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FanDuel Strategy

FanDuel Fit: The 120th U.S. Open

by Josh Culp
Updated On: September 15, 2020, 2:55 pm ET

There are tough courses and then there are tough course setups. 

We will see both this week at the U.S. Open as a field of 144 golfers take on Winged Foot Golf Club. 

The course will be stretch out to nearly 7,500 yards while playing as a par 70. The rough has been allowed to grow to insane heights. There is rough just off the fairway that is manageable but errant tee shots will get gobbled up and the same can be said for wayward approach shots. It will be much better to be missing in greenside bunkers than hoping to catch a decent lie in the rough. 

Let's look at some historical stats to see who might fare well on this style of course. 

Hard Courses

I just talked about how tough the course will play this week which is no surprise. This is the U.S. Open afterall and the USGA loves to push courses to the limit. Let's see who has played the best on tough courses over the last two years: 

Tony Finau
Jon Rahm
Collin Morikawa
Paul Casey
Justin Rose
Dustin Johnson
Brendon Todd
Jordan Spieth
Patrick Reed
Patrick Cantlay
Justin Thomas
Jason Day
Rickie Fowler
Xander Schauffele
Rory McIlroy

We can also look at a golfer's performance versus their baseline to see who over-performs most. Here is that list: 

Mackenzie Hughes
Christiaan Bezuidenhout
Jordan Spieth
Paul Casey
Ryan Palmer
Tony Finau
Romain Langasque
Jimmy Walker
Lucas Herbert
Ryan Fox
Tom Lewis
Shane Lowry
Kurt Kitayama
Harris English
Matt Wallace

Overlap List: names that show up on both lists include Tony Finau, Paul Casey, and Jordan Spieth. We know Spieth is so far removed from his usual form so it's easy to overlook him here but Finau and Casey both enjoy a tough test and have shown some flashes of form in the lead-in. 

 

Poa Annua Greens

Similar to last week at Silverado, we have poa annua turf on the greens. It's an 80/20 blend with poa/bent but with poa being the dominant strand, let's look at those stats. These are the top performers on courses with poa annua greens, over the last two years: 

Rory McIlroy
Adam Scott
Jon Rahm
Dustin Johnson
Bryson DeChambeau
Hideki Matsuyama
Gary Woodland
Xander Schauffele
Paul Casey
Jason Day
Patrick Cantlay
Justin Rose
Justin Thomas
Matt Kuchar
Patrick Reed

We can also look at a golfer's performance versus their baseline to see who over-performs most. Here is that list: 

Rory McIlroy
Kevin Streelman
Danny Willett
Adam Scott
Phil Mickelson
Paul Casey
Max Homa
Jason Day
Bryson DeChambeau
Chez Reavie
Patrick Reed
Matt Kuchar
Brandt Snedeker
Mackenzie Hughes
Marc Leishman

Overlap List: names that show up on both lists include Rory McIlroy, Adam Scott, Paul Casey, Jason Day, Bryson DeChambeau, Patrick Reed, and Matt Kuchar

 

 

FanDuel Focus 

Paul Casey ($9,800): As you can see from the lists above, the Englishman grades out well from a course-fit perspective. He enjoys the challenge of poa annua greens and doesn't mind a tough course setup. We saw him flirt with a win most recently at the PGA Championship and he's played just fine in three starts since then. He's actually gained strokes putting all of four of his most recent starts so it might be a good time to strike with the putter is hot. 

Mackenzie Hughes ($8,300): Speaking of a hot putter, it seems like nobody is making more putts than Hughes right now. The numbers (sort of) support that as he's gained the most strokes putting of anyone in the field over the last three months. If you think the toughness of the course will lend itself to having to scramble over and over again, then Hughes is a solid value option. He's in great form and poa is historically his best surface. 

Josh Culp
Josh Culp joined Rotoworld in 2014. The DFS enthusiast from Iowa State can be found on Twitter @futureoffantasy.