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US Open 2021: Preview, Picks & Tee-Times

Golf fans everywhere are buzzing for the third leg of the 2021 major golf season, and, right on cue, the greatest golfers on the planet have arrived in California for the 121st US Open - golf's most demanding major.

As you settle in to watch the world's best golfers toil in the Californian sun, check out our preview, picks and a list of selected tee-times below.

The Venue

Torrey Pines GC (South), par 71, 7,652 yards

Torrey Pines hosts the US Open for the first time since Tiger Woods' playoff victory back in 2008. It's a 36-hole municipal facility perched upon coastal cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean, and the South Course will provide a thorough examination of every golfer's entire game.

The facility is named after the Torrey Pine, a rare tree that grows in the wild only along this local stretch of the coastline, while the course also plays host to the annual Farmers Insurance Open, won this year by Patrick Reed

Defending Champion - Bryson DeChambeau

Last year's US Open played as the first event of the 2020/21 PGA Tour season, and Bryson DeChambeau's destruction of the field at Winged Foot GC sent the world of golf into a tailspin.

Worries about the current world number five's ability to overwhelm golf courses with his jaw-dropping driving distance have since subsided as he struggles to find consistency in other areas of his golf game.

DeChambeau could catch fire at just the right time to retain the title he so devastatingly won a little over nine months ago, but probably not without improving his accuracy off the tee.

No matter how he fares, he'll need to develop a thicker skin against the 'Brooksy' calls that are sure to follow his every move.

Our 2021 US Open Picks

So, who's going to win the third major of 2021? We've been throwing around some names at Hole19 HQ in the hope of landing on the eventual winner.

Here's what we've come up with.

Hot Favourite: Jon Rahm

Not the most original of picks, it must be said. Still, when you acknowledge that Rahm was in awesome form at the Memorial - before Covid spoiled the party - and then throw into the mix his form around Torrey Pines, it's impossible to ignore the Spaniard this week.

Though yet to prevail in a major championship, 'Rahmbo' has two top-10s at The Masters and the PGA Championship this year. And after having a potential first win of 2021 snatched away, we expect to see added hunger and motivation this week.

If he can keep his head, he's got a great chance of breaking his major duck.

Worth a Look: Collin Morikawa

Flying a little more under-the-radar this week is the ball-striking machine that is Collin Morikawa.

There's so much to like about the young star, not least the fact that he played so well last time out at the Memorial before eventually succumbing in a playoff against Patrick Cantlay.

He's also finished within the top-15 in his last four outings, and if he can play his usual game of fairways and greens, an average performance with the short-stick should ensure he's bang in contention.

Surprise Pick: Justin Rose

OK, it seems a little strange to be selecting Justin Rose as our 'surprise pick' but the high odds offered in many places are a result of the struggles he's endured while searching for his usual elite level.

The Englishman has been stuck on one major title since 2013, though he's had a few near misses along the way. He comes into this week's US Open test with previous form around Torrey Pines and two top-tens in both 2021 majors thus far.

Is it time for Rose to 'bloom' once again on the US Open stage? We hope so!

Round 1 Selected Tee-Times

Thursday, 17 June - round one (all times BST)

Starting on hole one

15:29 Francesco Molinari (Ita), Henrik Stenson (Swe), Shane Lowry (Ire)

15:40 Matt Fitzpatrick (Eng), Tyrrell Hatton (Eng), Viktor Hovland (Nor)

15:51 Martin Kaymer (Ger), Webb Simpson (US), Gary Woodland (US)

16:02 Tony Finau (US), Abraham Ancer (Mex), Daniel Berger (US)

16:13 Si Woo Kim (Kor), Kevin Na (US), Bernd Wiesberger (Aut)

16:24 Jimmy Walker (US), Ian Poulter (Eng), Ryan Palmer (US)

21:03 Robert MacIntyre (Sco), Victor Perez (Fra), Matt Wallace (Eng)

21:14 Tyler Strafaci (US), Hideki Matsuyama (Jpn), Bryson DeChambeau (US)

21:25 Adam Scott (Aus), Sergio Garcia (Spn), Bubba Watson (US)

21:36 Dustin Johnson (US), Rory McIlroy (NI), Justin Rose (Eng)

Starting on hole 10

15:18 Matthew Wolff (US), Brian Harman (US), Tommy Fleetwood (Eng)

15:29 Justin Thomas (US), Collin Morikawa (US), Brooks Koepka (US)

15:40 Matt Kuchar (US), Kevin Kisner (US), Billy Horschel (US)

15:51 Xander Schauffele (US), Phil Mickelson (US), Max Homa (US)

16:02 Jason Kokrak (US), Corey Conners (Can), Cameron Champ (US)

21:14 Lee Westwood (Eng), Stewart Cink (US), Paul Casey (Eng)

21:25 Will Zalatoris (US), Jordan Spieth (US), Scottie Scheffler (US)

21:36 Patrick Reed (US), Jon Rahm (Spa), Marc Leishman (Aus)

21:47 Louis Oosthuizen (SA), Sung Jae Im (Kor), Patrick Cantlay (US)

You will find the full list of R1/R2 tee-times here.

Let us know who you're rooting for in the comments, and follow us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook to join the conversation.

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