thomas Detry, Adrian Meronk, Guido Migliozzi, Edoardo Molinari, Jordan Smith, Matthew Southgate

Mikko Korhonen will not play.

13. The winner of the 2020 Amateur Championship

Joe Long (a)

14. The winner of the Mark H. McCormack Medal in 2020

Takumi Kanaya turned professional in October 2020 and forfeited his U.S. Open exemption.

15. The leading 60 players on the Official World Golf Ranking as of May 24, 2021

Christiaan Bezuidenhout, Sam Burns, Paul Casey, Corey Conners, Matthew Fitzpatrick, Tommy Fleetwood, Brian Harman, Russell Henley, Garrick Higgo, Max Homa, Matt Jones, Si-woo Kim, Matt Kuchar, Kyoung-hoon Lee, Robert MacIntyre, Carlos Ortiz, Victor Perez, Adam Scott, Kevin Streelman, Matt Wallace, Bubba Watson, Lee Westwood

16. The leading 60 players on the Official World Golf Ranking if not otherwise exempt as of June 7, 2021

Charley Hoffman, Ian Poulter, Bernd Wiesberger

17. The leading player from each of the 2020-21 Asian Tour, 2020-21 PGA Tour of Australasia and 2021-22 Sunshine Tour Orders of Merit

Brad Kennedy, Wilco Nienaber, Wade Ormsby

18. Qualifiers

Hokota, Ibaraki, Japan (The Royal Golf Club): Yosuke Asaji, Ryo Ishikawa

Dallas (Dallas Athletic Club): Luis Fernando Barco, Paul Barjon, Mario Carmona, Eric Cole, Álvaro Ortiz, Matthias Schmid (a), Matthew Sharpstene (a), Hayden Springer, Johannes Veerman, Kyle Westmoreland, Rolling Hills, Calif. (Rolling Hills Country Club): Roy Cootes, Rikuya Hoshino, Chan Kim, Taylor Montgomery, Justin Suh, Jupiter, Fla. (The Bear's Club): Thomas Aiken, Luis Gagne, Fabián Gómez, Branden Grace, Andrew Kozan (a), Patrick Rodgers, Atlanta (Piedmont Driving Club): Hayden Buckley, Rick Lamb, Spencer Ralston (a), Davis Shore, Greyson Sigg, Rockville, Md. (Woodmont Country Club): Chris Baker, Chris Crawford, Taylor Pendrith, Dylan Wu, Purchase, N.Y. (Century Country Club and Old Oaks Country Club): Jimmy Hervol, Andy Pope, Cameron Young, Zach Zaback, Columbus, Ohio (Brookside Golf & Country Club and The Lakes Golf & Country Club): Rafa Cabrera-Bello, Wyndham Clark, Pierceson Coody (a), Dylan Frittelli, Adam Hadwin, Tom Hoge, Michael Johnson, Sung-hoon Kang, Martin Laird, Peter Malnati, J. T. Poston, Chez Reavie, Charl Schwartzel, Brendan Steele, Erik van Rooyen, Jhonattan Vegas, Springfield, Ohio (Springfield Country Club): Bo Hoag, Troy Merritt, Dylan Meyer, Carson Schaake, Robby Shelton, Brian Stuard, Sahith Theegala, Hilton Head Island, S.C. (Long Cove Club): Akshay Bhatia, Wilson Furr, John Huh, Sam Ryder, J.J. Spaun, Richland, Wash. (Meadow Springs Country Club): Stephen Allan, Joe Highsmith (a)

19. Alternates

Cole Hammer (a): First alternate from Columbus replaces Mikko Korhonen

Zach Sucher: First alternate from Hilton Head Island regional site.

THE COURSE

Torrey Pines’ South Course will play host this week and will be converted to a par-71 of 7,685 yards. It typically plays as a par-72 at the Farmers Insurance Open, but hole No. 6 will be converted from a par-5 to a long par-4. William F. Bell designed this layout in 1957 with Rees Jones having done two redesigns in 2001 and 2019, the latter more specifically for this year's U.S. Open. For this second renovation, at a cost of $14 million, Jones and assistant Greg Muirhead added some tees and shifted bunkers to help the course defend itself even more. The most noticeable changes are at the par-5 ninth and the par-4 10th, 15th and 17th holes. A new cross-hole bunker 50 yards short of the ninth green will make players have to think more when going for the green in two shots.

The 10th was always a relatively easy drive and wedge start to the back nine, but with a new back tee box, the visual of the hole has changed dramatically, with the left side of the fairway split with a bunker, while a right fairway bunker pinches the landing zone. The 15th has again been lengthened to play at 480 yards. The 17th also features a new back tee box and a pinched fairway landing area.

The South Course features seven par-4s of 450 yards or greater and all four of the par-5s are over 560 yards. The course features fast Poa Annua greens, which are mainly found only on the West Coast and in the Northeast. Many players do not like putting on Poa Annua due to the difficulty. Pebble Beach, Riviera, Bethpage Black, and some other recent U.S. Open hosts, including Winged Foot, Shinnecock Hills and Oakmont, feature these putting surfaces. The course also features gnarly Kikuyugrass rough that will be three-plus inches thick, which players typically only see at Riviera in early February. Longer and thicker Kikuyugrass rough means the South Course will be extremely difficult in terms of proximity to the hole from the rough or just hitting a green. The fairways are Bermudagrass overseeded with Rye. There is just one water hazard on this layout, but plenty of rough is out there to take strokes away from these players.

The following is a list of courses that have been featured in recent years on the PGA Tour that are either Rees Jones designs, redesigns, renovations or reconstructions:

Aronimink GC: 2010, 2011 A&T National and 2018 BMW Championship

Baltusrol: 2016 PGA Championship

Bellerive CC: 2018 PGA Championship

Bethpage Black: 2009 U.S Open, 2019 PGA Championship and 2012 and 2016 The Barclays

Blue Course, Congressional CC: 2011 U.S. Open and 2012, 2014 and 2016 National

Blue Course, Royal Montreal GC: 2014 RBC Canadian Open

Dubsdread, Cog Hill GCC: 2009-11 BMW Championship

East Lake GC: Tour Championship

GC of Houston: Houston Open

Hazeltine: 2009 PGA Championship

Highlands Course, Atlanta Athletic Club: 2011 PGA Championship

Medinah No. 3: 2019 BMW Championship

U.S. Open Recent History 

2020: Bryson DeChambeau (-6/274); Winged Foot; 22-1

2019: Gary Woodland (-13/271); Pebble Beach; 80-1 

2018: Brooks Koepka (+ 1/281); Shinnecock Hills; 25-1 

2017: Brooks Koepka (-16/272); Erin Hills; 45-1 

2016: Dustin Johnson (-4/276); Oakmont; 16-1 

2015: Jordan Spieth (-5/275); Chambers Bay; 9-1 

2014: Martin Kaymer (-9/271); Pinehurst No. 2; 40-1 

2013: Justin Rose (+ 1/281); Merion; 28-1 

2012: Webb Simpson (+ 1/281); Olympic Club; 80-1 

2011: Rory McIlroy (-16/268); Congressional; 22-1 

2010: Graeme McDowell (E/284); Pebble Beach; 80-1 

U.S. Open Champions Lead In-Form 

2020: DeChambeau (OWGR No. 9): 1 win (Rocket Mortgage Classic), 6 top-5s, 9 top-10s

2019: Woodland (No. 24): 1 top-5, 4 top-10s 

2018: Koepka (No. 9): 1 top-5, 1 top-10* 

2017: Koepka (No. 22): 1 top-5, 1 top-10 

2016: D. Johnson (No. 6): 5 top-5s, 7 top-10s 

2015: Spieth (No. 2): 2 wins (Valspar, Masters), 7 top-5s, 9 top-10s 

2014: Kaymer (No. 28): 1 win (Players), 1 top-5, 1 top-10 

2013: Rose (No. 5): 3 top-5s, 5 top-10s 

2012: Simpson (No. 13): 2 top-5s, 4 top-10s 

2011: McIlroy (No. 7): 3 top-5s, 6 top-10s 

2010: McDowell (No. 36): 1 win (Wales Open), 2 top-5s, 4 top-10s 

* Koepka had missed the first four months of the 2018 season with injury. 

U.S. OPEN TRENDS

Every U.S. Open winner since 2008 had at least one top-10 in his previous five starts entering the Open, and 11 of the last 13 had at least one top-5 in his previous five starts.

Twelve of the last 13 U.S. Open winners made the cut in their previous major (McDowell, 2010).

Eleven of the last 13 U.S. Open winners had at least one top-10 previously at a major championship (Glover, 2009 and Simpson, 2012).

Seven of the last 10 U.S. Open winners were ranked in the OWGR Top 15.

The last 10 U.S. Open winners and 11 of the last 13 were ranked in the OWGR top 30. 

Ten of the last 13 U.S. Open winners were between the ages of 26 and 32. 

The oldest winner of the U.S. Open since 2008 was Gary Woodland in 2019 at age 35. 

STATISTICAL ANGLES

In recent years, bomb and gouge has seemed to be the recipe for winning the U.S. Open.

Year US Open Winner Driving Accuracy Driving Distance Driving Distance All Drives

2020 Bryson DeChambeau 140th 1st 1st

2019 Gary Woodland 79th 13th 17th

2018 Brooks Koepka 155th 8th 5th

2017 Brooks Koepka 154th 7th 3rd

2016 Dustin Johnson 138th 2nd 2nd

Nevertheless, this year could mark a return to your typical U.S. Open play where being both long and straight off the tee leads to the most success. The month of June typically brings heavier air to San Diego that will assist in making Torrey Pines play longer than it does in January. The rough is also grown out to more typical USGA standards.

Strokes Gained: Off-The-Tee

1. Bryson DeChambeau 25.7

2. Matthew Fitzpatrick 22.2

3. Jhonattan Vegas 21.9

4. Jon Rahm 20.1

5. Abraham Ancer 18.6

6. Cameron Champ 18.4

7. Sergio Garcia 18.3

8. Patrick Cantlay 17.8

9. Jason Kokrak 17.8

10. Brooks Koepka 17.7

11. Scottie Scheffler 17.3

12. Viktor Hovland 16.4

13. Collin Morikawa 16.1

14. Corey Conners 16.1

15. Joaquin Niemann 15.9

Note: Last 24 rounds

Just because there is a premium on being long and straight off the tee, it does not mean that iron play will not go a long way into determining the winner on Sunday. 

Strokes Gained: Approach

1. Collin Morikawa 42.9

2. Paul Casey 31

3. Stewart Cink 29.6

4. Charley Hoffman 29

5. Patrick Cantlay 24.1

6. Justin Thomas 23.4

7. Jordan Spieth 22.4

8. Will Zalatoris 22.1

9. Tyrrell Hatton 21.5

10. Daniel Berger 20.2

11. Corey Conners 19.8

12. Hideki Matsuyama 19.2

13. Viktor Hovland 18.1

14. Brooks Koepka 18.1

15. Shane Lowry 17.9 

Note: Last 24 rounds

Greens In Regulation Gained

1. Collin Morikawa 37.4

2. Jon Rahm 34.6

3. Patrick Cantlay 33.3

4. Corey Conners 32.6

5. Brooks Koepka 31.6

6. Stewart Cink 30.5

7. Xander Schauffele 30

8. Paul Casey 27.5

9. Charley Hoffman 25.8

10. Justin Thomas 25.6

11. Louis Oosthuizen 25.5

12. Abraham Ancer 25.4

13. Jason Kokrak 23.2

14. Charl Schwartzel 23.1

15. Daniel Berger 22.5

Note: Last 24 rounds

Driving distance is never a disadvantage, but it could be even more of an advantage this week. Four of the last five U.S. Open champions ranked seventh or higher for the season in the category.

Driving Distance Gained 

1. Bryson DeChambeau 27.1

2. Taylor Pendrith 25.7

3. Cameron Champ 21.5

4. Rory McIlroy 20.9

5. Jhonattan Vegas 20.9

6. Gary Woodland 20.7

7. Joaquin Niemann 16.4

8. Jason Kokrak 15.5

9. Dustin Johnson 14.6

10. Wyndham Clark 14

11. Matthew Wolff 13.1

12. Jon Rahm 13

13. Xander Schauffele 12.2

14. Patrick Cantlay 11.5

15. Adam Scott 11.2

Notes: Last 24 rounds; yards per drive

Five of the par-4s at Torrey Pines measure between 450 and 500 Yards. 

Strokes Gained: Par-4s 450-500 Yards

1. Louis Oosthuizen 22.3

2. Patrick Cantlay 19.4

3. Collin Morikawa 18.1

4. Abraham Ancer 17.2

5. Shane Lowry 15.6

6. Adam Scott 15.3

7. Jordan Spieth 13.1

8. Matt Wallace 13.1

9. Corey Conners 12.8

10. Stewart Cink 12.6

11. Bryson DeChambeau 12.5

12. Rory McIlroy 12.4

13. Edoardo Molinari 12.1

14. Matthew Fitzpatrick 11.8

15. Carlos Ortiz 11.1

Note: Last 24 rounds

While the setup this week will have some differences than what the players saw in late January, the winner of the 2021 Farmers Insurance Open, the last event held on this course, was Patrick Reed, who led the field for Strokes Gained: Around The Green. Players will not hit even close to every green here, so the short pitch game along with chipping and bunker play will be important. 

Strokes Gained: Around The Green

1. Kevin Na 24.8

2. Matt Jones 17.9

3. Tony Finau 17.3

4. Tommy Fleetwood 16.3

5. Brian Harman 16.3

6. Cameron Smith 14.5

7. Fabian Gomez 13.5

8. Shane Lowry 13.2

9. Ian Poulter 11.7

10. Wyndham Clark 11.4

11. Patrick Reed 11.1

12. Louis Oosthuizen 10.8

13. Branden Grace 10.6

14. Webb Simpson 10

15. K.H. Lee 9.5

Note: Last 24 rounds

Poa Annua greens are featured only a few times per year on the regular tour calendar. These greens are primarily featured on the West Coast and in the northeast parts of the country. However, they do differentiate a little depending on which coast you are on. Poa Annua greens are typically very bumpy and are best in the morning when they are first mowed and then get bumpier as the day goes along. 

Strokes Gained: Putting on Poa Annua Greens

1. Louis Oosthuizen 30.6

2. Matt Kuchar 29.7

3. Jon Rahm 21.6

4. Bryson DeChambeau 20.5

5. Patrick Rodgers 18.8

6. Patrick Reed 18.8

7. Webb Simpson 18.2

8. Brian Stuard 17.2

9. Adam Hadwin 17.1

10. J.T. Poston 16.9

11. Wyndham Clark 16.4

12. Henrik Stenson 15.7

13. Jimmy Walker 15.5

14. Kevin Na 14.5

15. Max Homa 13.6

Note: Last 24 rounds

For this category, we use the West Coast courses that have been played on the PGA Tour in recent years, including Club de Golf Chapultepec, Monterrey Peninsula, Pebble Beach, Riviera, Silverado, Spyglass Hill, Torrey Pines North and Torrey Pines South. 

Strokes Gained: Putting on West Coast Poa Annua Greens

1. Patrick Reed 22.8

2. Patrick Rodgers 21.4

3. Louis Oosthuizen 20.4

4. Jon Rahm 18.6

5. Max Homa 18.3

6. Si Woo Kim 18.1

7. Kevin Kisner 16.9

8. Wyndham Clark 16.2

9. Peter Malnati 16.1

10. Matt Kuchar 14.6

11. John Huh 13.1

12. Tony Finau 13

13. Brian Stuard 13

14. Adam Hadwin 12.9

15. Daniel Berger 11.3

Note: Last 24 rounds

SELECTIONS

Jon Rahm 11-1

The World No. 3 player has now come out of quarantine and tweeted over the weekend that he is good to go for the U.S. Open.

This has been a busy year for Rahm off the course as he became a father this spring. On the course, he has not met his usual high standards in 2021; nevertheless, he has posted three top-5s and seven top-10s. He also appears to be peaking at the right time. A Saturday 64 two weekends ago gave him a six-stroke lead over a field that had 11 of the top-15 players in the world participating at the Memorial Tournament. Then, the news of the positive COVID-19 test came alongside the 18th green in front of a nationally televised audience, and he was forced to withdraw. 

While it bears reiterating that Torrey Pines will play differently than it typically does for the Farmers Insurance Open in late January, positive previous experience on this track will still matter. Rahm has that, considering it was the site of his first worldwide victory as a professional back in 2017 when he holed a 60-foot eagle on the 72nd hole. Rahm also has finishes of seventh or better on this course each of the last three years. 

Rahm currently ranks second on the PGA Tour for both Total Driving and SG: Off-The-Tee, third for SG: Tee-To-Green and 12th on the season for SG: Approach. 

"Rahmbo" has backdoored into both of his top-10 major finishes in 2021, but he just might be able to walk in through the front door this time. 

Dustin Johnson 18-1

The reigning Masters champion certainly does not leap off the page considering last week's tie for 10th at the Palmetto Championship was his first top-10 finish since Riviera in early February. Last week, he ended up right in the hunt for a win before a triple bogey on 16 took him out of it. 

DJ's Torrey Pines form is also not much to write home about, but we must consider that he is usually returning from the Middle East having played in either Dubai, Abu Dhabi or Saudi Arabia, so the travel catches up with him. 

The recent form (last 24-36 rounds) has not been much, but if you extend back to the last 50 rounds, DJ is second in the field for SG: Tee-To-Green.

Furthermore, he returns to the Poa Annua greens, and no player in the world comes close to having more victories on this putting surface than Johnson. 

Xander Schauffele 20-1

It is rare for a player to have the chance to win his first career major in his hometown, but that opportunity now sits before San Diego native Xander Schauffele. 

Schauffele has played four U.S. Opens during his career and has finished fifth, sixth, third and fifth in them. He also pressed Hideki Matsuyama at the Masters in April before putting one in the drink on 16 and settling for third. He now has five top-5s and seven top-10s in majors over the last 4 1/2 seasons. 

The historical form at Torrey Pines is poor, but he did finish tied for second earlier this season and ranked first in Scrambling that week. 

In his last start, Schauffele was 11th at the Memorial Tournament but led the field for Greens In Regulation. 

Tony Finau 25-1

Finau continues to knock on the door but never is quite able to come through it. 

He has already added two more top-10s in majors this season with a T-10 at the Masters and a T-8 at the PGA Championship. That is now nine major top-10s in his last 13 appearances. 

Finau has a form line at Torrey Pines from 2021 to his rookie PGA Tour season in 2015 of 2-6-13-6-4-18-24. Although he lacks a victory here, or anywhere but Puerto Rico for that matter, he is a horse for this course. He also had two runner-up finishes at Riviera, including earlier this year, on Poa Annua greens, which are his preferred putting surfaces. 

Viktor Hovland 28-1

The Norwegian ended up T-2 with several others at Torrey Pines this year but was the only one to really emerge as a challenger on Sunday to the eventual winner, Patrick Reed.

Hovland also finished fifth in his debut this year at Riviera, which has a strong correlation to Torrey Pines. In addition, his U.S. Open record is excellent as he finished 12th on debut at Pebble Beach in 2019 and followed that with a 13th-place finish at Winged Foot last year.

He is one of only four players in this field who rank in the top 15 over the course of the last 24 rounds for both Off-The-Tee and Approach. 

Scottie Scheffler 54-1

Scheffler could be a bit of a wild card considering he has yet to earn his first PGA Tour win and the maiden is rarely broken at a major championship.

Nevertheless, he is in excellent form, finishing eighth in the PGA Championship three starts ago. He followed that with a missed cut at Colonial the week after but bounced back with a third-place finish in the Memorial Tournament two weeks ago in his latest start, which could be a tell for a big showing this week. 

A terrific ball striker, Scheffler is an excellent, long driver —  ranking first in Total Driving and 12th Off-The-Tee — with a great short game.

Jason Kokrak 66-1

Kokrak won the Charles Schwab Challenge at Colonial three weeks ago.

He ranks third on the PGA Tour for Total Driving and comes into the U.S. Open as a two-time PGA Tour winner. 

Max Homa 110-1

Homa bested Finau in the playoff to win at Riviera earlier this year. 

The California native was also fifth at Riviera in 2020 and has 18th- and ninth-place finishes in the Farmers over the past couple of seasons in addition to strong performances at the American Express and at Pebble Beach. He always seems to come to life in his home state. 

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