Shinnecock Hills GC: Southampton, NY Par 70, 7,445 yards
Defending Champion: Brooks Koepka (-16) by four over Hideki Matsuyama and Brian Harman
Primary Stats- SG: Tee-to-Green, Bogey Avoidance, Scrambling, 3-Putt Avoidance
Secondary Stats- Fairways Gained (Accuracy), Greens in Regulation
Timeframe: Past 24 Rounds unless specified. 100 Rounds also being used
Roster Lock: 6:45 am EST (5:45 CST, 4:45 MST, 3:45 PST)
Note: I'm writing this update around 8:00 pm EST Wednesday night. This will be the only one emailed. I will be taking a look at weather again later tonight. If I see something change, I will post it on the My Fantasy Fix website. I will only email if it is a significant change or a key player is a sudden withdrawal.
It's worth talking about. Shinnecock Hills is on Long Island, so it will get some of the winds coming off of the Atlantic Ocean. Also, very few trees, if any, means there isn't much to block the winds. Thursday looks to be the worst day, with 15-20 mph winds, and gusts anywhere from 20-30 mph (Looking at National Weather Service and WindFinder). WindFinder has Thursday being a consistent 15 mph wind day, where as the National Weather Service has the 20 mph winds, with 30 mph gusts starting at 11 am EST. The first tee time is 6:45 am EST. When looking at Friday, both site have early winds around 15 mph, dropping into the single digits by 11:00 am EST.
This has me thinking there could be a significant advantage to the Thursday AM/Friday PM groups. Of course, this is weather and winds can change in a heartbeat. If you are going to be playing multiple lineups, have a couple with this Thurs AM/Fri PM Tee Time stack. I expect to end up with somewhere around 15 lineups across the industry. I will probably play 2-3 with this tee time stack, and maybe one with the Thurs PM/Fri AM stack, just in case winds get flipped. I will take a final look around 11:00 pm EST tonight. If you are up early Thursday morning, take a look then as well to see if things have changed.
It's spread out in such a deep field. However, there are still players that are garnering a lot of attention. Looking at a combination of Fantasy National and FanShare Sports, here are the highest projected owned players (First four are 20% and above): Justin Rose, Dustin Johnson, Paul Casey, Tommy Fleetwood, Phil Mickelson, Jason Day, Justin Thomas, Phil Mickelson, Emiliano Grillo, and Jon Rahm.
There also has been some buzz around players like Tiger Woods, Tony Finau, Brooks Kopeka, and Branden Grace. But, you will notice that almost every one, except Grillo and Finau, is 8k or above. So, while I'm not playing some of these names (Grace, Tiger, Kopeka, Mickelson, and Day), I don't think you have to worry about ownership fades, simply because they are highly owned. Some of this will be spread out. But, if you want to make a stand on someone because you don't like a certain portion of their game, or combine history, stats, and/or form with ownership, I think it's reasonable. I have decided to go against those five because I like others around them better. Fading anyone in this Top 15 is concerning, as they are all good players and have at least one or more things trending in their favor (For me with Tiger and Phil, specifically: I think they come in higher owned with the casual players. Plus, I have concerns off the tee for both). But, you have to take a stand and live with it.
Players I'm Using by Tier
I have not finalized my lineups. Underlined means they may not make my final rosters if I have to cut a few players
- 10k+: Johnson, Thomas, Fowler
- 9k: Rose, Rahm
- 8k: Matsuyama, Stenson, Reed, Fleetwood, Casey
- 7k: Noren, Scott, Oostuhizen, Simpson, Kuchar, Molinari, Finau, Snedeker, Poulter, Walker, Cabrera-Bello, Grillo, Hadley, Dufner.
- 6k: Stricker, Johnston, Steele, Howell
I mentioned why I'm not using Tiger and Phil above. As far as the others (includes why I may not play underlined players)
- Jason Day: Putting has been great, tends to be highest variance. Also, only wanted three players from 10k+ tier
- Bryson DeChambeau: I do worry about his response after winning his last tournament. Is a little trendy with ownership. I prefer a cheaper Casey/Fleetwood to him and would rather save the money to use elsewhere.
- Adam Scott: Great Tee-to-Green, Putter is always a major weakness. Lower ownership probably gets him onto a team of mine.
- Louis Oosthuizen: Surprisingly has gotten close to 10% ownership. Form and history are good: stats are concern. Do like a couple others in this range better.
- Tony Finau: I think he sneakily ends up close to 20% owned. That, combined with struggles to hit fairways and to scramble has me thinking about fading.
- Brandt Snedeker: Great history, rough 2018 so far. Played well last week, but narrative of tourament history leading to higher ownership than I like.
- Kiradech Aphibarnrat: Not in love with his recent form, stats didn't check out in the end either.
- Emilano Grillo: A rare late addition that may be the most popular player in this 7k range. Stats and form are great, but no history at U.S. Open. 15-17% ownership seems a little high on him, though price is nice.
New players I haven't mentioned yet:
Alex Noren (7,900): I have no idea how I missed on him. I must have gotten sidetracked with Casey at 100 higher. The downfall for Noren is he doesn't have a good U.S. Open History. However, he played well at the Famers and Honda, both played on tough courses. He's a Euro Tour player, so he has experience playing in the wind. Top 30 in every stat over last 24 rounds, and coming in at a projected 8-9% ownership.
Jason Dufner (7,000): Definitely a long-term type of play, as he comes in with two straight missed cuts. His history at U.S. Opens since 2010: Three missed Cuts, three Top 10s, an 18th, and 33rd. Projected Ownership: 1-2%. One lineup max for me if I go with him, but I like his upside at very low ownership for a former major championship winner.
Please check in around 11:00 pm EST on Wednesday on the My Fantasy Fix website to see if there is an updated weather outlook. If nothing is posted, that means there has not been a significant weather change. However you play and whoever you go with, best of luck this week, and Happy Fathers' Day to all the fathers out there!
Players Added to the Pools: Emiliano Grillo, Byeong Hun-An, Scott Piercy, Ted Potter Jr., Ryan Evans, and Rikuya Hoshino. Grillo is the only one I have potential interest in, but will be looking at him more in the coming days.
Players not in consideration for me right now that I wrote about in original article: Tiger Woods, Jason Day.
Players I may use, not written about in original article: Charles Howell (6,700, 9th in Scrambling, 19th in 3-Putt Avoidance. Does play well on Poa greens) and Dean Burmeister (6,000, made 14/17 cuts on Euro Tour, finished 30th at WGC-Mexico. Min price on all sites, not a bad punt play if you need it).
The second major of the year is upon us and it's the U.S. Open at historic Shinnecock Hills in New York State. It last hosted a U.S. Open in 2004, where Retief Goosen won at -4. The course has been lengthened by 500 yards or so for this version. There will be a lot of native areas and natural sand areas. Only one water hazard is on the course, but it doesn't look like it should come into play much for these players. A reminder that at the U.S. Open, it is Top 60 and ties that make the cut. There is no secondary cut either, so even if 80 players make the weekend, they will play both days.
There are some constants about the U.S. Open almost every year outside of 2017 at Erin Hills. Fast and multiple-tiered greens, penal rough, and lots of bogies. All of those things factor into my stats I'm looking at. Tee-to-Green encompasses almost all of that; but I will be looking at fairways gained (accuracy), greens in regulation, and scrambling. Bogey Avoidance will go along with scrambling, as the winning score will probably be around even or a few under par. Finally, since there are multi-tiered greens and they will be running fast, 3-Putt Avoidance will be key to avoid bogey or double bogey. This is not a week to expect a lot of scoring, and is why I'm going with bogey prevention. It also means position points will be crucial to win, since there won't be many birdies, eagles, or birdie streaks.
As usual, pricing is softer than normal since there are many casual players playing the Milly Maker. Also, the talent is great in this field, so we will see golfers that are normally in the 8k and low 9k range, in the 7k range. Ownership may be key if someone is getting a lot of attention; however, I'm not going to be as focused on it as I have been in past weeks. Finally, this article is being written during the FedEx St. Jude. Results and stats from that tournament will not be included in this.
Justin Thomas (11,000)
So maybe I'm a bit influenced from seeing him at PGA Championship Media Day (be on the lookout for that article in the coming weeks), but JT is one I will be focusing on this week. He was 9th a year ago at Erin Hills, and won the PGA Championship last year. He was 17th at The Masters earlier this year, has made all 10 cuts in 2018, and has no finish worse than 22nd. In the past 24 rounds, Thomas is 1st Tee-to-Green, 4th in Bogey Avoidance, and 5th in Scrambling. Over 100 rounds, he is similar in stats, including 20th in 3-Putt Avoidance. Finding the fairway is an issue both short-term and long-term. The current world #1, who has had a solid 2018, seems a little underpriced here. There are enough values in the 7k and 6k range that you can play Thomas, though I would prefer him in tournaments. (GPP, Cash Game Playable)
Rickie Fowler (10,200)
It's only a matter of time until Rickie wins a major. In the past 5 majors, he has three Top 5 finishes, and no finish worse than 22nd. This includes a 5th at last year's U.S. Open, his third Top 10 in 7 starts. Fowler is 3rd in Bogey Avoidance, and no worse than 37th in any other stat category (Fairways Gained). Over 100 rounds, he shows similar stats, but is better at scrambling (11th). The final round issue that he had earlier in the year has subsided, as he has shot under par in three of his last four events. There are a lot of things going his way, and early in the week, feels like my gut pick to win. I think the discount is pretty good if you want to start lineups with Rickie in all formats. (GPP and Cash)
Thoughts in This Tier:
I'm continuing fading Jordan Spieth (10,800) until his putting form returns. Just too many others playing better in this range right now for me to pay that much for him. I'm probably also fading Rory McIlroy (11,500) as I'm just more of a DJ guy. I don't play Rory often and while his form is pretty good, his up and down history at the U.S. Open is enough for me to fade.
Dustin Johnson (11,700) had a 4th, 2nd, and 1st at the prior three Opens before missing the cut last year. He hasn't had the win since the Tournament of Champions and only one Top 10 since then. But you know what he has done: finished no worse than 17th in an event. Short-term and Long-term stats are still really good, with Tee-to-Green, Bogey Avoidance, and GIR being his best stats.
Jason Day (10,500) confuses me. He has a really good history at the U.S. Open (5 Top 10s, one missed cut in seven starts), and has had good form until The Memorial. Yet, for as good as he is both short and long-term in Bogey Avoidance, 3-Putt Avoidance, and Scrambling, he really struggles in Fairways Gained and is average at GIR. I'm going to think about using him, but not sure if he will make my final player pool. I would play him over Spieth and over McIlroy, given the $1,000 discount.
GPP: DJ, Day
My ranking, factoring in Price: Fowler, Thomas, DJ, Day, Rory, Spieth
Justin Rose (9,900)
Fowler might be my pick to win, but Rose is the most underpriced player in my opinion. He should not be below 10k, even if it's by 100. He's coming off a win and 6th place finish in his last two starts on tour. The win was his third this season and has made all 15 cuts with 10 Top 10s. He's a former winner of the U.S. Open, and the only concern is that he's missed the cut the past two years at the U.S. Open. In the 24 round model, he's #1 in my model: 4th Tee-to-Green and 11th in both GIR and Fairways Gained. His worst stat is 38th in 3-Putt Avoidance. He's Top 10 in every timeframe except most recent four rounds. If you want to start lineups with Rose, it's a good start. (Cash and GPP)
Thoughts in This Tier:
I am not sure how much I will play the other three in this tier. I suspect the one I am pretty confident I won't play is Brooks Koepka (9,000), despite him being the defending U.S. Open champion and a really good history here. His stats are decent, with Bogey Avoidance being the only one that is really good over both the past 24 and 100 rounds. I also worry about the distractions of being the defending champion.
Jon Rahm (9,500) does have three Top 5s in his last four starts. I do wonder about his temperament at a U.S. Open but if he keeps it under control, he can play well. 4th in GIR and 17th in 3-Putt Avoidance over 24 rounds. 8th Tee-to-Green over 100 rounds. Tiger Woods (9,200) will be popular, as many casual players will just flock to him. Has played well on tough courses this season, but they were all in Florida. 2nd Tee-to-Green, 10th in Bogey Avoidance and 11th in GIR over 24 rounds. If I don't play him, it's an ownership fade.
GPP: Woods, Rahm
Henrik Stenson (8,800)
I may not be on many in the 9k range, but that is because I do like a lot in the 8k range. I'll start with Stenson, who doesn't have a stellar recent history at the U.S. Open (MC, WD, 27 in last 3). However, he is playing well this season, with six Top 10s and only one missed cut in 12 starts. He ranks #2 in my stat model over 24 rounds: 1st in Fairways Gained and GIR, 2nd in Bogey Avoidance, and 9th in 3-Putt Avoidance. He's Top 40 in every other stat category. I think he could go slightly overlooked in this range, with Sergio, Hideki, Brooks and Tiger all around him. His game would seem to fit a U.S. Open, as he is precise and long with his 3-wood. I expect a nice week from the Swede. (GPP, Cash Game Playable)
Paul Casey (8,000)
Another golfer that seems underpriced to me, Casey finally got a long-awaited win this year, and has 5 Top 10s and only one missed cut in 12 starts. The concern is his recent U.S. Open history, with no finish better than 26th since 2010. Casey is 13th Tee-to-Green over last 24 rounds, but is #1 in my model over 100 rounds. He ranks 3rd in Tee-to-Green and GIR, and 5th in Bogey Avoidance. I am not ignoring him, despite short-term stats not being as elite as his long-term stats, and not a great tournament history. This is the best Casey has played in recent years, and I'll ride the form as such a cheap price. (Cash, GPP Playable)
Other Thoughts in This Tier:
- Hideki Matsuyama (8,900) is coming off a 13th and 16th in in his last two starts on Tour. He has Two Top 10s and has made four cuts in his last five U.S. Open starts. 10th in Bogey Avoidance, 18th in Scrambling, and 29th Tee-to-Green over last 24 rounds.
- Patrick Reed (8,500) hasn't missed a cut since his win at The Masters. He has made three of four cuts with two Top 20s in his four U.S. Open starts. Ranks 4th in Scrambling, 7th in Bogey Avoidance, and 8th Tee-to-Green over last 24 rounds. Similar over 100 rounds for Scrambling and Bogey Avoidance. Struggles with Fairways Gained over both ranges.
- Bryson DeChambeau (8,300) should be a trendy play, coming off his win in his last start at The Memorial. Does have a 15th at a U.S. Open, but also has two missed cuts. 5th in GIR, and 6th Tee-to-Green and Bogey Avoidance over last 24 rounds. Similar strengths over 100 rounds, with weakness being 3-Putt Avoidance (below average over both ranges).
- Tommy Fleetwood (8,100) has a win, eight Top 10s, and only one missed cut in 19 starts this season. Played well at the Masters, finishing 17th, and has two solid finishes at the U.S. Open (4th and 27th). 12th in Tee-to-Green and Fairways Gained, and 17th in GIR in past 24 rounds. Similar strengths over 100 rounds: 3-Putt Avoidance and Scrambling his weaknesses.
Cash: Reed, Fleetwood
GPP: Matsuyama, DeChambeau, Reed, Fleetwood
Matt Kuchar (7,600)
If it's a major, it means Kuchar is underpriced in the 7k range. I just don't get why he's lower priced than Cantlay or Schwartzel, or the same price as Bradley. He hasn't missed a cut in the past 8 starts at the U.S. Open, with 5 Top 16 finishes, and only one outside the Top 30. Kuchar only has one missed cut this season, and while he may not be getting as many Top 10s as he has in the past, he's still racking up Top 25s. His stats are consistent over 24 and 100 rounds. For 24 rounds: 6th in Scrambling, 18th in Fairways Gained, and 22nd in Tee-to-Green and Bogey Avoidance. For 100 rounds, his worst rank is 33rd in 3-Putt Avoidance, with his best being 10th in Scrambling. He's a must play in cash games this week at this price. If he was in the 8k range, he would be a borderline GPP Play, but at 7,600, he's also a great tournament play. He will be one of the few players that I don't care how chalky he gets: He will be in my lineups. (Cash and GPP)
Ian Poulter (7,300)
I go from a player that everyone like and is jovial, to one that annoys players and isn't a jovial person on the course. Poulter has played well again this year, winning in Houston and 4 straight Top 20s worldwide, and 12 of those 16 rounds being in the 60s. Poulter hasn't played the U.S. Open the past couple of years, but prior to that, he made the cut in 5 of 6 starts. His recent stats are pretty good: 16th in Fairways Gained, 19th in GIR, and 26th Tee-to-Green. Over 100 rounds, he ranks 2nd in Scrambling and 30th in 3-Putt Avoidance. In either sample, the worst rank he has is 51st (24 rounds- 3 Putt Avoidance). I like his form, and his success in making cuts at the U.S. Open. He will go slightly lower owned due to people not liking Poulter. Fine with me, I'll take him at this price. (Cash, GPP Playable)
Other Thoughts in This Tier:
Lots of plays as always in 7k range. I'm going to mention everyone I'm considering with main reason why:
- Adam Scott (7,900): Great Tee-to-Green and GIR, good everywhere else except 3-Putt Avoidance
- Louis Oosthuizen (7,800): Three straight Top 25s at U.S. Open, back-to-back top 15s this year
- Webb Simpson (7,700): Former U.S. Open winner, a win and 4 Top 10s this season.
- Francesco Molinari (7,600): 1st and 2nd in last two starts this season, solid stats Tee-to-Green, Fairways Gained, and GIR.
- Tony Finau (7,500): Only 3 missed cuts this year, really good stats outside of Fairways Gained.
- Brandt Snedeker (7,300): 6 Top 25s with 4 Top 10s since 2010 at U.S. Open. Played well at Memphis in his last tournament.
- Jimmy Walker (7,300): Four straight Top 20s, stats in last 24 are good, outside of Fairways Gained.
- Rafa Cabrera Bello (7,200): 17th, 8th, and 4th in last three starts this season
- Kiradech Aphibarnrat (7,200): Three straight Top 30s and six Top 10s this season before missing cut in first trip to FedEx St. Jude
- Chesson Hadley (7,000): 5 Top 10s, 2 missed cuts in 16 starts this season.
Cash: Simpson, Molinari, Finau, Cabrera-Bello, Hadley, Aphibarnrat Playable
GPP: Everyone I mentioned
Steve Stricker (6,900)
Stricker continues to be consistent on the PGA Tour. He has been playing well on the Champions Tour as well. He has only missed one cut in seven starts on the PGA Tour this season. He's also been consistent at the U.S. Open, with five straight Top 25s. Over the last 24 rounds, Stricker ranks 9th in Fairways Gained, 16th in GIR, and 24th in Bogey Avoidance. Expand it to 100 rounds, he ranks 3rd in 3-Putt Avoidance, 7th in Fairways Gained, 9th in Scrambling, and 12th in Bogey Avoidance. I like his ability to make cuts and avoid bogeys. He's a terrific value in this range and is playable in all formats. (Cash and GPP)
Brendan Steele (6,800)
Steele hasn't been seen since The Players Championship, but only has missed one cut this season and did win at the season-opening Safeway Classic. Steele has back to back Top 15s at the U.S. Open, so he isn't afraid of a USGA layout. Steele ranks 19th in GIR and Tee-to-Green over last 24 rounds. Over last 100 rounds, Steele is 18th Tee-to-Green and 23rd in GIR. He's below average in Scrambling over both ranges. Steele is a good player that could be in the 7k range. I don't mind the discount on Steele in tournaments. (GPP)
Thoughts in This Tier:
- Chez Reavie (6,900) was 16th last year at the U.S. Open, and had a good week in Memphis last week, showing some of that form that he had earlier this season. Only stat that stands out in past 24 rounds is 2nd in Fairways Gained. Over last 100 rounds though, he ranks 2nd in Fairways Gained, 8th in Bogey Avoidance, and Top 25 in every stat except Tee-to-Green (51st).
- Andrew "Beef" Johnston (6,900) has made the cut in both of his U.S. Open appearances. Mainly plays in Europe, so not many stats on him. Only double-digit bogeys in two of his last ten starts.
- If looking for some Top 100 in the Official World Golf Rankings plays in this range, they include: Matthew Wallace (6,900, 90th), Alexander Levy (6,800, 49th), and Thorbjorn Olesen (6,700, 75th). Levy is my favorite play of the bunch.
Cash: Reavie is Playable
GPP: Reavie, Johnston, Levy, Wallace, Olesen
The U.S. Open is a high variance event. If multi-entering contests, make sure to have a solid core of players, but don't be afraid to mix in a few plays. Also, with any sort of multi-entering contest, take stands against players. I will update this on Monday night with anything relevant from Memphis, as well as any field changes that have occured. Wednesday, I will look at weather, ownership, and if there are any players I have gotten more or less confident in. Good luck with your lineups and feel free to contact me on Twitter (@skeeterrobinson) if you have any questions or suggestions.