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Tournament History Files
Favorite Plays by Tier
One change for Skeeter: In the 6k Tier, Chez Reavie is now my favorite play. I'm still using Willett, but have gotten on Reavie more due to a decent past at Pebble and U.S. Opens, he tends to play well on the west coast, and ranks #1 in Fairways hit over the last 24 rounds.
Roster Lock: 6:45 am PST (9:45 EST, 8:45 CST, 7:45 MST)
After some of the weather we have had this season and talk about its potential this week at Pebble Beach, it ends up being quite calm. No rain, cool temperatures around 60-65 degrees, and not much wind. It will be around 10 mph almost every day, with the only chance at 15 mph being Friday afternoon. But, even then, the gusts will be 15 mph and nothing after that. So, technically, the PM/AM wave will probably end up with a slight advantage. Am I going and changing lineups based on that? Would I use it as a deep tiebreaker? Sure. I am playing 15 lineups this week, and have stacked each wave once. But in my main lineup, I am not factoring the tee time waves into decision making.
It looks like ownership may be spread out a little bit this week. I look at Fantasy National and FanShare Sports for ownership and while most of the same names will appear in the Top 10-15, the order and exactly how popular is another story. Dustin Johnson is by far the highest according to FanShare, potentially nearing 25%. I don't think it gets that high, but the narrative on DJ is there. Looking at both, here are names that are towards the top, which basically means 15-20% projections (in no particular order): Xander Schauffele, Webb Simpson, Matt Kuchar, Hideki Matsuyama, Henrik Stenson, Tiger Woods, Patrick Cantlay, Justin Thomas, and Jim Furyk.
There may be some other players that approach this range (Jason Day, Brandt Snedeker, Paul Casey) but these seem to be the names at the top. Which means if you are planning on using a lot of these golfers (I am), make sure you either don't throw them all into a lineup, or if you do, leave significant salary on the table ($400+) in tournaments. You don't need to be contrarian in every spot; just do it in 1-2 spots or with salary left on the table.
- My Player Pool is big this week: 26 golfers for 90 spots, as I'm playing 15 lineups. I did play some in only 1 or 2 of the 15 lineups. My highest owned golfer is Dustin Johnson. His form at both the U.S. Open and Pebble Beach, combined with an elite all-around game and casual attitude which helps at a U.S. Open is why I'm playing him heavily. I have him in 7 of 15 lineups.
- My two biggest decisions came down to Thomas vs Cantlay and Schauffele vs Matsuyama. I took Thomas over Cantlay due to the price discount and I think Thomas is simply the better golfer. I don't mind Cantlay; but I still think he could get close to 20% ownership in some tournaments, and while he's probably a better option for a Top 10, I think Thomas has better win equity. I ended up choosing Hideki over Xander becuase when I looked at performance on short courses for both short-term and long-term, Hideki was superior in fairways hit and greens in regulation. Xander does tend to show up at big events, but hasn't been in the best of form. Where as Hideki feels like he's trending more positively. However, since it has a short-term record of doing well, Xander was my last person eliminated from my player pool.
- Other changes in my player pool that I may or may not have discussed on Monday Night. Added Kevin Na (does well on shorter courses, and recent form and 12 round stats are pretty good) and Justin Harding (Great scrambler and putter when looking at Euro Tour stats) and off of Matt Wallace (deeper look into stats didn't do it for me, and also came down to me liking Simpson and Stenson signifcantly more at that price range).
- It sounds like the greens will be running at around 12 on the stimp meter, which is slower than most U.S. Opens. I would assume this is done for two reasons: 1. Greens Management is being done by Pebble Beach, and not the USGA. 2. These greens are so small, they have to give players a chance to hold them with good shots. This doesn't mean they will be easy or could run a little faster if the winds pick up more than expected.
- I think at the end of the week, the winning score falls somewhere around Even to -4. I think -1 is the winning score, as it will be a tough, but fair test. Weather looks great, no apparent weather events, and maybe a little bit of a different philosophy from the USGA.
Good luck to all of you with your lineups this week. Also, thank you for reading this and for listening in to our podcast this week. We greatly appreciate it and hope you enjoy the U.S. Open!
Opening Thoughts and Information
The U.S. Open returns to one of their classic courses: Pebble Beach. It provides us a weird circumstance when looking at prior history. First of all, when the tour plays here in February, each golfer gets one round on Pebble Beach, and if they make the cut, get to play a second round at Pebble Beach on Sunday. Add to it that it's a Pro-Am, so pins and playing conditions are easier than usual, and you can begin to see why tournament history is something you can look at, but I wouldn't rely on it exclusively. The only thing that could help slightly is that if you come across any strokes gained data from the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, it's exclusively from Pebble Beach, as they don't have ShotTracker at Monterey Peninsula or Spyglass Hill.
If you want to take a look at the course and hole-by-hole flyovers, the USGA has done a nice job of this. Click Here to see the course and click on each hole to see the flyovers. One thing that I noticed on it that I heard someone else mention: while the rough will be thick on most holes, there are areas it's not thick at all: and that's near the edges of cliffs or drop offs to the ocean. Why? Well, in typical USGA fashion, they want any shots that get close to the edge to run off and be a penalty. Though if the tide is out, you may see a player or two elect to hit a shot from the beach, if possible. Also, I don't think the rough in the video is as thick as it will play. Check out Patrick Cantlay's Instagram to see how thick the rough is.
All of this has me looking at players who can hit fairways and scramble to avoid bogies. The latter is typical at U.S. Opens, but really, any player can win this event. The bombers have to consider laying up to avoid the nearly penal rough. The course is short at just under 7,100 yards, allowing all to have a chance to win. I think players who have played Pebble Beach before will be at an advantage, but I wouldn't necessarily exclude players who haven't played here or haven't played since the last U.S. Open here in 2010 (+1 won it back then).