17 Jun 2021 | Professional golf |

US Open: How to watch the 7 Aussies

by Martin Blake

Cam Smith Torrey Pines image
Cameron Smith during a practice round at Torrey Pines on Tuesday. Photo: Getty

The Australians vying for a US Open title this week say hitting fairways will be the key to winning at Torrey Pines. Hit it straight, is the mantra.

With the rough up in the famous California venue and the US Open carrying a tradition of playing tough, they know what's coming.

"I mean, any US Open I think it's hitting fairways," said Marc Leishman today. "It always is. But probably even more important than that is leaving yourself in good positions around the greens, knowing where you can miss it, where you can't miss it, putting.

"You're going to have a lot of long par putts out here this week, and it's going to be pretty important to hole a lot of them. Reading the greens is going to be important, but hitting your lines and just not getting ahead of yourself." Leishman won the Farmers Insurance Open here last year, so he has that to draw upon. "As far as US Open courses, it's as good as it'll get for me. But it's still going to be really tough," he said. Queenslander Cameron Smith, the top-ranked Australian, agreed. "Just try and hit fairways," he said of his game plan for the week. "Try and hit fairways and then go from there."

Smith, the world No. 28, is expecting a grind with few low scores.

"US Opens are always a challenge," he said. "They always mix it up, which is nice. Yeah, I think it's going to be tough. The weather is going to be perfect. That's probably going to be the only thing in our favor, I think."

There are seven Australians in the field trying to become the third Aussie -- after David Graham and Geoff Ogilvy -- to win the title. Among them are some surprise visitors, like Stephen Allan, the 2002 Australian Open champion from Melbourne, who does not have playing rights and sneaked in via qualifying.

"Enjoying it," said Allan. "My son is caddying for me. The rest of the family are going to be out here. I haven't had ... my youngest son is 10 ... so he hasn't seen me play in a big tournament like this before."

Matt Jones, the Sydneysider who won on the US Tour earlier this year, said most Australians would feel like they could play Torrey Pines.

"It's a very comfortable golf course for me visually. I stand on the tees and it's like 'this is fine'," he told Inside The Ropes podcast this week.

"We're playing on poa annua, we're playing on 'kyk' (kikyu). It's courses in Sydney everywhere I grew up with on that kind of grass. I grew up on a golf course called Kareela, then Liverpool, a lot of golf courses ... Bankstown with 'kyk' everywhere. North Brighton was the same way.

"It's being comfortable and understanding the grass. San Diego's like Sydney weather in a lot of ways and I'm sure that has a lot to do with it as well."

Bryson DeChambeau defends the title he won at Winged Foot in New York last year. "Almost a year," said DeChambeau. "I wish I would have had it for a year. But I'm blessed to have won this championship, and I think that from my perspective, touring it around a little bit, taking it to fun places and having some fun with it was great. I was nice enough to bring it back in good shape, no dinks, no dents, so that's what I was proud about. Hopefully, I can take it back again this week." The Open starts late Thursday night, Australian eastern time. Where to watch (AEST):

Round 1: Friday, 12:30am featured group and 4am main coverage, Fox Sports Channel 503

Round 2: Saturday, 12:50am featured group and 4am main coverage, Fox Sports Channel 503

Round 3: Sunday, 3am, Fox Sports Channel 503

Round 4: Monday, 2am, Fox Sports Channel 503

You can also stay up-to-date with all the latest news and information at https://www.golf.org.au/, https://www.usga.org/ and https://www.usopen.com/ throughout the tournament.

Or via our Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

US OPEN TEE TIMES THURSDAY-FRIDAY (add seven hours for Australian eastern) Thursday (June 17), Hole #1 / Friday (June 18), Hole #10 6:45 am / 12:30 pm – Sahith Theegala, Chino Hills, Calif.; Edoardo Molinari, Italy; Greyson Sigg, Augusta, Ga. 6:56 am / 12:41 pm – Chris Baker, Brownstown, Ind.; J.J. Spaun, Los Angeles, Calif.; Fabian Gomez, Argentina 7:07 am / 12:52 pm – Patrick Rodgers, Jupiter, Fla.; Robby Shelton, Birmingham, Ala.; (a) Pierceson Coody, Plano, Texas 7:18 am / 1:03 pm – Russell Henley, Columbus, Ga.; Mackenzie Hughes, Canada; Harris English, Sea Island, Ga. 7:29 am / 1:14 pm – Francesco Molinari, Italy; Henrik Stenson, Sweden; Shane Lowry, Ireland 7:40 am. / 1:25 pm – Matt Fitzpatrick, England; Tyrrell Hatton, England; Viktor Hovland, Norway 7:51 am / 1:36 pm – Martin Kaymer, Germany; Webb Simpson, Charlotte, N.C.; Gary Woodland, Topeka, Kan. 8:02 am / 1:47 pm – Tony Finau, Salt Lake City, Utah; Abraham Ancer, Mexico; Daniel Berger, Jupiter, Fla. 8:13 am / 1:58 pm – Si Woo Kim, Republic of Korea; Kevin Na, Las Vegas, Nev.; Bernd Wiesberger, Austria 8:24 am / 2:09 pm – Jimmy Walker, San Antonio, Texas; Ian Poulter, England; Ryan Palmer, Colleyville, Texas 8:35 am / 2:20 pm – J.T. Poston, Sea Island, Ga.; Adam Hadwin, Canada; (a) Joe Long, England 8:46 am / 2:31 pm – Luis Fernando Barco, Peru; Dylan Meyer, Evansville, Ind.; (a) Matthew Sharpstene, Charlotte, N.C. 8:57 am / 2:42 pm – Mario Carmona, Mexico; Wilson Furr, Jackson, Miss.; Davis Shore, Knoxville, Tenn. Thursday (June 17), Hole #10 / Friday (June 18), Hole #1 6:45 am / 12:30 pm – Andy Pope, Glen Ellyn, Ill.; BRAD KENNEDY, Australia; Thomas Aiken, South Africa 6:56 am / 12:41 pm – Yosuke Asaji, Japan; Marcus Armitage, England; Jhonattan Vegas, Venezuela 7:07 am / 12:52 pm – Cameron Young, Jupiter, Fla.; Wilco Nienaber, South Africa; Guido Migliozzi, Italy 7:18 am / 1:03 pm – Brian Harman, Sea Island, Ga.; Tommy Fleetwood, England; Matthew Wolff, Agoura Hills, Calif. 7:29 am / 1:14 pm – Collin Morikawa, La Canada, Calif.; Justin Thomas, Louisville, Ky.; Brooks Koepka, West Palm Beach, Fla. 7:40 am / 1:25 pm – Kevin Kisner, Aiken, S.C.; Billy Horschel, Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.; Matt Kuchar, Sea Island, Ga. 7:51 am / 1:36 pm – Max Homa, Valencia, Calif.; Xander Schauffele, San Diego, Calif.; Phil Mickelson, Rancho Santa Fe, Calif. 8:02 am / 1:47 pm – Jason Kokrak, Hudson, Ohio; Cameron Champ, Sacramento, Calif.; Corey Conners, Canada 8:13 am / 1:58 pm – Paul Barjon, France; Sam Ryder, Atlantic Beach, Fla.; Ryo Ishikawa, Japan 8:24 am / 2:09 pm – Dylan Frittelli, South Africa; Martin Laird, Scotland; K.H. Lee, Republic of Korea 8:35 am / 2:20 pm – Rafa Cabrera Bello, Spain; Adrian Meronk, Poland; Sung Kang, Republic of Korea 8:46 am / 2:31 pm – Akshay Bhatia, Wake Forest, N.C.; (a) Andrew Kozan, West Palm Beach, Fla.; Alvaro Ortiz, Mexico 8:57 am / 2:42 pm – James Hervol, Hopkinton, Mass.; Hayden Springer, Trophy Club, Texas; Roy Cootes, Rolling Hills, Calif. Thursday (June 17), Hole #1 / Friday (June 18), Hole #10 12:30 pm. / 6:45 am. – Zach Zaback, Farmington, Conn.; STEVE ALLAN, Australia; Eric Cole, Delray Beach, Fla. 12:41 pm. / 6:56 am – Hayden Buckley, Tupelo, Miss.; Taylor Montgomery, Las Vegas, Nev.; Jordan Smith, England 12:52 pm. / 7:07 am – Chez Reavie, Scottsdale, Ariz.; Richard Bland, England; Troy Merritt, Meridian, Idaho 1:03 pm. / 7:18 am – Robert MacIntyre, Scotland; Victor Perez, France; Matt Wallace, England 1:14 p.m. / 7:29 am – Tyler Strafaci, Davie, Fla.; Hideki Matsuyama, Japan; Bryson DeChambeau, Clovis, Calif. 1:25 pm / 7:40 am – ADAM SCOTT, Australia; Sergio Garcia, Spain; Bubba Watson, Bagdad, Fla. 1:36 pm / 7:51 am – Dustin Johnson, North Palm Beach, Fla.; Rory McIlroy, Northern Ireland; Justin Rose, England 1:47 pm / 8:02 am – MATT JONES, Australia; Brendan Steele, Idyllwild, Calif.; CAMERON SMITH, Australia 1:58 pm / 8:13 am – Carlos Ortiz, Mexico; Zach Johnson, Cedar Rapids, Iowa; Lanto Griffin, Blacksburg, Va. 2:09 pm / 8:24 am – Sam Burns, Shreveport, La.; Chan Kim, Gilbert, Ariz.; Thomas Detry, Belgium 2:20 pm / 8:35 am – (a) Ollie Osborne, Reno, Nev.; Peter Malnati, Knoxville, Tenn.; Brian Stuard, Jackson, Mich. 2:31 pm / 8:46 am – John Huh, Dallas, Texas; Johannes Veerman, Houston, Texas; Zack Sucher, Birmingham, Ala. 2:42 pm / 8:57 am – Rick Lamb, Nashville, Tenn.; Michael Johnson, Birmingham, Ala.; Carson Schaake, Omaha, Neb. Thursday (June 17), Hole #10 / Friday (June 18), Hole #1 12:30 pm / 6:45 am – David Coupland, England; Taylor Pendrith, Canada; WADE ORMSBY, Australia 12:41 pm / 6:56 am – Tom Hoge, Fargo, N.D.; Bo Hoag, Columbus, Ohio; (a) Joe Highsmith, Lakewood, Wash. 12:52 pm / 7:07 am – Erik van Rooyen, South Africa; Christiaan Bezuidenhout, South Africa; Charl Schwartzel, South Africa 1:03 pm / 7:18 am – Garrick Higgo, South Africa; (a) Cole Hammer, Houston, Texas; Joaquin Niemann, Chile 1:14 pm / 7:29 am – Lee Westwood, England; Stewart Cink, Atlanta, Ga.; Paul Casey, England 1:25 pm / 7:40 am – Will Zalatoris, Dallas, Texas; Scottie Scheffler, Dallas, Texas; Jordan Spieth, Dallas, Texas 1:36 pm / 7:51 am – MARC LEISHMAN, Australia; Jon Rahm, Spain; Patrick Reed, The Woodlands, Texas 1:47 pm / 8:02 am – Patrick Cantlay, Jupiter, Fla.; Louis Oosthuizen, South Africa; Sungjae Im, Republic of Korea 1:58 pm / 8:13 am – Kevin Streelman, Wheaton, Ill.; Branden Grace, South Africa; Charley Hoffman, Rancho Santa Fe, Calif. 2:09 pm / 8:24 am – Sebastian Munoz, Colombia; Rikuya Hoshino, Japan; Brendon Todd, Athens, Ga. 2:20 pm / 8:35 am – Wyndham Clark, Denver, Colo.; (a) Matthias Schmid, Germany; Matthew Southgate, England 2:31 pm / 8:46 am – (a) Spencer Ralston, Gainesville, Ga.; Dylan Wu, Medford, Ore.; Justin Suh, Las Vegas, Nev. 2:42 pm / 8:57 am – Luis Gagne, Costa Rica; Kyle Westmoreland, Daniel Island, S.C.; Christopher Crawford, Bensalem, Pa. (a): amateur

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