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DraftKings PGA Lineup Advice: U.S. Open (2020)

Sep 15, 2020

Stewart Cink, a  25-year Tour Pro, won the first event of the new season. The 47-year-old claimed his first victory since the 2009 Open Championship to kick-off the new campaign. It was extra special for Cink, who had his son, Reagan, caddying for him. Cink shot two rounds of 65 on the weekend to climb the leaderboard and win the tournament at 21-under.

It’s Major week! Yes, in just the second event of the 2020-21 season, the PGA Tour will play its first of six Major tournaments. A field of 144 golfers will make the trip to Mamaroneck, New York, for the prestigious U.S. Open. The season’s first Major will be played at the difficult Winged Foot Golf Club, which has played host to several Majors in the past. We last saw the course in 2006, where Geoff Ogilvy won the U.S. Open after shooting five-over-par.

World number one and winner of the FedEx Cup Playoffs, Dustin Johnson, is the betting favorite (8/1) and the highest-priced golfer ($11,500) on DraftKings. Following D.J. is the Spaniard Jon Rahm ($11,000), Justin Thomas ($10,700), and Rory McIlroy ($10,500). Some notable dropouts from the tournament include Brooks Koepka (injury) and Scottie Scheffler (COVID-19).

Here are the past five winners of the U.S. Open:

  • 2019 Gary Woodland  (-13)
  • 2018 Brooks Koepka (-8)
  • 2017 Brooks Koepka  (+1)
  • 2016 Brooks Koepka (-16)
  • 2015 Dustin Johnson (-4)

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Course Preview

The 2020 U.S. Open will be played on the West Course at Winged Foot Golf Club in Mamaroneck, New York. Playing as a Par 70 and measuring at a long 7, 477 yards, the course will be one of the most difficult challenges of golf on the circuit. The West Course features penal rough, severe undulating greens and tight, sloping fairways. Greens are predominantly Poa Annua, but there is a small amount of Bentgrass mixed in.

Ball-striking will be pivotal for success at Winged Foot. Golfers must have a solid combination of both distance and accuracy off the tee to score well this week. There are only two Par 5s on the scorecard, so birdies on the long Par 4s that measure over 450 yards will be few and far between. Good scramblers and putters should also be highly considered at Winged Foot due to the challenging green complexes.

It would be surprising to see a final score below par this week. The course is simply a beast for even the best golfers to navigate, and it could play even longer this week because it is later in the season. Ogilvy won the U.S. Open on this course in 2006 with a score of five over par, so we can expect something similar. Rahm was quoted saying that if the course plays very firm like expected, he doesn’t see how any of them can shoot under par.

Key Stats

  • Strokes Gained: Ball-Striking
  • Strokes Gained: Approach (>175 yards)
  • Par 4 Efficiency (450-500 yards)
  • Performance on Poa Annua/Bentgrass
  • Scrambling
  • Bogey Avoidance

Recommended Plays

Dustin Johnson ($11,500)
D.J. ended his 2019-20 season with finishes of T2, first, second, and first. It’s been a tremendous run for the 23-time PGA Tour winner as he heads into the season’s first Major with very high confidence. Johnson claimed his game has never been this sharp at any point in his career. With Wingfoot due to be one of the most difficult challenges that the players have seen in a while, start with D.J. and go from there.

Xander Schauffele ($10,100)
Schauffele is still searching for his first career Major win, but the way his game is trending, it won’t be much longer. The world’s seventh-ranked golfer ended his season with eight top-25s, including a T2 finish at the Tour Championship. Long and accurate off the tee, Schauffele finished seventh in strokes gained: ball-striking last year. His U.S. Open finishes of T3, T6, and T5 over the last three years make him a favorite.

Tommy Fleetwood ($8,900)
Fleetwood is a world-class ball-striker who has finishes of second and fourth in his last three U.S. Opens. Hitting fairways will be pivotal this week to avoid the penal rough, and Fleetwood should hit plenty of them. Fleetwood ranked sixth in total driving last season and 26th in strokes gained: putting, a combo that should bode well for Wingfoot. He recently played at the Portugal Masters and placed third.

Patrick Reed ($8,500)
Reed rates out extremely well on courses that measure greater than 7,400 yards according to Fantasy National, and he also does well where scoring is difficult relative to par. He is number five in strokes gained: total, and he is third in DraftKings points. Reed has the elite short game to scramble his way around the course and is one of the best putters in the game. He also finished fourth at this event in 2018.

Tyrell Hatton ($8,100)
The Englishman played some mightily impressive golf in a limited number of appearances last season. In 11 events, Hatton had six top-10s, including a win at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. He turned in a solid seventh-place showing at the Tour Championship and will look to carry the momentum into New York. Hatton ranked fourth in strokes gained: approach, 13th in strokes gained: tee-to-green, and 34th in strokes gained: putting, in 2019-20.

Matthew Wolff ($7,700)
Wolff’s T4 finish at the PGA Championship in August turned a lot of heads in just his second season on Tour. Distance off the tee won’t be an issue at Wingfoot for the 21-year-old, as he ranked ninth in driving distance last year. In the last 24 rounds, Wolff ranks third in the field in ball-striking, sixth in strokes gained: off-the-tee, 13th in DraftKings points.

Brendan Todd ($7,400)
A solid combination of hitting fairways and putting well on these difficult greens is crucial at Wingfoot, and Todd has a good chance to check both boxes. Finishing fourth in driving accuracy and 20th in strokes gained: putting helped Todd put up two wins in a remarkable comeback season. He may have some trouble with the length of Wingfoot, but his T17 at the PGA Championship proves he can still be in the mix.

Chez Reavie ($6,900)
Another accurate driver, Reavie’s T3 showing at the Safeway Open shows that his game is in great form heading into the season’s first Major. Reavie led the field in strokes gained: tee-to-green, and he finished third in strokes gained: approach. He will need to heat up with the putter to help pay off his value, but the course should suit his game just fine.

Kevin Streelman ($6,700)
The firm conditions should help the shorter, accurate driver this week. With fairways being at a premium this week, finding a solid ball-striker of Streelman’s caliber at this price is a nice value. He is coming off of a T3 showing at the Safeway Open after finishing his week with rounds of 66, 65, 67. In his last U.S. Open in 2016, Streelman turned in a solid T13 finish.

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Whether you’re new to daily fantasy golf or a seasoned professional, be sure to check out our Daily Fantasy Golf Glossary. You can get started with The Stats That Matter Most or head to more advanced strategy — like How To Use Vegas Odds To Generate Your Lineup  — to learn more.

Nic Turner is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Nic, check out his archive and follow him @sportzbandit.

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