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PGA DFS: The US OPEN Betting Picks + Fantasy Golf Deep Dive (Core Plays, Bets, Lineup Process, Value Plays, Ownership Leverage, and Player Pool)

Updated: Jun 13

Breaking down my step-by-step process to give you the top picks, plays and bets for the US Open.

*Please note I always publish the rough draft version of this writeup, and then come back and edit it / correct it later that day. If there are grammatical errors that is why.


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Below is a breakdown of the key data points we will be analyzing to identify the top golfers for this week and the reasoning behind it. The NineToFive Data provides curated insights to help us understand why a golfer is a strong or weak choice for the upcoming tournament. I will review the NineToFive Data's assessments and share my own analysis on these selections. To access this valuable data and more from NineToFive, simply click the 'join now' button below and sign up for just $10 a month.


Key Stats:

*Based off of which key stats led to golfers winning but also making the cut in previous years at the course tournament. When no course history is available I will difficult to compare course history. I look for which one or two Strokes Gained stats matter the most. Look to see whether this is a wedge fest or a long iron event. (175-125 stats don't really matter in terms of predicting who will play well in a given week) Find out which scoring stat matters the most (BOB, B2B, or BA). Find if this is a course in which accuracy or distance matters the most.

  • Effective Birdie to Bogey Ratio (EB2B) - B2B ratio combined with Bogey Avoidance

  • Ball Striking (BS)

  • Total Driving (TD)

  • Effective Scoring (ESCR) - NineToFive Stat

  • 200+ Scoring

  • Strokes Gained Around the Green

The US Open is always interesting as it always promotes the same key stats even though it takes places at different courses each year. Given the course that we have this week it would appear that all of those same key stats that we are used to targeting for the US Open are going to be good key stats to use this week.

Course History:

Going forward Course History for an event with go by H1, H2, H3, and H4. For most weeks that will simply be 2023, 2022, 2021, and 2020 course history. (Last 4 years is course history is when the data is the most significant)

  • H1: US Open 2023

  • H2: US Open 2022

  • H3: PGA Championship 2024

  • H4: Masters 2024

The interesting thing about this week is that there really isn't a direct comparable course, so I think the best thing to look at is the past 2 majors, and the past two US Open's when trying to find similar playing conditions to use for course history. You could just default to the Specialist data as well.


Slate confidence rating is a way of looking at the slate in terms of predictability. Red will be a week in which I am reducing my units bet. Typically this will mean entering the same amount of lineups but in a contest where the entry $ amount is less. A Yellow week is a standard week. Green is a week that appears to be very easy to predict, these are weeks in which we typically have a full field event that is loaded. (Majors) thus it should be very easy to make a good profitable lineup. **Note for betting my strategy does not change per week.

Last week was a tough week to make a good build on paper, this week it appears to be the exact opposite where you can really make a lot of builds work.


Pretty ideal conditions this week.

Betting Picks

First Round Leader

AM Tee Times

I will be targeting AM Tee Times that rank out top 7 for FRL betting using the NineToFive betting sheet until further notice (basically if weather tells us not to)

3 Ball Bets:

Available by clicking on either the Ownership Leverage, or Props page on NineToFive, then click on the 3 person Icon.

Outright Bets:

Picture 1 = Golfers that are the statical best Outright Bets. This is determined by looking at which data points were the most predictable in regards to players that won the past two seasons. These golfers meet at least 80% or more of the statical thresholds used to determine winners.

  • Scottie 3.25/1

  • Rory 12/1

  • Xander 11/1

  • Collin Morikawa 14/1

  • Bryson DeChambeau 20/1

  • Ludvig Aberg 22/1 *Wednesday add

  • Hideki 45/1 *Wednesday add

Core Plays + Outright Bets

Core Plays are the golfers that I am prioritizing the most


In simple here there really isn't a wrong choice in this group, I have been able to make some good builds by going Xander and Morikawa a decent amount, but that is really my only lean. These plays speak for themselves.

Scottie ranks 1st in all the key metrics, the previous 3 times a golfer was ranked that way they have all won. That being said all those previous times didn't have 1, let alone 2 golfers that also ranked top 6 or better in all the key metrics for the week. That is how much better these three golfers are on paper compared to the field.

Collin Morikawa is the most mispriced elite golfer in the field. Had the pricing came out at its normal time, I believe he would be $11,000. (Morikawa had a good weekend last week, pricing came out before he shot up the leaderboard)

All four are the right answer its, just about being the most correct here.

High Exposure

Players that I am still going out of my way to roster, but have a slight pause for whether that be course history, recent form, stat fit, safety, upside or price. (*This is based off of the the NineToFive Data Tag, which accurately marks a slight flaw in a great play thus why they would only be high exposure plays)


I have mentioned this a bunch, but my one worry with Bryson is that he has been pretty lucky to finish as high as he has in both majors this year. At the same time its not like he isn't playing great golf. Just don't expect another chip in eagle from 50+ yards away. I have been targeting Bryson for this week, and course for a few months, and I think his game should set up extremely well here assuming he doesn't make too many mental mistakes with his short game.

I believe Cameron Smith would get a big bump if short-game prowess is a big factor this week, and you could argue his major that he won was a similar track. On a course where the ball will run out a lot both on the fairway and green. The price is once again great for Cameron Smith the one worry is the 63rd place finish at the PGA Championship. Still this price is almost too good to pass up on.

Same goes for these next 3 golfers. Tommy Fleetwood and Hideki are both coming in checking all the boxes, and are going to be difficult not to love at this price. (strangely enough not to high owned either). These are simple clicks this week.

Conners should be an 8K player this week and I am guessing the only reason he is not is due to his struggles at previous US Opens, because besides that he is an elite option, as he ranks out top 10 in Specialist Fit, Recent Form, and Stat Fit. This price elevates any worry about poor performances at previous US Opens as he is simply too cheap now.

Mid Exposure

Players that are still good plays but have more than one flaw to them as a play this week. This could be due to recent form, stat fit, course history, injury uncertainly or just due to the fact that their are better plays around their price tag.


Only 2 players in this range that I want to touch on more in depth are Byeong Hun An, and Aaron Rai.

Hun An is a player I have ended up on more than what this ranked of "Mid Exposure" would suggest and that is just do to lineup construction thus far, as I keep ending up at his price. (already having Conners). He is a great play on paper, assuming he putts at his average he should be in for a made cut, and if he putts slightly better than his average he could provide massive Point Per Dollar Upside.

Aaron Rai is a play I have gotten on more as the week has progressed, and that is because he is a great stat it, and he has now made 5 straight cuts in a row. I love pairing him with one of the Core Plays as this should be a cheap made cut.

Low Exposure

Risk/Reward Plays, Plays to get a made cut, Shoulder Shrug Plays, or Fomo Plays


The one player that I want to talk about more in this range is Lowry. Lowry had a fine week going last week up until Sunday. On Sunday he shot an 85. Obviously that was an outlier round for him, and a round in which he probably just gave up on mentally. I can look past that, and if you just give him the course average for that round he would had finished top 20. If you do that he would look much much more appealing at this price. Lowry has found a way to draw me back in each week, and for the most part its worked out as he has made 12 straight cuts on the PGA Tour.

The other 4 golfers are more hit or miss plays.

      Lower Exposure

Last players that are worth going out of your way to target when needed.


Not too much to dive into with this range, as they are all values, and they all speak for themselves. If you're using these golfers you're most likely doing a studs and duds build, and I think they all make sense as plays when doing that.


Player Pool

Player Pool Breakdown:

Player Pool is rank in order of how I am prioritizing a golfer as a play this week. (This is based off of 20 entry max lineups. For 150 entry lineups I will open up the player pool slightly more but this will be determined by the lineup optimizer)


(Finalized on Tuesday Member Writeup)

Cash Play: Highest Likelihood to make the cut.

GPP Play: Reduced Likelihood to make the cut, but if they do they have a high likelihood to exceed their salary.

Cash: Core, Smith, Fleetwood, Conners, Rai

GPP: Bryson, Theegala, Henley, Keegan, Billy Horschel, Finau, Hun AN


*This is a sample lineup for you to use as a reference tool. This is typically the first look lineup that I get onto for the week. Most of the time my main lineup will be adjusted throughout the week as I do a deeper dive.

Good example of how easy it is to make a solid fair and balanced build.

Ownership Leverage

Taking a look at the players that are under-owned, and too high owned. Talking about why.

*Tool Update Alert* New to 925s Ownership Leverage Tool - Return Value for Finishing Position: Measuring where a golfer needs to finish to return value based on their current ownership projection at their price point.

If this ownership for Rory and Xander does not pick up more steam that will be difficult not to want to be at least double the field. I know Scottie has been elite this year, but his biggest struggle this year has been with his putter. If these greens are as fast as they seem like they are going to be that might lead to a little bit more of a slip up. I could see that being the slight edge that maybe Xander needs to beat Scottie this week.

There's not really a need to be on Straka, Im, Bumester, and C Bez in the double digits. I get the appeal in GPPs but they are a little bit over-valued right now. The ownership leverage tool as a whole is telling us that the fair and balanced build path is a spot in which you can gain huge leverage. (see Conners ownership)

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Terry Shelby
Terry Shelby

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