This week, the US Open comes to the pacific northwest for the very first time in its 115 year history. Located in University Place, Washington, Chambers Bay was designed as a tribute to the traditional links of Scotland. Phil Mickelson recently said that he feels the course will be playing more like an Open Championship than a US Open, so we can expect this year’s event to vary from national championships we have become accustomed to.
At last year’s tournament, Martin Kaymer lapped the field finishing eight strokes ahead of Rickie Fowler and Erik Compton. Compton was a crowd favourite, competing as a survivor of multiple heart transplants. In the end it was Kaymer, who continued an outstanding couple months of golf, having already won the Players Championship the previous month.
This will undoubtedly be an interesting and entertaining week as many of the players are already commenting on the unique conditions. The greens will certainly be a factor, with putts breaking ridiculous amounts. For these reasons, I believe players to keep a special eye on are those who are consistent performers with the putter, and who hit a lot of greens. Here are my picks for the week.
Rory McIlroy - First ranked player in the world for a reason. Has been on a tear this year and when he drives the ball as well as he can, it is difficult to catch him.
Jordan Spieth - Has been putting extremely well. He will be looking to emulate his putting performance from Augusta back in April. Consistent driver of the golf ball and incredibly confident.
Henrik Stenson - His greens in regulation ranking has dropped from 4th to 15th. Playing consistent golf and looking for his first major.
Dustin Johnson - Is playing the kind of golf that could allow him to break through for his first major victory, and put behind him his disappointments of the 2010 US Open and PGA Championship. A poor final round in the US Open, and an unfortunate bunker ruling at the PGA prevented Johnson from earning his first major championship.
Phil Mickelson - Looking for the career grand slam. Phil has admitted that he has not always fared well with links style golf, but he did manage to win the 2013 Open Championship. Seems like he is a runner-up at this event every other year.
Jason Day - The last 3 years has seen him compete in major after major. One has to believe that it is just a matter of time before he breaks through for that inaugural victory.
Brandt Snedeker - Has begun to perform better in links golf since adopting philosophy that if he simply hits the green, he will make up ground on the field through putting. Ranks 6th on tour in strokes gained putting.
Hideki Matsuyama - Has only finished outside of the top-20 six times since October. His game is primed for a memorable week. Ranks 9th in greens hit in regulation.
Jim Furyk - Former US Open Champion (2003) ranks 12th on Tour in greens in regulation. Contended in 2012 US Open, and is playing great golf this year, having won at the RBC Heritage.
Jimmy Walker - Two wins, and six top-10 finishes this season. Ranks first on Tour in strokes gained putting. Looking for his first major win.
Erik Compton - Fan favourite, had a terrific tournament last year and therefore has experience competing on this stage. Ranks 9th on Tour in strokes gained putting.
George Coetzee - Having a decent year on the European Tour, and has experience playing links style golf. Came to the US a couple weeks ago to get settled and start preparing.
This could very well be my best shot at ever making a million dollars though the golf industry! This week DraftKings is offering a prize of $1,000,000 dollars! While you won’t win quite as much as the actual US Open champion, you will come pretty close. Here’s a look at the two teams I’m fielding this week.
Rory McIlroy -$13,000
Phil Mickelson - $10,200
Kevin Na - $7,100
Russell Henley - $6,900
George McNeill - $6,600
Erik Compton - $6,100
Jordan Spieth - $12,600
Patrick Reed - $8,500
Billy Horschel - $8,000
Chris Kirk - $7,400
Marc Leishman - $7,000
Cameron Tringale - $6,400
Last week, my philosophy of simply picking guys who could do well paid off. I finished in the money! My game plan for this week is a little different. If you look at the past few US Opens, the leaderboard is often stacked with big names, and few surprises. For this reason, my strategy this week is to pick a “big-gun” and then surround them with established players. DraftKings does a great job of keeping it interesting, because you have to use your money wisely. I was looking for players to fill out my team who really wouldn’t be considered surprising if they appeared on the leaderboard come Sunday afternoon.
Draft Your Team Now
About the Author
This article was written by Jonathan Carr (@jonathanwcarr) as part of our weekly #FantasyGolf series. Each week we preview the upcoming PGA Tour event and highlight some of the players we'll be keeping an eye on. As a scratch golfer himself, Jonathan has a keen eye for what it takes to be successful on and off the golf course. His passion for golf is surpassed only by his passion for his faith and his family. Read some of Jonathan's other articles here.
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