Well, it’s finally here. The second major of the year, the 2016 U.S. Open. As always with a major, the pricing is somewhat soft, allowing for some pretty spectacular looking lineups. Or at least they will appear that way before Thursday night.
This year the U.S. Open will be contested at Oakmont Country Club in Pennsylvania. The weather forecast has potential rain on both Thursday and Friday, with possible windier conditions Friday afternoon. But, make no mistake about it… the firm and fast course will be the deciding factor this year. So, who’s best prepared for victory this week?
TOP TIER PLAYERS:
Jason Day ($23,000) will be the chalk favorite this week with ownership in the mid 30% range. His dominant form over the last year has been nothing short of Tiger-esque. It’s hard not to build all your lineups around him. He’s #1 in the world for good reason and most experts agree that Oakmont sets up perfectly for his style of play. I would expect a top ten out of him at the very least this week.
Adam Scott ($19,000) is flying somewhat under the radar this week and shouldn’t be that heavily owned considering all the top tier players above him. He also hasn’t been lighting it up lately like he did earlier in the year, but if there ever was a horse for this gnarly course, I’d say Adam is it. With putting not at a premium like most tournaments, this could be Adam’s week to grab his second major title.
Danny Willett ($18,200) has been trending in the right direction for the past year or more. Danny seems to be dealing with his new superstar status, like… well – a SUPERSTAR! He’s the Masters champ and the only man in the field with a chance at the Grand Slam. He’s in 1st place for The Race to Dubai crown and recently took 3rd at the European Tour’s flagship event the BMW PGA Championship. Some players just really show up for majors. Danny is proving to be one of them.
MID TIER PLAYERS:
Patrick Reed ($16,000) is #4 on tour in scrambling, been a top ten machine since late October, he’s good at bogey avoidance, and he’s the quintessential tough guy player, which this course will definitely demand from its winner. If you take the “last man standing” approach in regards to your roster construction, then you won’t find a tougher Pitbull than him!
Matt Kuchar ($16,100) is another very chalk pick considering his current form – 5 top ten finishes out of his last 6 tournaments played. Who can argue with that? He will be heavily owned, but given his mid-tier price and ridiculous consistency (14/15 cuts made), he’s the closest thing to a no brainer pick this week.
Brooks Koepka ($15,500) could be my favorite pick this week. He’s coming off back to back 2nd place finishes, excelling in nearly every single category last week. All he needs to do is get his putter going this week to have a shot on Sunday. He also has a better than average chance of scoring an eagle, which will be really extra valuable points this week.
LOWER TIER PLAYERS:
Lee Westwood ($14,900) – I’m not basing my Westwood pick on his 2nd place Masters finish this year, but, rather his overall career record in the majors. Yes, he is still looking for that elusive first major and he’s not getting any younger, which is precisely why I like him this week. You know there will be a few wily veterans in the mix come Sunday, and I think Lee might just be one of them.
Russell Knox ($14,500) is exactly what we’re looking for, in terms of the golf course. He doesn’t make a lot of bogeys, he is 5th in greens in regulation (GIR), 13th in driving accuracy, and one of the best par four scorers out there. I expect him to make the cut with at least a top 25 finish.
Charl Schwartzel ($14,400) – All the experts are going cuckoo for Charl this week and I’m no exception. He really has no business being priced this low, so grab him at this price and run all the way to the bank! Again, he’s another player that should be heavily owned because of his price, but don’t let that scare you away from him. Patience and conservative play may just be the winning formula and Charl has those two in spades.
JB Holmes ($14,300), Daniel Berger ($13,900), Bryson DeChambeau ($13,300), Emiliano Grillo ($13,300), Charley Hoffman ($12,900).
Brendan Steele ($13,300), Rafa Cabrera Bello ($13,000), Lucas Glover ($11,800), Rob Oppenheim ($11,200), Tim Wilkinson ($10,500).
Make sure you draft early. This week lock is at 6:45am ET. If you have any questions or comments for me, leave them in the comments below and I’ll be happy to answer them!