2. U.S. Open 2021 prediction: Will Zalatoris gets another major top five
Will Zalatoris proved he wasn’t just a PGA Tour anomaly at The Masters with his second-place finish at Augusta. He backed that up with a T8 at the PGA Championship a month ago. And now the 24-year-old is heading to the U.S. Open, a tournament in which he finished T6 last year. Suffice it to say that his three major championship appearances have gone pretty well — and he’s about to add to it at Torrey Pines.
Some people might be concerned about Zalatoris’ short game and how that could hurt him at Torrey but the same thing was said about Augusta and we saw how that worked out. The youngster simply knows how to put good numbers on the scorecard and do so with consistency through four rounds. He also seems to get better when the competition is steeper. So his run of great major finishes will simply carry on as he’ll be in the top five this week after 72 holes.
1. U.S. Open 2021 prediction: Viktor Hovland wins his first major
There hasn’t been a shortage of success for Viktor Hovland over his young career. Not only does he have two wins to his credit, but the Norweigian has also had six top-10 finishes this season. Moreover, he has remained an elite player with his driver and irons, ranking ninth this season in Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green. But he’s also improved his great weakness around the green to the point that he’s now gaining strokes in that category and with the putter.
But what Hovland hasn’t done, unlike his biggest contemporary in Collin Morikawa, is break through in a major or even a big tournament. He checks all of the boxes for a player who could do that and Torrey Pines could very well be the place for him.
In a U.S. Open tournament, aggressiveness and the ability to score even after bad holes are of paramount importance. Those are skills Hovland is far from short on. With his increasingly complete game and the strength of his tee-to-green play, the young European is going to make a statement with his first major championship win.