This year’s US Open is going to be a fun tournament to watch because you are going to feel like these players are real human beings. Oakmont Country Club Course was created to be one of the most challenging courses in the world and they succeeded in this quest. The creators of the course made over 200 bunkers, unforgiving rough, and putting surfaces that challenge the best putters in the world.
As you research your Draftkings millionaire maker team you need to look at guys that have a few key attributes:
- strong off the tee (Strokes Gained OTT)
- avoid bogeys
- strong green in regulation rating
As you are watching this tournament, you need to realize that players are going to have a ton of bogeys and birdies will be at a premium.
Below are some picks in various ranges that have an opportunity to make some noise at the Open.
Top Salary Players (Over $9,000)
Jason Day – I know this is an easy pick for many people to make because he is the top player in the world, but he is a top player in the world for a reason. His numbers also favor a reasonable showing for Day this weekend at the open. He scrambles well, avoids bogeys, and is aggressive enough to give himself an opportunity to separate from the pack. Jason will be a high owned pick, but will be a strong option for GPPs and Cash games.
Justin Rose – The only issue I have with Justin is that he is coming off the back problem a few weeks ago and this is his first tournament back; however, that lay off time could be just what is needed to win the US Open. Justin is a previous US Open winner and understands what it takes to win at a difficult course. The only issue he has in his game will be his ability to drive the ball (he made a comment that he just started hitting the drive a few days ago). I don’t think Justin is a cash game option, but he is a great option for GPP.
Bubba Watson – Bubba has had success in the past at Oakmont and has the game to compete for the top spot this week at the Open. The biggest concern with Bubbas game is his poor numbers in scrambling. He is not one of the best putters on the tour; therefore, if he is not hitting greens in regulation he tends to start struggling putting the ball in the cup. What may separate him from the pack is his ability to hit the ball off the tee to put him in positions to make birdies. Bubba is a better GPP play than a cash game play.
Mid Salary Players ($7,000 – $9,000)
Matt Kuchar – Kuch has been playing well over the past few weeks and has strong numbers that look good to conquer Oakmont. Kuchar is one of the best players on tour at avoiding bogeys and that is what you need to have a chance to win here at Oakmont. My only concern with Kuchar is he can have a tendency to miss greens in regulation. Kuchar is a safe play in both GPP and Cash games.
Charl Schwartzel – I really like his game in the 2016 season and it matches up well with the conditions at the Open. He has only missed one cut in the 2016 season and I believe he will make the cut easily this weekend. Charl is one of the strongest players in the field at avoiding bogeys and hitting the ball on the green. I think he is one of the dark horses to win this tournament. Charl is a strong GPP and Cash game play.
Marc Leishman – Marc has quietly put together a solid year this year. One of the reason I like this pick is that he has finished 11th and 13th in his last two tournaments after a rough couple of weeks. If he can continue this positive trend, Leishman could have an opportunity to make some noise on Sunday. I think Marc is a GPP play only.
Low Salary Players (Under $7,000)
Luke Donald – Luke has been a strong player over the past few years, however this year he has done a better job at avoiding bogeys and scrambling. The only issue that I have with his game is that his last three weeks in the PGA have not been strong. However, he took last week off and hopefully got his game back into form. I think Luke is a strong GPP play and may have a lower owner percentage.
Tony Finau – A few weeks ago Tony got his first win on the PGA tour and seems to have taken the confidence only missing two cuts over the last 8 tournaments played. One of Tony’s strongest parts of his game is the ability to drive the ball with anyone on tour. If he can get hot he has an opportunity to make a top 20 finish at the Open. The only concern with Finau is when his game goes south watch out. Tony is a GPP play only.
David Toms – If you are looking for a guy that is a steady player for low salary: David Toms is your guy. He has made 7 out of his last 8 cuts; however, he has absolutely no chance to win this tournament. He is one of those players that you will be using to fill out a lineup where you use guys like Rory, Speith, Johnson, Day, ect. I believe Toms is a solid cash game pick, but cannot be used in GPPs because he does not have a chance to win.
Good luck this weekend and remember that your goal in any golf tournament is to get 6/6 players making the cut with one or two players near the top of the leaderboard.
If you are playing a GPP you need to have all 6 of your players in the top 20 to have a chance to win.