The first major championship of the 2020-2021 PGA Tour season is upon us this week as the U.S. Open, originally scheduled for June but pushed back amid the COVID-19 pandemic, comes barreling into focus. It's the first time since 1913 that the U.S. Open will be played in the month of September and the first event of a historic season set to crown six major champions.
The field is loaded as ever with a blend of the sport's young stars as Collin Morikawa and Bryson DeChambeau collide with the old guard of Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson, all with the U.S. Open trophy and a total prize purse exceeding $12 million on the line. Life-changing money for many on the tour, a drop in the bucket for others.
And that's what makes our annual rootability rankings so much fun. You can look at this event through a number of different lenses and pick your rooting interests accordingly. So if you want to cheer on the golfer with the lowest career earnings in the field, do it. If you want to root for Tiger to get even richer, then hey, no one's stopping you.
Stick with CBS Sports and CBS Sports HQ for full coverage of the 2020 U.S. Open all throughout the week. Odds via William Hill Sportsbook
|Everyone loves to root for Tiger, but rooting for him this week? That's rooting for history. A win at Winged Foot would notch him his 16th career major championship and, in the process, he would surpass Sam Snead on the all-time PGA Tour wins list. Tiger hasn't won a major since the Masters Tournament in 2019, but he has yet to miss a cut all season, and he's steadily ramped himself up for months physically to be full-go this week. Plus, Winged Foot is one of few courses he has not conquered in his career. Odds: 50-1|
|How can one not root for DeChambeau? Sure, he's a polarizing figure. But he's the longest off the tees on tour, and he's guaranteed to give us at least one moment every tournament -- whether it's accidentally snapping his driver, confronting a cameraman for filming him or complaining about fire ants -- that is entirely unforgettable. Rooting for Bryson is rooting for the long ball and chaos. So again I ask: How can one not root for DeChambeau? Odds: 22-1|
|If you're looking to back a frontrunner, D.J. is your man. He's coming off a FedEx Cup Playoff win and has finished at least top 2 in each of his last four outings, including a T2 finish at the PGA Championship last month. He's the betting favorite entering the week and one of the hottest golfers on tour right now. A win would net him his second major championship and his second at the U.S. Open after winning in 2016. Odds: 17/2|
|If a frontrunner isn't your style, then perhaps a longshot in Grace will suit your interests. He has missed the cut or withdrew in six of his last seven outings, and he wasn't even part of the field until he replaced Scottie Scheffler, who had to withdraw this weekend after testing positive for COVID-19. Grace's best finishes in major championship play both came in 2015 when he finished third in the PGA Championship and T4 in the U.S. Open. Odds: 150-1|
|Lefty won on the Senior Tour last month with a record-tying three-round score of 191, so we know he still has some good golf left in him. But here's the real reason why he's easy to pull for in this event specifically: He has finished second or T2 at the U.S. Open on six (!) different occasions throughout his career with no wins to show for it. Getting over the hump the same year he turned 50 years old -- and thus becoming the oldest U.S. Open winner ever -- would be just an incredible development for Mickelson has he holds out hope to complete his career grand slam. Odds: 80-1|
|It's been a breakthrough year for Rahm, who reached world No. 1 in the golf rankings earlier this summer. Getting his first major championship would be the cherry on top. Rahm has played brilliantly the last few months so it would come as no surprise, as he's finished top 10 in four of his last six outings and won the Memorial Tournament in July. Odds: 10-1|
|Not only did McIlroy win the U.S. Open in 2011, he did so in record-breaking fashion with a wire-to-wire victory capped by record-setting 36-hole, 54-hole and 72-hole aggregate scores -- all while becoming the youngest U.S. Open winner since 1923. But Rory hasn't been able to recapture that magic, at least not in the U.S. Open. He's missed the cut the same number of times as he's made it in this event (four) since that historic win. Odds: 16-1|
|Finau has 32 (!) top-10 finishes on the PGA Tour since the 2016-17 season, the most among all golfers on the tour who have not secured a win. It's just a matter of time before he breaks through. Impossible to not root for him this week as he looks to jump from Mr. Consistency to Mr. Champion. He finished top 20 in two of the three FedEx Cup Playoff events and nearly broke through last month at the PGA Championship with a T4 finish. Odds: 35-1|
|Morikawa became the third-youngest PGA Championship winner in the stroke-play era when he won it last month, carding a final-round 65 that made him the youngest player to ever break 65 in the last round of a major victory. (One could say his future is bright, and yes, one would be right.) He's a killer with his irons and a consistent force on the tour, having finished top 20 in seven of his last 11 events. Odds: 18-1|
Who will win the U.S. Open, and which long shots will stun the golfing world? Visit SportsLine to see the projected leaderboard, all from the model that's nailed six golf majors (including Gary Woodland's win last year) and is up over $8,000 since restart.