Fantasy PGA Preview: US Open

Its that time off year, the US Open is here at Pinehurst and I am here to give you my thoughts and opinions on the second major of the year. I will be using Draftkings prices.

Fedex St Jude Classic recap.

It started

It stopped

It started

Ben Crane lead the whole way

It stopped

It started

He won.

I was happy all five and a half of my picks made the cut (I backed of Kisner because of his busy personal life) but he still managed to put in a strong performance. My research funneled me to Billy Horschel and it was nice to see him put up another top 10 finish. He has some momentum rolling into the US Open.

I won’t bore you with a full St Jude recap, it was not a fun tournament to watch. With so many weather delays and so many withdraws before and during the event it was very hard to get into the event. Especially with the US Open around the corner.

US Open

So we are at another US Open. Though this one has a different feel about. On one hand you have to think it will be blood bath for daily fantasy golf where even par for the tournament is a great result. On the other hand we won’t know how the best golfers in the world will play a course that is far from a typical USGA US Open course.

Pinehurst #2 is where it is being play, the same site as the 1999 and 2005 US Opens. That is where the similarities end. Gone from the 2005 Pinehurst is the trademark thick lush penal rough. What lays in those places now? Native wasteland. Wire brushes, pine needles, sand, weeds and rock. The fairways are 50% wider than previous US Opens. The greens will still be typical USGA style greens where getting the ball to stop on them will be a challenge. They are shaped like a turtle shell and should be fast, a bit of irony there.

So why am I thinking it will be a fantasy blood bath? The unknown. We have no idea how the pros are going to play this. Paul Goydos had a great comment about defending a golf course. “The best way to protect scores is to make players make decisions, because we are inherently terrible at it”.

When you put it into the thick rough the only option you have is to chop it out. Leading to most likely a bogey. With the areas off the fairway, it give players (depending on the lie) an option to go for the hero shot, which may not necessarily be a good thing. Birdies will be had but I think more than that double bogeys will be the result. Also the sprinkler systems have been redone to only have one strip going up the center of the fairway, meaning the middle of the fairway will be lush but the edges of the widen fairways will have some run to them. Rolling into the native wasteland will be easier than thick rough. The focus on water conservation is something Australians are all to familiar with and the comparisons to Royal Melbourne have already started. Adam Scott won the last event at Royal Melbourne (Australian Masters).

The whole Pinehurst #2 restoration project was to get the course back to Daniel Ross’s (original course designer) original vision. Ross is from Scotland, and as somebody who is living away from home you tend to want to bring a bit of home with you. Thus the reason this event has a British/US Open feel to it. I would not blame Grinders if they wanted to research past British Open results as well as past US Open results.

The course itself is as mentioned above Pinehurst Resort & Country Club (#2 course), it is located in Pinehurst North Carolina. It plays to a Par 70 and will play 7,592 yards long (though with the USGA known for moving tees forward and back it will play between 7,200 and 7,500).

Golfers

I have to say I love the prices for Draftkings for this tourney. Everybody is in play. Looking at Draftstreet and Draftday I like the prices on those sites as well. As with every major though, almost every team looks like a sexy team.

Adam Scott flag australian 50x35 $10,000
I have caught flak (in good humour) in the past about selecting Australians for my articles. Is this a homer pick? Possibly. However when you boil it down, he is the current number 1 in the world, coming off back to back top 5 finishes (including a win). Has made back to back top 5 finishes at the last two British Opens and won the last event at Royal Melbourne. Feeling comfortable on a golf course is half the battle and rest assure Scott is comfortable here. With value down low he is the perfect anchor for your team
Jim Furyk $8,900
I really like Furyk at this price. His history in the last three US Opens has been boom or bust but I think this might be a boom year. He is a former US Open winner and has the ability to find fairways with great accuracy. Yes the fairways are wider but all that means is Furyk has even more room to work the ball into the fairways. His greens in regulation this season has been average at 46th, but his greens/fringe in regulation is 18th on tour. He is the number 1 scrambler on Tour this season as well. His results in the big event this season has been solid as well.
Hideki Matsuyama $8,500
Raise your hand if you had heard of Hideki Matsuyama this time last year? Nobody should have their hands up. Last years US Open was his coming out party. Just months after turning pro in Japan, Hideki played in his first US Open and finished 10th. Now he returns to the event that started his US career off. Just this time he is not heading to the US Open with a Japanese Tour win, but a PGA Tour win. Not just any PGA win either, the Memorial (in terms of strength of field it currently sits at the 4th hardest this season). He didn’t just hang with Bubba and Adam Scott (winners of the last three Masters) he beat them down the stretch and showed great composure on the 72nd hole with a Birdie to force a playoff.
Brendon Todd $7,600
In the 7K range is where the real value is on DK this week. Brendon Todd has been playing lights out as of late. His last three finishes have been top 10 (including a win). Todd played high school golf in Cary North Carolina competed on a few of Pinehurst’s many golf courses. In two state championships Todd beat out 2012 US Open champion Webb Simpson on two different courses here at Pinehurst. He knows the area, he is a local player and he comes in with great form. Awesome value here.
Francesco Molinari $7,400
Molinari has been playing great golf when it counts this season. So far in the 2014 year his finishes at some of the better events are as follows; Dubai Classic (T-13), WGC Cadillac (T-25), Arnold Palmer (T-5), Masters (50th), THE PLAYERS (T-6) and the BMW PGA Championship (T-7). If he can poke his nose into a top 25 finish I would be more than happy considering his price.

Sleeper

Jamie Donaldson $6,600
Donaldson is coming into his own as a professional golfer. Just like Molinari his results at some of the bigger events have been solid, not as good as Francesco but solid none the less. When I decided to put these two players into my article I did not know they were in the same group as each other. Hunter Mahan rounds out the threesome. I think will be a great group for fantasy golf. His 6.6K tag allows you to grab a top priced golfer while also having a player that has the ability to contend.

So there you have it folks just a few Draftkings picks for this years US Open

Good luck to all

Cheers

Gibb

About the Author

  • Gibb Pollard (gibbathy)

  • Gibb Pollard has been a member of RotoGrinders since 2012. He is an example of the power of the RotoGrinders blog section, taking a little weekly PGA blog in 2012 and turning it into a two-time FSWA nominated column. In 2014 he took down the FSWA Golf Writer of the Year award. Originally hailing from Australia, he is a regular on our PGA GrindersLive shows, giving our cast of hosts some international flavor.

Comments

  • gordmania

    Thanks for the info on Todd. I don’t like his face but i’ll throw him on a ticket. Crocodile Dundee Rules!

  • TheCustodian

    RG Blogger

    HAHA—you said penal!

  • KidTycoon

    Well, I’ve put four of your above guys on most of my teams for the week. And called out Donaldson as a pick too. I think you have the edge on Notorious this week, as I just don’t agree that power players like D.J. are going to be at the top on Sunday. It’s just going to be fun to watch how this expeirement plays out. Thanks for the notes!

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