2021 U.S. Open picks, predictions and best bets: Collin Morikawa to tower over Torrey Pines rivals

Collin Morikawa lifts the PGA Championship trophy.
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Andrew Wilsher

Golf

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Managing Editor of Pickswise. Born and raised in jolly old London, England, with an undying love for the NFL, NBA, soccer and horse racing. A big-time sports bettor who loves futures markets and backing underdogs. Long-suffering New York Jets fan.

The early spotlight at the 121st U.S. Open Championship will fall on Jon Rahm and Phil Mickelson — unless, of course, Bryson DeChambeau and Brooks Koepka wind up brawling in the Torrey Pines South car park.

Can hot favorite Rahm secure COVID redemption?

Rahm is the clear favorite, his odds seemingly shortening with every passing second, and the betting community clearly believes that the Spaniard is set to spectacularly avenge his Memorial heartache. A positive COVID test ended Rahm’s Memorial title charge — he was six shots ahead through three rounds when told he would have to withdraw — and that mesmerizing Muirfield Village performance has got the attention of everyone.

Rahm put a new putter in his bag at the start of Memorial week and fell in love with his fresh wand, so confidence levels are high. He had no COVID symptoms and was able to escape quarantine last Saturday, so has had time to prepare for the U.S. Open. Rahm won the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey in 2017 and loves the layout.

His odds have just become too contracted to consider, though, and there has to be a chance that his Memorial fireworks were the result of mental freedom which nobody seems to be addressing.

Rahm was told early at the Memorial that he may have come in contact with somebody who had COVID — contact tracing hinted he was in strife — so the player was aware his week could be cut short. Maybe a carefree attitude sparked the burst of form, but he will be anything but carefree around Torrey Pines, where only two men finished under par in the last U.S. Open there.

Mickelson, looking to complete a career Grand Slam at the age of 51, could also carry a furrowed brow as the brutal set-up takes no prisoners.

Jon Rahm tees off on the second hole during the Final round of the Zozo Championship golf tournament at Sherwood Country Club.

CREDIT – Kelvin Kuo (USA Today)

Collin Morikawa to win the U.S. Open (+2200)

Preference is for two Californians who are relishing the prospect of tackling a super-tough tee-to-green assignment in their home state. Collin Morikawa won his first Major in California — at Harding Park in the PGA Championship last year — and he tops the PGA Tour greens-in-regulation statistics arriving for this one.

He has already won a WGC this year, was eighth in the PGA Championship, and second in the Memorial last time out. Most of the serious trouble at Torrey is left, so Morikawa’s natural fade will be working towards safety, and this looks a fantastic opportunity for the best iron player of his generation to claim a second Major title.

Will Zalatoris to win the U.S. Open (+4000)

Will Zalatoris, who finished sixth, second, and eighth in the last three Majors, grew up putting on poa annua greens and says he loves them. He finished seventh in the Farmers at Torrey Pines in January. This greens-in-regulation machine is made for U.S. Open combat.

Will Zalatoris hits a tee shot at the 2020 U.S. Open

CREDIT – Brad Penner (USA TODAY)

Viktor Hovland to be top Continental European (+250)

Bettors seeking a prop bet should consider Viktor Hovland for top European. If Rahm flops as favorite, Hovland could emerge as Europe’s best hope.

He won the U.S. Amateur at Pebble Beach and has quickly shown he can handle Major venues. Nobody scored better than Hovland at Torrey Pines South in the Farmers in January.

Be sure to check out our best prop bets for the 2021 U.S. Open!

Pickswise is the home of free expert Golf Picks and Predictions. We will have our 2021 U.S. Open 3-ball picks and our best golf prop bets for each round of the 2021 U.S. Open.

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