2018 U.S. Open PGA DFS Preview
Hello Degens! I almost hit the Andrew Putnam win call last week, but he ran into the buzz saw that is Dustin Johnson. I knew when DJ went low Friday that Putnam was going to have a hard time pulling it off. For the week only 7 of 13 picks made the cut. For the year 73% of the picks have made the cut and 41% of the time the winner is in there.
Now on to THE 118th US Open! As you probably know the USGA runs this event and moves the tournament around year to year. This year we head to Long Island, NY and Shinnecock Hills Golf Course. It will play over 7,400 yards at a par 70 with 2 par 5s. So, it’s long and some of the fairways will be tight. Missing a fairway this week will most likely mean bogey or worse as the rough is gnarly and long just off the fairway. The greens here are undulating and tough. I think it will be an excellent test of golf and very tilting to watch no matter who you end up rostering.
The weather this week looks relatively good. I’ve checked a couple different sites and one shows decent wind gusts of 20+ MPH Thursday and Friday during different times. The other site I check regularly doesn’t show the wind being that bad, but it does have some pockets where the wind will lay down. For now, I lean AM/PM to have an advantage and miss the worst of the wind. I’m not ready to go all in, but it is something I will monitor through Wednesday night.
One of the differences between this week and a normal PGA Tour event is the cut. The USGA cuts top 60 and ties after Friday’s round with no possibility of a MDF or secondary cut. With a full field of 156 this will lead to 6/6 being at a premium. Last year around 2% of lineups had 6/6 and less than 10% had 5/6. That is because 6 of the top 10 owned guys missed the cut. Its possible we could see that again, but even if a lot of the chalk hits most likely 6/6 will be below 10%. My main focus this week will be to get as many guys through the cut as possible. The weekend weather looks very good, so scoring could get a little easier by Saturday morning.
On to the picks!
Dustin Johnson $11,700 – I hate to go full, what should be, chalk right out the gate, but I can’t ignore the difference in rating between DJ and the next guy on my model. There are a couple things that I think could lower DJ’s projected chalk of the chalk ownership. First, he won last week and typically those guys go a little less owned the next week. Secondly, he is the highest price on the board. The pricing is very soft, so I don’t know how much of a factor that will be, but traditionally it lowers ownership. His US Open record is very good minus last year and he obviously found something last week with the putter.
Justin Thomas $11,000 – If you are looking to pivot off DJ then I would go with JT. 2 years ago, at Oakmont, he lead the field in birdies for the week, but finished 32nd. Since then he has reached world number 1 and won the PGA Championship. His accuracy off the tee concerns be a bit, but he ranks 8th in SG OTT and 2nd in SG T2G, so he’s figuring it out even when he misses the fairway. If his putter gets hot he has a great chance to be holding the trophy Sunday night.
Bryson Dechambeau $8,300 – He was my pick to win on the pod we recorded Monday night (@alwayspressdfs) and I wasn’t joking (hoping this works for a second week in a row). He is top 20 in SG T2G, OTT, APP and Putting. Coming off the win his last time out at The Memorial and has 3 top 5s in his 6 starts before that.
Justin Rose $9,900 – He checks a lot of the boxes you see in a US Open Champ. Long and accurate enough off the tee and hitting his irons very well. The price is way too low and I hope a lot of people will skip over this range after they take one of the guys up top. For the bigger money buy ins he will probably be popular, but chalk I am willing to eat.
Paul Casey $8,000 – This price is really bad (too low). He has had some back issues, which I hope keep people off him, but since he won the Valspar he has 1 missed cut and 3 top 20s. I’ll take the accuracy and ball striking with him that should equal a made cut and move on.
Hideki Matsuyama $8,900 – He figured out how to get the driver in the fairway recently, which had led to some better finishes. Another guy who I think goes over looked this week but finished 2nd at last year’s US Open and has made 4 of 5 cuts since 2013.
Jimmy Walker $7,300 – The stats lineup, top 15 T2G, APP, ARG and Putting, but I think that will most likely inflate his ownership a bit.
Ian Poulter $7,300 – I’m banking that the putter is hot this week, but I like him and the guy below as lower owned pivots off Jimmy.
Martin Kaymer $7,400 – Won this tournament in 2014, which seems like a lifetime ago at this point. He has been decent off the tee recently and he most likely can putt from off the green as they have shaved the area around the greens. I would tread lightly though.
Francesco Molinari $7,600 – It pains me to even type his name, but 2nd and 1st in his last 2 starts over in Europe. He isn’t getting a lot of hype right now, which is kind of odd to me. I could see his ownership being much higher in higher buy ins.
Gary Woodland $6,800 – The price is too low for a player of his pedigree. I know he has been riding shotgun on the struggle bus since he win in February, but he showed signs of figuring it out at The Memorial a couple weeks ago. Worth a shot or 2 in the Milly to free up some money.
Lucas Herbert $6,000 – He is a bomber who is super sketchy with accuracy off the tee. But at this price you can do a lot.
Steve Stricker $6,900 – With all the distance talk its quite possible that Steve could be overlooked by most. If the golf course plays firm then he will be able to overcome the length disadvantage a bit, plus he is a great putter. Par is good this week.
I tried to hit the full spectrum of salary here. Again, watch the weather as the wind could make the course play a half stroke either way and that might be the difference between 4/6 or 6/6. If you need any help then my DMs in twitter are open and I’m going to try to hop in the SD Slack Chat as much as possible this week.
– Jesse @DFSGolfGods