FanDuel PGA: U.S. Open
FanDuel PGA: U.S. Open

This article is part of our FanDuel PGA series.

U.S. Open

Pebble Beach Golf Links (7,075 yards, par-71)
$12.5M purse
$2,225,000 and 600 FedEx Cup points to the winner

Tournament Preview

The summer months are upon us as Pebble Beach is primed to host 2019's third major championship, but temperatures along California's coast will struggle to reach the upper 60s – it's almost like the PGA Tour is spending another week in Canada. The field is on quite another level, however, as every single member of the Official World Golf Ranking's top 60 will be in attendance alongside a handful of sectional qualifiers, which is the beauty of our country's Open. Anyone has a chance to get off the couch, hone their craft and head to a local qualifier each spring, but only the Tour's best players have a real shot at glory come tournament's end, as evidenced by the list of recent champions below. Can anyone overtake Brooks Koepka's throne? Let's find out.

Recent Past Champions

2018 - Brooks Koepka
2017 - Brooks Koepka
2016 - Dustin Johnson
2015 - Jordan Spieth
2014 - Martin Kaymer
2013 - Justin Rose
2012 - Webb Simpson
2011 - Rory McIlroy
2010 - Graeme McDowell

Key Stats to Victory

Strokes Gained: Approach
Driving accuracy

Champion's Profile

A surprisingly benign forecast for Pebble Beach that includes manageable winds should help lessen the course's ability to wreak havoc in a major championship setting, but a firm layout with thick rough, minuscule greens and slick putting surfaces awaits nonetheless. Precision will be the name of the game as the venue tips out at just 7,075 yards, so expect drivers to be kept in the bag on a regular basis as landing on the correct side of the fairway takes precedence. Hitting a slew of greens in regulation at Pebble Beach is no easy task, emphasizing proximity into greens and SG: Approach as a whole. Not a single soul reached the 50 total greens in regulation mark back in 2010 when Pebble last hosted the U.S. Open.

FanDuel Value Picks

The Chalk

Dustin Johnson, $12,200 - Career win Nos. 2 and 3 on the PGA Tour for Johnson came at Pebble Beach in 2009 and 2010, and the poa annua aficionado has enjoyed continued success at the venue, with top-4s in four of his previous five AT&T Pro-Am appearances before this year's T45. A lousy short-game performance limited him to a T20 in Canada last week, but the second-ranked player in the world still managed to gain 3.5 strokes on approach, and has now gained an average of 7.4 strokes from tee to green over his last five tournaments. Johnson finished runner-up at each of the first two majors of the season and would love nothing more than to steal the spotlight back from his "buddy" Brooks.

Tiger Woods, $11,900 - Rebounding from a missed cut at the PGA Championship with a top-10 at the Memorial in his most recent start, the reigning Masters champion (goosebumps) now heads back to the familiar site of his unbelievable 15-shot U.S. Open victory that came nearly 20 years ago. Fast forward and Woods is leading the entire PGA Tour in GIR percentage at 43 years old, while he also ranks third in birdie average, eighth in SG: Around-the-Green, 17th in total driving and fifth in proximity.

Rory McIlroy, $11,800 - Coming off his second victory in three months, McIlroy could easily make the case to be priced a couple hundred dollars higher in this spot. He surged to a seven-shot win by firing a final-round 61 at the RBC Canadian Open last week, ultimately gaining over 15 strokes on the field from tee to green. He leads the Tour in this metric for the season as well, while the Northern Irishman also paces his peers in SG: Total, SG: Off-the-Tee and holes per eagle.

Xander Schauffele, $10,900 - Sneakily residing inside of the OWGR's top- 0 since his win at the Sentry Tournament of Champions in early January, Schauffele's brief major championship archive deserves some attention. In just nine career major appearances, he's made the cut on eight occasions en route to six top-25s and four top-10s, including a T2 at Augusta earlier this year. He ranks top-25 in GIR percentage, SG: Tee-to-Green, proximity from 175-200+ yards and scrambling from less than 10 yards.

Longer Shots Worth a Risk

Paul Casey, $10,000 - A withdrawal at the Charles Schwab Challenge haunts Casey's recent form, as the casual gamer might look elsewhere, but a simple bout with the flu a few weeks ago shouldn't deter anyone from considering an experienced vet that ranks top-20 in both GIR percentage and SG: Approach. Casey earned runner-up honors at the AT&T Pro-Am here in February, and will look to continue finding the short grass off the tee, checking in first in total driving.

Emiliano Grillo, $8,900 - The Argentinian heads to the West Coast with top-25s in three straight events from the PGA Championship through the Memorial and ranks seventh among this week's field in SG: Tee-to-Green over his last 12 rounds. On the season, Grillo is 12th in SG: Approach, sixth in total driving, 20th in GIR percentage and seventh in proximity from 150-175 yards. He just needs to be average with the flat stick in order to produce, and the fact he gained even 1.8 strokes putting en route to a top-10 at the Memorial is a promising sign.

Tyrrell Hatton, $8,800 - Hatton has made the cut in six consecutive majors and notched a T6 in tough conditions at the U.S. Open in 2018. He'll be seeking his first international win since the 2017 Italian Open, coming in at fourth among his peers in terms of GIR percentage over his last 24 rounds. The Englishman has gained no less than 3.8 strokes tee to green in three straight starts dating to the PGA Championship.

Keegan Bradley, $8,600 - It's been a disappointing stretch of seven consecutive tourneys without a single top-25 finish, but this can be attributed to a failing putter, as Bradley has lost strokes with the flat stick in 10 straight starts. On the positive, however, he's first in proximity over his last 24 rounds and second in both GIR percentage and SG: Approach during this span. Not only are his irons on point, but he's also second in proximity from 75-100 yards this season.

Strategy Tips for this week (based on 60k standard salary cap)

Choo chooo. Do I dare stay aboard the Jordan Spieth fade train after three straight top-8s? The answer is yes, especially at $11,500. He was saved by an abnormally favorable short-game performance yet again at the Memorial Tournament, where his iron play actually got worse than it had been as he lost 3.3 strokes on approach shots. Spieth has won at Pebble Beach before, but the setup will be vastly different this week and regression to the mean from a short-game standpoint is on the horizon. He's 178th in proximity from 150-175 yards. No thanks.

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire. Bryce Danielson plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: DraftKings: brycedanielson99, FanDuel: brycedanielson99, Yahoo: RotoBOOM.
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Bryce Danielson
Bryce covers the PGA for RotoWire and provides input on the golf cheat sheet. He also contributes to the coverage for NFL, NBA and other sports.
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