U.S. Open: 15 DFS Golf Picks
DFS Golf Picks: the U.S. Open
Make the most of the data, predictions, and 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
Preview for the U.S. Open: It's hard to believe that this will already be the third major championship of the year, it feels like we were just gearing up for The Masters, but here we are at the U.S. Open and The Open Championship will be on tap before we know it also. This huge event dates back to 1895, and we are in Brookline, MA, for the first time since 1988 when Curtis Strange beat Nick Faldo in a playoff at The Country Club. The record score at the U.S. Open is -16 and is held by two players, Rory McIlroy in 2011 and Brooks Koepka in 2017, and Tiger Woods won by an incredible 15 strokes in 2000 which is the largest margin of victory this tournament has ever seen. Winners of the U.S. Open over the past five years includes Jon Rahm in 2021, Bryson DeChambeau in 2020, Gary Woodland in 2019, Brooks Koepka in 2018, and Brooks Koepka in 2017, as well.
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Tournament purse: The prize money for this week's event is $12.5M, the winner collects $2.25M and also earns himself 600 FedEx Cup points.
Course and key stats: The Country Club is 7,264 yards in length, is a par 70, and the small greens are poa annua. The winning score at this tournament over the last decade ranges from +1 to -16, so the course obviously plays a huge factor, but this event is typically one of the hardest annually no matter where it's played. I think we will see a winning score around -10 this week, but we will learn more about the course's condition as the week goes on. Some key stats to focus on this week are bogey avoidance, strokes gained: around the green, good drives gained, strokes gained: approach, and proximity from 175+ yards.
The field: This is one of the biggest tournaments in the world, so the field of 156 players is of course one of the best we get treated to every June. The top 60 players plus ties will have the honor of playing the weekend, so it's challenging to make the cut line and we will inevitably see some superstars packing their bags after round 2 on Thursday as a result. On a scale ranging from A to D, I rank the field strength to be an A+.
Three questions I have about the U.S. Open:
1. Which players have the most top 10's at U.S. Open's over the last five years? U.S. Open monsters over the last half-decade include Xander Schauffele with 5, Brooks Koepka with 4, Rory McIlroy with 3, Louis Oosthuizen with 3, and a few players have 2 including Jon Rahm, Dustin Johnson, Daniel Berger, Tony Finau, Tommy Fleetwood, Harris English, Webb Simpson, and Justin Rose.
2. Which 10 players have gained the most strokes total over the last 24 rounds? The top stroke gainers recently include Rory McIlroy, Justin Thomas, Sam Burns, Scottie Scheffler, Shane Lowry, Davis Riley, Cameron Smith, Mito Pereira, Will Zalatoris, and Jordan Spieth.
3. Which 10 players does my custom model like the most this week? Justin Thomas, Kevin Na, Corey Conners, Scottie Scheffler, Xander Schauffele, Cameron Smith, Rory McIlroy, Shane Lowry, Davis Riley, and Viktor Hovland.
DraftKings lineup construction strategy this week: With a big, star-studded and deep field this week aside from the $6K range, you have the flexibility to build some incredible-looking lineups no matter which configuration type interests you the most. I would recommend going in the hybrid direction for most of your core lineups as we may only see 42% or so of the field advance to rounds 3 and 4 and the scrubs range is fairly weak, just make sure you have a good balance of win and make-the-cut equity in each one. Pay close attention to the projected ownership breakdown on Wednesday, pivot where you can to reduce your lineup's total projected ownership numbers, and leave at least $300 on the table for each build if you want to win a large GPP outright.
All the best in your journey to win or at least be in the money in 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 performances at the event over the last 5 years, and add in some tasty pieces of information, also.
The $10K+ Range
Justin Thomas (Salary: DraftKings - $10.9K) - JT is exceptionally strong in every facet of his game - case in point, he has gained strokes across the board in three out of his last four starts including last week where he gained 11.64 ball-striking at the Canadian Open and has three top 5's in those four starts including winning the PGA Championship three starts ago. He should be in contention this week, especially if his short game remains hot. U.S. Open finishes over the last five years: 2021 - T19, 2020 - T8, 2019 - Cut, 2018 - T25, and 2017 - T9.
Rory McIlroy (Salary: DraftKings - $10.5K) - He has been on fire over his last five starts with four top 8's including winning last week at the Canadian Open, a 2nd at The Masters, and his worst finish during this stretch was a T18 at the Memorial Tournament two weeks ago. He has three straight top 9's at this prestigious event, and I believe that he will put up another one this week in Brookline. U.S. Open finishes over the last five years: 2021 - T7, 2020 - T8, 2019 - T9, 2018 - Cut, and 2017 - Cut.
Scottie Scheffler (Salary: DraftKings - $11.3K) - The world's top-ranked player hasn't been quite as strong since winning The Masters in April, but he did finish 2nd two starts ago at the Charles Schwab Challenge, and has four top 18's in his last five starts. If he finds a way to right the putter this week, then he should make some noise and could easily build off of last year's T7 if that's the case. U.S. Open finishes over the last five years: 2021 - T7, 2019 - Cut, and 2017 - T27.
The $9K Range
Xander Schauffele (Salary: DraftKings - $9.6K) - Schauffele has competed in this tournament over the last five years - his only five career starts at the U.S. Open and has finished no worse than T7 which is absolutely unreal when you think about it, especially considering that the venue has been different every time - he's just a U.S. Open beast it looks like. He won the Zurich Classic with teammate Patrick Cantlay four starts ago, followed that up with a T5 at the Byron Nelson, and has four straight top 18's. He should be firmly in the mix to finish inside the top 7 again this week and has the pedigree to win it all. U.S. Open finishes over the last five years: 2021 - T7, 2020 - T5, 2019 - T3, 2018 -T6, and 2017 - T5.
Will Zalatoris (Salary: DraftKings - $9.3K) - He has been outstanding lately with five top 6's in his last seven starts if you include the Zurich Classic thanks to solid ball-striking, and he has gained with the flat stick four times in his last six starts, so that's a huge positive as that has been the weakest part of his game since joining the PGA Tour. In his eight major career starts, he has five top 8's including two runner-ups at last year's Masters and last month's PGA Championship, and he seems poised for greatness in the not-too-distant future. Expect him to be in the mix for a top 10 finish, and he might be ready for a breakthrough win this week despite no PGA Tour wins just yet. U.S. Open finishes over the last five years: 2021 - Cut, 2020 - T6, and 2018 - Cut.
Patrick Cantlay (Salary: DraftKings - $9.2K) - He hasn't been overly strong at U.S. Open's over the years, but last year was his best result with a T15 and his worst finish in six starts is a T45. He has been on fire since mid-April with three top 3's including winning the Zurich Classic with Xander Schauffele, a 2nd at the RBC Heritage, and a T3 two weeks ago at the Memorial Tournament where he gained strokes across the board. U.S. Open finishes over the last five years: 2021 - T15, 2020 - T43, 2019 - T21, and 2018 - T45.
The $8K Range
Sam Burns (Salary: DraftKings - $8.3K) - I believe he's underpriced this week which is good in some ways, but bad in others as he will be likely one of the most owned players on DraftKings. Burns has two wins in his last seven starts - at the Valspar Championship and the Charles Schwab Challenge, and has five top 9's in his last nine starts including a T4 last week in Canada where he led the field on approach with 9.40 strokes gained on the field. This should be his breakout year at this tournament - expect a top 20 finish with upside for a top 10. U.S. Open finishes over the last five years: 2021 - Cut and 2018 - T41.
Tony Finau (Salary: DraftKings - $8.2K) - What an impressive finish to his tournament last week at St. George's with a long-bomb birdie to finish solo 2nd - fitting as he was outstanding in every part of his game and gained 18.13 strokes total. Finau has three top 4's in his last five starts including that runner-up last week and a T2 at the Mexico Open, and I believe that he will capture his third top 10 at this event since 2018. U.S. Open finishes over the last five years: 2021 - Cut, 2020 - T8, 2019 - Cut, and 2018 - T5.
Daniel Berger (Salary: DraftKings - $8.4K) - I likely would have taken Cameron Young here as he has been hotter than Berger over the last while, but I like Daniel's strong U.S. Open history, and he's coming off a huge putting event at the Memorial where he gained 6.60 with the putter - his first gain in that stat category in five starts. He has two top 7's at this tournament over the last four years and is certainly a threat to add another this week as he's a solid ball-striker and just needs the flat stick to be average for a top 20 finish. U.S. Open finishes over the last five years: 2021 - T7, 2020 - T34, 2019 - T49, 2018 - T6, and 2017 - Cut.
The $7K Range
Corey Conners (Salary: DraftKings - $7.9K) - Conners didn't have a very good Canadian Open history but broke that poor trend last week when he finished 6th in his native country gaining 8.92 strokes ball-striking and 4.70 with the putter. His U.S. Open track record is equally uninspiring, but I believe he will find a way to perform as his ball-striking is almost always incredible and his short game has been actually good lately, as well. U.S. Open finishes over the last five years: 2021 - Cut, 2020 - Cut, and 2017 - Cut.
Sungjae Im (Salary: DraftKings - $7.6K) - There are a bunch of nice-looking options in the $7K range, so it was challenging to pick out just three golfers, but I had to mention Im since he has made a good return to golf after a month off with a T15 at the Charles Schwab Challenge and a T10 at the Memorial in his most recent start - both events he pretty much gained strokes across the board except for a putting loss of 2.90 at the Charles Schwab Challenge. He has five consecutive top 21's, and I expect that to continue this week assuming his excellent ball-striking holds true again this week. U.S. Open finishes over the last five years: 2021 - T35, 2020 - T22, and 2018 - Cut.
Harold Varner III (Salary: DraftKings - $7.3K) - He usually appears in lots of custom models as he's so strong on approach, he's sound around the green and has been frequently gaining with the putter since late February. He won the Saudi International on the Asian Tour earlier this year, has three top 6's in his last nine starts if you count the Zurich Classic and put up a T6 at THE PLAYERS Championship, and has seven top 27's in as many starts. U.S. Open finishes over the last five years: 2018 - Cut.
The $6K Range
Beau Hossler (Salary: DraftKings - $6.4K) - I would advise staying away from the $6K range as much as possible by building hybrid lineups that include players from the $7K range and above, but I rounded up three golfers worth considering in the scrubs range. Hossler is cheap and has made four straight cut lines with a T32 in his most recent start at the Memorial. He has been good off the tee, around the green, and his main weapon is his putter gaining at least 3.86 strokes in four out of his last five starts. He's terrible on approach, so it limits his upside, but he could make the cut this week and have a top 40 finish. U.S. Open finishes over the last five years: None.
MacKenzie Hughes (Salary: DraftKings - $6.8K) - Hughes is coming off a pretty decent week in Canada as he gained strokes across the board to finish T28 and had a T37 the week before at the Memorial where his approach, around the green, and putting were all respectable. He had a T15 at the U.S. Open in 2021, and he only lost strokes in one major stat category - a 1.29 loss off the tee. U.S. Open finishes over the last five years: 2021 - T15, 2020 - Cut, and 2018 - Cut.
Matthew NeSmith (Salary: DraftKings - $6.9K) - He's my favorite $6K play this week as he has six straight cuts made if you include the Zurich Classic where he and his partner finished 4th, and his ball-striking has been leading the way which is always a positive sign for sustainable positive results. U.S. Open finishes over the last five years: None.
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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.