Key Stats for : SG: Approach / SG: Off the Tee / Experience / Ownership
Lock of the week:
Dustin Johnson $11,700 – If there’s one player pimp struttin into the US Open this week with all the game in the world to run away with this…it’s DJ. Shinnecock will present a tough test for the field and scoring will be lower. However, DJ seems to be the one guy right now that could run away from the field by four or five strokes. He looks to be the most popular player in DraftKings lineups, but we think you MUST have some exposure to him if you’re competing in larger tournaments. You can avoid him in cash games for the salary savings, but we’ll likely be owning DJ in our lineups more than average. DJ’s gained 43 strokes total over the last five US Opens, and he’s showing no signs of slowing down.
Tommy Fleetwood $8,100 – You’ll be hard-pressed to find a more versatile European Tour player OR a better head of lettuce than Fleetwood. If the course is soft and receptive, he can bomb away with the field and score. If the course firms up and gets bouncy (which is what the USGA wants), he can club down and ball strike with the best of them. If the wind picks up, he could run away with it given his experience on windy links tracks. He’s also played quite well recently in difficult fields and courses with a T17 at Augusta, T7 at Sawgrass and a T20 at Wentworth. As the 15th ranked player in the field in SG: T2G, the value at $8,100 is a steal! The Englishman will likely be another popular play, but we think he’s work the chalk given his winning upside and price. By the way, if you’re playing 50/50s and Double Ups (cash games), he’s a must-start.
Paul Casey $8,000 – Ok, so basically re-read everything we wrote about Fleetwood above minus the head of lettuce and you have Paul Casey. He’s a ball striking Brit with easy top 10 potential in tough conditions with major quality fields. Casey is ranked 29th in SG: OTT, 10th in SG: APP and 20th in SG: Putting over the last 24 rounds on the PGA Tour. Bome! Starting your cash lineups with Fleetwood and Casey would likely be a wise move allowing you to have plenty of cash remaining to round out your lineup.
Rafa Cabrera Bello $7,200 – RCB is a sexy Spaniard itching to finish well in one of the major championships. A track like Shinnecock requiring a complete game with possible windy conditions may be just what he needs to get it going. Bello ranks 12th in this strong field in SG: APP over the last 24 rounds. He finished T3 at the WGC event in March, T38th at Augusta, T17 at Sawgrass, and T8 at Wentworth this season. He’s clearly ready to battle it out with the world’s best on the world’s toughest stage. His type of pedigree presents a lovely bit of value down here at $7200, especially considering only T60 and ties make the cut out of 156 players.
Best bargain basement option:
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Charles Howell III $6,700 – We hosted CH3 on the Tour Junkies Podcast this week to discuss Shinnecock. He feels great about his game right now and winning his first major would be the missing piece needed to round out his stellar career. His form is as good as it’s been in many years at this point of the season as he’s normally a West Coast swing guy. He’s 29th in this field over the last 24 rounds on the PGA Tour, and that’s significant for an experienced pro at $6,700. He’s not getting a ton of chatter, so we’re thinking he’s quite the tournament option for this week with T25 upside.
Player to Avoid:
Jason Day $10,500 – While we’re all anticipating the Major Championship report of Day’s sniffles, hangnail, or unfortunate shaving narrative causing him to potentially play poorly…that’s not why we’re avoiding him this week. Have you seen pictures of the fescue rough once you miss the 40-yard fairways at Shinnecock? It’s not pretty. You’ll be lucky to see your shoes in the grass. While Day’s form has been amazing this season, he’s won with short game. Short game can be fleeting. Day ranks 92nd in this field in SG: OTT in the last 24 rounds on tour. That’s not going to get it done this week. Plus, when you’re paying up for Day, you need to get a T10 out of him in big tournaments. You don’t have to fully fade him, but we would be underweight compared to the field.