Golf Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

    Chris Durell

    Daily Fantasy PGA Picks and Betting Guide for DraftKings & FanDuel – 121st U.S. Open Championship

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    Major championship season continues as the PGA Tour heads to Torrey Pines South for the 121st United States Open Championship. Torrey Pines is one of two regular venues(Pebble Beach GL the other) on the PGA Tour schedule that falls in the U.S. Open rotation so the golfers are quite familiar with it, especially Patrick Reed who won the 2021 event. As it always is, the field is absolutely loaded with each of the Top 50 and 77 of the Top 100 players in the world including defending champion Bryson DeChambeau who took home the hardware at Winged Foot back in September.

    Don't expect similar scores to what we see annually at the Farmers Insurance Open as the USGA will surely have their special touches on the course. This starts with the rough that is reportedly anywhere between 3-5 inches and targeted to be thicker and more challenging around the greens. Speaking of those greens, they are some of the smallest on Tour and made up of Poa grass which is challenging in itself with all the bumps.

    To win the U.S. Open, or any major for that matter, it is going to take a complete game to get it done this week but for DFS we can start breaking down the key stats a little more. Off the tee, I am looking for more distance than accuracy but not discounting the accuracy at all with very thick rough. Beaking down SG: approach, I am looking at a combination of rough proximity and long iron proximity distances(175-200 and 200+ yards). With a combination of length, small greens, and thick rough, I am projecting the GIR % to be well below average which means a ton of scrambling so strokes gained: around the green is very high in my model, as well. Finally, I will be looking at golfers who are Poa positive in terms of strokes gained: putting.

    I don't think you need to be elite all areas but if you are not elite ball-striking(OTT + APP) you better be elite around the green and putting. If you perform well in all strokes gained areas you will likely be on the leaderboard come Sunday with a chance to hoist the trophy.

    The Course

    Torrey Pines Golf Club(South Course)
    Par 71 - 7,652Yards
    Greens - Poa Annua

    Previous Five U.S. Open Winners

    • 2020(Winged Foot) - Bryson DeChambeau(-6)
    • 2019(Pebble Beach) - Gary Woodland(-13)
    • 2018(Shinnecock Hills) - Brooks Koepka(+1)
    • 2017(Erin Hills) - Brooks Koepka(-16)
    • 2016(Oakmont CC) - Dustin Johnson(-4)

    Previous Five Farmers Insurance Open Winners

    • 2021 - Patrick Reed(-14)
    • 2020 - Marc Leishman(-15)
    • 2019 - Justin Rose(-21)
    • 2018 - Jason Day(-10)
    • 2017 - Jon Rahm(-13)

    Top Tier Targets

    Jon Rahm
    World Golf Ranking (#3)
    Vegas Odds (10/1)
    Draftkings ($11,200)
    FanDuel ($12,200)

    Like every major, the elite field + softer pricing makes it very hard to narrow down a player pool and makes for a perfect multi-entry setup. If I had to choose just one player, however, it would be Jon Rahm who is #3 in my model but #1 in my heart(lol). It's hard not to root for him after being forced to withdraw with a COVID after holding a six-stroke lead after the third round at the Memorial. He now gets his preferred U.S. Open venue as he has been money at Torrey Pines winning in his first trip back in 2017 and has four Top 10 finishes in five trips(T29 the other). Looking at the stats on the sheet, he ranks 3rd in ball striking, 4th/1tth in prox from 175-200 and 200+, 13th/2nd in Par 4/5 scoring, and while not elite around the green he ranks 28th in this field. All things considered, he is my top play this week and pick to win the U.S. Open.

    Xander Schauffele
    World Golf Ranking (#6)
    Vegas Odds (18/1)
    Draftkings ($9,300)
    FanDuel ($11,400)

    From one chalk play to another as Xander comes to us in the low $9K range on DraftKings. Outside of Brooks Koepka, no one has been more consistent at U.S. Open's than Xander as he has finished T6 or better in four straight. He doesn't quite have the same success here at Torrey Pines as others but did finish T2 here earlier this year. We always talk about form being very important, especially coming into a major where every facet is tested included the mental side. Outside of not hoisting a trophy, Xander has been terrific this season making 12 of 14 cuts with six Top 10's and 11 Top 25 finishes. The price is right and I will have exposure in all formats regardless of ownership.

    Dustin Johnson
    World Golf Ranking (#1)
    Vegas Odds (16/1)
    Draftkings ($10,700)
    FanDuel ($11,700)

    I am always using Fan Share Sports as I build my player pools and with so many big names this week there are going to be some elite players coming with ownership discounts. Dustin Johnson appears to be one of them and it makes sense with Rahm, Xander, Brooks, Bryson, and Morikawa likely taking up a large share in the top tier. Any discount on the #1 player in the world has my attention and he is coming off a plus performance with a T10 at the Palmetto Championship gaining strokes in every SG category. He is also a beast when it comes to U.S. Opens winning at Oakmont in 2016 and finishing T6 or better in five of his last seven. I will have a ton of exposure in DFS and I also bet him outright at 16/1 early in the week.

    Mid Tier Targets

    Tony Finau
    World Golf Ranking (#14)
    Vegas Odds (30/1)
    Draftkings ($8,900)
    FanDuel ($10,600)

    Now move into Top 10 Tony territory(say that 10 times) as he checks almost every box this week. His form has been consistent all year making 14 of 17 cuts with seven Top 10 finishes including all three majors(U.S. Open was later due to Covid)! Talk about consistency on the biggest stage. He also has excellent course history here at Torrey Pines finishing Top 25 in all seven trips including Top 10's in four of his last five trips. I just love the elite ball-striking paired with an elite around the green game which is a perfect recipe for Major Championship golf. Best of all, he comes under $9K and while that will make him chalky I will have exposure in all formats.

    Shane Lowry
    World Golf Ranking (#41)
    Vegas Odds (50/1)
    Draftkings ($7,600)
    FanDuel ($9,600)

    Going down the board a bit we have a ton of value this week due to the softer pricing for a major and Shane Lowry is one that really stands out to me this week. First of all, he comes in with top form with a T6 at the Memorial and T4 at the PGA Championship and has made the cut in 13 of his last 14 PGA Tour events. He most definitely has Major Championship pedigree winning the Open Championship in 2019 and has made the cut in six of his last seven U.S. Opens including a T2 at Oakmont in 2016 and T9 at Chambers Bay in 2015. I love the price for DFS and will also take a stab at an outright at 50/1.

    Value Targets

    Brian Harman
    World Golf Ranking (#47)
    Vegas Odds (125/1)
    Draftkings ($7,400)
    FanDuel ($9,200)

    I won't be going too far down below $7K on DraftKings this week so the value plays come in higher than usual in terms of pricing. First up is Brian Harman who has been consistently in the $8K-$9K range(DK) so this is a buy-low situation I will take advantage of this week and he also checks a lot of boxes, as well. It starts with his form as he has made the cut in 11 of his last 12 events including three Top 10's and six Top 25 finishes. While he doesn't give us the elite distance, he has been rock solid from the long iron proximity ranges(45th/27th in this field from 175-200 and 200+) and is ranked 4th in SG: Around the Green over the last 24 rounds. He has missed his last two cuts here at Torrey Pines for the Farmers but had a Top 10 in 2017 and made the cut in four straight before that. He has also been solid in U.S. Opens recently with a T38 at Winged Foot in 2020, T38 at Pebble Beach in 2019, and a T2 at Shinnecock Hills in 2017. All things considered, he is one my my favorite values in all formats.

    Matt Wallace
    World Golf Ranking (#55)
    Vegas Odds (150/1)
    Draftkings ($7,100)
    FanDuel ($8,600)

    One of my fliers this week is Matt Wallace who should be a low-owned pivot off some of the chalk considering he is coming off a missed cut at the Memorial and T56/T55 at the Charles Schwab and PGA Championship. What I like during that short stretch is that he has only been bad in one key area each event but really good in other areas. For example, he gained a whopping 5.1 strokes on approach at the Memorial but lost 4.6 on the greens. One great sign when looking at his form is that he has gained strokes around the green in 7 of his last eight events. I love the PTS/$ upside he brings and with projected lower ownership is one of my favorite GPP plays this week.





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