Chambers Bay golf on Puget Sound is hosting it’s first PGA event this weekend, and it just so happens to be the U.S. Open. The players will be faced with some new and unique challenges, and your challenge will be selecting the right group of players capable of being successful in these conditions for your DFS lineups. So, to help you out, here are some players you can consider targeting, at every price range. Good luck.
Rory McIlroy ($13,000) – There are a lot of good golfers converging on Chambers Bay this weekend, and to say that you know for sure which one has the best chance of winning is more than a bit presumptuous. And that is part of the reason why I am not sure that I am actually in favor of a strategy for this weekend that actually involved spending this much of my budget on a single player. But I included him on the list anyway to make a single point: I would prefer McIlroy to Spieth if I had to choose. They are both amazing golfers, obviously, but if I were going to carve out $12K+ for one guy on my roster, I would make sure to spend the extra $400 on Rory. His win at Hoylake last year solidified him as someone who has figured out links golf, and Spieth – as good as he is, with enough talent – still seems like he might be JUST too young, too inexperienced, to tackle a challenge like this one. He might easily finish inside the top-10, but to justify this price tag, you are looking for a win, and holding off this many excellent challengers over the course of this many difficult holes can be a big burden for anyone to shoulder.
Phil Mickelson ($10,200) – He lives for these things, doesn’t he? He’s been prepping for this tournament for a month now, building up to it, honing his game for exactly what he will need to do to make his way around this course. How do I know? I don’t KNOW, but I know, because that’s Mickelson. That’s what he does. And here’s the thing about Phil: when he is playing at his best (which, admitted
ly, is fleeting now that he’s gotten a bit older), his game literally has no flaws. He has the distance to clear obstacles, the tough to navigate vicious changes in elevation, and the discipline to know when to play for par. And he has the putting stroke to finish it off.
Henrik Stenson ($10,000) – I, for one, get the feeling that Stenson is just DYING to get that first major win on U.S. soil. He spent a month here around the Masters, only to find himself banged up when the time comes. So this time around he takes a month off and then plays just one tournament the weekend prior to warm up (T13 last weekend in Sweden). Whatever
it takes, I guess. Good thing part of what it takes is a rock-solid all around golf game, which he already has. He hits fairways, and he hits greens, and when he doesn’t, he’s consistently one of the best scramblers on Tour. How can he not succeed with stats like that?
Bubba Watson ($9,400) – My personal pick to win. He has the distance off the tee to leave himself in the best possible scoring positions when they present themselves, and the accuracy off the fairway to turn difficult approach shots into scoring chances no one else could even imagine.
Billy Horschel ($8,000) – He has finished inside the top 20 in each of his four previous starts, a run that has included The Players, and ended with a T8 last weekend. He hasn’t played a single round over par in his last six events (that’s 24 consecutive rounds of 72 or under, for those of you who aren’t math majors).
Ryan Moore ($7,500) – As I am sure you’ll hear a few times this week, Moore is from Washington. There aren’t too many local boys in this one – apparently the climate doesn’t allow for quite as much practice for young golfers as a place like Texas. But Moore has demonstrated the game to compete anywhere, with three top ten finishes this season and a T18 at Memorial a couple weeks back, marked by him shooting 67-67 on Thursday and Friday.
Ian Poulter ($7,400) – Poulter played a practice round this week, so hopefully that is a sign that he is feeling healthy, because he has played very well lately, with only one round over par since Thursday at Augusta. A T6 at the Masters shows he can compete with any field, and his game was in good shape last time we saw him, when he netted a T5 at the Crowne Plaza.
Francisco Molinari ($7,200) – His T3 at the Memorial was impressive, but that’s not been his only impressive golf lately: he has had two other top five finishes in May on the European Tour, a 5 at the BMW PGA Championship and the Open de Espana.
Kevin Na ($7,100) – He consistently competes, no matter who is in the field. He has NINE STRAIGHT top twenty finishes, including five top tens – a run that has included the WGC-Cadillac, the Masters and The Players. There was some good competition in those, in case you’d forgotten.
Kevin Kisner ($7,000) – He’s been in the top ten four times in his last six tries (including a T2, 2 and T5), a stretch in which he has averaged just over six bogeys in a tournament. That kind of solid play would serve him well at Chambers Bay.
Charley Hoffman ($7,000) – Another pick based mainly on recent performance, you don’t get much more consistent than Hoffman has been of late, with five top-12 finishes in his last seven tournaments.
Russell Henley ($6,900) – If you read my PGA Breakdown this week, you’ll know I said two stats that might give you a glimpse at the skills needed to succeed this week would be 3-Putt Avoidance and “Going for the Green: Greens Hit,” and this pick is me putting my money where my mouth is: Henley ranks in the top-20 in both categories this season.