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PGA DraftKings and FanDuel DFS Primer: U.S. Open (2023)

PGA DraftKings and FanDuel DFS Primer: U.S. Open (2023)

The third major of the PGA Tour will take place at Los Angeles Country Club this week for the 2023 U.S. Open. The field is loaded with talent from top to bottom, led by World No. 1 and No. 2 ranked golfers Scottie Scheffler and Jon Rahm, as the outright betting favorites ahead of Thursday’s opening round. Rahm won the 2021 U.S. Open with an epic comeback at Torrey Pines South, which is another venue in southern California, so maybe he can re-capture some of that magic after modest finishes of T50 and T16 in his last two events played.

Scottie Scheffler competed at LACC during the Walker Cup, alongside Collin Morikawa, during the amateur event in 2017. Max Homa, well-known for his success at courses in his native state of California, including two outright wins earlier this year at the Farmers Insurance Open and Fortinet Championship, set a course record with a round of 61 back in 2013. He’s quietly put his mid-season slump in the rearview, logging two T10 finishes in his last three events, although he faltered with a T55 finish at the second major of the season during the 2023 PGA Championship.

Brooks Koepka and Cameron Smith are the LIV Golf outright favorites, with Koepka getting a lot of support at 12/1 odds for his outright win probability. It’s for good reason. Koepka was in contention for The Masters until Rahm solidified his outright win on Sunday, but Koepka bounced back with a dominant win at the PGA Championship last month. He’s also won the 2017 and 2018 U.S. Open, albeit with much different scorecards, blending his power and finesse to consistently finish at or near the top of major event leaderboards.

From a DFS perspective, major events are a double-edged sword. The nice part is that we can insert some quality players into our DFS lineups without paying a premium compared to non-major events. However, the difficulty of the LACC course, which will be reviewed in the Course Overview section below, will make birdie and eagle opportunities tough to produce, lowering the overall production.

Following last week’s successful recommended plays, which included Aaron Rai, C.T. Pan, Tyrrell Hatton, and Tommy Fleetwood, I’ve found six of my favorite prospects to target ahead of Thursday’s first round at the 2023 U.S. Open. Let’s cash a few contests and enjoy some quality golf with cash in our pockets to celebrate Father’s Day Weekend!

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U.S. Open DraftKings and FanDuel DFS Primer

Previous Winners

  • 2022 – Matt Fitzpatrick (-6)
  • 2021 – Jon Rahm (-6)
  • 2020 – Bryson DeChambeau (-6)
  • 2019 – Gary Woodland (-13)
  • 2018 – Brooks Koepka (+1)
  • 2017 – Brooks Koepka (-16)

Relevant Betting Stats

  • Strokes Gained Tee-to-Green
  • Strokes Gained Approaching the Green
  • Strokes Gained Off-the-Tee
  • Driving Accuracy percentage
  • Sand Save percentage
  • Scrambling

Course Overview

Los Angeles Country Club will play as a par 70 running north of 7,400 yards. Three par 3s and three par 5s provide challenges and relief amongst the difficult, lengthy par 4s. A few of the par 3s run over 280 yards, which means distance and accuracy will both need to be used consistently to avoid three-inch Bermudagrass rough. The fairways and rough are Bermudagrass, contrasted with Bentgrass greens that have been used at every major event this season due to the elevated 13-foot velocity via the Stimpmeter.

Greens are average at 6,000 square feet, but the barrancas, which are river gorge creeks, wind throughout the fairways and flank the bentgrass greens, which are undulated. This means even with a strong shot off of the tee or approaching the green, the undulated surfaces can send golf balls into errant lies or even yield penalty via water hazard or settling out of bounds. Originally designed by George C. Thomas nearly 100 years ago, Gil Hanse and others oversaw a restoration project at LACC in 2010 and made a few more tweaks last summer. Wider fairways, extremely short and long par 3 holes, and undulated surfaces will create a drastic range of outcomes for players this week.

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Sports Betting App

Recommended Plays: DraftKings

DraftKings maximum salary is set at $50,000

Scottie Scheffler: $11,400
It’s a chalky first recommendation, but Scottie Scheffler is playing better than every other golfer this season when it comes to strokes gained off-the-tee, tee-to-green, and approaching the green. Yes, Scheffler’s putting woes have cost him a few potential outright wins, but he’s rattled off four consecutive T5 finishes entering the third major of the season. Plus, he’s cracked T10 finishes in both previous majors, so despite possessing the highest salary on DraftKings, Scheffler is a trustworthy player capable of delivering a high floor and a high ceiling at a ball-striking course like LACC. Pay up to acquire Scheffler as your blue-chip prospect to anchor your DraftKings lineups.

Viktor Hovland: $10,000
Viktor Hovland recently won his first outright event of the season at The Memorial Tournament, which was an elevated event, meaning the field was loaded with the top competitors, just like it will be at the U.S. Open. Hovland already has T7 and T2 finishes at The Masters and PGA Championship this year, plus he’s gone T13 and T12 at the U.S. Open back in 2019 and 2020 before withdrawing in 2021 and missing the cut last year. Hovland is ranked 13th in total strokes gained, including seventh off-the-tee, 10th approaching the green, and 11th tee-to-green. His putter has improved, and he has confidence following his outright win at Memorial a couple of weeks ago. Despite being $10,000, I consider Hovland a value due to his consistency and talent on ball striking courses in major events.

Rickie Fowler: $7,500
Rickie Fowler is among the best value prospects in the $7-$8K range on DraftKings. Fowler has only missed two cuts, albeit one came during the PGA Championship last month, but he’s logged two consecutive T10 finishes since that occurred, gaining momentum and confidence at the right time. Fowler recorded 14-16 birdies during this two-event T10 streak, which can be attributed to ranking eighth approaching the green, 12th tee-to-green, and brandishing a decent putter ranked 50th in strokes gained putting. Fowler is also capable of finding greens in regulation and scrambling, ranking inside the top 40 for both on the PGA Tour. Don’t hesitate to insert Fowler into multiple builds as a cheap commodity with a high upside.

Recommended Plays: FanDuel

FanDuel maximum salary is set at $60,000

Brooks Koepka: $11,900
No way we can turn our backs on Brooks Koepka at a U.S. Open event. The LIV golfer won consecutive U.S. Open events back in 2017 and 2018, producing outright wins at +1 and -16-under-par, showcasing his ability to handle a variety of courses. Expect LACC to settle somewhere in between these winning scores this week, making Koepka a strong contender to log his second consecutive major win this season. He nearly won the first major at Augusta National before being outplayed by Jon Rahm on Sunday, but he trounced the field during the PGA Championship with his putting ability, along with a powerful driver and solid iron play. Pay up to acquire Koepka’s monster floor in an event he almost always winds up near the top of the leaderboard.

Tyrrell Hatton: $9,800
Tyrrell Hatton has been cooking on the golf course recently, logging three T5 finishes in his last five events and winding up with T19 finishes or better in each of his last six events played. The 31-year-old Englishman does it all, whether it’s ranking third in total strokes gained, including seventh putting, 17th approaching the green, 11th off-the-tee, or seventh tee-to-green, Hatton has very few flaws in his game. His momentum and confidence should be firing when he takes the tee box on Thursday, where he tends to start slow, so don’t panic if that occurs. Hatton averages 4.22 birdies per round, ranked 13th on the PGA Tour, so he’s eager to collect the second outright win of his PGA Tour career and first major at LACC this week. At under $10,000 on FanDuel, were landing a massive value on Hatton, so don’t hesitate to plug him into lineups with extreme confidence.

Eric Cole: $8,100
Eric Cole has four T25 finishes in his last five events entering the 2023 U.S. Open. He couldn’t miss at the RBC Canadian Open last weekend, draining numerous birdies to wind up -9-under-par on Sunday to climb into a T6 finish after a slow start. The 35-year-old Californian is ranked 25th in total strokes gained, including 22nd around the green and 20th putting, so his short game is on point right now. Cole is ranked 12th in scrambling, making up for his inability to find greens in regulation, while converting over 34 percent of his birdie attempts, which ranks 16th. Plus, a 4.05 birdie average translates into high-end production for us at a ridiculously low $8.1K salary on FanDuel. If you’re looking for salary savers, there are few better to insert than Cole at LACC this week.

More 2023 U.S. Open Betting Advice

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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 a more advanced strategy – like How To Use Vegas Odds To Generate Your Lineup  – to learn more.

Matthew MacKay is a featured writer for FantasyPros. For more from Matthew, check out his archive and follow him @Matt_MacKay_.

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