US Open Fantasy Guide
An in-depth look at picking the Right Players at Pinehurst
US Open – The Course
Pinehurst No 2 is a par 70 golf course played over 7565 yards.
At first look, this is not a traditional US Open course, there is no thick rough for players straying from the fairway – this course now offers a random element for the wayward drive. Instead of rough, the areas either side of the fairway feature native vegetation and irregular, bumpy sand. It is feasible that a tee shot fifty yards off the fairway could be firmly lodged under a bush of wiregrass with the player facing a double bogey, but a similar shot just a couple of yards away offer a straightforward shot into the green and a birdie opportunity. This brings challenges when trying to pick the right type of golfer for the event.
Usually, at the US Open, driving accuracy is at a premium – you knew a wayward player would have one hell of a week – but here there are question marks. I’d be more comfortable picking an inventive type of player this week, the kind of player who can deal with the myriad of different situations they might face.
One thing is for sure – there are a lot of tough approaches and this will bring many missed greens, so the player who can scramble par is a must here, which places a premium on the short game and the flat stick.
US Open – Ten Value for Money Picks & Potential Sleepers
Matt Kuchar – Kooch is a player who is great at scrambling. Ranked 12th last year and 6th so far this year, this player will make par more often than not. Ranked 5th in the world and eight top ten’s this year including a win sees a player in fine form – a solid high salary pick for your roster.
Jordan Spieth – Spieth would be an amazingly popular winner after going so close at the Masters. Spieth is 11th in scrambling this year and has had six top ten’s. Although another high-salary pick, his two best finishes this year have come at the Masters and the Players Championship – a big occasion player, and does this week get any bigger?
Luke Donald – 18th in scrambling this year and a player back on the rise with two top three finishes in his last four outings. Finished tied 8 th in the US Open last year, you might not get fireworks from this player, but if you want a solid top ten/twenty player, Luke is your man.
Webb Simpson – 23rd in scrambling, and is the winner of this event two years ago. Not quite been the player that everyone expected he would become after that win, however a third place last week will do him the world of good. This could be a very exciting week for Simpson.
Kevin Na – Sleeper! A solid mid salary pick. Second last week and four top ten’s this year. Want a decent stat to go along with this? Second this year on scrambling, so we know he is going to get the ball up and down.
Matt Every – Sleeper! Every is a player on fire with the putter, third in strokes gained putting this year. Winner of the Arnold Palmer Invitational this year, but recently suffered three straight missed cuts. However he bounced back in fine style last week with a third place finish, and will head to Pinehurst full of confidence.
Brendon Todd – Sleeper pick! A player in fine form, with a win and two top ten’s in his last three outings. Not only this, but is in the top ten this year for both strokes gained putting and for scrambling. Todd is a player who is going in the right direction and a good mid-salary player who should gain a solid finish this week.
Chris Kirk – Twenty cuts made in a row, top ten last time out a decent scrambler and putter – what more do you need from a mid-salary player? You want more? How about six top thirty finishes in a row?
John Senden – Solid finishes in both of the last two US Opens and has a win already this year on the PGA tour. Apart from a missed cut last week, this Australian’s form has been solid and is ranked 13th with the putter this year.
Thongchai Jaidee – Sleeper! A win last time out and four top ten’s and only one missed cut this year, Jaidee has to be considered as a lower salary player. He can mix it with the best, as his 6th place recently in the World Golf Championship event showed, as well as a solid 37th at the Masters.
US Open – Other Players Worth Considering
Obviously Adam Scott and Rory McIlroy are two players in form and two players I wouldn’t readily discount, however for me they are not great value picks.
Justin Rose is another player who I like, but has had a poor couple of tournaments in a row. This course could be ideal for Mickelson, and it would be amazing if he won – don’t discount him, but for me this would be a gamblers pick, hasn’t shown too much this year. Bubba Watson, the only man capable of a grand slam this year? I think the set-up is better for him than at previous US opens, but once again a gamble. One player who nearly made my list is Sergio Garcia – in form with five top ten’s this year and great scrambling stats.
US Open – Fantasy Strategy
Generally, week in week out, you need to have a slightly different strategy for separate sites. A site like Draftkings offer many more points for the type of player who shoots lot of birdies, whilst picking a player on Draftstreet, you’ll get similar points in whichever way they reach a score. This week there’ll be a general lack of birdies, so the difference between the two sites is not as pronounced, however if you have a tough choice between two separate players, choose the more up and down player on Draftkings, the more solid player on Draftstreet.
I compare and contrast these two fantasy golf sites in their individual reviews.
US Open – Betting
The early betting lines see McIlroy (10/1)leading the way with Scott (12/1) just behind. Lefty (16/1) and Bubba (16/1) are next on the list, followed by a group of players at around the 25/1 mark, including Rose, Stenson, Kuchar and Jordan Spieth.
Good luck this week!
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