It’s time for our third major tournament of the PGA Tour season, the US Open at Torrey Pines. This will be the 121st US Open and the second time it will be played at Torrey Pines. The last time was in 2008 in what would be Tiger Woods’ last major league victory before his incredible run at the 2019 Masters. Although Tiger is not on the pitch this year, he is still about to come. an absolutely stacked group of golfers, making it more difficult to build a PGA DFS lineup.
The 7,652 yard par 71 course has changed slightly over the years, but still features narrow fairways and thick roughs in addition to poa annua greens. The second hole is the only par 4 under 400 yards on the course. The signature par-3 third hole is measured at 195 yards, but with multiple tees and wind directions, players could use any number of clubs to attack this hole throughout the week. The easiest hole would again have to be the 568-yard par-5 finisher, which will result in high levels of drama on the stretch.
US OPEN BET: best bets, sleepers
The biggest change in the 13 years will be the domain. These players are more analytical, stronger, leaner and overall better. The Torrey South Course generally ranks in the top 15 of the toughest in Fairways Hit, Greens in Regulation, Proximity and Scrambling. Driving, approaching and scrambling will be the keys to success.
We should see perfect conditions this weekend. The weather appears to be typical for San Diego in the summer, with average to high temperatures. At the moment, the forecast indicates that the winds are relatively calm between 8 and 12 MPH throughout the weekend.
PGA DFS strategy for the 2021 US Open
The US Open has always been known for trying to challenge all parts of the player’s game, from mental to physical. You will have all the usual US Open features with narrow fairways, thick roughs and greens like hardwood floors. A player like Bryson DeChambeau won’t be able to master this course like he did at Winged Foot in 2020. The rough will wreak havoc on these players if they can’t keep it in the short grass. I’m going to target players who have US Open experience and know what it takes to win. I’m not taking anything away from what DeChambeau did in 2020 – it was phenomenal – but I’m just saying this week will be another story.
When Tiger Woods won the US Open at Torrey in 2008, he finished with a score of one below par. When you look at the average score of Farmers Insurance Open winners over the past five years, it’s almost 15 below par. That’s why I’m going to be looking at the recent Farmers results, but it won’t be too weighted, this week will be more difficult than it did in January. I expect the winner to come in around four to six under par.
Choice of US Open DFS
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Brooks Koepka: Koepka freely admits that he doesn’t mentally stand up for a regular touring event like he does for a major championship. He knows his career will be defined by the number of major titles he wins. He missed the cut at the Masters, but I’m forgetting about him because of the knee surgery. If you take that out, he finished second at last month’s PGA Championship, seventh at Masters 2020, won PGA ’19, second at Masters ’19, won PGA & US Open in ’18, and won the ‘US Open ’17. I hope Koepka’s mental game is stronger than most of the other players on the pitch this weekend.
Jon Rahm: If you don’t think Rahm doesn’t have a huge chip on his shoulder heading into this weekend, I have an ocean front property for you to sell in Omaha. A six-shot lead to Sunday at Memorial has just been erased, and don’t you think he’s going to bring out the guns at the US Open? He also has an excellent track record at Torrey Pines with a win and a runner-up at Farmers Insurance. He is second on tour in “Strokes Gained: Tee to Green”, third in “Strokes Gained: Off the Tee”, fifth in “Greens in Regulation” and 12th in “Strokes Gained: Approach”. The only reason not to like it is its price, but I will pay.
Will Zalatoris: What more can we say about this kid who hasn’t been said 100 times? The only thing he hasn’t done in his young career yet is win, but he did very well with a second place in the Masters. He also finished eighth in the PGA Championship. This is just one of his seven top 10s in 2021. This kid can smash the ball off the tee (25th in “Driving Distance”), hit the ball with the best of them on tour (third in “Strokes Gained” : Approach “and seventh in” Strokes Gained: Tee to Green “) and put himself in a position to often birdies (14th in” Greens in Regulation “). While his last outing at Charles Schwab was his worst result of his young career (59th place), I actually hope that it will kill some of his owners this weekend.
Gary Woodland: Woodland has been an afterthought on the PGA Tour since winning the US Open at Pebble Beach in 2019. He struggled after the big win and then suffered a hip injury at the end of 20. We saw signs of life in his game over the past two months, starting with a top 10 at Valero and followed by a top five a few weeks later at Wells Fargo. He still ranks 10th in “Driving Distance” and top 50 in “Strokes Gained: Approach” despite his difficulties at the start of the season. I think it will be less possessed than players like Jason Kokrak, Joaquin Niemann, Sungjae Im, and Shane Lowry in the same price range.
Shane Lowry: The reigning Open champion is in great shape as we move closer to defending his title. I think Shane Lowry flies under the radar despite three top 10 finishes in his last four starts; ninth at the RBC Heritage, fourth at the PGA Championship and sixth at the Memorial Tournament. He also finished 21st at the Masters. He has two top-10s in his history at the US Open. Although he didn’t win this championship he still has the Claret Jug at home which scores extra points with me. One of the best players in his bag, ranking in the top 45 in all categories of strokes won except putting. It’s about as consistent as it gets when it comes to a PGA Tour pro.
Jhonattan Vegas: Something has woken up in Vegas over the past few weeks, and I personally love to see it. He just finished second at the Palmetto and ninth at Byron Nelson in his previous start. Why not show up with a warm hand? One of the best pilots on the PGA Tour, Vegas can be a bird machine if he gets the ball rolling. Torrey Pines demands a good driver, and that is his best skill on the golf course. He currently ranks fourth in “Strokes Gained: Off the Tee” and 14th in “Driving Distance”.
Jason Kokrak: Jason won his first PGA Tour event earlier this year at the CJ Cup and used that momentum to score his second victory at the Charles Schwab just a few weeks ago. Aside from those wins, he finished in the top 10 at WGC-Workday, Arnold Palmer and The Players. At 36, he’s got all the length he needs to tame Torrey Pines, placing 22nd in both “Driving Distance” and “Strokes Gained: Off the Tee”. He is also fifth on the Tour in “Strokes Gained: Putting”, 14th in “Par 5 Scoring” and 25th in “Greens in Regulation”. Kokrak finished consecutively in the top 30 at the Farmers Insurance Open.