— Age: 27
— Ranking: 5
— FanDuel odds: 16-1
DeChambeau did what none of the other 155 players in the field could: He walked into the tournament office at Torrey Pines and returned the 18-inch, silver trophy that he kept since winning the 2020 title in September. That alone confers contender status this week.
Whether he will is hard to read.
He has the length and strength to overpower Torrey Pines, but even he admits he struggles out of the sticky kikuyu rough.
He seems unflappable at times, but the social media rhubarb with Koepka and gallery cries of "Brooksy" at his last tournament seemed to get under his skin.
He had a win and a third place in consecutive weeks in March, but he has one top-10 in his six events since, including 46th (Masters) and 38th (PGA) in the two majors.
He leads the PGA Tour this season in strokes gained off the tee, but he ranks 43rd, 54th and 48th in approaches, around the green and putting.
He's first in driving distance (322.7 yards) but 181st in driving accuracy.
He obliterated the field at the last U.S. Open, winning by six strokes, but missed the cut in his only two appearances at the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines, in 2017 and 2018, shooting 76 and 78 on the South Course.
Then again, that was before the massive weight gain and equipment changes.
"The times that I was there for the Farmers Insurance, my game wasn't on point," DeChambeau said earlier this spring. "I wasn't comfortable with how I was playing when I was there for those years."