The Scorers Tent: In an effort to enhance our weekly offerings we decided to recap most of the articles here in the “Scorer’s Tent” in order to provide more room for strategy in the current weeks’ article.
Brooks Koepka played clean golf Sunday en route to claiming his 3rd victory on Tour and becoming the first back-to-back winner at the US Open since Curtis Strange in 1989. In fact, in his 6 US Open starts he has finished MC-T4-T18-T13-Win-Win. Incredible stuff. Koepka beat out big names including his playing partner and the 54-hole co-leader, Dustin Johnson, finishing the event at 1-over par. Koepka became the Tour’s 1st winner with an over-par score since 2013 US Open winner Justin Rose who also finished 1-over. Tommy Fleetwood had an incredible round today and became just the 6th player in US Open history to post a 63. Fleetwood had a great look at a birdie on 18 but just missed it falling short of making history with the lowest round in US Open history. Had he made the putt he would have finished 1-over for the tournament which would’ve forced a playoff. Nevertheless, Fleetwood made an incredible run and has had back to back good showings at the US Open.
Just a few other facts to know:
- Patrick Reed finishes 4th in his attempt to win the first two major championships this season
- Tyrrell Hatton finished T6 for his third top-10 finish in 13 major championship starts (T5/2016 Open Championship, T6/2018 U.S. Open, T10/2016 PGA Championship)
- 2013 U.S. Open champion Justin Rose finished T10 in his attempt to become the only Englishman to win two U.S. Open titles.
- Webb Simpson finished T10 in his attempt to join Martin Kaymer (2014) as the only players to win the U.S. Open and THE PLAYERS Championship in the same season.
- Rickie Fowler (T20) carded a final-round 5-under 65 (the round of the week) for a 19-stroke differential from Saturday’s 84.
- FedExCup leader Justin Thomas finished T25 in his fourth U.S. Open start (MC/2014, 32/2016, 9/2017, T25/2018).
- Steve Stricker made the cut this week for a TOUR-leading 27th consecutive time in a major championship, finishing T20.
DFS Winning Lineup Recap:
The optimal lineup this week was lack luster at best. No player returned a value higher than 10 which is really not what we are used to seeing. Again, just as we have seen over the course of other strong field events, the optimal lineup didn’t have any top priced players. Brooks was the highest priced golfer at just $9,000 proving again that a more balanced lineup approach in strong fields seems to be the way to go. Looking at the winning lineups in the Milly Maker as well as the $444 was interesting we see that both lineups had Koepka, Fleetwood, Reed, and Finau. Sad news for the Milly Maker winner, there were 2 identical lineups in 1st. The other interesting thing, those lineups were just 1 player off the optimal as they played Paul Casey over Xander Schauffele. All in all, a pretty blah week from a fantasy perspective.
The $20 $3.5M Fantasy Golf Milly Maker ($1,000,000 to 1st) Winning Lineup:
The $444 PGA $850K Pressure Putt ($150K to 1st) Winning Lineup:
Below are the top 20 DK point earners and their ownership %
In an effort to keep our content fresh and actionable each week, we’ve moved the recaps to one convenient place, allowing for each article to be focused solely on the current week’s tournament. Since it was kind of a crazy week we are just going to post the actual results of each article below for your review. Making the Cut and The Winning Element both had relatively good weeks. Only 2 players missed the cut that were highlighted in Making the Cut and 64% of the players who made the cut from The Winning Element finished inside the top 25 this week. In a week like this, it is always going to be like a massive week of against the grain. You are going to have to take risks to win GPPs and be uncomfortable doing it.
Making the Cut: (DFS Cash Game Focus)
Against the Grain: (GPP Focus)
Tour Level Tech Review:
First, I have highlighted the top 20 ranked players in the CS this week. Inside the top 20 ranked players there were only 6 missed cuts. That is actually really impressive considering how savage of a week this was around the industry. It is kind of insane to see Jon Rahm, who missed the cut, finished with just 7 DK points. That’s right SEVEN!! Should give you a good idea of how hard things were this week. There were a couple of ownership differences worth noting, mainly that of Justin Rose who was significantly higher owned than projected and Justin Thomas coming in pretty low owned considering his talent and history at last year’s US Open. Grillo was also projected pretty much across the industry to be sub-10% owned but he ended up being nearly 20% owned on average which would have made him a perfect fade candidate. Overall, a good week for the CS.
The second screenshot highlights the top 20 DK scorers for the week which allows us to take a look at how well the CS is doing overall at capturing high scoring DK plays. It also helps to see places that it missed so that DFS users can see that sometimes long shots do find success. Only a few names were “off the wall” this week with the 2 main ones being Tyrell Hatton (who’s form has been anything but US Open ready) and Dylan Meyer who was appearing in his first tournament as a professional. Dylan Meyer is definitely worth keeping an eye on next week at the Traveler’s Championship.
TPC River Highlands in Cromwell, CT is set to welcome 50 players who teed it up at Shinnecock Hills this week, including back to back US Open Champion, Brooks Koepka. Jordan Spieth, the 2017 Travelers Champ, will defend his title against a strong field that includes 5 golfers who rank among the world’s top 10 as well as the other 3 reigning major championship winners.
The five players in the top 10 of the Official World Golf Ranking include: Justin Thomas, Jordan Spieth, Rory McIlroy, Jason Day and Brooks Koepka. This year’s field also includes 9 players who have won the tournament at TPC River Highlands: Jordan Spieth, Russell Knox, Bubba Watson, Kevin Streelman, Ken Duke, Marc Leishman, Stewart Cink, Hunter Mahan and J.J. Henry.
TPC River Highlands, 6,841 yards, par 70.
Since 1984, TPC River Highlands, the Pete Dye design, has hosted the Travelers Championship. Dye completely overhauled the course in 1982, and Bobby Weed provided an upgrade 9 years later in consultation with former TOUR pros Roger Maltbie and Howard Twitty. TPC River Highlands features what is considered to be one of the most thrilling set of finishing holes on tour with holes 15-17 playing around a four-acre lake. River Highlands is the site of the TOUR’s only 58, when Jim Furyk carded 10 birdies and a hole out eagle in 2016. Previously, the record was held by amateur Patrick Cantlay who set the course record of 60 at the Travelers Championship in 2011. This par 70 course is a relatively short test for golfers and will be a drastic difference from what players saw last week at Shinnecock Hills. Expect scoring to be more in line with what we normally expect to see week to week. Try hard to put last week’s event out of your mind!
The Tour Level Cheatsheet features 2 “Key Stats” every week, typically a combination of a few important stats, which the Tour Level team has deemed relevant to consider based on the course description above. The stats below may or may not include Strokes Gained (SG) stats, but they are ALWAYS our main statistical focal point each week, especially SG: Tee to Green (SG: T2G). Don’t forget, while SG: Putting is usually very important, it is a stat that has proven to be very elusive and very difficult to predict week to week.
Key Stat 1: GD%+SG:APP+Par 4 Scoring
Key Stat 2: GIR%+SG:BS+BoB%
Normally we would highlight players who were in the field last week that will be in the field again this week in order to show how they ranked in the Key Stats highlighted above. With the US Open being last week and scores being anything but normal in large part due to extremely unrealistic course conditions on Saturday highlighting players from last week’s event really doesn’t seem like an exercise worth doing. In that vein, when looking at and trying to decide on players for your pool this week don’t get heavily swayed by what you did (or didn’t) see last week at the US Open. Check out Making the Cut for more information on the upcoming event!