The U.S. Open is back at Torrey Pines South and we’re in for a spectacular display of golf.
Torrey Pines is set to host the U.S. Open Championship for a second time and is sure to be a grueling test for players. This week, the South Course will make the average 7,200 yard PGA Tour course seen on TV each week look like child’s play and could bring some players to tears. The course can play as long as 7,800 yards with 4 inch rough, concrete-like greens, and devilish pin placements. Expect plenty of high scores: the thirty-six hole cut was +7 back in 2008 and champion Tiger Woods’ winning score was -1, sheesh.
A Little History for Ya
Torrey Pines is a municipal golf facility located in La Jolla, CA with a North and South course that were both designed by William Bell Sr. in 1957. Torrey has hosted the Farmers Insurance Open on the PGA Tour since the 1960s and the 2008 U.S. Open famously won by Tiger in a 19 hole playoff against Rocco Mediate. The South Course was redesigned by Rees Jones in 2001 and is the longest course played on the PGA Tour. It is often compared to other major championship muni venues that include the likes of Bethpage Black and TPC Harding Park, which have hosted the U.S. Open and PGA Championship. Despite all of its major championship glory, the South Course sees around 92,000 rounds per year, which is no surprise since residents of San Diego can play the course for as little as $25.00.
The property’s famous Torrey Pine is a critically endangered species and the rarest pine in North America. It was named after American botanist John Torrey and is native to Northern San Diego and Santa Rosa Island. Drought and severe storms have sharply reduced the number of trees on both the North and South courses since their opening. A severe storm with winds reaching 60 MPH hit during the 2015 Farmers Insurance Open and knocked down several trees including two pines. The storm halted play that Sunday afternoon leading the tournament to finish on Monday morning.
Phil the Thrill Right at Home...
There’s no question that we’d all like to see Phil the thrill make history once again by capturing the U.S. Open to complete the career grand slam, a feat accomplished by an elite crew that includes names like Nicklaus, Hogan, and Woods. This is a hometown major for Phil who grew up in San Diego and played high school golf matches at Torrey Pines. He also lives in nearby Rancho Santa Fe, which is just 14 miles from the course. Mickelson has had an inconsistent track record throughout his time at Torrey. He piled up three victories at the Farmers prior to the redesign and has since recorded four top ten finishes in eighteen starts at the event. At the 2008 U.S. Open Mickelson finished in a tie for 18th place highlighted by a 9 he made on the thirteenth hole and his decision to bench his driver for the first two rounds. The now more youthful Mickelson has become known for hitting drivers whenever he can in recent times and will look to feed off of the San Diego crowd’s energy this week. Vegas is not too keen on a Phil Mickelson thriller this week. Phil has +5000 to win as of June 15th according to BetMGM. The betting favorite is Jon Rahm at +900.