When filling out a DraftKings lineup (use promo code SGP), picking among the favorites is a fairly safe proposition. It’s when you have to choose between a pool of golfers down the line is where you make or break your chance to win big.
Here’s the critical decisions you’ll face as you fill out your lineup for the 2019 U.S. Open (values courtesy of DraftKings):
Golfers Valued $8,000-$8,900
- Bubba Watson – $8,900
- Louis Oosthuizen – $8,800
- Phil Mickelson – $8,700
- Brandt Snedeker – $8,600
- Patrick Reed – $8,500
- Chez Reavie – $8,400
- Jason Kokrak – $8,300
- Kevin Streelman – $8,200
- Charley Hoffman – $8,100
- Daniel Berger – $8,000
There’s some big names in this group like Bubba, Oosthuizen, Snedeker and Phil, but the players I’m more gravitating towards those at the bottom half of this tier.
The chalky play of the guys towards the lower half of the $8,000 range is Chez Reavie, who wowed at Pebble Beach last week and will be on the top of mind of casual fans when filling out a lineup. Despite the popularity, his recent form and style of play are good fits for TPC River Highlands. Reavie is currently on a run that’s seen him gain 1.2 strokes per round on the field tee to green over his last five tournaments. While he’ll have to be surrounded by some contrarian plays to differentiate a lineup in a GPP, he should be fine to use despite the popular love.
Kevin Streelman is going to see his popularity rise this week, but his ownership shouldn’t get too out of control. He’s on a fantastic streak over his last five tournaments with three Top 10’s and solid ball striking figures. He is a former winner at TPC River Highlands and has two other Top 10’s on his resume there. Given his recent play, another good finish is in order.
Charley Hoffman is a player I like as a dark horse to win the tournament, and he should be a solid DFS option as well. His ownership percentage shouldn’t be too crazy given his recent form, but he’s shown solid ball striking over his last handful of tournaments and he has a solid track record at TPC River Highlands. His price and upside allows room in a budget to grab another high priced golfer in a lineup.
Golfers Valued $7,500-$7,900
- Viktor Hovland – $7,900
- Emiliano Grillo – $7,900
- Byeong Hun An – $7,800
- Ryan Moore – $7,800
- Sungjae Im – $7,800
- Russell Knox – $7,700
- Kevin Kisner – $7,700
- Keegan Bradley – $7,700
- Adam Hadwin – $7,600
- C.T. Pan – $7,600
- Bud Cauley – $7,600
- Andrew Putnam – $7,600
I feel like I could write the same thing about Emiliano Grillo, Byeong Hun An, and Keegan Bradley this week. All of them are fantastic from tee to green and are putting up some very gaudy ball striking statistics, and all of them are huge liabilities on the greens and cost themselves strokes when they’re not on point. While it’s possible a bad putting week will sink one of these guys, at least one if not all of them should be towards the top of the strokes gained statistics this week. At a golf course that rewards a solid all around game, that could lead to big upside at their prices this week.
Viktor Hovland is the real deal. While the price is a little overinflated anyone who thinks his performance at Pebble Beach is a fluke is sorely misguided. It wasn’t like he was pouring in putts all weekend at Pebble Beach to get lucky with his finish – he was 2nd in the field in Strokes Gained Tee-to-Green! He was the #1 amateur in the world before he turned pro and the best player on what amounted to the Fab 5 of College Golf. He is more than equipped to make a seamless transition from an amateur to a professional. TPC River Highlands won’t have too many tricks up its sleeve, and Hovland should have a good performance in his pro debut.
Bottom of the Barrel (Golfers <$7,500)
Joaquin Niemann – $7,400: Niemann continues to round back into the form he demonstrated in 2018 when he broke onto the PGA Tour. Over his last three tournaments he’s gained over 1.25 strokes on the field tee-to-green, only to be hampered by some weak putting performances. However, he has improved on the greens since the beginning of the season and he feels close to putting it all together for a solid finish.
Sepp Straka – $7,100: It seems like Straka has finally figured things out in his rookie year on the PGA Tour. While he faded at both the Canadian Open and the U.S. Open, he put together some very solid rounds over the course of those two tournaments and he’s beginning to make cuts on a more consistent basis. Given how well he did on two less-than-driver golf courses, he should be able to pick up right where he left off.
Troy Merritt – $7,100: Merritt has two Top 20 finishes over his last four tournaments and has recorded positive strokes gained on the field in nine of his last 16 rounds, primarily on the strength of his approach shots. He’s shown good command with both his wedges and his long irons this year on the PGA Tour, and that could be a recipe for success at TPC River Highlands this week.
Others to Consider: Dylan Frittelli ($7,100), Trey Mullinax ($6,800), Alex Prugh ($6,800), Hank Lebioda ($6,700)