2021 U.S. Open predictions, picks, favorites: One of these nine golfers will win at Torrey Pines

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LA JOLLA, Calif. — The 2021 U.S. Open will likely be another in a recent line of U.S. Opens which seem to identify which bomber is putting it best in a given week. Last year’s champion, Bryson DeChambeau, described his strategy for bulky Torrey Pines.

“For the most part, I’m going to be trying to bomb it as much as possible and try to gouge it out when I don’t hit it in the fairway,” said DeChambeau.

If this is the right strategy — and recent history says it is — that narrows the list of golfers who can win this tournament to 15 or 10 or even fewer. The longest guys off the tee who also have a set of other skills that are adequate enough for major contention.

“I’d say the rough is a little different [than Winged Foot], so it’s not going to be as easy to get through, I think, with the wedge out here at Torrey Pines compared to Winged Foot,” added DeChambeau. “But having said that, I think it’s going to be the same sort of strategy.”

This does not necessarily mean a shorter hitter like Collin Morikawa cannot win the tournament, only that his margin for error this week is much thinner than it is for DeChambeau, Jon Rahm, Rory McIlroy and other guys who are a lot longer than guys like Morikawa, who will have to hit a lot more fairways than they do.

With that in mind, I think the pool of golfers who can win is easier to determine for this championship than for any of the others, and I’ve narrowed it to the nine from which I think the winner will eventually emerge on Sunday evening.

Who will win the U.S. Open, and which long shots will stun the golfing world? Visit SportsLine to see the projected leaderboard, all from the model that’s nailed six golf majors and is up well over $9,000 since the restart.

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