The First Look: U.S. Open
June 13, 2021
By Adam Stanley, PGATOUR.COM
Bryson DeChambeau’s career highlights ... so far
After a rare fall date due to the pandemic, the U.S. Open returns to its regular spot on the PGA TOUR schedule and will finish up at Torrey Pines South on Father’s Day.
Bryson DeChambeau, who turned the golf world upside down with his U.S. Open victory at Winged Foot last September, will bring his power game from East to West Coast as Torrey Pines hosts the tournament for the first time since Tiger Woods’ victory in 2008.
FIELD NOTES: FedExCup leader Patrick Cantlay is coming off a victory at the Memorial and looking for his first major triumph… Brooks Koepka was the last golfer to defend his U.S. Open title (2017-18). Prior to Koepka, Curtis Strange was the last man to go back-to-back 30 years ago… Justin Thomas, Collin Morikawa, and Masters winner Hideki Matsuyama will aim for their second major title, while Viktor Hovland, Jason Kokrak, and San Diego native Xander Schauffele seek their first… World No. 1 Dustin Johnson seems to have regained his usual form just in time for the U.S. Open. He was in second through 36 holes at the Palmetto Championship at Congaree… Of the 14 golfers in the field at the 2008 U.S. Open at Torrey who are back in the field for 2021, Lee Westwood, who finished third 13 years ago, leads the way… A handful of golfers who are near the top of the Korn Ferry Tour Points List – and who have already secured a PGA TOUR card for next season – qualified for Torrey. They include Greyson Sigg (3rd), Taylor Pendrith (4th), Will Zalatoris (6th, although Zalatoris earned a spot thanks to his T6 in Winged Foot in 2020), and Paul Barjon (8th)… Cameron Young won back-to-back starts on the Korn Ferry Tour and made it through sectional qualifying in New York… Seven amateurs made the field, including Cole Hammer, who also played in the 2015 U.S. Open at Chambers Bay, when he was 15… Sahith Theegala, who swept the 2020 Haskins, Ben Hogan, and Nicklaus Awards as college golf’s top player, will play his first major as a professional... Garrick Higgo, up to No. 39 in the world after his win at the Palmetto Championship at Congaree, is in the field along with another exciting young South African, long-hitting Wilco Nienaber.
FEDEXCUP: Winner receives 600 FedExCup points.
COURSE: Torrey Pines GC (South), par 71, 7,652 yards (yardage subject to change). The storied PGA TOUR host course is a 36-hole municipal facility that sits on coastal cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean. The South Course, a William F. Bell design that was renovated by Rees Jones in 2001 and 2019, is hosting the tournament for the second time (2008).
STORYLINES: Phil Mickelson comes into the week as the most unlikely and most talked-about recent major winner. Mickelson, who will turn 51 on Wednesday, won the PGA Championship in May and in the process became the oldest major winner in history. He has a record six runner-up finishes in the U.S. Open, the one major between him and the career Grand Slam. He had earned a special exemption this year, but with his PGA victory, he didn’t need it… Patrick Reed, who won the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey earlier in the year, is looking for his second major championship title. He will try to join Ben Hogan, Tiger Woods, and Jack Nicklaus as the only golfers to win a PGA TOUR event and the U.S. Open on the same course in the same year… The 10-day isolation period for Jon Rahm, who withdrew from the Memorial as the 54-hole leader due to testing positive for COVID-19, will end on Tuesday of U.S. Open week… Two sets of brothers made the field – Alvaro and Carlos Ortiz; Edoardo and Francesco Molinari – for the first time since 1990… Two eligible players won’t tee it up: Mikko Korhonen of Finland and 2008 U.S. Open winner Tiger Woods, who is recovering from injuries sustained in a single-car accident earlier this year.
72-HOLE RECORD: 268, Rory McIlroy (2011 at Congressional CC).
18-HOLE RECORD: 63, Johnny Miller (4th round, 1973 at Oakmont), Tom Weiskopf (1st round, 1980 at Baltusrol), Jack Nicklaus (1st round, 1980 at Baltusrol), Vijay Singh (2nd round, 2003 at Olympia Fields), Justin Thomas (3rd round, 2017 at Erin Hills), Tommy Fleetwood (4th round, 2018 at Shinnecock Hills).
LAST TIME: The 2020 U.S. Open was the first event of the 2020-2021 PGA TOUR season last September. Bryson DeChambeau and Matthew Wolff made up the final pairing Sunday, and while Wolff would finish with a 5-over 75, bulked-up DeChambeau stayed steady, overpowering the iconic New York venue. His 3-under 67 saw him reach 6 under for the championship. He beat Wolff by six shots for his maiden major title and was the only golfer to finish the week under par. Louis Oosthuizen (2 over), Harris English (3 over), and Xander Schauffele (4 over) rounded out the top five. Tiger Woods won the 2008 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines in a 19-hole playoff over Rocco Mediate. It was Woods’ third U.S. Open title and he would go on to have season-ending knee surgery eight days later.
HOW TO FOLLOW (All times Pacific)
Television: Thursday, 7:45 a.m.-10:30 a.m. (Peacock), 10:30 a.m.-5 p.m. (Golf Channel), 5 p.m.-8 p.m. (NBC), 8 p.m.-9 p.m. (Peacock). Friday, 7:45 a.m.-10:30 a.m. (Peacock), 10:30 a.m.-4 p.m. (Golf Channel), 4 p.m.-7 p.m. (NBC), 7 p.m.-8 p.m. (Golf Channel), 8 p.m.-9 p.m. (Peacock). Saturday, 9 a.m.-7 p.m. (NBC), 10 a.m.-6 p.m. (NBC).
Radio: Thursday-Friday, 5 p.m.-10 p.m. ET. Saturday, 4 p.m.-9 p.m. Sunday, 3 p.m.-8 p.m. (SiriusXM 92)
For more live streaming information, click here for the official USGA Viewing Schedule.
NOTE: The USGA, who owns and operates the U.S. Open, controls all digital streaming and broadcast rights to this event. For more information on how to watch this week, please visit the U.S. Open’s website. PGA TOUR LIVE coverage will resume on Thursday, June 24 at the Travelers Championship.