If it seems like we just had a major championship tournament that’s because there was one last month. The 2020-21 PGA Tour schedule has a record six majors on the docket after a pair was shuttered last season due to COVID.
The best golfers in the world assemble this week at Torrey Pines Golf Club outside San Diego for the second U.S. Open of the campaign with Bryson DeChambeau looking to defend the title he won in September at Winged Foot. DeChambeau isn’t even among the top five on the odds board giving bettors an idea of just how loaded the field is.
Jon Rahm was this close to a victory at the Memorial building a six-shot lead after 54 holes before having to withdraw due to a positive COVID test. Despite being isolated for several days after the diagnosis and just recently cleared to participate, Rahm opened as the betting favorite to win his first major championship.
Xander Schauffele is in search of his first major title and emerged as the second favorite. It’s a homecoming for the X-man, who grew up a stone’s throw from Torrey Pines. How cool would it be for him to win a major on his turf? The most recent major champion will get plenty of attention.
Phil Mickelson startled everyone with his win at the PGA Championship last month and needs the U.S. Open title to secure his career Grand Slam. Can Lefty do it again?
The 2021 U.S. Open runs from June 17-20 at Torrey Pines Golf Club in La Jolla, CA. Parts of the tournament will be televised on both Golf Channel and NBC.
Odds to win 2021 U.S. Open
Jon Rahm +925
Xander Schauffele +1150
Brooks Koepka +1515
Dustin Johnson +1650
Tony Finau +1685
Bryson DeChambeau +1852
Rory McIlroy +1952
Collin Morikawa +2155
Justin Thomas +2267
Jordan Spieth +2368
Patrick Cantlay +2463
Patrick Reed +2498
Viktor Hovland +2876
Hideki Matsuyama +3915
Scottie Scheffler +4050
Tyrrell Hatton +4050
Webb Simpson +4412
Cameron Smith +4850
Will Zalatoris +4950
(Odds provided by BookMaker.eu as of Wednesday, June 16, 2021)
With all that’s gone on this season is it worth locking into a favorite? We’ve seen a number of unexpected winners, but the likelihood of that happening this week is slim. I’m not saying it won’t happen, but this is a major and the best of the best are out competing.
Rahm remains the favorite and actually saw his odds shorten, telling us there are plenty of believers despite his recent bout with the virus. Rahm has placed among the top-10 in 10 of his 17 starts this season and has to be motivated after coming so close to his second win of the season. He’s also enjoyed success at Torrey Pines winning the Farmers Insurance Open in 2017 along with two other top-5s.
Six other players have odds shorter than 20/1. DeChambeau has been relatively quiet since his U.S. Open win last year, but you can’t count him out with his beefy drives making Torrey Pines look short. Dustin Johnson might be finding his game just in time.
He had more MCs (2) than top-10s (1) over seven tournaments before a T10 in the Palmetto Championship last week. DJ entered that event to work out the kinks and it may have worked. And we all know how Brooks Koepka turns it up a notch during a major. Seemingly overlooked is Rory McIlroy, who is always a threat.
Where to start in this stacked field? I guess at the top and that means Rahm. He’s the best player without a major championship, though Schauffele and Tony Finau might argue, and he has to be extra motivated after what happened at Muirfield Village. Couple his recent form with his success at Torrey Pines and Rahm is justifiably the favorite.
The player at the top of the odds board doesn’t always win as we continue to find out. Finding value in a loaded field is easy if you stray down the odds board. There are several top-notch talents at the next level with Jordan Spieth on a nice roll. Spieth has awoken from his slumber in a big way capturing eight top-10s in his last 12 starts, including a win in the Texas Open. He’s listed further down the odds board based on his struggles at Torrey Pines, but Spieth is in a better place now and up to the challenge.
Another player I like is Will Zalatoris, who hasn’t been fazed by the glitz of big tournaments. He finished one-shot off the lead for a runner-up at The Masters and was T8 at last month’s PGA Championship. He opened the season with a T6 at the U.S. Open and has seven top-10s among his 11 top-20s this season. He’s a superb ball-striker and averages over 306 yards off the tee, areas of importance at a long Torrey Pines layout.
One player I remain high on is Schauffele. For as consistently good as he’s been he doesn’t get a lot of publicity because he hasn’t won on Tour since early 2019 and he’s without a major championship. Still, he always seems to be lurking around the top of the leaderboard. He finished 5-T3-T6-T5 in four U.S. Open starts and placed inside the top-15 in four of his last five events.
U.S. Open Prediction
Torrey Pines will play a little different than what the field saw in January, though it probably won’t be a huge deal. I’m still waiting for Schauffele (+1150) to win a major and would there be a better story than for him to win so close to home? I don’t think so.
Check out today’s golf odds.