It’s the third major of the season and form expert Barry Plummer has a handful of players to consider
After having the opportunity to see Torrey Pines at the Farmers Insurance Open in January, the question on everyone’s lips is how different are we expecting this famous venue to play? The US Open has always been a stern test, designed to challenge and often frustrate even the best in the world. So having said that, who will take the third major championship of the season? I think I have a pretty good idea, with three players who jump out from the form sheet immediately. But before I reveal who I fancy this week, here is all the information you need…
US Open details
Venue: Torrey Pines (South Course), California, USA
Date: June 17-20, 2021
Course stats: Par 71; 7,600 yards
Course summary: The South Course at Torrey Pines is a stiff test. The long, narrow Bermudagrass fairways are flanked by typically perilous US Open rough. Heavy bunkering and small yet fast Poa Annua greens also await the players, with three par-5s for players to negotiate. A low score is expected to win here, with only four editions of the US Open since 2000 providing a double-figure winning score.
Purse: $12.5 million
Defending champion: Bryson DeChambeau (-6)
US Open betting tips
Bazza’s Banker: Xander Schauffele @ 20/1 with Bet365
With other market leaders perhaps looking slightly short in the betting, Schauffele represents excellent value. Schauffele has threatened to win his first major championship on a number of occasions, but this year could be different as he arrives with plenty in his favour.
When he played here in January for the Farmers Insurance Open, Schauffele finished second and was one of the leading contenders chasing down Patrick Reed on that day.
That course experience will be important here, especially as he has finished in the top-six at his last four US Opens.
His recent form is also positive, with top-11 finishes in four of his last five starts, and he ranks inside the top-25 for five out of six Strokes Gained measures in the last six months.
When you bet on Schauffele you know what to expect, and it is that consistency and quality that makes him a non-negotiable for me at this event.
The Outsider: Louis Oosthuizen @ 55/1 with Bet365
After nearly running down Phil Mickelson at the PGA Championship last month, I am surprised to see the ever-dependable Oosthuizen at such a big price.
His runner-up finish at Kiawah was so impressive, and he should certainly suit this type of test based on the data. Oosthuizen has finished inside the top-25 in his last six US Opens, including three top-seven finishes.
The South African also ranks 1st for SG: Putting in the last six months and arrives off the back of three top-eight finishes in his last four events.
As an each-way bet, you will not get many more reliable that Oosthuizen on this kind of stage.
The Long Shot: Jason Kokrak @ 100/1 with Bet365
If you are prepared to offer me a three-figure price on a recent PGA Tour winner with great stats, I will gladly oblige.
Kokrak was sublime when fending off Jordan Spieth to win the Charles Schwab Challenge, and I can see that being the kick-start he needed this season.
In the last three months, Kokrak ranks in the top 20 for SG: Off-the-Tee, SG: Tee-to-Green, and SG: Putting, making him an ideal contender on paper.
He also performed well for three out of four rounds when playing at Torrey Pines in January, which will be an experience I am sure he will have learnt a lot from. At a very tasty price, I cannot resist an each-way bet on Kokrak this week.
The Why Not: Ian Poulter @ 200/1 with Bet365
As it’s a major, let’s have a fourth pick. And with the Ryder Cup looming in September, I do not think it is any coincidence that we are seeing a mini-resurgence in form for Postman Poults.
The Englishman has a wealth of US Open experience, and as we saw with Phil Mickelson recently, this could prove to be vital.
Poulter has finished in the top-30 in five of his last seven starts, including when third at the Charles Schwab Challenge recently, and he also ranks seventh for SG: Putting in the last three months.
We know all to well how spectacular his short game can be, so if Poulter can use his experience to negotiate this tricky track, this price could be far too big.
For more prices visit Bet365.
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