2021 US Open Tee Times Released – 5 Pairings We Can’t Wait to See

| June 16, 2021 5:30 am PDT

Don’t blame the USGA for not giving us the Bryson/Brooks pairing everyone was salivating for. Criticize DeChambeau and his agent, because according to Brad Faxon, the USGA reached out to Bryson’s camp hoping to make it happen. And according to Faxon, the Mad Scientist sternly rejected the proposal.

Coming to grips with the first- and second-round US Open tee times that have come to fruition, there’s still plenty of intrigues.

Here’s a look at five can’t-miss Thursday/Friday pairings at Torrey Pines.

Colin Morikawa, Justin Thomas, Brooks Koepka

  • First Round Tee Time:  10th Tee, 7:29 AM
  • Second Round Tee Time: 1st Tee, 1:14 PM

In terms of “to win” potential, this threesome has as much or more firepower than any on the sheet. Morikawa won the last major championship held in California; the iron technician leads the Tour in GIR and SG: Approach, on top of setting the pace in SG: Tee-to-Green.

Justin Thomas is another surgical iron player who has an upright swing – a tactic that’ll enable him to lift the ball out of the rough better than most. Having said that, zero top-10s since his win at THE PLAYERS is a little bit concerning.

Forget about the beef with Bryson; this is a major championship and the golf tournament where Brooks Koepka has excelled the most. The 2017 and 2018 US Open champ finished 2nd in the 2019 edition (DNP in 2020), although his Jekyll and Hyde performances this year are worth bringing to light.

In nine starts in 2021, “Brooksie” has accumulated a trio of top-twos but has also missed five missed cuts. Including MC’ing last week at Congaree.

Will Zalatoris, Scottie Scheffler, Jordan Spieth

  • First Round Tee Time: 10th Tee, 1:25 PM
  • Second Round Tee Time: 1st Tee, 7:40 AM

This crew has a lot in common – aside from all residing in or around the Dallas area. They’re clustered between 17th-29th in the OWGR and are all popular picks to make some noise over the weekend.

Three years older than his two compatriots, Jordan leads the way nearly $5 million in tournament earnings in 2020-21. Don’t feel too bad for the two 24-year-olds, though; Scheffler and Zalatoris have pocketed more than $3.4 million this season apiece.

Interestingly enough, the 2021 US Open tee times mark the second time since May that this particular threesome has been joined at the hip on a Thursday/Friday at a PGA Tour event.

For what it’s worth, the Texas kids combined to shoot 24-under par as a group through the first two rounds at the Nelson. It’ll be a little tougher to carve out so many red numbers playing at Torrey Pines South Course.

Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose

  • First Round Tee Time: 1st Tee, 1:36 PM
  • Second Round Tee Time: 10th Tee, 7:51 AM

Here are three players who are extremely familiar with one another from playing together in so many big events over the past 10 years. Each triumvirate member plays a bag full of Taylor Made clubs; they’re each also seeking their second US Open Trophy.

DJ is fresh off logging his first top-10 since November on the heels of ranking 4th in Putts per GIR at the Palmetto Championship at Congaree.

Adding to the mystery of how Johnson will fare at Torrey Pines, Dustin hasn’t played the Farmers Insurance Open since missing the cut here in 2017.

Now for some positives relating to course history.

Rory debuted in La Jolla in 2019 and has finished 5th-3rd-16th in three trips. Rosy won the 2019 Farmers Insurance Open and has breathed some new life into his game. Top-20s in four of five finishes upon Justin’s arrival.

Max Homa, Xander Schauffele, Phil Mickelson

  • First Round Tee Time: 10th Tee, 7:51 AM
  • Second Round Tee Time: 1st Tee, 1:36 PM

Had the USGA subbed Charley Hoffman in for Max Homa, this would have looked like a standard Tuesday game at The Farms. At the same time, all three are SoCal guys, and Homa and Schauffele are fairly close. I’m not sure how far the relationship between Homa and Mickelson extends, but I can confirm that Xander has made Phil dip into his wallet on numerous occasions.  

As for what to expect when they step onto the first tee on Thursday morning, expect a bundle of fireworks.

Aiming to complete the career Grand Slam and win his second consecutive major, Lefty isn’t taking any chances and is fully honed in on his process. Schauffele is rolling with a slightly more relaxed approach as he seeks his fifth top-6 finish in a US Open in five tries.

Max is here to soak it all in and hopes to start building a major championship resume. The two-time PGA Tour winner has missed six of seven cuts at the majors but at least as some good mojo brewing. Homa’s racked up a pair of top-6 finishes in his last four starts.

Marc Leishman, Jon Rahm, Patrick Reed

  • First Round Tee Time: 10th Tee, 1:36 AM
  • Second Round Tee Time: 1st Tee, 7:51 AM

The USGA likes to have fun with their US Open pairings. Sometimes it’s a play on the names – we’ve seen Charles Howell III grouped with Charley Hoffman and Charl Schwartzel on a Thursday/Friday at the US Open before.

In this case, it’s gathering a trio of recent winners of the Farmers Insurance Open.

“Leish” triumphed here in 2020 and has enjoyed a fair amount of success this season. Highlights include a victory in New Orleans (partnered with Cameron Smith) and a 5th-place finish at the Masters.

Reed garners attention for various reasons, none more apparent than his cheating scandal when he won here in January. These circumstances wound up overshadowing his five-shot victory, but my biggest takeaway was the short game exhibition he displayed.

Rounding out what is arguably the most potent of all the tee times for the US Open, Jon Rahm is comfortably positioned atop my US Open power rankings. Between grabbing a six-shot lead with 18 to play at the Memorial and his pristine track record at this venue, there’s no question Rahmbo is deserving of being the favorite. 

Other Notable US Open Tee Times in 2021

After sorting through the Thursday/Friday tee times at Torrey Pines, I listed what I believe are the most captivating groupings. On that note, here are a few other first- and second-round pairings for the US Open that’ll draw plenty of interest.

  • Adam Scott, Sergio Garcia, Bubba Watson
  • Patrick Cantlay, Louis Oosthuizen, Sungjae Im
  • Tyler Strafaci, Hideki Matsuyama, Bryson DeChambeau

Three guys in their 40s, each with at least one major to their credit, Adam, Sergio, and Bubba, get their 2021 US Open underway at 1:25 PM off the first tee on Thursday.

Patrick Cantlay doesn’t say much, and Sungjae Im speaks very little English. Louis’ riding high off, finishing 2nd at Kiawah Island. If you’re looking for a group that’s all about business, look no further than the pairing teeing off on #10 at 1:47 PM in round one.

Finally, Tyler Strafaci is the reigning US Amateur champ, and Hideki Matsuyama slipped on the Green Jacket in April. And yet, hardly anyone watching the 1:14 PM pairing on Thursday will be paying much attention to either man.

All eyes will be on Bryson’s “bomb and gauge” strategy – the same one he employed on his way to lapping the field at Winged Foot nine months ago.

Michael Wynn

As a former Division I collegiate golfer, Michael Wynn loves writing about golf. He's also an expert in most of America's most popular sports, writing extensively for GamblingSites.com on football, basketball, and baseball.

Michael's a Las Vegas native and has been with the company since 2017.

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