US Open golf: How to watch on TV, tee times, betting favourites and weather forecast

All you need to know ahead of the third Major of the year at Torrey Pines

Dustin Johnson plays a shot on the fourth hole during a practice round prior to the start of the 2021 US Open at Torrey Pines. Photo: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Dustin Johnson plays a shot on the fourth hole during a practice round prior to the start of the 2021 US Open at Torrey Pines. Photo: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

 

What’s happening?

The third Major of the year is what’s happening. Just eight months after Bryson DeChambeau lifted the US Open trophy at Winged Foot, the Californian will defend his title at Torrey Pines South Course in San Diego.

When does it start?

Play will get underway early on Thursday morning (June 17th) local time with an eight-hour time difference to Ireland.

What are the tee times?

First hole Thursday/10th hole Friday (All times Irish)
2.45pm/8.30pm: Sahith Theegala, Edoardo Molinari, Greyson Sigg
2.56pm/8.41pm: Chris Baker, JJ Spaun, Fabian Gomez
3.07pm/8.52pm: Patrick Rodgers, Robby Shelton, (a) Pierceson Coody
3.18pm/9.03pm: Russell Henley, Mackenzie Hughes, Harris English
3.29pm/9.14pm: Francesco Molinari, Henrik Stenson, Shane Lowry
3.40pm/9.25pm: Matt Fitzpatrick, Tyrrell Hatton, Viktor Hovland
3.51pm/9.36pm: Martin Kaymer, Webb Simpson, Gary Woodland
4.02pm/9.47pm: Tony Finau, Abraham Ancer, Daniel Berger
4.13am/9.58pm: Si Woo Kim, Kevin Na, Bernd Wiesberger
4.24pm/10.09pm: Jimmy Walker, Ian Poulter, Ryan Palmer
4.35pm/10.20pm: JT Poston, Adam Hadwin, (a) Joe Long
4.46pm/10.31pm: Luis Fernando Barco, Dylan Meyer, (a) Matthew Sharpstene
4.57pm/10.42pm: Mario Carmona, Wilson Furr, Davis Shore
8.30pm/2.45pm: Zach Zaback, Steve Allan, Eric Cole, 
8.41pm/2.56pm: Hayden Buckley, Taylor Montgomery, Jordan Smith
8.52pm/3.07pm: Chez Reavie, Richard Bland, Troy Merritt
9.03pm/3.18pm: Robert MacIntyre, Victor Perez, Matt Wallace
9.14pm/3.29pm: Tyler Strafaci, Hideki Matsuyama, Bryson DeChambeau
9.25pm/3.40pm: Adam Scott, Sergio Garcia, Bubba Watson
9.36pm/3.51pm: Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose
9.47pm/4.02pm: Matt Jones, Brendan Steele, Cameron Smith
9.58pm/4.13pm: Carlos Ortiz, Zach Johnson, Lanto Griffin
10.09pm/4.24pm: Sam Burns, Chan Kim, Thomas Detry
10.20pm/4.35pm: (a) Ollie Osborne, Peter Malnati, Brian Stuard
10.31pm/4.46pm: John Huh, Johannes Veerman, Zack Sucher
10.42pm/4.57pm: Rick Lamb, Michael Johnson, Carson Schaake

10th hole Thursday/First hole Friday 
2.45pm/8.30pm: Andy Pope, Brad Kennedy, Thomas Aiken
2.56pm/8.41pm: Yosuke Asaji, Marcus Armitage, Jhonattan Vegas
3.07pm/8.52pm: Cameron Young, Wilco Nienaber, Guido Migliozzi
3.18pm/9.03pm: Brian Harman, Tommy Fleetwood, Matthew Wolff
3.29pm/9.14pm: Collin Morikawa, Justin Thomas, Brooks Koepka
3.40pm/9.25pm: Kevin Kisner, Billy Horschel, Matt Kuchar
3.51pm/9.36pm: Max Homa, Xander Schauffele, Phil Mickelson
4.02pm/9.47pm: Jason Kokrak, Cameron Champ, Corey Conners
4.13pm/9.58pm: Paul Barjon, Sam Ryder, Ryo Ishikawa
4.24pm/10.09pm: Dylan Frittelli, Martin Laird, K.H. Lee
4.35pm/10.20pm: Rafa Cabrera Bello, Adrian Meronk, Sung Kang
4.46pm/10.31pm: Akshay Bhatia, (a) Andrew Kozan, Alvaro Ortiz
4.57pm/10.42pm: James Hervol, Hayden Springer, Roy Cootes
8.30pm/2.45pm: David Coupland, Taylor Pendrith, Wade Ormsby
8.41pm/2.56pm: Tom Hoge, Bo Hoag, (a) Joe Highsmith
8.52pm/3.07pm: Erik van Rooyen, Christiaan Bezuidenhout, Charl Schwartzel
9.03pm/3.18pm: Garrick Higgo, (a) Cole Hammer, Joaquin Niemann
9.14pm/3.29pm: Lee Westwood, Stewart Cink, Paul Casey
9.25pm/3.40pm: Will Zalatoris, Scottie Scheffler, Jordan Spieth
9.36pm/3.51pm: Marc Leishman, Jon Rahm, Patrick Reed, 
9.47pm/4.02pm: Patrick Cantlay, Louis Oosthuizen, Sungjae Im
9.58pm/4.13pm: Kevin Streelman, Branden Grace, Charley Hoffman
10.09pm/4.24pm: Sebastian Munoz, Rikuya Hoshino, Brendon Todd
10.20pm/4.35pm: Wyndham Clark, (a) Matthias Schmid, Matthew Southgate
10.31pm/4.46pm: (a) Spencer Ralston, Dylan Wu, Justin Suh
10.42pm/4.57pm: Luis Gagne, Kyle Westmoreland, Christopher Crawford

Bryson DeChambeau on the 13th during a practice round. Photo: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
Bryson DeChambeau on the 13th during a practice round. Photo: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

How can I watch it?

Like the US PGA Championship last week, there will be extensive coverage of the US Open on Sky Sports. While the eight-hour time difference usually means a west coast Major has golf fans on this side of the world staying up until past 3am, this year it’ll be slightly different at the weekend.

US host broadcaster NBC has moved times forward for the final two days – to make way for Olympic qualifying events which they will be broadcasting live – which means play is due to finish at around 1.30am on Saturday and 12.30am on Sunday Irish time, much like Majors held on the east coast. The full TV schedule is as follows:

Thursday: Sky Sports Golf from 3.30pm and Sky Sports Main Event from 6.45pm both running until close of play around 3am.

Friday: Sky Sports Golf from 3.30pm and Sky Sports Main Event from 6pm both running until close of play around 3am.

Saturday: Sky Sports Golf from 3pm and Sky Sports Main Event from 6.30pm both running until close of play around 1.30am.

Sunday: Sky Sports Golf from 3pm and Sky Sports Main Event from 6.30pm both running until close of play around 12.30am.

What Irish players are in the field?

Rory McIlroy and Shane Lowry are the only two Irish players in the field but both come in with strong chances of contending. McIlroy’s Major woes are well documented – seven years now without a win in the four biggest events – but his work with Pete Cowen has many pundits predicting that it won’t be too long before he breaks that duck.

Like at the Masters (where he missed the cut), McIlroy comes into this week somewhat under the radar and preaching patience in his new regime. At Whistling Straits in last month’s US PGA he followed a win at the Wells Fargo with a disappointing performance at the second Major of the year and since then has tied for 18th at the Memorial. A missed cut and a tie for 49th is not the sort of Major results we’re used to seeing from the 32-year-old – even when he’s not winning – so there might just be a bit of pressure on him this week to show some of the fruits of the labour he and Cowen have been putting in.

For Lowry, there has been plenty to build on over the last few weeks. A tied-ninth finish at the RBC Heritage the week after the Masters was an indicator of what would follow and since then he has tied for fourth at the US PGA – a finish which could well have been so much better if the putter had behaved a little throughout the week – and tied for sixth at Memorial.

Shane Lowry on the fourth. Photo: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
Shane Lowry on the fourth. Photo: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

At odds now of just 30/1 it’s fair to say many are expecting another big week from the Offalyman who could well be trending towards a win while he also knows that he needs a few more big finishes if he is to play his way into the Ryder Cup team and avoid relying on a pick from Pádraig Harrington.

Who are the favourites?

This looks set to be a typically heavyweight US Open test at Torrey Pines and it’s likely that the power players will dominate the leaderboard.

The bookies’ favourite by a sizeable enough margin at the time of writing is Jon Rahm who comes into this week after a rollercoaster over the last 10 days. After blowing the field away through three rounds at the Memorial tournament, the Spaniard was told at the end of his third round that he had tested positive for Covid-19 and would therefore have to withdraw, wiping out his six-shot lead.

Since then Rahm has been in isolation but has been cleared to play this week after returning negative tests. Safe to say he will have quite a bit of motivation to claim his first Major title this week. What’s more, Torrey Pines is a course which suits him down to the ground and indeed it was the site of his first PGA Tour win in 2017 at the Farmers Insurance Open.

Jon Rahm practices on the chipping green. Photo: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
Jon Rahm practices on the chipping green. Photo: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

However, there are plenty of challengers waiting in the wings with Bryson DeChambeau among those most heavily fancied. After bullying Winged Foot last November to win his first Major title, the Californian showed how well suited his new power game is to a US Open test. Despite the USGA tightening the fairways and growing the rough up to protect par, such a strategy only goes to serve some of the game’s biggest hitters these days with both DeChambeau and Brooks Koepka proving in recent years that speed and power give them a huge advantage hitting approach shots from the rough, in particular when they may only have a wedge in hand while others have mid-irons.

However, a slight blot on DeChambeau’s copy book for this week may well prove to be the greens. The surfaces at Torrey Pines are notoriously bumpy and unrealiable – particularly late in the day after a lot of footfall – and if there’s one player who doesn’t cope well with variables it’s DeChambeau. While power is a huge plus at Torrey Pines, confident putting and a healthy dose of patience on the greens will also be required.

This week in particular – at what is a long brute of a golf course at the best of times – the term ‘bomber’s paradise’ looks to be particularly apt. Dustin Johnson has not shown much form over the last eight months or so with just two top-10s since his Masters victory in November. However, the second of those did come last week at the Palmetto Championship and it’d take a lot to write the world number one off when we know exactly what he is capable of at his best and we also know that his best can often come from nowhere.

Given that he grew up locally and knows Torrey Pines like the back of his hand, Xander Schauffele is also fancied by many while Koepka can not be written off, especially after what he showed us last month at the US PGA when he played his way into the final round despite a knee injury.

After his heroics in that final group alongside Koepka, Phil Mickelson comes to his hometown of San Diego with a renewed vigour to complete the career grand slam and finally get his hands on the US Open trophy. And while it may be foolish to write the 50-year-old off just weeks after those scenes at Kiawah Island, it’s difficult to see a fairytale becoming reality once again.

If you fancy a flutter and are looking for some value, Jason Kokrak might be worth a few euro as he is fresh off a win at the Charles Schwab Challenge and exactly the type of power-hitter suited to this venue. See also 2019 US Open champion Gary Woodland while Marc Leishman is always worth a look at any seaside course where the wind can get up.

What’s the weather going to be like?

Fairly perfect. All four days look set to be in the mid-20s temperature-wise with only light breezes to contend with on top of the cliffs. Of the four days, Sunday is currently forecast to be the windiest but even at that it’s only breezes of 16kmh.

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