The U.S. Open is here and we’re focusing on last year’s champion with a free $1K pool this week on DraftKings Sportsbook. Bryson DeChambeau won last year’s U.S. Open at Winged Foot by six shots and now will try to double up his trophy case with a win on the other side of the USA at Torrey Pines. Torrey is located in San Diego and was last seen at a major for the 2008 U.S. Open, won in dramatic fashion by Tiger Woods. The 7,685-yard par 71 will certainly cater to bombers and sets up well as a potential spot for Bryson to grab another trophy.
DeChambeau comes into this event playing well, having made the cut in seven straight starts. He leads the field in strokes gained: off the tee and finished T38 in the year’s second major at Kiawah Island. Bryson has made the cut now in three straight U.S. Opens, but his transformation into the biggest hitter in the game is what propelled him to victory last year, and we should expect more top results from him in this event going forward. We’ve got a bunch of cool props to dissect on Bryson below, who currently sits at +1500 in the outright department on DraftKings Sportsbook to take home the title.
Regardless of how you’re approaching things, I’ve written up my thoughts on this week’s Free $1K Bryson DeChambeau Golf Major Pool on DraftKings Sportsbook and have tried to give you decisive picks and strategies to employ at each level. Hope you enjoy.
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1. Bryson DeChambeau Finishing Position
1st-10th OR 11-20th OR 21st-30th OR 31st-40th OR 41st-50th OR 51+ or does not make the cut
This is toughest question of the pool, so we’ll spend some time breaking it down. I feel pretty certain that Bryson will eventually be a multiple major championship winner, but if we’re being honest, he has been a little spotty in terms of actual results in the big events. His two top-10 finishes in majors last year represented the first such results of his career and he’s had a notable lack of West Coast success which could hamper him at Torrey Pines.
Bryson’s a perfect fit for the U.S. Open though so we shouldn’t get carried away thinking he’s not going to be at least lurking around the top-20. His recent form has been good but not great with a T9 at the Wells Fargo and a T18 at the Memorial being his best results in his last five starts. He’s still bombing it off the tee and has gained over +3.0 strokes OTT in his last five starts as well. I think it’s hard to project him outside of the top-20 here unless he really struggles around the greens. The Kikuyu rough and Poa greens will make players look foolish at points this week, but Bryson is strong Poa putter (2nd best in the field on that surface putting over the last 50 rounds) so even an average week putting for him could mean a decent finish. I’ll be the glass half-empty guy and say he’ll put up a solid title defense but will fail in his bid to go back-to-back. I like the 11th to 20th finishing position choice here but wouldn’t put anyone off a top-10 either.
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2. Bryson DeChambeau’s Longest Drive
Over 375.5 yards or Under 375.5 yards
Let’s be honest, we’re never taking the under here. Bryson leads the PGA TOUR in driving distance and strokes gained: off the tee stats. His longest drive on the season clocks in at 414 yards and he’s produced the most consistent 350+ yard drives of anyone in the field this year. Torrey does have hard to hit fairways but it’s also a long course with plenty of straight holes that will let Bryson hit driver a ton here. The par 4-6th hole (a converted par 5) could be a great spot for him to nail this prop as he’ll likely be tempted to take a shortcut over trees into a sloped fairway. The lengthy fourth-hole and shorter 17th could be spots as well. If he gets wild off the tee and hampered by the rough early this one could go under, but with sunny weather and firm fairways I’d much rather be on the over here.
Choice: Over 375.5 yards
3. Who will have a better finishing position?
Bryson DeChambeau OR Brooks Koepka
Choosing between the winners of the last three U.S. Opens is never easy but I think Brooks may have made it at least slightly easier for us last week. He put up a miserable effort at the Palmetto Championship where he missed the cut and did nothing to quell our fears that a lingering knee issue is going to make him a spotty performer the rest of 2021. Brooks is never a good fade at majors, as he again proved last month at the PGA (where he finished T2), but a long, tough walk among foot-long rough at Torrey Pines sounds like a bad deal for his knee. Bryson’s coming in healthy and been better off the tee and on the greens of late than Brooks, who has never finished better than T41 at the Farmers. I’ll side with Bryson here who, as I mentioned above, feels like a semi-lock for a top-20.
Choice: Bryson DeChambeau
4. What will Bryson’s best single-round score be?
68 or better OR 69 or worse
In 2008, we only saw 11 rounds of 68 or better posted at Torrey Pines. This year at the Farmers, the course played as the 7th toughest on the PGA TOUR and yielded a scoring average well above par. For his part, Bryson has never done anything to have us believe he truly loves this course as he’s missed the cut at the Farmers in two career starts there. His length off the tee should keep him away from the truly big numbers at Torrey, but with so few birdie opportunities out there, I don’t mind fading him on this one and saying he fails to grab a breakthrough round.
Choice: 69 or worse
5. What will Bryson’s final score be?
-3 or better OR -2 OR -1 OR Par or worse
Again, we’ll have to look back on the 2008 U.S. Open to help us make our decision. In that year only two players managed to shoot under par for the week at Torrey Pines, and one of them was arguably the greatest player of all-time in Tiger Woods. I do expect the modern players to put up a better fight here and you could even see the winner approach 5-9 under par, but I still think the group of players who actually finish under par will be small (expect a lot of weekend blow-up rounds as the USGA likes to make things difficult on the weekend).
If I don’t think Bryson is coming inside the top-10 then it’s nearly impossible for me to pick anything other than the even par or worse answer. Again, while his recent form may be good, his Torrey Pines record doesn’t have give us any huge confidence that he’ll be able to repeat the Winged Foot magic from last Fall.
Choice: Par or worse
6. What color hat will Bryson wear on Friday?
White OR Black OR Gray OR Blue OR Red OR Any Other Color/outcome
Finally, we get to the most important question of the pool, Bryson’s fashion choice! You may think this is a ridiculous question but like all things in life, there’s a bit of an edge to be had here just by applying a little common sense. It’s the U.S. Open, so right away I would stick to the traditional colors and expect his kit to include red, white or blue most days. Black is an underdog choice as he is a DraftKings sponsored player and that is in our color scheme, but I’ll apply an even deeper dive here and look back at what he wore last year when he won the event. Deep blue was his choice in the final round at Winged Foot in 2020 and I think he sticks with what worked there. Give me Blue for the fashionistas.
7. Will Bryson eagle any holes during the tournament?
Yes OR No
If Torrey was playing at its traditional setup as a par 72 I think the yes here would be far more of an attractive play. However, on top of losing what was likely the easiest par 5 on the course (the sixth will play as a par 4 now) we’re also at the whim of the USGA, who likes to make courses tougher than they need to be and tends to overreact to any under par scoring early in the week. Torrey isn’t like modern courses either in that it really has no drivable par 4’s where big hitters like Bryson can drive the green.
It’s worth noting that Bryson does lead the PGA TOUR in eagles per hole, but his rate of one eagle every 69 holes still only puts him at about one per event, and that includes a lot of easier PGA TOUR setups. If there’s anyone in the field to back for eagle this week it’s likely Bryson, but the U.S. Open is a different beast and not one to go chasing low scores at.
8. How will Bryson do on his final hole of the tournament?
Birdie or better OR Par OR Bogey or worse
This one is simple. The 18th hole at Torrey Pines is a par 5 that measures around 570-580 yards. The hole plays straight forward in that there’s really no dogleg to the hole and a straight and powerful drive for Bryson will leave a reasonable approach shot in the 200-225 yard range. The green is protected by water but even a poor drive may allow Bryson to go for the green here or at least one of the green side bunkers. It would take some kind of uncharacteristically poor shot for him to make a bogey so we’ll rule that out and I think there’s too many ways for Bryson to reach the green-complex in two for us not to take birdie or better. I’ll say Bryson ends the week on a positive with a birdie (or better) on the final hole.
Choice: Birdie or Better
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