With the 2021 U.S. Open upon us, The Circuit is here to tell you who to root for, what to watch for, and most importantly, who to gamble on.
Getty Images/Circuit Artwork
For the first time since Tiger Woods hobbled his way to the championship on one leg in 2008, the U.S. Open returns to Torrey Pines this weekend for the 121st edition.
While we cover all sports here at The Circuit, basketball and golf are our two specialities. We’re here to tell you who to root for, what to watch for, and most importantly, who to gamble on.
Who To Root For
Phil has now won six major championships after his historic run at the PGA championship last month. Now only one accomplishment alludes Lefty; the U.S. Open. Mickelson needs the U.S. Open to complete the career grand slam, a feat only achieved by five golfers (Sarazen, Hogan, Player, Nicklaus & Woods). On top of that, he would become the oldest player to ever win a major, breaking his own record from earlier this year.
Ahhh, what could have been. So much promise, so much talent, so much orange. Rickie Fowler, always the best man, never the groom. Amid all his success, he’s made the cut in 36 majors in his career. He has 12 top-10 finishes and 8 top-5. How many wins? 0. Could this weekend finally be the tournament where the orange-clad golfer claims a major championship?
Once dubbed “The Next Tiger”, Spieth has failed to win a major tournament since 2017. Spieth is still young, and has started to look like his older self the past year. The putting is getting better, and he seems to have that 2015 swagger he used to carry so brazenly.
What To Watch For
Brooks vs. Bryson
The most competitive golfer in the world vs. the most powerful golfer in the world! This is the best rivalry the sport has seen in quite some time. Brooks Koepka is on track to be a pantheon-level golfer the way he has racked up majors in recent years, and has the competitive fire to win a whole lot more. Bryson DeChambeau on the other hand is potentially changing the game with his approach; bulking up and trying to bomb the ball 400 yards Happy Gilmore style. Their beef the last few weeks has been fun to watch, and the PGA made a hugely miscalculated error in not pairing them together this weekend, but you can bet they’ll find a way to cause sparks with one another.
We’re back! All over the sporting world, fans are slowly coming back and golf is no exception. We saw fans at the PGA Championship, and it was quite clear they were glad to be back. In a scene that was unlike any other, they decided to storm the green as Phil approached 18 with the major in-hand. While many were happy to see the enthusiasm, there is the question of if that should really be allowed (just ask Brooks). It will be interesting to see how the fans act this weekend compared to that tournament.
Who To Gamble On
This is the important information; who to bet on. We’re here to give you the three best bets for this weekend’s U.S. Open. (All odds via MyBookie)
The Favorite: Jon Rahm (+900)
Rahm is coming off a tournament where he had the win in the bag before being yanked off the course due to a positive COVID-19 test. Rahm was visibly upset, knowing it had cost him a win. Look for Rahm to come out swinging this weekend not only to avenge that tournament, but also to capture his first major title.
The Shark in the Water: Brooks Koepka (+1600)
Brooks is coming off a disappointing final round at the PGA where he got outplayed by a 50 year-old. On top of that, he’s now in a very public feud with Bryson DeChambeau, so he’ll be motivated to play well this weekend. Brooks won the U.S. Open in back-to-back years in 2017 & 2018 and could win his 5th major by 31, giving him a real chance to be a top-5 golfer of all-time when it’s all said and done.
The Long-Shot: Will Zalatoris (+4500)
Zalatoris is new on the golf scene, but he has quickly become a force. He played his first major in 2018 and got cut. Since then, he’s played in three majors; The 2020 U.S. Open (Tied for 6th), the 2021 Master’s (2nd), and the 2021 PGA Championship (Tied for 8th). That’s pretty damn good. For someone coming off of three consecutive top-8 finishes, +4500 are great odds. Look for Zalatoris to be in the mix late on Sunday.
There you have it! Everything to watch for at the 2021 U.S. Open Championship.
The Circuit’s Pick: Will Zalatoris