2021 U.S. Open: Ranking Every Player in the Field, 1-156

2021 U.S. Open: Ranking Every Player in the Field, 1-156 article feature image
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Patrick Smith/Getty Images. Pictured: Paul Casey

SAN DIEGO – You know the drill by now. I rank the entire U.S. Open field, from No. 1 through 156. You bookmark this and remind me how wrong I was on Sunday evening.

As always, if I get ‘em all right, I’ll retire. If I don’t, I’ll await those reminders.

Your classic lose-lose situation to kick off what could be a prosperous week here at Torrey Pines.

My list starts with a guy who isn’t exactly one of the pre-tourney favorites, but still owns shorter odds than either of the two previous major champions this year.

1. Paul Casey (+4500)

Improving major results, solid form, an ability to launch his irons and perhaps some inspiration from fellow elder statesman Phil Mickelson have vaulted Casey, cautiously, to the top of my list.

2. Jon Rahm (+1050)

After being forced to withdraw from the Memorial with a six-shot lead two weeks ago, the revenge tour starts this week for the favorite, who owns a tremendous track record here at Torrey.

3. Brooks Koepka (+1900)

If he’s able to find some time in between trolling Bryson DeChambeau, hawking Michelob Ultra and “growing the game,” Koepka should continue his usual Koepka contention stuff at another major.

4. Jason Kokrak (+5500)

Underpriced and undervalued, the two-time winner this season perfectly fits the profile of what U.S. Open champions have become – big, strong, athletic guys who can bomb it and make putts.

5. Scottie Scheffler (+3500)

He missed last year’s U.S. Open, but has otherwise taken to majors surprisingly fast in the early part of his career, helping him rise to 17th in the world ranking without a PGA TOUR win yet.

6. Tony Finau (+2200)

OK, we get it: The win equity might not be there, as his odometer has been stuck on 1 for more than a half-decade, but he loves Torrey Pines and owns nine top-10s in his last 13 major starts.

7. Justin Rose (+6600)

With top-10s in each of the first two majors this year, the 2013 champion is clearly trending in the right direction. Even if you don’t love him this week, that number next to his name is tough to ignore.

8. Patrick Reed (+2500)

It might’ve been controversial, but the last time Reed stepped foot on this property, they gave him a trophy at the end of the week. That should give him some good vibes heading into this one.

9. Charley Hoffman (+8500)

We all know the dangers of playing the hometown narrative, but Hoffman’s experience on this golf course rivals anyone else in the field and his recent ball-striking numbers are terrific.

10. Jhonattan Vegas (+14000)

Look, if you simply want a ranking of the best players, that’s what the odds are for. I don’t mind throwing a longshot into the top-10 and Vegas is a guy who drives it great and is fresh off a T-2.

11. Viktor Hovland (+2500)

He disappointed a bit in his last start at Muirfield Village (yours truly picked him to win that one), but Hovland isn’t too far removed from a pair of third-place finishes and this should suit his game.

12. Collin Morikawa (+2300)

Full disclosure: I initially had Morikawa listed a little bit lower in this ranking, but I spoke with him Tuesday for an interview on SiriusXM and he sounds incredibly confident. Now I’m worried I have him too low.

13. Xander Schauffele (+2200)

Four career U.S. Open starts, four career top-six finishes. My podcast partner Justin Ray tells me that nobody has started his career at this event in such fashion since some dude named Bobby Jones.

14. Will Zalatoris (+5000)

Clearly undeterred by the bright spotlight of majors or playing against the world’s best players, this year’s Masters runner-up says the U.S. Open is actually the major which suits him best.

15. Patrick Cantlay (+3300)

There’s no asterisk and no air quotes around “winner” after he took the Memorial two weeks ago in the wake of Rahm’s absence. That should have him riding some momentum this week.

16. Gary Woodland (+7000)

He loves this golf course and has increasingly started loving this event, as the 2019 champion told me that he believes he can replicate that result with another strong week with the flatstick.

17. Justin Thomas (+2250)

Always one of my favorite plays at majors, JT is clearly off his game right now, with six straight finishes outside the top-10. Even so, his number is dropping dangerously close to must-play range now.

18. Marc Leishman (+8000)

I mistakenly thought Kiawah would suit his game at last month’s PGA, where he wound up missing the cut, but there’s no denying that this one suits him, with a win and two runner-ups at Torrey.

19. Dustin Johnson (+1500)

Until last week’s T-10 at the Palmetto Championship, the world No. 1’s game wasn’t showing many signs of life. But then again, he’s DJ and he’s proven he can turn things around in no time at all.

20. Shane Lowry (+4500)

The 2019 Open Championship winner seems intent on not enduring as some sort of one-hit wonder at the majors. He was top-five at the PGA last month and is trending in the right direction.

21. Bryson DeChambeau (+1500)

22. Webb Simpson (+5000)

23. Adam Scott (+7000)

24. Jordan Spieth (+1900)

25. Sahith Theegala (+60000)

Might I interest you in a massive longshot this week? Theegala was all-everything as an amateur, winning the Hogan, Nicklaus and Haskins awards at Pepperdine and the Cali kid could have a big week.

Adam Davis/Icon Sportswire. Pictured: Sahith Theegala

26. Rory McIlroy (+2100)

27. Daniel Berger (+5000)

28. Cameron Smith (+6000)

29. Tyrrell Hatton (+4000)

30. Wilco Nienaber (+30000)

If length is indeed a major advantage this week – and trust me, it will be – then keep a close eye on this South African wunderkind who can bomb it out there with the Brysons of the world.

31. Matt Fitzpatrick (+5000)

32. Corey Conners (+7500)

33. Chan Kim (+60000)

34. Abraham Ancer (+4500)

35. Phil Mickelson (+5000)

Bettors will point to the fact that he just won a major last month and is a three-time winner at Torrey Pines. Faders will call that victory and outlier and remind us that his last win on this course came 20 years ago.

36. Hideki Matsuyama (+4650)

37. Sam Burns (+11000)

38. Justin Suh (+40000)

39. Bubba Watson (+14000)

40. Louis Oosthuizen (+4000)

Perhaps it’s foolish to list Louis at anything but No. 2 on a pre-major ranking. Already with the career grand slam of runner-up results, he added another second-place finish at last month’s PGA.

41. Ryan Palmer (+16000)

42. Sungjae Im (+11000)

43. Lanto Griffin (+16000)

44. Joaquin Niemann (+7500)

45. Garrick Higgo (+7500)

Last week’s winner of the Palmetto Championship has seen perhaps more odds movement than any other player in recent days, as the mainstream bettors are starting to learn his name.

46. Max Homa (+10000)

47. Brendan Steele (+30000)

48. Robert Macintyre (+22500)

49. Branden Grace (+14000)

50. Stewart Cink (+14000)

There isn’t much from the 2008 U.S. Open at Torrey which translates to this week, but it’s interesting to note that Cink was 40/1 pre-tourney that week and finished in a share of 14th place.

51. Chez Reavie (+30000)

52. Billy Horschel (+10000)

53. Harris English (+5500)

54. Bernd Wiesberger (+22500)

55. Matt Wallace (+11000)

56. Erik Van Rooyen (+16000)

57. Wyndham Clark (+45000)

58. Taylor Pendrith (+25000)

59. Cameron Champ (+30000)

60. Lee Westwood (+16000)

Watch a rebroadcast of that 2008 U.S. Open and while the Tiger-Rocco battle steals the show, your heart will break a little bit for Westy, who had so many great chances to join them in that playoff.

 

61. Brendon Todd (+14000)

62. Brian Harman (+10000)

63. Matt Kuchar (+22500)

64. Kevin Streelman (+11000)

65. Ian Poulter (+11000)

66. Sebastian Munoz (+40000)

67. Thomas Detry (+22500)

68. Victor Perez (+40000)

69. Si Woo Kim (+16000)

70. Tommy Fleetwood (+8500)

Casual bettors or perhaps those who only pay attention for that office pool for the majors will see Fleetwood’s name and think he’s way too low. Maybe he is, but the form hasn’t been great.

71. Christiaan Bezuidenhout (+14000)

72. Russell Henley (+22500)

73. Charl Schwartzel (+22500)

74. Kevin Na (+30000)

75. Zach Johnson (+40000)

76. Matt Jones (+22500)

77. J.J. Spaun (+60000)

78. Martin Laird (+30000)

79. Carlos Ortiz (+11000)

80. Alvaro Ortiz (+125000)

Pick an Ortiz, any Ortiz. OK, I’ve admittedly probably listed Carlos too low here and Alvaro maybe a bit optimistically too high, but I couldn’t resist. Missed opportunity for books to have a brother-vs.-brother H2H.

81. Sergio Garcia (+11000)

82. Marcus Armitage (+60000)

83. Adam Hadwin (+20000)

84. Patrick Rodgers (+22500)

85. Cameron Young (+40000)

86. Akshay Bhatia (+60000)

87. Kevin Kisner (+30000)

88. Jimmy Walker (+60000)

89. Edoardo Molinari (+60000)

90. Francesco Molinari (+20000)

Pick a Molinari, any Molinari. Haven’t seen any H2H matchups for this set of brothers, either, which is too bad, because I kind of like older bro Dodo at potentially plus-money in this one.

91. Dylan Wu (+100000)

92. Joe Highsmith (+125000)

93. Greyson Sigg (+60000)

94. John Huh (+60000)

95. Rafa Cabrera Bello (+40000)

96. Henrik Stenson (+40000)

97. Martin Kaymer (+60000)

98. Rikuya Hoshino (+125000)

99. Fabian Gomez (+125000)

97. Dylan Frittelli (+40000)

100. Matthew Wolff (+22500)

I’m clearly not very optimistic about a player I have this low on the list, but … we all know Wolff is a world-class talent. If you’re looking to differentiate in a pool or DFS lineup, there’s some major upside here.

matthew wolff
Ben Jared/PGA TOUR via Getty Images. Pictured: Matthew Wolff.

101. Tom Hoge (+60000)

102. J.T. Poston (+60000)

103. Brian Stuard (+40000)

104. Bo Hoag (+40000)

105. Guido Migliozzi (+60000)

106. K.H. Lee (+40000)

107. Luis Gagne (+125000)

108. Matthias Schmid (+125000)

109. Robby Shelton (+60000)

110. Tyler Strafaci (+125000)

I get it: Everybody wanted Bryson to play with Brooks, but tradition often has the reigning champion compete alongside the Masters winner and this guy – the U.S. Amateur titleholder.

111. Jordan L. Smith (+60000)

112. Cole Hammer (+60000)

113. Sung Kang (+60000)

115. Troy Merritt (+20000)

116. Johannes Veerman (+100000)

117. Mackenzie Hughes (+60000)

118. Sam Ryder (+60000)

119. Thomas Aiken (+125000)

120. Ryo Ishikawa (+60000)

Years after he was hailed as golf’s Next Big Thing, the Bashful Prince is still just 29 years old, ranked 145th in the world and owns five consecutive top-20 finishes on the Japan Tour.

121. Dylan Meyer (+100000)

122. Matthew Southgate (+100000)

123. Peter Malnati (+60000)

124. Paul Barjon (+125000)

125. Pierceson Coody (+125000)

126. Adrian Meronk (+60000)

127. Chris Baker (+125000)

128. Zack Sucher (+125000)

129. Hayden Buckley (+125000)

130. Davis Shore (+125000)

131. Richard Bland (+60000)

132. Wade Ormsby (+60000)

133. Andy Pope (+125000)

134. Brad Kennedy (+125000)

135. Hayden Springer (+125000)

136. Taylor Montgomery (+125000)

137. Joe Long (+125000)

138. Rick Lamb (+125000)

139. Michael Johnson (+125000)

140. Roy Cootes (+125000)

141. Carson Schaake (+125000)

142. David Coupland (+125000)

143. Zach Zaback (+125000)

144. Ollie Osborne (+125000)

145. Kyle Westmoreland (+125000)

146. Eric Cole (+125000)

147. Yosuki Asaji (+125000)

148. Luis Fernando Barco (+125000)

149. Mario Carmona (+125000)

150. James Hervol (+125000)

151. Spencer Ralston (+125000)

152. Matt Sharpstene (+125000)

153. Chris Crawford (+125000)

154. Andrew Kozan (+125000)

155. Wilson Furr (+125000)

156. Steve Allan (+250000)

Poor Steve. The Aussie has been a pro for 25 years and is now 47, ostensibly toiling in golf purgatory – not quite spry enough to hang with the flatbellies and not yet old enough to play on the senior circuit.

He’s only competed in nine sanctioned events in the past two years, but made it through sectional qualifying – and he’s rewarded with the longest odds in the field. As I always write in these rankings prior to the majors, putting someone in the final spot isn’t fun, so I let the books do it for me. Here’s hoping Allan proves us both wrong this week.

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