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PGA DFS Advice & Picks: U.S. Open (2024)

PGA DFS Advice & Picks: U.S. Open (2024)

Arriving at the third of four Major Championships is a milestone that warrants a peek over the shoulder at how many miles we’ve traversed. Through briars and brambles, fresh asphalt and crumbling sinkholes, the U.S. Open at Pinehurst looms, sneering with venom dripping from crooked teeth. There are tests, and then there is the buzz saw laid out across the Carolina dunes by the USGA. We’ve studied and crunched the numbers to ample success to this point. We know the players and the narratives that swirl around them. It’s time to crack our knuckles and tackle this beast.

Beware the Jabberwock. Pinehurst No. 2 is a public course that will invite the best golfers in the world to doubt their standing. Thanks to a lights-out short game performance, Martin Kaymer ran away from a listless field in 2014. Michael Campbell shot even par here over 72 holes in 2005. It was a triumph that left the golf world gasping. Nine years seems like a very long breath, anyway. Maybe we needed a near decade to fully prepare ourselves for what comes next.

PGA DFS Advice & Picks: U.S. Open (2024)

(Salary Prices Courtesy of DraftKings)

It isn’t like Pinehurst pretends to be anything different. Golfers far and wide are invited to book tee times to trudge around No. 2. Those who somehow card a “2” on this course are rewarded with a commemorative token. The US Open layout might even prohibit the world’s best from earning their doubloon this week. The par-70 track is a monstrous 7,500 yards and change.

The fairways are wide but fast and run straight into expansive sandy waste areas fraught with wire grass and gorse bushes. No rough is still rough. The greens, themselves, are infamous. The lightning-fast surfaces are balanced on the back of an enormous turtle, like Great A’Tuin from Terry Pratchett’s “Discworld” series. Tightly mown Bermuda surrounds greens that run on a razor’s edge. Par is an outstanding score at Pinehurst, and bogeys are sometimes even with the field.

My weighted statistical model hinges on a golfer’s short game and bogey avoidance. Trouble lurks everywhere, and bad luck will happen to every golfer. One’s mettle will be tested to hole out without melting down in a puddle of tears. Touch and creativity around these car hood greens are paramount, and even the best ball strikers will find themselves in peril.

The U.S. Open is the sternest test in golf, and I aim to roster the players with the aptitude (and temperament) to wipe the blood from their lips and walk away from the carnage like Horatio Cain. With the sweet aroma of tobacco in the air, let’s dig in.

High-Priced ($9,000 & Above)

  • Chalk Plays: Scottie Scheffler, Ludvig Åberg, Collin Morikawa
  • Chalk Fades: Xander Schauffele, Brooks Koepka
  • Leverage Plays: Rory McIlroy, Bryson DeChambeau, Viktor Hovland, Wyndham Clark

Mid-Priced ($7,600 to $8,900)

  • Chalk Plays: Cameron Smith, Tommy Fleetwood, Hideki Matsuyama
  • Chalk Fades: Matthew Fitzpatrick, Tony Finau, Sahith Theegala
  • Leverage Plays: Justin Thomas, Jordan Spieth, Tyrrell Hatton

Value-Priced ($7,500 & Below)

  • Chalk Plays: Sam Burns, Russell Henley, Alex Noren, Christiaan Bezuidenhout
  • Chalk Fades: Tom Kim, Sungjae Im, Brian Harman, Si Woo Kim, Keegan Bradley, Billy Horschel, Sepp Straka, Aaron Rai
  • Leverage Plays: Dean Burmester, Denny McCarthy, Kurt Kitayama, Akshay Bhatia, Brendon Todd, Tim Widing, Mac Meissner, Brian Campbell

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