We all know statistics can help identify trends in specific golfers, and may help identify a player that is on the brink of a good round or tournament. If you haven’t checked out the weekend-only cheat sheet, then you should. Normally we have all the live SG and scoring stats from Rds 1 and 2 but since this is a major, we are forced to use the YTD stats because they don’t release the RD 1/2 stats during the majors, we had to suffer through this the first week of weekend golf too at the Masters. Either way, the cheat sheet is awesome and has some interesting value metrics this week.
Weekend Only Player Focus
These are golfers that are outside the top 10 heading into the weekend, who we expect to be moving up the leader-board. To move up the leader-board on moving day, you need to make birdies and eagles, and that means DraftKings points, especially in DK Weekend contests.
Any of The Big Dogs Coming From the Back: Matt Kuchar ($7,900), Gary Woodland ($7,600), Jordan Spieth ($9,700), Branden Grace ($8,400), and Shane Lowry ($7,800), are all at least seven shots back to start the third round and will need to play at least one crazy low round if they hope to have a chance in at a U.S Open. All of them are capable of posting a very low number here, and Lowry has shown a recent flare for strong finishes in this championship.
Justin Thomas ($8,600): Thomas leads the PGA Tour in Birdie or Better percentage (enough said) and has the fourth-best Birdie or Better percentage from 175 to 200 yards in this field. Thomas has posted 10 birdies in the first two rounds and proved his capability of going extremely low with his 59 in Hawaii earlier this year. JT is one of my personal favorite plays for the weekend slate.
Sergio Garcia ($9,100): In The Winning Element we wrote this about Sergio: “Regardless, his shot imagination and short game* not putting* brilliance should help him stay close to the first page of the leaderboard come Sunday”. After two rounds in which he accumulated six birdies and one eagle, it certainly looks like Garcia will be in contention come Sunday.
Brendan Steele ($7,600): Steele has an amazing twelve birdies and one eagle through the first two rounds. It’s safe to say his game fits this course well. Steele’s second round of seven birdies including the streak of three would have posted a big weekend number and he is just far enough off the lead (three shots back) to not get all conservative on us now.
Trey Mullinax ($7,100): Per this week’s Form Generator, Mullinax’s +2.13 four-week differential in Strokes Gained: Ball Striking and his year-to-date ranking in GIR+F percentage both led the U.S. Open field. Mullinax shot a 69 on Sunday at last week’s St. Jude Classic, and at near minimum price for the weekend, he allows you to fit in some studs.
These are players currently inside the top-10 of the tournament, who’s form we don’t expect to drop off at all. We expect them to continue to make eagles and birdies, making them must haves on your weekend only teams.
Rickie Fowler ($9,200): Fowler was flawless in round one with seven birdies and zero bogeys. Any player capable of putting up a round like that at Erin Hill is worth firing up again. Moreover, Fowler is in amazing form (especially if you ignore the missed cut from last week): Rickie had seven finishes of 16th or better in eight tournaments before the MC, including a win, a second, a third, and a fourth-place finish. I really like Fowler to bounce back from Fridays disappointing 73 and contend for his first major championship late on Sunday.
Paul Casey ($8,100): Save for a triple-bogey 8 in the second round, Casey has looked ready to win his first major championship this weekend. The most impressive part of Casey’s first two rounds was the testicular fortitude he demonstrated after carding the snowman: Casey took another bogey immediately after the eight, steadied himself with a par at #16, then ripped off five birdies in a row! Like Steel, Casey has a delicious 12 birdies and one eagle through the first two rounds.
Brooks Koepka ($8,500): Kopeka has the fifth-highest birdie or better percentage among players who survived to the weekend at Erin Hills and he has been on an epic eagle-run recently. Kopeka has posted 10 birdies through the first two rounds and I expect him to come up with at least one eagle on the weekend.
Good luck this weekend, and be sure to use the Weekend Cheat Sheet to uncover some great plays for yourself!