Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Fantasy Golf: The U.S. Open Preview

A friend of mine who's played a few golf courses in his day told me that Erin Hills is the toughest track he's ever encountered. Considering the fact that he was probably higher than a Jason Day 9-iron when he played it, that review was probably more mild than it could've been. What it tells me is that there is probably some validity to all of the typical whining from the Tour players about how this joint is tougher than the free steak I got with my $24.95/night room outside of Las Vegas back in 2001. (I think there's still some stuck between my back right molars). 

Also there is this. Henrik Stenson described Erin Hills as "hay fever heaven" (which I think is an oxymoron) and said he "expects any local pharmacy to sell-out of antihistamines." Oh if only I owned a Walgreen's outside of Milwaukee this week, we'd never have to eat free steak again. That probably means that you can cross Henrik and any other player who hails from a pollen free country off your list (so long Alex Noren). It may also mean that you can cross-off any player who is prone to letting discomfort knock him completely off his game which is making me a tad nervous about my first choice for a one and done pick now that I've wasted Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy elsewhere (though I'm not really keen on any of those three anyway as you'll see from my DraftKings picks - they've all looked kinda shaky and unpredictable lately). More on that below as I try to make my decision while scratching-out these next few of paragraphs.

If I had my pick of any player this week, I'd be taking really hard looks at Jon Rahm and Justin Rose. Rahm has to be licking his chops at the prospect of a 7,700+ yard U.S. Open course with relatively wide fairways and Rose looks like the single major winner most ready to put another one on the board after his Olympic gold medal and his runner-up at Augusta. Unfortunately, I do not have either of them at my disposal. 

Here are my best available U.S. Open players as I see it: Jason Day, Adam Scott, Hideki Matsuyama, Branden Grace, Thomas Pieters and Louis Oosthuizen. I think the run of first time major winners ends this week which rules-out Matsuyama, Grace and Pieters though the young Belgian has to be almost as eager as Rahm for this set-up. Not to mention, he crushed it at the Ryder Cup and tied for 4th at his first Masters so he is clearly not afraid (may be re-thinking that first time winner thing). 

Let us, however, stick to the repeat winner theme and think this through. Oosti is very intriguing because he's long, has great touch around the greens and can get it rolling as well as anyone. He's proven that he can handle high winds and other adverse conditions. Unfortunately, he's also proven that he can miss a cut just as easily as he can post a top five. Not ruling him out, but not feeling him either.

That leaves the two Aussies, Day and Scott and this course would also seem to fit their preferences. Both have proven they can handle U.S. Open pressure and conditions with Day coming-off four straight top tens including a 2nd in 2013 plus another 2nd in 2011 and Scott on a T9th, T4th, T18th run. They've both also been playing well lately which never hurts. Hmmmm. Day or Scott. Fuck it. Go big or go home. Someone get Jason a damn Benadryl and let's do this!      

One last piece of advice if you find yourself drunk dialing-up a few DraftKings teams this week. Lee Westwood is highway robbery at $6,800. He has to have moved past the major pressure phase of his career into the Darren Clarke no fucks left to give phase so you never know. At worst, he's a top ten waiting to happen. 

The One and Done Pick: Jason Day

The DraftKings Top Ten Values
Jason Day
Jon Rahm
Justin Rose
Adam Scott
Thomas Pieters
Kevin Kisner
Louis Oosthuizen
Rafa Cabrera-Bello
Charl Schwartzel
Lee Westwood
Email the Fantasy Golf Report at fgr@fantasygolfreport.com

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