15 DFS Golf Picks for the 2021 U.S. Open
Daily Fantasy Golf Tips
Take in the insights from this article to help with your fantasy golf picks for the U.S. Open, and check out our PGA Optimizer to make more informed player selections for your DFS lineups. Best of luck this week!
The U.S. Open
Recap from last week: I don't know about you, but I had a tough fantasy week last week for the Palmetto Championship as my core players including Brooks Koepka, Lucas Glover, Vincent Whaley, and Ben Martin, all somehow missed the cut line. It was an interesting week nonetheless though as the course was fantastic, there were lots of good scores, and the crowds were loving the action! Big congrats to Garrick Higgo for winning the first and potentially last Palmetto Championship, he now has an incredible three wins in his last five starts between the PGA Tour and the European Tour, so he's arguably the hottest golfer on the planet right now heading into the U.S. Open this week.
Preview for the U.S. Open: We last saw this course host the U.S. Open 13 years ago when Tiger Woods shot a -1 to beat Rocco Mediate in a playoff - it was his 3rd U.S. Open win and his last one, also. Another major week is here with the U.S. Open set to host the 121st annual tournament in beautiful La Jolla, California, at Torrey Pines Golf Course - South Course. The PGA Tour moves from South Carolina to the west coast for one of the year's very best and most captivating events where Bryson DeChambeau will look to defend his title from last year when the tournament was held at Winged Foot Golf Club - West Course. The tournament record score for the U.S. Open is held by Brooks Koepka and Rory McIlroy in 2017 and 2011, respectively, each shooting -16. The past five winners of this event include the aforementioned Bryson DeChambeau in 2020, Gary Woodland in 2019, Brooks Koepka in both 2018 and 2017, and Dustin Johnson in 2016.
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Tournament purse: The prize money for this year's event is set at $12.5M, the winner receives $2.25M and also earns himself 600 FedEx Cup points.
Course and key stats: Torrey Pines Golf Course - South Course is 7,652 yards long, is a par 71, and the greens are poa annua. The winning score at the U.S. Open over the past decade ranges from +1 to -16, so the winning score is largely dictated by where the players are playing, and weather conditions too, of course. Some of the key stats to factor into your research this week are strokes gained: putting, driving distance and accuracy, birdies or better percentage, and strokes gained: tee-to-green.
The field: We will see another full 156-player field this week for the U.S. Open, and the top 65 plus ties will play into the weekend for a chance to win and hoist the big, shiny trophy. We have a very strong field going this week, same as with every major but there are a lot of relatively unknown, yet elite players near the bottom of the field from other worldwide tours. We will see all of the big boys in action this week, and one of them will likely win as superstars often win majors, especially the U.S. Open. On a scale ranging from A to D, I rank the field strength to be an A+.
Lineup construction strategy this week: With another huge field going this week, you will want to focus on players who consistently make the cut and who have upside to finish at or near the top. You can do any configuration you want in GPPs, I'll be mostly going with hybrid lineups but focused a bit more towards the top of the salary board versus in other non-major tournaments. Really keep an eye on projected ownership on Wednesday, leave at least $500 on the table if you want original lineups, and don't be afraid to take players who are more volatile, especially if you're focused on winning a million bucks this week, since you will need at least two or three low to mid-cost players to really pop for you for that to happen.
All the best in your quest to win some contests this week - here are my 15 DFS golf picks which feature my top 3 players from each tier on DraftKings (DK) in no particular order, plus I include player salaries for DK, as well. I consistently provide recent and seasonal finishes for each of my picks, their performance's at the event over the last 5 years plus the last five year's of results at Torrey Pines Golf Course (Farmers Insurance Open), and add in some helpful pieces of information and stats, as well.
The $10K+ Range
Jon Rahm (Salary: DraftKings - $11.2K) - Rahm was poised to win by a landslide at the Memorial Tournament as he had a 6 stroke lead in the 3rd round, but was forced to withdraw due to testing positive for COVID-19. His tests are coming back negative now though, so he's good to go for this week and I expect him to be right back on his A-game from Thursday on. He has eight top 10's this season in 15 starts - he's still looking for his first win on the season and you don't want to be late on it. He's so statistically sound throughout his game and it's just a matter of time before he breaks through as a first-time winner as a father - it also doesn't hurt that he won at Torrey Pines just four years ago and has a damn good record here overall. U.S. Open finishes over the last five years: 2020 - T23, 2019 - T3, 2018 - Cut, 2017 - Cut, and 2016 - T23. Last five years of finishes at Torrey Pines Golf Course (Farmers Insurance Open): 2021 - T7, 2020 - 2nd, 2019 - T5, 2018 - T29, and 2017 - Won.
Jordan Spieth (Salary: DraftKings - $11.4K) - OK, so Spieth doesn't have a good track record at the U.S. Open recently, but he was the 2015 champ, and has been playing some mighty fine golf over the last four months including a win, six other top 9's, and his worst finish is a T48. If his putter is on point this week then I fully expect him to have another top 10 as he's just so statistically strong across almost all other categories. U.S. Open finishes over the last five years: 2020 - Cut, 2019 - T65, 2018 - Cut, 2017 - T35, and 2016 - T37. Last five years of finishes at Torrey Pines Golf Course (Farmers Insurance Open): 2021 - Cut, 2020 - T55, and 2019 - T35.
Brooks Koepka (Salary: DraftKings - $10.1K) - I never know when to rollout Koepka as he either seems to do quite well in events or flop, like last week when he missed the cut in a very weak field at the Palmetto Championship. As we all know though, he goes hard in majors and has two wins and a runner-up over his last three U.S. Open appearances. He hasn't fared well at Torrey Pines with two missed cuts, so he's a risky option with huge upside - up to you whether you have the balls to use him or if you want to fade him this week. U.S. Open finishes over the last five years: 2019 - 2nd, 2018 - Won, 2017 - Won, and 2016 - T13. Last five years of finishes at Torrey Pines Golf Course (Farmers Insurance Open): 2021 - Cut and 2020 - Cut.
The $9K Range
Rory McIlroy (Salary: DraftKings - $9.9K) - McIlroy broke a year and a half losing streak last month when he won at the Wells Fargo Championship, he's coming off a T18 at the Memorial Tournament, he has three other top 8's this season, and also has three missed cuts. He has been strong at the U.S. Open over the past two years, he won the tournament ten years ago in record-setting fashion, and he has a very good track record at Torrey Pines with two top 5's over the last two years. His stats have been a bit spotty since February, but we know he can play elite on any given week and I'm expecting a top 20 with upside for Rory this week. U.S. Open finishes over the last five years: 2020 - T8, 2019 - T9, 2018 - Cut, 2017 - Cut, and 2016 - Cut. Last five years of finishes at Torrey Pines Golf Course (Farmers Insurance Open): 2021 - T16, 2020 - T3, and 2019 - T5.
Collin Morikawa (Salary: DraftKings - $9.5K) - If I had to wager a guess as to who will be the top-ranked golfer in the world five years from now, I would say Morikawa as he's a gamer and so statistically brilliant outside of his short game, but that will come in time I do believe. He won the WGC event in February, has six top 8's on the campaign, and is coming off the runner-up finish at the Memorial Tournament after losing to Patrick Cantlay in a playoff, so expect him to be extra motivated to win this week. We haven't seen him at his best yet for a U.S. Open, but he's a California kid who loves playing in Cali, he won the PGA Championship last year in his home state, and I think he will be in contention all week long. U.S. Open finishes over the last five years: 2020 - Cut and 2019 - T35. Last five years of finishes at Torrey Pines Golf Course (Farmers Insurance Open): 2020 - T21.
Patrick Reed (Salary: DraftKings - $9.0K) - His stats will never look that great, but he's a grinder and puts up solid results at majors, so you sort of have to ignore the statistical data with Reed. He won the Farmers Insurance Open earlier this year and has been great at Torrey Pines over the past few years, he has been fairly solid at the U.S. Open in his career, and he has three top 8's in his last six starts including his T5 at the Memorial Tournament in his most recent PGA Tour appearance. U.S. Open finishes over the last five years: 2020 - T13, 2019 - T32, 2018 - T4, 2017 - T13, and 2016 - Cut. Last five years of finishes at Torrey Pines Golf Course (Farmers Insurance Open): 2021 - Won, 2020 - T6, 2019 - T13, and 2018 - T23.
The $8K Range
Will Zalatoris (Salary: DraftKings - $8.6K) - Zalatoris is another young golfer who may be one of the world's very best golfers in a few years from now (or less) as he's a stat monster, and really plays his best golf at major championships with three top 8's in three straight majors including his T8 last month at the PGA Championship, and how can we forget about his runner-up finish at The Masters in April. The elite ball-striker also had a top 10 at Torrey Pines this year - just another reason to consider him as a core player for your lineups this week. U.S. Open finishes over the last five years: 2020 - T6 and 2018 - Cut. Last five years of finishes at Torrey Pines Golf Course (Farmers Insurance Open): 2021 - T7 and 2018 - Cut.
Webb Simpson (Salary: DraftKings - $8.7K) - Simpson is the 2012 U.S. Open champion and he has had a solid record at the event in his career including two top 10's in the last three years. He has five top 9's this season including a T8 in last year's U.S. Open, and has had a pretty decent season overall despite not hoisting a trophy just yet. His stats aren't super impressive this season but still quite good for the most part, a slight knock on him as he hasn't played at Torrey Pines over the last number of years, but his game plays well all over. U.S. Open finishes over the last five years: 2020 - T8, 2019 - T16, 2018 - T10, 2017 - T35, and 2016 - Cut. Last five years of finishes at Torrey Pines Golf Course (Farmers Insurance Open): None.
Louis Oosthuizen (Salary: DraftKings - $8.1K) - Oosthuizen has been playing fantastic this season and was right in the hunt to win his first major last month with a co-runner-up at the PGA Championship. He has been very impressive at U.S. Open events and I won't be surprised if he can add a major win to his resume before all is said and done. He's strong throughout his bag and even when one club isn't working on any given week, he makes up for it in other ways. Louis works well in either GPP contests or cash games as he's a very safe option with a good amount of upside, as well. U.S. Open finishes over the last five years: 2020 - T3, 2019 - T7, 2018 - T16, 2017 - T23, and 2016 - T23. Last five years of finishes at Torrey Pines Golf Course (Farmers Insurance Open): 2021 - T29 and 2017 - T41.
The $7K Range
Paul Casey (Salary: DraftKings - $7.9K) - Casey is getting back on another top 10 streak as he had a T4 at the PGA Championship and two weeks ago had a T6 at a European Tour event. He won earlier this year on the Euro Tour and has seven top 10's in his last 16 events played between both tours. His short game has been a tad off lately, but he has been very strong with his approach, ball-striking, and tee-to-green, so even if his flat stick isn't working too well, he can still finish top 10 - case in point, he had a T4 at the PGA Championship while losing almost 1.5 strokes putting. U.S. Open finishes over the last five years: 2020 - T17, 2019 - T21, 2018 - T16, 2017 - T26, and 2016 - Cut. Last five years of finishes at Torrey Pines Golf Course (Farmers Insurance Open): 2021 - T28, 2020 - Cut, and 2019 - Cut.
Jason Kokrak (Salary: DraftKings - $7.6K) - Kokrak is coming off the big win at the Charles Schwab Challenge, he won THE CJ CUP last October, and has four top 9's over his last seven stroke-play tournaments played. When he has his approach play working he typically finishes high as he's an elite putter who can roll it with the best of them. I like that he has been consistently in the top 30 at Torrey Pines and had his best U.S. Open performance of his career just last year - he could better that this week. U.S. Open finishes over the last five years: 2020 - T17, 2017 - T53, and 2016 - T37. Last five years of finishes at Torrey Pines Golf Course (Farmers Insurance Open): 2021 - T29, 2020 - T21, 2019 - T20, and 2017 - Cut.
Shane Lowry (Salary: DraftKings - $7.6K) - Lowry has been absolutely flushing the ball since mid-March as he has four top 8's in his last seven events including a T4 at the PGA Championship and a T6 at the Memorial Tournament two weeks ago. If I showed you his stats you would almost think that I was showing you Jon Rahm's, he has been that good over the past three months and I expect more of the same again this week. U.S. Open finishes over the last five years: 2020 - T43, 2019 - T28, 2018 - Cut, 2017 - T46, and 2016 - T2. Last five years of finishes at Torrey Pines Golf Course (Farmers Insurance Open): 2018 - Cut and 2017 - T33.
The $6K Range
Brendan Steele (Salary: DraftKings - $6.5K) - Usually the $6K range isn't too strong from week to week, but we can usually count on a pretty good one for major tournaments. Not this week though as the lower-tier range doesn't look much better than an average golf event, so I would advise to mostly stay in the $7K range and above, if at all possible. Steele is a decent low-cost option though as he has made 13 straight cut lines if you count the Zurich Classic, has three top 4's during that span, and is coming off a T37 at the Memorial Tournament where he gained over 3 strokes ball-striking. He has been good at U.S. Opens when given the opportunity, and has finished in the twenty-somethings at Torrey Pines too, plus he's a Cali guy which I also like. U.S. Open finishes over the last five years: 2018 - T63, 2017 - T13, and 2016 - T15. Last five years of finishes at Torrey Pines Golf Course (Farmers Insurance Open): 2020 - Cut, 2019 - Cut, 2018 - T29, and 2017 - T20.
Jhonattan Vegas (Salary: DraftKings - $6.8K) - Finding two other decent options in the $6K range was a bit challenging for me, but I went with Vegas for one of those spots as he is a consistent cut maker as he has only missed one in his last 12 events, and is coming off a great showing at last week's Palmetto Championship with a co-runner-up finish. He gets by with strong off-the-tee play and solid ball-striking - always good attributes to look for in players. U.S. Open finishes over the last five years: 2019 - Cut, 2018 - T41, and 2017 - Cut. Last five years of finishes at Torrey Pines Golf Course (Farmers Insurance Open): 2021 - Cut, 2020 - T30, 2019 - Cut, 2018 - Cut, and 2017 - T28.
Rafa Cabrera Bello (Salary: DraftKings - $6.7K) - This last spot was the hardest, but I'm going with Cabrera Bello even though he missed the cut last week. Prior to that, he had a T37, a T32, and a T21 while gaining strokes in almost every category for all of those three tournaments. It's good to see that he regularly plays weekend golf at U.S. Open events, as well. U.S. Open finishes over the last five years: 2020 - T23, 2019 - T65, 2018 - T36, 2017 - T42, and 2016 - T32. Last five years of finishes at Torrey Pines Golf Course (Farmers Insurance Open): None.
Results of the 15 players I picked for last week's Palmetto Championship
The 10K+ Range
- Dustin Johnson - T10
- Tyrrell Hatton - T2
- Brooks Koepka - Cut
The $9K Range
- Ian Poulter - T25
- Harris English - T14
- Patton Kizzire - Cut
The $8K Range
- Alex Noren - Cut
- Keith Mitchell - Cut
- Doc Redman - T2
The $7K Range
- Pat Perez - T10
- Martin Laird - Cut
- Vincent Whaley - Cut
The $6K Range
- Sung Kang - Withdrew
- Hank Lebioda - T31
- Michael Gligic - Cut
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Jeremy has been playing fantasy sports for over 20 successful years, and actively plays golf, hockey, baseball, and table tennis. He has over three years of fantasy sports writing experience - including writing a daily fantasy sports strategies and tools eBook in 2016. He is an active member of DraftKings - specializing in NHL and PGA contests over the past 5 years. He enjoys spending time with his family, traveling to hot places in the frigid Canadian Winters, binge-watching on Netflix, and starting and managing digital businesses.