Thirteen years ago, sports fans in general and golf enthusiasts, in particular, were treated to one of the most exciting displays of toughness and competitive spirit as Tiger Woods won his 14th major championship by defeating Rocco Mediate in a playoff to capture the U.S. Open at Torrey Pines in San Diego. Woods played his final two rounds virtually on one leg, making some spectacular shots and sinking miraculous putts along the way.
The U.S. Open returns to Torrey Pines this week for the first time since that entertaining event, with Bryson DeChambeau as the defending champion following his six-shot win at Winged Foot in 2020, when the tournament was postponed until September due to Covid-19. Phil Mickelson is coming in as the most recent major winner after his historic PGA Championship victory at Kiawah Island, and Tiger Woods is recuperating at home in Florida following a serious automobile accident in California earlier this year.
The 121st version of the tournament will be played at the par 71, 7,652 yard South Course, which also hosts three of the four rounds of the Farmers Insurance Open, which was won in January by Patrick Reed. In 2008, Woods and Mediate were the only players to complete 72 holes with scores under par, tying at one under par 273 before meeting in the 18 hole playoff.
Six-time major champion Phil Mickelson turns 51 on Wednesday, and his odds of +5000 are worth a shot at a big payday.
Betting Odds for Torrey Pines
Jon Rahm, who was forced to withdraw from the Memorial due to Covid-19 protocols after leading by six shots following the third round, is the betting favorite at +800. The 26-year-old Spaniard is a five-time winner on tour and is currently ranked third in the world but is still in search of his first major title.
Defending champion DeChambeau, four-time major winner Rory McIlroy and second-ranked player in the world Justin Thomas are next at +1200, with all of them recording PGA Tour wins since March. Four players come in with odds of +1400, led by world number one Dustin Johnson, two-time U.S. Open champion Brooks Koepka and three-time major champion Jordan Spieth.
Betting Underdog Picks
Patrick Reed, the 2018 Masters champion, is the most recent winner at Torrey Pines and ranked ninth in the world. He should be one of the favorites but comes in at odds of +2500 despite top ten finishes at major championship venues in the Masters, the Wells Fargo Championship, and the Memorial, his last start.
After finishing tied for fourth in the PGA Championship, Paul Casey has taken a break from a busy schedule and should come into the U.S. Open with renewed energy. Casey, who finished second in the 2020 PGA Championship and fifth in the Players in March, is ranked 20th in the world and has odds of +5000.
Finally, if Phil Mickelson can find fairways the way he did on the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island, he could make a run at finally completing the career grand slam after a record five runner-up finishes in the U.S. Open. The six-time major champion turns 51 on Wednesday, and although another win at that is unlikely, his odds of +5000 are worth a shot at a big payday.