On major weeks, the prognosticators have a tendency to label everybody a “sleeper.” The pick usually starts one of two ways: 1. “My dark horse this week is …,” or 2. “A guy NOBODY is talking about is…” By Wednesday, someone on television will have labeled Rory McIlroy as “coming in under the radar.”
In recent history, nobody has filled this role more perfectly than Xander Schauffele, who has become America’s Sleeper at the majors. This despite the fact he’s finished in the top 10 in eight of his 16 career major starts (four of those coming in all four of his U.S. Open appearances), won four times on the PGA Tour, including the 2017 Tour Championship, and was named 2017 Rookie of the Year. Hardly sleeper material.
If they weren’t over already, Schauffele’s sleeper days are long over at Torrey Pines, where all eyes will be on the San Diego native. The home-game angle, in addition to his strong record in the U.S. Open, have made him one of the most popular picks to win. His 20-1 odds, per the William Hill Sportsbook, reflect that, as he’s one of the seven betting favorites, checking in alongside Jordan Spieth and McIlroy, who are behind only Jon Rahm (10-1), Dustin Johnson (16-1) and Bryson DeChambeau and Brooks Koepka, both 18-1.
Keep on scrolling down the board, though, and you may actually find some guys who fit the sleeper mold. Guys like Marc Leishman (66-1), a former winner at Torrey Pines. Or somebody like Gary Woodland (80-1), who won the 2019 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach and has shown recent signs of life. Bubba Watson, another former Farmers Insurance Open winner, might garner some attention at his juicy 100-1 number, too.
Below is the complete list of odds for players currently in the field at the 2021 U.S. Open.
(Odds courtesy of William Hill, as of Monday afternoon)
Matthew Fitzpatrick: 50-1
Christiaan Bezuidenhout: 100-1
Francesco Molinari: 175-1
Rafa Cabrera Bello: 300-1
Luis Fernando Barco: 1000-1
Christopher Crawford: 1500-1
Matthew Sharpstene: 1500-1
Kyle Westmoreland: 2000-1