This is the big one. A major. But before we get started on the 2021 U.S. Open, let’s take a look back at last week’s analysis. If you don’t know where you’ve been, it’s harder to figure out where you’re going. Always look for sports betting analysts who explain their history!
Recap of Last Week at Palmetto
We had an okay week last week, but in all truth, it was always going to be challenging to predict a winner of a tournament and golf course we knew very little about. Our main pick was Brooks Koepka, who was playing his first tournament for a few weeks, and it showed as he could not shake off the rust and failed to make the cut.
Another player to miss the cut was Gomez, I said in my preview he wouldn’t be a name on many people’s lips, and unfortunately, he showed exactly why.
However, our other five picks all played decent golf. Taylor looked like he would be our best pick after round one, but he fell away tamely as he failed to reproduce the golf; he played in round one and ended up finishing tied for 52nd. Hun-An couldn’t get a run going. He also finished tied with Taylor.
Hank Lebioda continued his run of steady golf to claim a share of 31st. While his approach will never win a championship, he remains a solid, steady pick in the draft at a low value. Will Gordon did the best of outsiders as he finished in a tie for 14th, proving we probably should have focused our efforts on the bigger hitters.
Our best pick was veteran Pat Perez, who looked in contention going into the final round, but he couldn’t make the necessary putts to trouble the leaders in the end and finished in an excellent tenth place.
This week we are going to look at one of the big ones. Yes, it’s major season once again as we preview the U.S. Open Championship. Let’s begin, as always, by taking a look at the history of the tournament as we start to build this week’s Beerlife Sports profile.
The History of the U.S. Open
A lot of the attention this week will be on the legendary golfer and PGA Champion Phil Mickelson, as he could be regarded as one of the best U.S. Open players, but he has never won the championship. How does that work? Well, Lefty has been the epitome of consistency over the years, finishing runner-up on six occasions. This is the only major he has yet to win, and many will be backing him to complete the career Grand Slam here this week.
The U.S. Open dates back to 1895 when Horace Rawlins won the inaugural tournament. It was dominated by Willie Anderson in the early days and then Bobby Jones in the 1920s. From the late 40s/50s, Ben Hogan took off as the main man, and then it was Jack Nicklaus’s turn to dominate. However, since 1951 only two men have retained their crown, and they are Curtis Strange in 1988/89 and Brooks Koepka in 2017/18.
Let’s turn our attention to the last five winners and look at how they won the tournament and what sort of form they were in when entering.
2020 Bryson DeChambeau – 274 (-6) – Form 22/50/CUT/4
2019 Gary Woodland – 271 (-13) – Form 52/8/WD/32
2018 Brooks Koepka – 281 (+1) – Form 30/2/11/42
2017 Brooks Koepka – 272 (-16) – Form 37/31/50/16
2016 Dustin Johnson – 276 (-4) – Form 5/3/12/28
Looking at the four rounds of each of these champions, there is no round bias which I thought would be the case given this tournament is played at a different golf course each year.
The Course at Torrey Pines
This year’s tournament will be played at the iconic Torrey Pines golf course. It is the first time the tournament has been played there since 2008 when Tiger Woods led the way and won the championship. Torrey Pines is a Par 71 course that spans 7,652 yards in total. The course offers some of the best coastal views you are likely to find on a golf course. It requires great precision with the blade around here as the majority of the greens are severely undulating.
The weather looks decent all four days with very little wind about, so we should expect to see a few low scores shot.
The 2021 U.S. Open Field
As you would expect, a high-quality field lines up at Torrey Pines this week, with many different stories unfolding. There are many looking to etch their way into the history books and win their first U.S. Open, such as Patrick Cantlay, who currently leads the leads FedEx standing. Brooks Koepka will be looking to regain the title since his back-to-back wins in 2017/2018.
Fourteen golfers are involved this week that played in the last U.S. Open at Torrey Pines. The player who finished highest that year is Englishman Lee Westwood, who is looking to build on that third-place finish. However, perhaps the player with the best course form will be Patrick Reed, who won the Farmers Insurance Open around here earlier on in the year.
If he can win here, he will follow in the footsteps of Ben Hogan, Tiger Woods, and Jack Nicklaus, who all won a PGA tour event and the US Open at the same course in the same year.
Key Stats to Consider in Your Fantasy Golf Picks
We run each player in the field through our BeerLife Sports profile analysis to come up with our selections. This is what we are looking for this week:
Players with at least one top ten finish within the last four weeks; four of the previous five winners all had at least one top-ten finish.
Top Ten Finishes
- John Rahm – One in last four weeks
- Jordan Spieth – Two in last four weeks
- Corey Connors – Zero in last four weeks
- Will Zalatoris – One in last four weeks
- Tony Finau – One in last four weeks
Golfers who have done well in the previous major: four of the last five winners have finished within the top 16 of the last major before the US Open, with the previous two finishing in the top right.
- Phil Mickelson
- Louis Oosthuizen
- Brooks Koepka
- Shane Lowry
- Padraig Harrington
- Harry Higgs
- Paul Casey
We want to find players that can hole in one on the green. With some severe undulating greens, our players will need to be able to sink their putts the first time around. This will also factor in approach play, with ball placement being critical.
One Putt Percentage
Patrick Reed – 45%
Ian Poulter – 44%
Christiaan Bezuidenhout – 44%
Cameron Smith – 44%
Anirban Lahiri – 44%
Keeping the focus on putting, we also want to look at those who can sink a long putt under pressure. There are some large greens, and players could face some lengthy putts.
Putting from 20’ to 25’
Doc Redman – 22%
Christiaan Bezuidenhout – 21%
Adam Scott – 21%
Rhein Gibson – 21%
Stewart Cink – 20%
DFS Draft Pick Recommendations
After looking at the above data and running the field through our BeerLife Sports profile builder, we have selected the following picks.
Must-Have Players – These players may cost a bit more but are sure to be worth it.
|Odds To win +3000|
|Draft Kings $8,900|
|Finau has one of the most top-ten finishes on your this season and, as such, is a safe bet. He finished runner-up at the Farmers Insurance Open, which we know was played at Torey Pines. He has one of the best approach games in the world, and he should find many of the par 5s makeable in two and can add to his impressive tally of eagles this season.|
|Odds To win +5000|
|Draft Kings $8,100|
|Louis Oosthuizen has shown he is far from a spent force this season, and his form as of late has been second to none. He has three top-ten finishes, one of which was the runners-up spot at the PGA Championship. He also has one of the finest putting games around.|
The Steady Eddies – These are middle-of-the-road players who should give a solid account of themselves.
|Odds To win +6000|
|Draft Kings $7,600|
|The Irishman is another who has had a resurgence this season, and he, too, has had three top-ten finishes recently. Perhaps his most significant asset this season has been that he doesn’t appear to have any weaknesses.|
|Odds To win +16000|
|Draft Kings $7,200|
|For me, this player offers the most value this week, and I fully expect him to have an excellent championship. He is arguably the best putter on tour this season and is the epitome of a steady Eddie.|
Long Shots – These guys will offer the most value as they won’t cost you much but could return a tidy score.
|Odds To win +21000|
|Draft Kings $7,000|
|It’s hard to think of Poults as an outsider or a long-shot, given all he is done in the game. He isn't entirely as consistent these days, but he has the game for the big occasion, and he can undoubtedly hole a putt under pressure.|
These are the picks! Let me know your own DFS insights in the comments below. See if you can best my own analysis.
My name is Dean, AKA The Stat Man. I am a Sports Betting Analyst who uses math, algorithms, probability and logic to create my posts. I specialize in many sports, with Golf being the primary focus. You can find a lot of my work on various websites but the best content is found here on Beer Life.
I live in the UK, on the outskirts of London but my background and heritage is Irish. I'm an avid Manchester United fan who sees following them as a religion. Sport is pretty much my life, as I live and breathe it daily. If there is something I don't know it's probably not worth knowing as I have over 20 years industry experience and insight.
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As always, believe in the power of statistics!