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PGA DFS: US OPEN 2023 (Members Writeup)

The US Open is typically the easiest fantasy golf week of the year. Last year it was hitting Matt Fitzpatrick as an outright (which was probably the most fun outright from last year, loved watching that again on the Netflix documentary "Full Swing"), while having a sweat free week in PGA DFS. Two years ago it was one of my personal best weeks with Oosty and Scottie battling out for a win, both were go to plays that week. 4 years ago was my personal best with Gary Woodland winning the US Open as a Core Play, and a very under-owned Chez Reavie finishing top 7.


Now that is not to say that this week is going to be anything like the past 4 years, but it is encouraging that in the most loaded field of the season I have been able to sift through the data and find the optimal lineups and plays.


Speaking of the plays, we are going to have to fade a lot of great golfers this week, because we are getting a lot of great plays at soft prices. It will be difficult not to make a build with at least four 7K plays.


This Weeks Video:



US Open Key Stats:

- Effective Scoring

- Ball Striking

- Total Driving

- Effective Birdie To Bogey Ratio / Bogey Avoidance (EB2B)

- Greens Gained

- Strokes Gained Around the Green

- SGT2G


This is either going to be one of the most unique courses we have seen on tour this season or a very cookie cutter course with what is need to play well this week. It is a major so I would guess that it will be more unique than cookie cutter.


This course really seems like it could play a lot like Oakmont or Erin Hills. One played stupid that no one liked, the other just played much easier than everyone expected.


Let's get into why I am saying this, the US Open is a tournament in which we consistently see three data points being the most crucial in terms of predictable success: Total Driving, Ball Striking, and EB2B. Why those stats again this week? Well it is a major and a major always plays more difficult so that is why I like to look at stats that tells us a golfers ability not to make mistakes hence EB2B.


From there the course layout suggests that it is not really going to penalize golfers too much for missing the fairway, golfers should be able to drive the golf ball with ease. The defense off the tee is where golfers need to put their golfer ball to give themselves the best chance at hitting the green. That is why I want a golfer who can hit the ball long and straight off the tee.


The greens at this track are surprisingly big for a major, but they will be firm and fast, and they will slope into thick rough along the green. That is where the course will be most penalizing the thick rough around the green. Last week at the RBC Canadian Open we saw many golfers who missed the green on their approach shots (especially ones who short sided themselves) not be able to get up and down, many times still leaving the ball in the rough.


That is what we should expect from the rough this week as well. So if a golfer does miss the green, we need them to be able to get up and down, thus I am looking at golfers who are good SG ARG. This may not end up being the most pivotal in terms of who wins this week, but I wouldn't be surprised if it is the stat that matters the most for non elite golfers making the cut.


Course History:

Going forward Course History for an event with go by H1, H2, H3, and H4. For most weeks that will simply be 2022, 2021, 2020, and 2019 course history. (Last 4 years is course history is when the data is the most significant)


Course History is interesting this week because we have known, and I really do not think we have any good comp course. That is why I think this course is unique.


Now with any major the mentality shifts for golfers, and most of the time these majors will all try to play somewhat the same as they do for their specific major.


I will be looking at the past two US Open specifically for H1, and H2 this week but those are different courses. I would say that the Masters is actually a good comp course in the sense that you can get away with a bad drive on some holes, but positioning is a key aspect to success there. Masters 2023 results will be H4. Which leaves the 2023 PGA Championship as H3.


Erin Hills is a good comp course, as well as Genesis but only partially. These are two data points that I put into a combination stat that I will NOT be adding to the Cheat Sheet as H5 (just a lot of work for one week), but I will be including that in the Course (Comp) History this week.


SLATE CONFIDENCE RATING: Green

Last week was a RED week, and for me I am glad I took it lightly, because I ended up on what was the worse main build I could end up on possible. Which s/o to the golf gods for making a RED week my bad week, and saving the bankroll. Now for this week.


I really like the lineups that I have been able to make thus far. There doesn't seem to be any big issues (so far) with any of the plays that I will be on this week in regards to weather or injuries which is nice as well. Hopefully it will be a sweat free week because some of the plays are just asking us to play them. With it being a major we shouldn't have to worry about ownership too much as well as it tends to get spread out more.


Weather:

Another good week of not having to worry about weather.

US Open - Los Angeles Country Club Weather

US Open 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)


Outright Bets:

Xander

Cantlay

Rickie

Hatton

Rose


Possible Outrights: Morikawa, Homa, Si Woo


3 Ball Bets:

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



U.S. Open Core Plays + Outright Bets

Core Plays are the golfers that I am prioritizing the most.

US Open Core Plays - Scottie Scheffler, Patrick Cantlay, Xander Schauffele, Tyrell Hatton, Justin Rose
US Open Core Plays - Scottie Scheffler, Patrick Cantlay, Xander Schauffele, Tyrell Hatton, Justin Rose

Takeaways:

These are looking like the best plays this week, and hopefully should be easy safe plays. I say that because for the most part these golfers have been sweat free options a majority of the time they have teed it up. They all of made at least 7 straight cuts in a row as well.


Looking at Scottie he is the favorite for two reason. 1 being that he is the best play by far on the board this week based off of the NineToFive Model. The 2nd reason would be that he was part of the 2017 Walker Cup team that played competitively on this track. (Other relevant names include: Collin Morikawa, and well there are all people tour players like Will Zalatoris, Maverick McNealy, Doc Redman, and such but they don't matter for this week.


The thing with playing Scottie is your builds this week is that it is pretty easy to make a good build, because a lot of the 7K plays are just as good of plays as the 8K plays.


From there we look at both Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele. By now you guys know my rule with these two, when one of them is a good play the other is a good play, and I will treat them as such. That seems to be the case this week as the both rank out as top 5 plays. Both have been elite for Comp Course / Event History having no finish worse than top 20. The only slight worry would be with Xander who has struggled with Total Driving. He might just elect to go three wood off the tee if that continues. (Something I have seen some golfers already trying in practice rounds). Both golfers should probably have more wins then they do, and this would be the perfect situation for them to get a MAJOR win. Both golfers are Cali guys which is a little cherry on top.


Tyrrell Hatton is coming in looking like the same play as Matt Fitzpatrick was last year. I guess you could argue Fitz was actually in contention at the PGA Championship whereas Hatton wasn't but he still have a good T15 finish. Hatton has struggled at the past two US open as well, but he is definitely coming in as a different looking golfer this year. He is a top 10 stat fit, and top 10 in recent form rank. A top 20 specialist, and ranks out a top 5 play in the NineToFive Model. I love the fac that he is top 20 or better in Total Driving, Ball Striking EB2B, and Greens Gained. That should void well for him having a great week and being in contention.


I joked on the weekly video that the only worry with Hatton is whether or not he was on the Nick Taylor Celebration flight from the RBC Canadian Open to the US Open, because it seemed like those guys were having a good time, hopefully not too good of a time and are hung over.


Justin Rose I think would be priced much higher if the pricing came out at its normal Monday Morning/Afternoon time, his odds being vastly better than anyone else around his price point suggests that as well. Rose is just a great place across the board, and given this price we have no reason to fade him.


I guess the only possible reason to fade Rose would be ownership above 35% or so (guessing, would depend on what the leverage tool says).


High Exposure

US Open High Exposure Plays - Jon Rahm, Hideki Matsuyama, Adam Scott, Rickie Fowler, Wyndham Clark
US Open High Exposure Plays - Jon Rahm, Hideki Matsuyama, Adam Scott, Rickie Fowler, Wyndham Clark

Takeaways:

Hideki is coming in extremely cheap again this week, and I just think it is due to his lack of upside recently. He has made 7 straight cuts in a row with all of those finishing being top 35 or better. That screams consistency to me. He also basically has that exact same event/comp course history as well. Across of the key metrics Hideki looks like a solid safe play.


Adam Scott is basically a slightly worse version as that of Justin Rose, and I could've easily made him a core play. He should be a solid and safe play. I really don't get why Rose and Scott were priced as low as they are. Literally use Hideki who is a solid play, they are both very similar plays to him and Hideki is at $8,500 whereas they are both 1K Cheaper.


Rickie Fowler this week who is a top 12 stat fit, and top 10 in recent form this week. Now he did miss the cut at the PGA Championship on the number but there we a lot of random missed cuts that week Rickie has played like a top 15 player in the world and we are getting him at a cheap price. Heck this almost seems like an ideal setup for Rickie the way he has been hitting the ball. Worth noting that Rickie was born not too far away from LA in Murrieta, California. The stars are aligning, could this finally be the week for Rickie???


Another interesting tidbit I found in regards to golfers that have played this course before are golfers that played in the Pac 12 Championship in 2013 where Max Homa was the victor, he also broke the course record. Other golfers who played there that are also playing this week are Patrick Rodgers, Michael Kim, and Jon Rahm. Let's talk about that last guy.


Now why do I have Rahm not as a Core Play this week? Well in simple I would rather try to pay up for BOTH Cantlay and Xander if possible. Playing Rahm or Scottie basically means you're going to end up playing for 7K golfers, which is fine this week I would just rather do that with Scottie who is looking like a slightly better play. If you like Rahm more than Scottie that works, and go for it. Rahm is top 5 or better in all the Key Metrics that we are looking at and is the 2nd best playing in the 925 Model. This is a good summary of how loaded the field is this week, that I feel comfortable having Rahm as only a High Exposure play even though he is checking all the boxes.


Rounding this range is Wyndham Clark who is another example of how loaded this 7K range is. We give Clark a pass on missing the cut at the PGA Championship for two main reasons, the first being that he was coming in off of a big career win. Second because it looked like he just had a bad round 1. Heck for a while it seems like he was going to clutch up and post a low enough round in round 2 to make the cut. After that missed cut he went and finish top 15 in his next event. The worry with Clark is that his missed cut at the PGA Championship was not a surprise because he typically struggles in big events, but that is also why we are getting him at this price.


Mid Exposure

U.S. Open 2023 Mid Exposure Plays - Max Homa, Collin Morikawa, Matt Fitpatrick, Cameron Smith, Bryson DeChambeau
U.S. Open 2023 Mid Exposure Plays - Max Homa, Collin Morikawa, Matt Fitpatrick, Cameron Smith, Bryson DeChambeau

Takeaways:

Bryson is a golfer that I do not know what to do with. He has predictably went away from his bulking diet, and now looks like he has a much more balanced body. Although if you watched the CNN or Fox News Interview (some news channel interview) from last week about the LIV/PGA merger news he was crushing an energy drink which just seemed odd, and I guess I just wanted to share that. But Bryson pounding energy drinks could be the reason for his great recent play on LIV and a great finish at the PGA Championship. If we get a hybrid version of the old and newish version of Bryson he could end up being an elite value. This play feels a lot like Brooks Koepka at the Masters where the price is just a head scratcher, and you know you need to be on them, just how much is the question. He is a GPP ONLY play.


I struggle to see Cam Smith winning this week, but I think he more top 10, and top 5 upside. But like any LIV golfer it is tough to know exactly how it will carry over this week. Also Cam Smith has struggled the past two US Open which is also a big worry. One going for him is that the actual best comp courses might be ones that he grew up playing on. If that plays out to be true in hindsight we could be kicking ourselves for not loving him.


Fitzpatrick I am bullish on, he just seems like a guy that is ready (again) to go on a massive tear. The issue is that he has been a little bit too hit or miss to love, but he is a golfer that I could easily see putting his game altogether this week and capturing a win. I feel like that is the reason why you would play him to get a potential low owned winner.


Looking at articles of Homa's PAC12 Championship win in 2013 on this course was very interesting, because they basically said that he had no business winning let alone setting a course record. You could probably argue that this was a big moment and possibly a top 10 moment in his golfing career. It was definitely a moment of impact in his life, and if he is playing well that little added feeling of "I've done this on this track before" could be the deciding factor. One would argue that, this was the difference for Matt Fitzpatrick last year. Homa could be a lower owned play that presents massive upside.


Collin Morikawa is another guy that we know for sure has played this track at least prior to this week at the 2017 Walker Cup where he went 4-0 that week.


Both Homa and Morikawa finished top 6 or better at the Genesis Invitational as well, which was another comp course that I was looking at as it was designed by the same course designer that we have this week. (George Thomas).


Now Homa as struggled more recently, and the data does not like him as much, but for a course that seems to be see shot hit shot, Homa could do very well.


Morikawa on the other hand had been trending the right direction prior to his WD in his previous event. I would imagine he WD from that event out of an abundance of caution, at the same time he did give up some good money buy WD'ing so it is tough to say for sure. What we do know is that Morikawa is an elite ball striker and total driver ranking out top 10 in the field in both. Overall ranks out as the 11th best stat fit in the field. Morikawa being in contention to win on Sunday would be expected if we knew he was 100%.


Low Exposure

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

U.S. Open 2023 Low Exposure Plays - Si Woo Kim, Denny McCarthy, Mito Pereira, Justin Suh
U.S. Open 2023 Low Exposure Plays - Si Woo Kim, Denny McCarthy, Mito Pereira, Justin Suh

Takeaways:

Now the less fun plays to writeup. Let's start with Justin Suh who at least has some fun details about him as a play this week.


Justin Suh is a former USC golfer so although I couldn't find another specifically to him playing at this course I would imagine that he has played at this track at least at some point in his college career. Suh is the KFT player of the year from last season. Now he is not ranking at well this week, but the more I look at it the more I am surprised by that, like he may not be popping too much, and he may not be an elite play in any part of his game but not terrible either. Given the slight draw the has I could see him possibly make the cut and finish top 40.


Si Woo Kim is a golfer that is really standing out this week. He has not played all to well in majors but he is a great stat fit, and has been playing much more consistently this season. I do expect him to figure it out this week and make the cut at a major.


Denny McCarthy is just a worse version of a plays as Wyndham Clark this week. I would say both seem to suck at majors but Denny has actually made the cut at the PGA Championship this year, and at the US Open last year. Stat Fit is the worry with Denny where he ranks 64th in the field but every other metric that we look at suggests he could be in for a high upside week.


Mito is another LIV golfer that seems to be coming in just way too cheap. We know he plays well in majors finishing 18th at the PGA this year, and 43rd at the Masters. This is a play in a pinch that I feel more than happy to end up on.


Langasque is a golfer that has played very well on the DP Tour this season. I was a little shocked that we were getting him at this cheap of a price. If DP Tour guys do get a little bit of a boast for playing on these types of tracks more frequently this could end up being a huge value.


Lower Exposure

Lower Exposure Plays - U.S. Open 2023 - Gary Woodland, Russell Henley, Ryan Fox, Hayden Buckley, Patrick Rodgers, Andrew Putnam, Sam Stevens, Dylan Wu
Lower Exposure Plays - U.S. Open 2023 - Gary Woodland, Russell Henley, Ryan Fox, Hayden Buckley, Patrick Rodgers, Andrew Putnam, Sam Stevens, Dylan Wu

Takeaways:

Once again let's start with the fun plays. I really think that Andrew Putnam could be a sneaky play this week. He went to college at Pepperdine University which is only about 40 minutes from LA. He played well at least years US Open finishing 31st, and missed the cut on the number at the PGA Championship. That missed cut was possibly the result of having to WD in the event prior to that. He is since finished 29th, and 4th in his most recent start. He ranks 29th in the field in Ball Striking, 122 in Total Driving which will be the worry, but he is 5th in EB2B, and 21st in Greens Gained, he is a strong play considering his price.


Patrick Rodgers is a golfer that stands out as well. He is always someone that seems to be a Shoulder Shrug play, where you don't ever feel the need to go out of your way to play him, but you aren't trying to avoid him. He does have those Los Angeles Country Club ties playing in the 2013 Pac12 Championship here. He has played well in the past two US Opens finishing 31st both times. He finished 29th at the PGA Championship this year.


Sam Stevens has made 5 straight cuts in a row, and there isn't a ton of Specialist data but the data that we do have is ranking him as 2nd best in field. Once again that is due to a small sample.


Dylan Wu is the lowest priced value play that I think we can end up on this week. He is one of the best Ball Strikers in the field ranking 5th in the field. He is good enough in TD ranking 44th in the field, doesn't make too many bogey's and hits a lot of greens. He has made 14 out of 19 cuts this season as well.


Russell Henley is a golfer that can get hot when the he is a good fit for a course, the issue with him is that he is always a little bit too hit or miss to truly trust.


Gary Woodland rank top 20 in the field in Total Driving, Ball Striking and Greens Gained, the worry is that he ranks 72 in EB2B, meaning he makes too many mistakes. He is still a top 30 stat fit though. He has been playing much better this season, and I like his chance to make the cut and give us a top 40 finish.


Ryan Fox has just been playing solid this season whether that would be on the PGA Tour or on the DP Tour. This course should fit his game.

Hayden Buckley is a hit or miss play but he is another one of those golfers that is really good in TD and BS ranking out top 10 in the field. He is also pretty good in EB2B, and Greens Gained. The issue with him is that the form is poor.


Player Pool

Player Pool Breakdown:

Player Pool is rank in order of how I am prioritizing a golfer as a play this week.

U.S. Open 2023 DraftKings Player Pool
U.S. Open 2023 Player Pool

 

CASH AND GPP PLAYS:

(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 + High Exposure

GPP: Mid Exposure, Denny, Woodland, Henley, Buckley


SAMPLE LINEUP:

*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. (Finalized on Tuesday Member Writeup


I wanted to give out to sample lineups because I feels like they are perfect examples of what I like about this week. We get two awesome builds that are very similar but also very different. As long as the good 7K plays on paper these should be good plays.






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. (Comes out Tuesday Evening)


Over Owned / Under Owned:

tbd









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