Preview: 2021 US Open

Preview: 2021 US Open

Preview

2021 US Open

WATCH: US Open: Every Winning Moment (1950-2019)
Relive the championship-clinching moment of every US Open Championship since 1950. From Ben Hogan at Merion through Gary Woodland's emphatic exclamation point at Pebble Beach, many of the iconic moments in golf history are preserved here. Video Credit: USGA

 

Torrey Pines will host the 121st US Open, which tees off on Thursday June 17. The storied South Course at Torrey Pines previously hosted the coveted major championship in 2008. That year, Tiger Woods outlasted Rocco Mediate at the 91st hole to score his 14th major title. It was one of the game’s classic duels.

The 156-man field includes 68 golfers who gained their spot via the 11 sectional qualifying events. Australian Steve Allan earned his place after making it through the qualifier at Richland, Washington.

Golfers from 26 countries will compete at the 7,652-yard layout that was originally designed by William F Bell (1957) and renovated by Rees Jones (2001 and 2009). Most of the field is familiar with the impressive Californian course located on the coastal cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Torrey Pines is a regular tour stop and has hosted the PGA Tour’s Farmers Insurance Open since 1968.

Bryson DeChambeau will be looking to make it back-to-back US Open titles after scoring his maiden major success last year at Winged Foot, New York. The 27-year-old will be aiming to become just the eighth player to defend his US Open title after Brooks Koepka, Curtis Strange, Ben Hogan, Ralph Guldahl, Bobby Jones, John McDermott and Willie Anderson.

Dustin Johnson enters the event as world No.1. The 36-year-old boasts two major titles including the 2016 US Open. DJ has some form coming into this start after finishing T10 last week at the Palmetto Championship.

Jon Rahm returns to the Tour after a forced layoff due to his positive COVID-19 result during the Memorial Tournament two weeks ago. The 26-year-old Spaniard, who is searching for his maiden major title, has achieved success at Torrey Pines. He collected the Farmers Insurance Open in 2017.

Patrick Reed is the last player to win at Torrey Pines. The controversial 30-year-old American claimed the 2021 title by a whopping five shots. He finished solo fifth at the Memorial Tournament two weeks ago

Masters winner Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama along with America’s Justin Thomas and Collin Morikawa will aim for their second major success and first US Open victory.

Will Zalatoris finished T6 at last year’s US Open at Winged Foot. The 24-year-old American, who is emerging as one of the game’s future stars, will look to better his runner up performance at The Masters in April. The young-gun finished T8 at the PGA Championship at Kiawah Island. He has impressive showing at recent majors.

Marc Leishman shapes up as one to watch out of the seven-strong contingent from Australia. The 37-year-old won on this track at the 2020 Farmers Insurance Open. In April this year, he shared victory at the Zurich Classic with Cameron Smith.

The field is playing for a total prize purse of US$12.5 million. The winner will collect a handsome US$2.25 million plus the following perks— a 10-year exemption into the US Open, five-year exemptions into the other three major and fully exempt status on the PGA Tour through the 2025-26 season.

Defending Champion
Bryson DeChambeau collected his maiden major title after cruising to victory at the 2020 US Open in New York. The then 27-year-old long-hitting American crushed the field for a six-shot win over compatriot Matthew Wolff. DeChambeau fired rounds of 69, 68, 70 & 67 to reach 6-under for the event. He was the only player to finish under par at the notoriously difficult Winged Foot layout. His 3-under 67 on Sunday was the best final in the field round by three shots.

Major Story Line
Phil Mickelson needs to win the US Open to complete the career Grand Slam. The six-time major champion owns six runner-up finishes in this event. Mickelson, who turned 51 yesterday, became the oldest major champion in history in May this year when he won the PGA Championship at Kiawah Island.

Aussies In The Field (7)
Brad Kennedy, Steve Allan, Wade Ormsby, Adam Scott, Marc Leishman, Matt Jones and Cameron Smith.

Aussie Victories
2006 Geoff Ogilvy
1981 David Graham

Event Records
72-hole Record:
Aggregate:
68, Rory McIlroy (2011 at Congressional CC).
To Par:
16-under, Rory McIlroy (2011 at Congressional CC).
16-under, Brooks Koepka (2017 at Erin Hills)

Most Wins (4):
Willie Anderson, Bobby Jones, Ben Hogan & Jack Nicklaus


Stats & Facts

The US Open is one of the most challenging events in men’s golf. Here’s a look at some of the key numbers associated with this major championship.

1895
The first US Open was played on October 4, 1895 on a nine-hole course at the Newport Country Club in Newport, Rhode Island. It was a 36-hole competition and was played in a single day. The winner was Horace Rawlins, a 21-year-old Englishman.

17
It took 17 attempts for a native-born American to win the title. In the beginning, the event was dominated by British players until 1911, when John McDermott scored victory. McDermott is the youngest ever US Open winner (19 years, 315 days).

1990
In 1990, Hale Irwin became the US Open’s oldest winner. He was aged 45 years and 15 days.

4
Four players have claimed the most US Open victories (4). They are Willie Anderson, Bobby Jones, Ben Hogan and Jack Nicklaus.

6
Phil Mickelson owns the record of the most runner-up finishes with six (1999, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2009 and 2013).

63
The lowest round posted at the US Open is 63. Six players have achieved that memorable low. They are Johnny Miller (1973), Jack Nicklaus (1980), Tom Weiskopf (1980), Vijay Singh (2003), Justin Thomas (2017) and Tommy Fleetwood (2018).

44
Jack Nicklaus boasts the record for the most number of consecutive starts with 44 (1957 to 2000).

19
The worst single hole record for the US Open Championship is held by Ray Ainsley who scored a whopping 19 during the 1938 tournament on the par-4, 16th at Cherry Hills Country Club.

1969
On the last hole of the last round of the 1969 Open, a marshal yelled at Orville Moody to ‘get behind the ropes,’ before being told that Moody wasn’t a spectator but was leading the tournament. It was his only PGA Tour win.

2
Two Australians have claimed the US Open trophy. Geoff Ogilvy won in 2006 at Winged Foot when he overcame Jim Furyk, Phil Mickelson and Colin Montgomerie by one shot. David Graham won in 1981 at Merion Golf Club by three shots over George Burns and Bill Rogers.

61
Sam Snead is the oldest player to make the cut at the US Open. ‘Slammin Sammy’ was the ripe old age of 61 years when he made the weekend in 1973 at Oakmont Country Club. The all-time greatest PGA Tour winner with 82 titles went on the finish the event in a tie for 29th place.

 

Image Credit: Sean M. Haffey/ Getty Images

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