The third major of the golfing season is upon us and we are heading to the west coast to Torrey Pines, the iconic golf course that hosted one of, if not the greatest U.S. Open in golf history, the 2008 U.S. Open. The iconic Tiger Woods vs Rocco Mediate in the Monday playoff that went to sudden death after 90 holes wasn’t enough to determine a winner.
There is something about this golf tournament that makes it the most exciting for me, perhaps because it is our National Championship or perhaps that anyone can qualify for this prestigious tournament. There is pageantry in the Master’s, there is history in the Open Championship, there is prestige in the PGA Championship but when the chips are the down, the U.S. Open is the cream of the crop in my opinion, this is the most exciting tournament because the courses become a monster, they become the greatest opponent for every individual golfer who sets foot on the tee box.
The beauty of the 2021 U.S. Open is that the coverage goes away from FOX and back to NBC and Golf Channel which in my opinion has just as good of coverage and announcers that CBS offers with Nantz, Faldo and Uncle Verne. On NBC we get Dan Hicks, Paul Azinger and most importantly David Feherty who moved to NBC back in 2015 after covering golf on CBS for 19 years. This will be all day coverage split between NBC and Golf Channel starting tomorrow morning and lasting throughout the weekend until the conclusion of the championship.
The focus of this tournament is on Phil Mickelson, the six time major winner heads into Torrey Pines after winning the PGA Championship is South Carolina a few weeks ago. The only major that Phil has yet to win, is the U.S. Open and this years tournament is in San Diego, California where Phil Mickelson resides, this tournament is in his backyard and there is some buzz around the golfing world that Phil’s practice rounds have been superb. He’s 51 years old, the oldest major winner will come into this tournament with not much else to prove but in an odd way probably feels a ton of pressure having this at home and still searching for the career grand slam. Since 2014, when Phil had his first opportunity to polish of the career slam he has finished in 28th, 64th, MC, DNP, 48th, 52nd, MC …. not a great showing, but I will be pulling for my guy, I am a Phil fan so if Phil can pull this off at 51, it would be the greatest accomplishment in the history of the sport.
The word on the street is that Bryson has refused to be paired with Brooksie Koepka, Bryson’s agent has come out and denied these rumors but he really had no choice because if it’s true, it makes Bryson look soft. I don’t like either of these guys but I think it would be must see TV to watch them play in the same group and have to witness Brooks dealing with Bryson’s historically slow play. In my opinion both of these guys are extremely unlikeable, theres guys on tour like DJ, Rory, Finau, Fleetwood, Woodland etc. who are far more likable and still have a lot of golf ahead of them. With saying all that if they choose to do a 1 v 1 style match at some point I will most certainly tune in.
In terms of gambling this weekend, I think you need to look at some favorable odds that will actually allow you to bring in a decent amount of shells, here are some that are appealing:
Phil Mickelson – Top 10 +474
Tommy Fleetwood – Top 10 +600
Lee Westwood – Top 10 +900
Francesco Molinari – Top 10 +1448
Kevin Kisner – Top 10 +2000
Bubba Watson – Top 10 +948
Justin Rose – Top 10 +412
Dustin Johnson – Top 5 +336
Rory McIlroy +2000
Paul Casey +5000
Phil Mickelson +6600
All these guys are worth rooting for and seem like good dudes. This tournament will be a lot of fun to watch, so get some snacks, get on the course early and sit your ass on the couch in the afternoon for four straight days. It’s U.S. Open time baby!