Horses for Courses: U.S. Open
June 15, 2021
By Mike Glasscott, PGATOUR.COM
- Patrick Reed is one to watch at the U.S. Open. (Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
The 121st people's champion will be identified on the one of the people's greatest tracks, Torrey Pines (South Course) in La Jolla, California. William P. Bell's original design opened in 1957 and the PGA TOUR has played an event here every year since 1968. Rees Jones was commissioned to modernize the course in the early 2000s. The goal was to host a US Open and that goal was realized in 2008. Jones was back on the scene in 2019 to adjust a handful of holes to ensure the track was ready for the second edition. This will be the 14th US Open held in the state of California and second in three years (Pebble Beach, 2019).
The scorecard reads 7,685 yards and Par-71 (35-36) so Torrey will, again, play as one of the longest US Open tracks in history. Unlike most US Open venues this will be the second time in three years that the USGA will use a PGA TOUR event site to host their marquee event. There's not much time between the end of January and June to make any sweeping changes to the layout will be the same, minus No. 6, usually a Par-5 hole, dropping to a Par-4 this week. The late January over-seeded fairways and approach areas will now be predominantly Kikuyugrass minus the overseed. The rough will be just Kikuyugrass and the nest-y quality of the way it grows will make recovery and approach shots difficult.
It should be difficult. It's a major championship.
Not many hit fairways at the US Open and this week shouldn't be any different as there is only 20 acres of fairway to aim at. Compare that to 24 acres at Memorial so tight is right!
Approach play and grinding out pars from around the greens will be paramount. The Poa annua greens are just 5,000 square feet on average, not large by any means, and the last four TOUR winners here have all been in the top 14 GIR so hitting more of them is a major key. Once on the dance floor, the Poa annua should be slick and major championship quick so keeping the ball on the proper side of the hole is the challenge around the greens.
The 82 bunkers will be in play off the tee and on approach. Of the 18 holes, 14 have sand both right and left of the green eliminating a bailout. Only one hole has water but it's the famous Par-5 finishing hole.
The top 60 and ties will play the final 36 holes.
The 18-hole Monday Playoff has been replaced by a two-hole aggregate followed by sudden death.
The weather appears to be perfect for tournament play as temperatures push 80 and the sun will be shining. Breezes on this coastal layout will be that, rather than wind.
On the line this week is a $12.5 million prize pool ($2.25 million to the winner plus 600 FedExCup points) plus a five year exemption on TOUR and a 10 year exemption into the US Open amongst other perks.
Recent Winner at Torrey Pines - US Open
2008: Tiger Woods (-1, 283)
Woods defeated Rocco Mediate in a Monday playoff to claim his 14th major championship. ... Only two players under par for the week. ... Lee Westwood missed the playoff by a shot (E, 284). ... Heath Slocum had the round of the week with a Sunday 65 while Stewart Cink signed for 67. ... Miguel Angel Jimenez posted 66 on Friday, the lowest round before the cut. ... Cut was 7-over. ... Kevin Streelman shared the first round lead after 68. ... Australian Stuart Appleby led on 3-under after 36 holes. ... The final pairing saw Woods (-3) led Westwood (-2) by a shot in the last tee time of the day. ... Sergio Garcia and Phil Mickelson shared 18th. ... T26 - Adam Scott, T36 - Pat Perez, T48 - Dustin Johnson and Matt Kuchar, T53 - Martin Kaymer and Kevin Streelman. MC - Zach Johnson, Justin Rose, Henrik Stenson, Bubba Watson; WD - Ian Poulter.
2021 - PGA TOUR Farmers Insurance Open
This is one of the few tracks, along with Pebble Beach, that doesn't need much changing for a major tournament. The fairways are already tight and the greens won't take much to get up to tournament speed. As with any advice, there is NO SINGLE STAT or CORRELATION which is automatic. Use it as part of your overall plan.
For more Torrey Pines Horses for Courses, please click here.
Patrick Reed (-14, 274)
Won by five. ... Led the field in putting. ... T63 GIR after T9 Fairways (#ShortGame). ... Posted 6-under on the South Course. ... Only player double figures under-par. ... Adds another tough course victory to his CV.
Notables in the field this week:
Tony Finau (T2) ranked T71 in fairways. ... Viktor Hovland (T2) made 22 birdies in his first visit. ... Ryan Palmer (T2) only made six bogeys. ... Xander Schauffele (T2) was one of two players who posted both rounds in the 60s on the weekend. ... Lanto Griffin (T7) was second GIR. ... 2017 winner Jon Rahm (T7) played all four rounds par or better. ... Will Zalatoris (T7) T74 in fairways on his debut. ... T10 included Peter Malnati, Francesco Molinari, Sam Ryder and Adam Scott.
Key stat leaders
Top golfers in each statistic on the 2020-2021 PGA TOUR are listed only if they are scheduled to compete this week.
Strokes-Gained: Approach the Green Rank Player 1 Collin Morikawa 2 Justin Thomas 3 Will Zalatoris 4 Tyrrell Hatton 5 Paul Casey 6 Charley Hoffman 7 Russell Henley 11 Corey Conners 12 Jon Rahm 13 Tony Finau 14 Brooks Koepka 15 Sam Burns 17 Matt Wallace 17 Daniel Berger 19 Matthew Wolff 20 Stewart Cink 21 Victor Hovland 22 Xander Schauffele 23 Hideki Matsuyama 24 Patrick Cantlay 25 Jordan Spieth Bogey Avoidance Rank Player 1 Webb Simpson 2 Abraham Ancer 4 Patrick Cantlay 6 Russell Henley 9 Jon Rahm 10 Brian Harman 13 Daniel Berger 15 Bo Hoag 17 Louis Oosthuizen 18 Si Woo Kim 20 Charley Hoffman 21 Carlos Ortiz 23 Will Zalatoris 24 Sungjae Im 25 Collin Morikawa 26 Stewart Cink 27 Corey Conners Strokes-Gained: Putting Rank Player 1 Louis Oosthuizen 2 Brendon Todd 3 Zach Johnson 4 Patrick Reed 5 Jason Kokrak 6 Christiaan Bezuidenhout 8 Xander Schauffele 9 JT Poston 10 Ian Poulter 12 Justin Rose 13 Webb Simpson 14 Matt Fitzpatrick 17 Brian Harman 19 Cameron Smith 21 Matt Jones 24 Joaquin Niemann 25 Sam Burns 25 Daniel Berger 27 Lanto Griffin
Horses for Courses
Top golfers over the last five US Opens entered this week and other exceptions
Player (Starts/Cuts Made) Top 10s Top 25 Most Recent Recent Others Bryson DeChambeau (4/6) 1 3 Win (2020) Won by 6 at Winged Foot for first top 10 Matthew Wolff (1/1) 1 1 2nd (2020) Even par 280 on debut Louis Oosthuizen (8/11) 4 7 3 (2020) T23 or better 6 straight with half T7 or better Harris English (5/5) 1 1 4 (2020) Next best is T37 Xander Schauffele (4/4) 4 4 5 (2020) 5th, T3, T6 and T5 in his career Will Zalatoris (1/2) 1 1 T6 (2020) MC (a) 2018 Zach Johnson (12/17) 2 3 T8 (2020) Best run is last five years; Cashed 10 of last 11; MC 2008 Rory McIlroy (7/12) 5 6 T8 (2020) 2011 winner: T8 Winged Foot followed T9 Pebble Beach Webb Simpson (9/10) 3 5 T8 (2020) 2013 winner on Poa annua; T8-T16-T10 last 3 Tony Finau (3/5) 2 3 T8 (2020) 5th 2018 Shinnecock Justin Thomas (4/6) 2 3 T8 (2020) T9 Erin Hills with 63; Opened 65 at Winged Foot Gary Woodland (6/10) 1 2 Win (2019) First major title; T23 is next best Justin Rose (8/15) 5 7 T3 (2019) 2013 winner; T10 Shinnecock Hills 2018 Jon Rahm (3/5) 1 3 T3 (2019) T23 Oakmont and Winged Foot Chez Reavie (4/8) 1 2 T3 (2019) T16 Erin Hills Adam Scott (11/19) 3 6 T7 (2019) T26 2008 Henrik Stenson (9/14) 4 6 T9 (2019) MC Winged Foot; T6 2018; MC 2008 Brooks Koepka (6/7) 4 6 Win (2018) 2017 winner; 2019 runner up; T4 2014; DNS Oakmont 2020 Tommy Fleetwood (4/5) 2 2 2 (2018) 4 2017; MC-T65 last two editions Patrick Reed (6/7) 1 4 4 (2018) T13 Winged Foot Daniel Berger (5/6) 1 1 T6 (2018) Cashed 3 straight Tyrrell Hatton (2/4) 1 2 T6 (2018) MC 2020 Hideki Matsuyama (7/8) 2 6 T2 (2017) T21 or better in 4 straight Brian Harman (3/5) 1 1 T2 (2017) Cashed his last three when qualified Charley Hoffman (6/7) 1 2 8 (2017) T20 Shinnecock last time he played Dustin Johnson (11/13) 6 7 Win (2016) T6 or better in 5 of the last 7 Shane Lowry (5/8) 2 2 T2 (2016) 54 hole leader; T9 2015 Sergio Garcia (17/21) 5 11 T5 (2016) T18 2008 Torrey Pines Branden Grace (5/8) 2 3 T5 (2016) T4 2015; MC-MC last two Others Top 10s Top 25 Most Recent Recent Others Jordan Spieth (6/9) 1 3 Win (2015) T35 is the next best since winning Phil Mickelson (25/29) 10 12 T2 (2013) Last top 25 was T2 at Merion in 2013; runner up 6 times Martin Kaymer (9/13) 2 3 Win (2014) T35 is next best since winning Lee Westwood (16/19) 5 10 T13 (2020) Solo third 2008; Last 3 US Open he's played first rounds all in the 60s Paul Casey (11/17) 1 5 T26 or better last four contested Francesco Molinari (6/10) 0 3 T16 (2019) All 6 are T29 or better; DNS 2020