DraftKings PGA 2.5 Millionaire Maker Golf Picks
Before we get into the picks, be advised, I do not recommend giving high exposure to any player on this list. While there are a ton of names, there are a ton of possibilities for this tournament given the high variance Chambers Bay presents. A few of these guys, and I will note which ones in the text, will likely get high usage (guessing around 25%).
Lastly, I obviously understand this is the U.S. Open, but as every player at the tournament has said, this will play significantly more like an Open Championship (British Open). So, if I refer to the Open Championship, that’s not a mistake.
*indicates high-ownership risk
Jordan Spieth $12,600* – Not only did Spieth play here at the U.S. Amatur, Spieth’s caddie, Michael Greller, used to caddie at Chambers Bay. So, there’s the experience factor here. From Spieth’s perspective, I’m not sure that helps that much. However, Greller’s experience means something. Sure, there will be bad bounces on the greens, but having someone who can at least read these complex surfaces effectively will certainly help Spieth over 72 holes.
Justin Rose $11,500* – Along with having one of the best attitudes in terms of a balance between calmness and competitiveness, Rose’s experience with links golf to go with his length and ball striking fits Chambers Bay very well. In Rose’s last four PGA Tournaments, he has a win a the Zurich Classic, a second at the Masters and a second at the Memorial (lost in lengthy playoff). He should get some decent ownage, but he has as good of a chance to win the tournament as anyone.
Henrik Stenson $10,000 – Stenson has been the model of consistency this entire season – 8-for-8 on cuts made on the PGA Tour and 5-of-6 on the European Tour. While Stenson is only averaging 288.5 yards (T98) on the PGA Tour this season, he’s hitting it 298.2 on the European Tour, which is more in line with his average on a yearly basis. Stenson has played in a fair amount of PGA events that hasn’t required driver, but Chambers Bay will this weekend, so that 2015 PGA driving statistic is flawed. Despite never having won a major, he has three top-three finishes at the Open Championship and nine top 10s at majors since 2008. Stenson is also a remarkable short game player when it comes to links golf and bump-and-runs.
Jason Day $9,900 – I’ve been on Day a few times this year. Sometimes it’s worked out really well. Sometimes not so much. I’m not jumping off the Day bangwagon, especially in this event. He definitely will have low usage considering some of the names around him, and if you could take away one round and the cut moving at the last second at the Memorial Tournament, he would arguably be having the best season on the PGA Tour for an International player. Day is also one of the best, if not the best, bunker player in the game, which will be beneficial with all the sandy dunes, not to mention his length will help him greatly.
Sergio Garcia $9,600 – I’ve spent a lot of time reading different pieces looking for people’s picks. I’ve watched and listened to a lot of the coverage on the Golf Channel. No one is talking about Sergio, and I don’t get it. Great links player, solid length, typically never blows up (meaning shooting high rounds, not talking about Sundays on the back nine) and has made every cut in the States this season. Plus, he’s another fantastic links player, who is especially great in windy conditions and from the bunkers. Lastly, look at his Open Championship resume since 2000.
Matt Kuchar $8,800 – Another player no one has really mentioned. Kuchar hits the ball straighter than just about anyone on Tour, which is huge in making sure he doesn’t get horrific bounces on the undulating fairways. He also has a fantastic attitude to handle the unpredictability of Chambers Bay, is a great option in adverse conditions and has played well at Open Championships over the last five years.
Brandt Snedeker $8,100* – Six top 10s this season, coming off two top-six finishes and another great player in windy conditions. Another player who also handles adverse conditions well.
Billy Horschel $8,000 – T13, T11 and T8 are his last three finishes. A longer hitter who can go really low.
Paul Casey $7,900 – Casey was one of the hottest players on Tour earlier in the year after four top-10 finishes and taking McIlroy into a sudden-death playoff in the WGC Match Play. He’s taken a little time off since he WD from the Masters with an illness and finished T43 at the Crowne Plaza. In the last eight years, Casey is a fantastic links player who has made the cut seven of eight times at the Open Championship that includes a T3 and a T7.
Brooks Koepka* $7,800 – While Koepka will get a lot of usage and has a great chance to be the highest of any player in the field, there are a ton of solid options around his price range, so I don’t expect it to be off the charts (25% is my guess). I have to put him in here because his length and creativity is perfect for Chambers Bay. He has four top 10s on the season, including a win at the Phoenix Open. He can go as low as anyone.
Keegan Bradley $7,700 – A long-ball hitter who has a lot of major big-tournament experience (won a PGA Championship). Along with four top 10s and 13-of-15 cuts made, he’s made every Open Championship cut he’s played in and never finished worse than T34.
Lee Westwood $7,700 – A great ball-striker who can hit it long as well as hit it low and keep the ball out of the wind. Westwood’s experience on links courses is well documented, and he has four top-four finishes at the Open Championship in the last 10 years. He’s also a particularly great scrambler with bump-and-run chips and dealing with firm greens.
All these players have several, not necessarily all, of these factors in their favor: driving distance, great links-style players, great Open Championship experience and success, some experience at Chambers Bay (only applies to Moore and Putnam), solid in tough conditions, respond well and have positive attitudes after bad breaks, and playing well recently on the PGA and European Tours.
Ryan Moore* $7,500
J.B. Holmes $7,500
Charley Hoffman $7,000
Ernie Els $6,900
Shane Lowry $6,900
Angel Cabrera $6,800
Branden Grace* $6,800
Danny Willett $6,800
Alexander Noren $6,600
Tommy Fleetwood $6,600
Tony Finau $6,400
Michael Putnam $6,300
Check out the golf forum for more information and feel free to ask questions there.View all posts by Nick Juskewycz