Time to get excited, it’s a major week.
The US Open will come at you from the re-designed Shinnecock Hills Golf Club, east of New York in Long Island.
The course is a beast and will measure 7,440 yards. It’s a par 70 meaning there’s only two par fives and one is more than 610 yards so there won’t be a lot of eagles.
Weather will play a huge part and given the trees have been torn down since the course last hosted the US Open in 2004 – won by Retief Goosen – the wind could make it tough.
The rough will be deep and treacherous. You need to hit the ball relatively straight to make par.
The USGA will make sure this is a true test of golf and they didn’t like the fact so many players scored well under par at Erin Hills last year when Brooks Koepka ($7,400) won at -16.
A winning score closer to -6 could be on offer this year.
The stakes are up in Moneyball DFS with a $7,000 GPP on offer, so ante up.
Last week: About as bad as it gets. Nine golfers tipped, five missed the cut. We move on.
One thing to note this week: The cut is only top 60 and ties. Regular PGA Tour events are top 70.
In a field of 156, there’s a lot of players that won’t be around for the weekend.
The width of the fairways has many people in the PGA DFS industry split on the importance of driving accuracy.
I believe you want to lean towards players who can hit it straight.
But if you’re deciding between two players, it’s easier to make par from only a wedge away from the green than a 7-iron, so lean towards length from the tee.
Tee-to-green is the clear metric for me this week. I want players that get their ball in play and keep it there.
If they can putt well then that’s a bonus. The greens are Poa Annua, often seen in California, and they’ll run quickly.
Pricing is soft enough that you can work in two guns up top if you think you have reliable types down low.
There will be a host of names near the bottom of the list who most sports fans won’t recognise.
This is due to the US Open filling out a lot of the field through sectional qualifying from various one-day tournaments in the US and other locations around the world.
For example, Canadian amateur Garrett Rank is a full-time NHL referee and he will tee it up after earning a spot. Don’t roster him.
Also, check the weather forecast before play starts, there may be a tee-time advantage for certain players who could avoid the worst of the weather.
$8K & $9K Range
Dustin Johnson ($9,400) – You can save money by dropping down to Justin Thomas ($8,800) or Rickie Fowler ($8,200) but try and make it work with Dustin Johnson.
Back to the world No 1 spot, DJ hits the ball a mile and has a game that is built for the US Open.
He’s a former winner, doesn’t get too worked up on the course and has all the tools. He’s also the popular betting favourite.
Brooks Koepka ($7,400) – If I am leaning to DJ up top then I cannot plump for Justin Rose ($7,900) in this range given how popular he will be.
This leads me to Koepka. The American won the event last year – although, this course will be vastly different – but he drives it long and putts like a demon.
He has a similar skill-set to Johnson but you get him at a huge discount. Koepka has looked great on his return from injury recently. Plus, he’s the defending champion.
Henrik Stenson ($7,000) – This price seems very user-friendly given the big Swede’s consistency.
Stenson leads the PGA Tour in driving accuracy and strokes gained: approach. His form has been solid this year and looms as a great third man in to a Moneyball PGA DFS roster.
This is an exciting range featuring some talented players, many of whom will be popular. There’s some great pivot options too.
Bryson DeChambeau ($6,600) – Ok, I know, I know, I mention Bryson nearly every week. But with a formline like his, I can’t avoid it.
The 24-year-old is ranked No 22 in the world and won his last start at the Memorial Tournament two weeks ago.
He’s 11th on Tour for strokes gained: off the tee and 17th in strokes gained: approach.
The putter can go cold but let’s hope we catch it on a hot week.
Paul Casey ($6,400) – I wondered if Casey’s price was a typo. Give me all of the world No 11 at this quote.
He will be hugely popular but you can differentiate yourself elsewhere.
The 40-year-old is 10th on Tour for strokes gained: tee-to-green and has a solid track record at tough courses.
If the wind blows, Casey seems the type of guy that can grind out a strong performance.
Adam Scott ($6,300) – Scott’s tee-to-green game – seventh-best on Tour – makes me think he can make a splash this week.
He’s strong off the tee and his irons are usually on point. He’s another player who is a terrible putter but you can’t have everything when your horse costs $6,300.
Scott’s another guy who may be popular due to the Aussie bias on Moneyball. If he’s not for you then South Africa’s Louis Oosthhuizen is the pivot play at $6,200.
Steve Stricker ($5,500) – Old man Stricker is a beacon of consistency.
Here comes the ultimate jinx but Stricker hasn’t missed a cut at a major since the PGA Championship in 2009.
Granted, he doesn’t play every major these days but he has made 29 straight cuts at the big events.
He splits his time between the PGA Tour and the senior circuit but is ranked 24th in strokes gained: tee-to-green and ninth in strokes gained: around the green on Tour.
Stricker is also a master at avoiding the big numbers on his scorecard.
In a major week, we get the rare $4K range for golfers. If you really want to go studs and duds then someone in this section may provide you some much-needed salary relief.
Sung-jae Im ($4,900) – The 20-year-old Korean won his way in to the US Open through sectional qualifying.
He has been tearing up the second-tier web.com Tour this season where he leads the money list. He’s also ranked at No 105 in the world.
The moment might be a bit much for him this week but if you need a cheap flyer then you could do worse.
Piece of Chalk: Justin Rose ($7,900) is looming large as he chases the second major of his career.
Scrub-A-Dub: Go on the old man, get up Steve Stricker ($5,500).