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Alvaro Ortiz returns to the big stage in preparation of this week's U.S. Open Championship at Torrey Pines.
The University of Arkansas product reached as high as 46th in the World Amateur Golf Rankings during his time at school. Since then, he's spent most of his time on the PGA TOUR Latinoamerica circuit where he is 4-for-6 this season with a breakthrough win at the Mexico Open in March. The 25-year-old earned his spot in this week's field through a qualifier at the Dallas Athletic Club. Right now he is most known for being the younger brother of Carlos, but he would love to carve out a name of his own. In six previous starts on the big stage, Ortiz is 2-for-6 with a T36 at the 2019 Masters and a T48 at the 2019-20 Mayakoba Golf Classic.
Added 3:05 pm (EST)
Added 3:05 pm (EST)
Steve Allan turns his attention toward the South Course at Torrey Pines ahead of this week's U.S. Open, his first major since the 2010 edition.
The 47-year-old Aussie punched his ticket into this even through sectional qualifying. He fired rounds of 72-68 at the Richland, Washington Q at Meadow Springs Country Club. Allan had a five-season stretch where he played 144 events but that ended in 2005 and he's played in just 65 PGA TOUR events since then. His record in major championships includes three cuts made in eight attempts with a T28 at the 2005 U.S. Open being the highlight. His most recent appearance in a major was a missed cut at the 2010 U.S. Open. Looking to have some fun this week and keep it in the family, Allan will have his oldest son, Liam, caddie for him this week. Without a top 25 on TOUR since the 2010 Reno-Tahoe Open, it will be easy for gamers to keep him off their radars this week.
Added 2:59 pm (EST)
Added 2:59 pm (EST)
The two-time PGA Tour winner has slowly become one of the most popular players in the game of golf. The Twitter sensation has enjoyed a renaissance over the last couple of years, winning on major championship caliber venues, but major success still eludes him.
Despite showing a knack for playing his best golf on the most difficult golf courses, Max Homa has struggled mightily in major championships throughout his young career. The Genesis Invitational winner has participated in seven major championships, missing the cut in six of them and finishing in a tie for 64th in his lone weekend appearance. He will look to flip the script this week at Torrey Pines where he finished in a tie for 18th in late January. Since then, Homa has tacked on quality finishes at Pebble Beach, Riviera, Bay Hill, and Muirfield Village. Success at those courses should provide confidence for Home as he returns to play golf in his home state for the first time since his Genesis Invitational victory.
Added 10:01 am (EST)
The three-time PGA Tour winner is still looking for his first career major title. This week at Torrey Pines could be a great opportunity as Casey arrives in stellar form.
It’s been a great 2021 calendar year for Paul Casey. The Englishman has done just about everything but win here stateside. He started the year on the west coast, where he finished T-8 at the American Express and was in contention at Pebble Beach before finishing in a tie for fourth. He has since followed it up with a strong Florida swing, grabbing a top-10 finish at the Arnold Palmer Invitational and a top-5 finish at The Players Championship. After a bit of a lull, Casey appeared to find his form at the PGA Championship last month where he finished in a tie for fourth. The 14-time European Tour winner is still in search of an elusive major championship and this week at Torrey Pines could serve as yet another great chance for him to capture one. He hasn’t missed the cut in the U.S. Open since 2016 with his worst finish being a tie for 26th at Erin Hills during that stretch. If Casey is able to summon a clutch short-game when needed, the rest of his game should be able to hold up to this U.S. Open test.
Added 9:34 am (EST)
The six-time major champion will attempt to capture the career grand slam. Missing only the U.S. Open, Mickelson has had more than his fair share of close calls in this championship. He will try to become the sixth golfer in modern golf to complete the feat, and there may be no venue better than Torrey Pines in his hometown.
On Monday, Phil Mickelson discussed many topics in his pre-championship press conference. It ranged from his PGA Championship victory, his Twitter, and his knowledge of Torrey Pines. When asked about how the South Course may play compared to the Farmers Insurance Open, Mickelson said, "So, when we play here at Torrey Pines, it's in February. The golf course is a lot wetter and plays a lot longer. What starts to come out are the subtleties and the nuances. With the fairways being as contoured as they are, and being firm now, they are going to be more difficult to hit. You’re going to need to shape it into the fairways. The greens are very challenging, there’s a lot of pitch, a lot of contour and as they get firmer, like we saw today from just a couple of days ago, they are significantly firmer than just the last two days. It is very difficult to get to some of the pin positions. It’s going to be a difficult test. As long as it is at sea level, it is going to be a difficult test. But it seems like the setup is pristine and it’s going to be a fun, fair, difficult challenge."
Added 7:54 am (EST)
Playing out of the sixth-to-last twosome, World No. 240 Pat Perez concocted a 2-under-par 36-33=69 in the final round of the Palmetto Championship at Congaree to finish up on 8-under 276, down two places to T10, three adrift of non-member and champion Garrick Higgo (68).
This is the 45-year-old's second top 10 of the season in 26 events, first since the season-opening Safeway last September. He arrived at 125th in the FedExCup standings, and bumps 15 spots to 110th. The Phoenix native has qualified for every post-season since 2007 with the exception of an injury-shortened campaign in 2016 (labrum surgery), and is not in the field at this coming week's U.S. Open. Including the U.S. Open, there are just 10 events remaining until the start of the FEC Playoffs. For the week, he recorded rounds of 70-66-71-69, totaled one eagle and 15 birdies against seven bogeys and a double, and ranked 3rd in SG: Approach (6.328) though 48th in SG: Off-the-Tee (0.057). On Sunday, the Arizona State product was 1-over thru 11 holes, squaring bogey-4 at 10 to fall out of the top 20, but rallied with eagle at the par-5 12th (22'8") and circled the par-4 16th from 41 inches after an approach from 119 yards. He lost strokes around-the-green (-0.893) and on-the-green (-1.667), missing three birdie chances from inside of nine feet, but gained 3.129 on approach.
Added Jun 13 11:07 pm (EST)
Playing out of the 10th-to-last twosome, World No. 88 Erik van Rooyen navigated a 3-under-par 33-35=68 in the final round of the Palmetto Championship at Congaree to post 8-under 276, up four places to T10, three short of non-member, champion, and countryman Garrick Higgo (68).
The South African claims his fourth career top 10 in 37 TOUR events, second of the season in 19 starts, joining a T9 at the WGC-Match Play seven starts ago. It's his first stroke-play top 10 since a career-TOUR-best T3 at last season's WGC-Mexico prior to the COVID-related shutdown. For the week, the 31-year-old carded rounds of 65-71-72-68, totaled 17 birdies versus nine bogeys, and ranked 37th in SG: Off-the-Tee (0.948), 12th in SG: Approach (4.534) and 10th in SG: Putting (4.708), but 55th in SG: Around (-0.876). On Sunday, he outpaced one bogey with four birdies on 14 greens in regulation, gaining 1.088 strokes off-the-tee, 1.065 approaching and 0.719 on-the-green, but lost 0.916 around. The South Florida resident is in the field at this coming week's U.S. Open after being co-medalist with Chez Reavie on 12-under out of final qualifying at the Columbus, Ohio, site.
Added Jun 13 10:52 pm (EST)
Playing out of the fourth-to-last twosome, World No. 1 Dustin Johnson, a pre-tourney 8/1 co-fave outright, swallowed a late triple toward a 1-under-par 35-35=70 in the final round of the Palmetto Championship at Congaree and a four-day total of 8-under 276, down six spots to T10, three swings shy of non-member and champion Garrick Higgo (68).
The South Carolina native, chasing his 25th TOUR title and first in his home state, settles for his fifth top 10 of the season in 13 events, first since T8 at the Genesis eight starts and nearly four months ago. After opening 65-68, he was solo 2nd, two back of leader Chesson Hadley, T4 and seven back of leader Hadley after a two-day third-round 73, and eight back of Hadley after an opening bogey-5 in R4. The 36-year-old would claw his way back into the conversation with birdies at 2, 10, 12 and 13, now just two adrift of co-leaders Hadley and Bo Van Pelt, but then came the triple bogey-7 at 16, which began with a tee ball into the native area and then a forced punch-out, and ended with a 3-putt from 12'5". For the week, he totaled 20 birdies against seven bogeys, one double and one triple, and ranked in the top 30 in all strokes gained categories but none in the top 10. The South Florida resident heads off to the U.S. Open at Torrey Pines, looking to become the first World No. 1 to win the U.S. Open since Tiger Woods in 2008 at Torrey Pines.
Added Jun 13 10:25 pm (EST)
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