By News Team
Last Updated: 15th June 2021
It’s been 13 years since Tiger Woods somehow outlasted Rocco Mediate in an 18-hole play-off at Torrey Pines to win the US Open giving him a 14th Major title. And while there is no Tiger this week, as the third grand slam of the year returns to Torrey Pines, there is still a star-studded field all hoping to do what Bryson DeChambeau did last year and take home the famous trophy.
Who will join a very select list and become a US Open winner? Here’s who we think are worth keeping a close eye on
Schauffele can make home comforts count
There seem to be very few Major championships when XANDER SCHAUFFELE isn’t mentioned, but this one, in particular, looks like a golden opportunity to get that maiden tag. Despite being a San Diegan native and having played Torrey Pines numerous times during his younger years, his form prior to this year has been nothing short of horrendous. Arguably one of the most consistent players on tour, four missed cuts alongside a tie for 25th from five starts just isn’t like Schauffele, especially with his prior knowledge of the course. However, and perhaps most importantly, it’s 2021 where he finally put it together. A tie for second showed this is a course that suits and he’ll surely take great heart from that showing coming into this.
He’ll also take great confidence from a US Open record which is much more in sync with the player we’ve come to know. Form figures of 5-6-3-5 show that Xander’s game is tailor-made for US Open golf, where all facets need to be working in unison. In short, you can’t really have a weakness when it comes to US Opens and Schauffele doesn’t as the stats back up. 36th for Strokes Gained: Off The Tee, 22nd for Approach, eighth in putting and third in Strokes Gained: Total, it’s clear there isn’t much he does badly. He’s ranked 65th for Strokes Gained: Around-The-Green, which is a slight concern, but he ranked first for Scrambling here in January and was first in Greens In Regulation at the Memorial last time.
It’s never easy winning your first Major title, but everything looks in place for Schauffele to have a big week at 20/1.
Course form points to Finau
He often flatters to deceive when it really counts but TONY FINAU’s course form as well as his Major record makes him a very interesting contender indeed. Granted, he’s only won once but he’s finished inside the top 10 in nine of his last 13 Majors, including four where he was really in the mix. He hasn’t been able to convert, but he seems to be in contention more than often than not, and as they say: ‘it gets easier the more often you’re there’.
If his strong Major form isn’t enough, then the fact that this year’s US Open is played at Torrey Pines will surely be music to Finau’s ears. He’s played the Farmers Insurance Open seven times and his worst finish is 24th and perhaps crucially, he’s shot under-par rounds six times at the South Course – the track which hosts this week’s event. Most recently he was wayward off the tee, but still managed to finish in a tie for second behind Patrick Reed – further evidence he feels at ease around Torrey.
He plays well in California and is fancied to go really well again at 28/1.