Here it is… the Golf Insider‘s preview of this week’s major, the US Open.

US Open 2021: The Tournament

The US Open is a prominent feature on both the PGA Tour and the European Tour schedules. The event is actually under the control of the USGA (United States Golf Association) who treat it very much as the opportunity to “torture” the players with the ultimate test of golf – tight fairways, long and penal rough, treacherous greens. The winner of the US Open is always viewed as a player who really has earned their reward as the conditions can be that difficult. It was traditionally the second Major of the year, after the US Masters, but with the moving of the US PGA Championship (from August to May) it’s now become the third big golfing event on the calendar.

The tournament was first held in 1895 and since then the roll of honour has been dominated by home players with 86 of 120 champions coming from the US. The remaining 34 winners comprise Scotland (13), England (9), South Africa (5), Australia and Northern Ireland (2), New Zealand, Germany & Argentina (1). The leading individual winners are all some way back in the record books. Willie Anderson, Bobby Jones, Ben Hogan and Jack Nicklaus (all with four wins apiece). Next on the list come Hale Irwin and, more recently, Tiger Woods (each with three wins).

The field is typically 156 with the line-up drawn from a much wider catchment than, say, the US Masters as the US Open is “open” to any professional golfer, or amateur, with the necessary handicap who either qualifies or is exempt on account of their status (past champion, world ranking etc). The unique characteristic of this event used to be that should a play-off be required after 72 holes, the tied players come back the next day (Monday) and compete over another 18 holes – as Tiger Woods and Rocco Mediate famously did here in 2008. Thankfully, this format has now been changed, and drastically shortened!

US Open 2021: The Course

This year we’re at Torrey Pines (South Course) in La Jolla, California. The facility is a regular host to the Farmers Insurance Open, and is well-known by the players. It’s only held one Major to date, the 2008 US Open – won by Tiger Woods. The course is located just north of San Diego, and the South Course was most recently designed by Rees Jones back in 2001. It’s a 7,800 yard layout that will play as a par 72. And exposed, links-style course that should prove a good test for the players this week.

72-Hole Record

268, Rory McIlroy (2011)

18-Hole Record

63, Adam Scott (2013)

US Open: Past Winners

2020: Bryson DeChambeau
2019: Gary Woodland
2018: Brooks Koepka
2017: Brooks Koepka
2016: Dustin Johnson
2015: Jordan Spieth
2014: Martin Kaymer
2013: Justin Rose
2012: Webb Simpson
2011: Rory McIlroy

US Open 2021: The Field

As stated above, we have a full complement of 150+ golfers at Torrey Pines this week. Jon Rahm is the $10 market leader with TopSport.

US Open 2021: The Weather

It’s going to be a dry week, with hardly a mention of rain in the forecast. Temperatures will also be good, with the mercury reaching the high 70s on all four days in California. Wind can be the key here, and the good news for the players is that it’s expected to be a quiet week with wind speeds barely topping 10mph.

US Open 2021: Value Bets

These are two outright bets from the Golf Insider. Members receive all of his best bets for all markets – win and each-way, Top 10, Top 20, Round 1 Leader and 3-Ball groups. He covers every tournament on the PGA and European Tours.

Brooks Koepka $19 with TopSport
Koepka is currently a machine when it comes to performing well at the Majors. His recent record is quite phenomenal winning four since 2017, and registering a further three runner-up finishes. His last three US Open starts read 1-1-2, which is just absurd. He is full of confidence, and a game that backs it up. He’s best-suited to the toughest tests, and that’s what we’ll be getting this week at Torrey Pines. Koepka’s injuries look behind him, and despite missing the cut last week, he still played nicely, and had it not been for some suspect putting would have comfortably made the cut. Koepka isn’t bothered with normal PGA Tour events, he’s only interested in the Majors, and his form shows this to be the case. Had you backed him blindly in all majors each-way since 2015 you’d have made a huge profit, and backing him this week looks to be another shrewd move, especially with the great each-way terms on offer. You can’t ignore the American at the Majors, and Koepka’s the first man on the team sheet this week.

Collin Morikawa $23 with TopSport
The man who is breaking strokes gained approach records is the next man to make the staking plan. His tee-to-green numbers continue to amaze, and his game should be perfectly suited to this week’s toughest of tests. He hasn’t ranked worse than 5th in his last four starts for strokes gained tee-to-green, which is as good as it gets, gaining an incredible 41 strokes on the field average at over 10 shots an event! His form figures for those 4 events are 7-8-14 and 2nd (when we backed him), so Morikawa’s game is primed for this week. He’s played Torrey Pines just the once and finished 21st, which is a solid first outing at such a tough track. Last time out at The Memorial he finally found his touch on the greens, ranking 6th in Strokes Gained: Putting, and if he can maintain any sort of momentum on the greens he’ll have a huge chance of claiming his second Major title at just his sixth Major start! At current prices he looks a no-brainer this week.

The Golf Insider is a GUN. Look at these winners, all since the start of 2020...

Martin Laird $201, Rasmus Hojgaard $151, Mark Hubbard $126, Marc Warren $101, Sam Burns $67, Tyrell Hatton $51, Peter Malnati $46, John Catlin $46, Talor Gooch $41, Harold Varner $36, Harris English $34, Robert Macintyre $31, Adri Arnaus $26, Connor Syme $26, Scott Jamieson $24, JB Holmes $21, Seamus Power $21, Dustin Johnson $21

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