2021 U.S. Open Betting Preview: Which Stats Matter at Torrey Pines?

2021 U.S. Open Betting Preview: Which Stats Matter at Torrey Pines? article feature image
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Ben Jared/PGA TOUR. Pictured: Max Homa

The PGA TOUR returns to familiar Torrey Pines to play the 2021 U.S. Open. Although we see the course every year for the Farmers Insurance Open, this is the first time it will host a U.S. Open since 2008 when Tiger Woods defeated Rocco Mediate in an 18-hole playoff.

Torrey Pines will play as a 7,685 yard Par 71 this week. This is a change from the Farmers Insurance Open where the course played as a Par 72 measuring 7,569 yards. Additionally, the Farmers Insurance Open utilizes the North Course for one round whereas the U.S. Open will feature the South Course for all four rounds. Torrey Pines has Poa annua greens and the rough will be extremely thick, creating a difficult test as always.

There are 156 players in the field this week, with the top 60 and ties making it to the weekend. All of the world’s top players will be in attendance seeking the eternal glory of a U.S. Open victory.

Past Winners at the U.S. Open

  • 2020: Bryson DeChambeau (-6)
  • 2019: Gary Woodland (-13)
  • 2018: Brooks Koepka (+1)
  • 2017: Brooks Koepka (-16)
  • 2016: Dustin Johnson (-4)
  • 2015: Jordan Spieth (-5)
  • 2014: Martin Kaymer (-9)
  • 2013: Justin Rose (+1)
  • 2012: Webb Simpson (+1)
  • 2011: Rory McIlroy (-16)
  • 2010: Graeme McDowell (E)

5 Key Stats For Torrey Pines

Let’s take a look at the five most important metrics at Torrey Pines and determine which golfers boast top marks in each category over their last 24 rounds. This should give us a good starting point for building out a betting card.

Strokes Gained: Off the Tee

Long and straight is always the best recipe for contending at a U.S. Open. The Kikuyu rough this week will be extremely thick and unforgiving, making accuracy off of the tee crucial. Additionally, the lengthening of the course and changing to a par 71 will make a long golf course play even longer. You need to hit fairways at most U.S. Opens; here especially.

Total Strokes Gained: Off the Tee in past 24 rounds:

  1. Bryson DeChambeau (+25.7) (+1600)
  2. Jon Rahm (+20.1) (+1000)
  3. Matt Fitzpatrick (+20.0) (+5500)
  4. Abraham Ancer (+18.6) (+6600)
  5. Cameron Champ (+18.4) (+20000)
  6. Sergio Garcia (+18.3) (+9000)
  7. Patrick Cantlay (+17.8) (+2500)
  8. Jason Kokrak (+17.8) (+10000)
  9. Jhonattan Vegas (+17.6) (+25000)
  10. Scottie Scheffler (+17.6) (+5000)

Strokes Gained: Approach

Torrey Pines will require an all-around game this week. In what will certainly be difficult scoring conditions, strong iron play will be an absolute must. Hitting as many greens as possible and keeping the scorecard clean will allow golfers to contend and misfiring into the putting surface could prove costly.

Total Strokes Gained: Approach in past 24 rounds:

  1. Collin Morikawa (+42.9) (+2000)
  2. Paul Casey (+31.0) (+5000)
  3. Stewart Cink (+29.6) (+14000)
  4. Charley Hoffman (+29.0) (+10000)
  5. Patrick Cantlay (+24.1) (+2500)
  6. Justin Thomas (+23.4) (+2000)
  7. Jordan Spieth (+22.4) (+1800)
  8. Will Zalatoris (+22.1) (+5000)
  9. Daniel Berger (+20.2) (+5000)
  10. Corey Conners (+19.8) (+6600)
Sam Greenwood/Getty Images. Pictured: Collin Morikawa

Driving Distance

Strokes Gained: Off the Tee factors in distance, but I want pure distance factored into the stat model this week. I firmly believe that length off the tee is not a luxury, but a requirement. Each of the past five U.S. Open champions have ranked in the top 13 in that season for driving distance, and four of the five ranked in the top seven.

Total Driving Distance in past 24 rounds:

  1. Bryson DeChambeau (+27.1) (+1600)
  2. Taylor Pendrith (+25.7) (+40000)
  3. Cameron Champ (+21.5) (+20000)
  4. Rory McIlroy (+20.9) (+2000)
  5. Gary Woodland (+20.7) (+6600)
  6. Jhonattan Vegas(+19.8) (+25000)
  7. Joaquin Niemann (+16.4) (+6600)
  8. Jason Kokrak (+15.5) (+10000)
  9. Dustin Johnson (+14.3) (+1200)
  10. Wyndham Clark (+14.0) (+30000)

Strokes Gained: Putting (West Coast POA)

This week I have compiled all of the courses on TOUR that feature specifically west coast Poa. Using Poa putting stats may be a bit misleading because Poa on the east coast plays differently than the grass we will see at Torrey Pines.

Total Strokes Gained: Putting (West Coast Poa) in past 24 rounds:

  1. Patrick Rodgers (+23.1) (+40000)
  2. Justin Rose (+20.1) (+5500) 
  3. Brendon Todd (+18.9) (+20000)
  4. Matt Kuchar (+18.5) (+15000)
  5. Marc Leishman (+18.1) (+7000)
  6. Max Homa (+18.1) (+12500)
  7. Adam Scott (+17.5) (+8000)
  8. Si Woo Kim (+17.0) (+12500)
  9. Martin Laird (+16.3) (+25000)
  10. Webb Simpson (+15.4) (+5000)
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Par 4: 450-500

With many the par 4’s measuring in the 450-500 range, it will be important to target players who typically play holes of that distance well. Treading water on the difficult par 4’s could be the difference this week.

Par 4: 450-500 in past 24 rounds:

  1. Louis Oosthuizen (+22.3) (+5500)
  2. Patrick Cantlay (+19.4) (+2500)
  3. Abraham Ancer (+17.2) (+6600)
  4. Collin Morikawa (+18.1) (+2000)
  5. Adam Scott (+15.6) (+8000)
  6. Shane Lowry (+15.3)(+6000)
  7. Jordan Spieth (+13.1) (+1800)
  8. Matt Wallace (+13.1) (+15000)
  9. Corey Conners (+12.9) (+6600)
  10. Matt Fitzpatrick (+12.8) (+5500)

Statistical Model

Below, I’ve reported overall model rankings using a combination of the five key statistical categories previously discussed.

These rankings are comprised of SG: OTT (27.6%); SG: APP (25.3%); Driving Distance (18.6%); SG: Putting West Coast POA (18.6%); and Par 4: 450-500 (10%).

  1. Patrick Cantlay (+2500)
  2. Jon Rahm (+1000)
  3. Bryson DeChambeau (+1600)
  4. Jason Kokrak (+10000)
  5. Xander Schauffele (+2000)
  6. Brooks Koepka (+1600)
  7. Max Homa (+12500)
  8. Collin Morikawa (+2000)
  9. Charley Hoffman (+10000)
  10. Justin Thomas (+2000)
  11. Tony Finau (+3300)
  12. Jordan Spieth (+1800)
  13. Abraham Ancer (+6600)
  14. Viktor Hovland (+2800)
  15. Will Zalatoris (+5000)
  16. Rory McIlroy (+2000)
  17. Gary Woodland (+6600)
  18. Lanto Griffin (+25000)
  19. Hideki Matsuyama (+3500)
  20. Kevin Streelman (+15000)

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