The 121st US Open returns to Torrey Pines South for the first time since Tiger Woods’ dramatic 2008 victory. This is the second time the PGA will see Torrey Pines this calendar year, be sure to look back at our Farmers Insurance post. The course will play differently than it did in January, however. Expect typical US Open conditions, long rough, and firm greens. The fairways at Torrey Pines are more narrow than the tour average, with strategically placed bunkers to protect the greens and gobble up any wayward tee shots. The course is a Par 71 playing over 7,600 yards, with the Par 5 6th being converted to a Par 4. Fairways and rough are Kikuyu grass with the greens being Poa annua.
With major tournaments, and in particular the US Open, the cream will rise to the top. The top 30 golfers in the world according to official world golf rankings will all be in attendance competing for the championship. It can be expected that one of these players will win; the current trend is that 11 of the last 13 winners ranked inside the top-30 heading into the week. Your last 5 winners are DeChambeau (20′), Woodland (19′), Koepka (18‘ and 17′), and Dustin Johnson (16′). The field also has 10 of the world’s best amateurs playing in the event, don’t be shocked to see one of these young guys near the top on Sunday. Key stats for the event will be strokes gained tee to green (SG:T2G), strokes gained ball striking (SG:BS), strokes gained putting Poa (SG:P), Driving distance, and scrambling gained.
Rahm would have cruised to a victory at the Memorial if it wasn’t for a positive Covid-19 test on Saturday. Prior to Memorial he was 8th at the PGA, 5th at the Masters, 9th at the Players, and was 7th at the Farmers here in January. He’s 4th in the field in strokes gained tee to green, 12th in Driving Distance, and 3rd in greens in regulation. This will be his 6th appearance at the Open, he was 23rd last season and 3rd in 2019. With a stacked US Open field, you will have more options in the $7,000 range to balance out your DraftKings line-ups, so even at the highest price, Rahm is an easy choice for us.
We picked Rory back at the Farmers where he finished in 16th place and we are going to back him again. We believe there is a lot of value in the soft pricing for Rory McIlroy. The course history here is what drives us to this pick this week. Rory has two top finishes and a 16th place finish this past year. Not only does Rory have a keen eye for Torrey Pines, but he has been in decent form as of late. He won the Wells Fargo and took 18th at the Memorial Tournament. In his past five events, he has gained 3.5 strokes T2G and 3.6 strokes on approach. Do not be surprised to see the former US Open Champ repeat this weekend.
Although rarely spoken of amongst the biggest names in golf, Louie is quite deserving of his 18th in the world ranking. He has not missed a cut this calendar year, beginning with a 29th place finish at the Farmers. He really had a handle for the Torrey Pines greens at that event, gaining 7 strokes on the field. In his seven starts, he has five top-20 finishes including 6th at the WGC, 8th at the Valspar, and 2nd at the PGA. His short game and putting have been phenomenal, with his best putting surface being Poa and ranking 1st in the field. He also ranks 1st in the field in Par 4 scoring 450-500. Due to these impressive numbers, he finds himself as the 10th best player in our model. This will be his 9th appearance in the open, he was 3rd last season at Winged Foot and 7th in 2019. Louie is an easy choice in this price range as he always finds himself in contention come Sunday and buoy your US Open DraftKings lineup.
Si Woo Kim is another golfer who is very familiar with this golf course. He has played Torrey Pines every year since 2016. Now obviously the course will play much differently than at the Farmers, but we believe it’s an advantage to have your bearings around the golf course. Kim has only missed the cut one time since entering this event. Another appealing stat about Si Woo is his 9th place finish at the Memorial Tournament. He gained 6 strokes OTT and over 2 in both APP and ARG. His game seems to be clicking. With one major under his belt already maybe this is the week that he adds to his trophy collection.
Are you surprised we are picking another golfer who has good course history at Torrey Pines? The California native is very familiar with Torrey Pines, placing 18th and 9th the past two years. He took 6th at Memorial and gain strokes all over the place. His irons have been hot over the past five rounds gaining 1.9 strokes on the field. We move him to his favorite putting surface, so if he can sink some putts watch out.
Prior to his missed cut at the Palmetto, Rafa was really starting to find himself after posting three straight top-40 finishes at the Memorial, Byron Nelson, and Charles Schwab. In his last 5 events, he is gaining 1.5 strokes total, with most of it coming from his approach and around the green game. This will be his 7th appearance at the US Open; he has made the cut in his last six appearances and finished 23rd last season. Rafa is also a Poa specialist. Do not fret over the missed cut, he has all the tools to post back-to-back top-25 finishes at the US Open. Bello is a nice low-cost option for your US Open DraftKings lineup.