Erin Hills, only the 6th public course to earn the distinction of holding a U.S. Open. The “average” golfer can play for the meer cost of $280 greens fees, its a walking only course and a mandatory use of caddie. That’s another $55 plus suggested gratuity minimum of $65. Suggested minimum yeah that’s what it says online. I have played many of rounds of golf with my brother, never as many as we would have liked or as nice of courses as we wished for. Side note: My brother has never beaten me although the last time we played we tied. I had a 4 footer to win on the last hole and left it on the lip “why won’t you go in your home?!?”. Picture your younger brother laughing hysterically and not letting you forget it for the duration of the weekend, “hey bro, I’ll throw that away for you, the garbage can is about 4 feet away”. Immediately I get off topic, well kind of. Today we are here because the 117th U.S Open tees off this week at beautiful Erin Hills in Wisconsin. My version of a quick preview to see what the golfers will be dealing with this week on the course. Little bro himself @tim2fresh shows up to increase your pocket green with the DFS strategy that could allow the “average” man to do more than just pay the green fees at Erin Hills.
The golf course:
Par 72 7,800 yards from championship tees
One of the longest in U.S. Open History and many of the holes can be stretched an additional 30 yards depending on tee and pin set up. 4 par 4’s over 500 yards and the par 5’s average 599.5 yards. Did I say this course was long? Hole #1 Starts with the shortest par 5 of 560(depending on the actual tee spot could back up past the 600 mark) and finishes with the 18th hole that’s the longest at 637. More undulations in the fairways than I can remember in previous Opens. Some of the craziest tee shots many of them blind, could see balls rolling backwards 30+ yards if hitters don’t reach the apex of the landing area. Imagine hitting a laser up the middle from the tee about 275 carry, takes a short hop and then rolls back( perhaps getting vacuumed into creeks and bunkers) to say 250 yards. Your reward is being stuck with a blind long shot just waiting to add strokes and find more junk. The next guy steps up and hits one on the screws 280 in the air and catches the down-slope of the hill and finishes well past the 300 yard mark. Leaves an easy 8-iron for a tracking birdie and gains multiple strokes over a few yards difference in the fairway. Look for many instances even in the fairway for golfers to hit approach shots with the ball above or below their feet. A lot of greens look like plateaus, many being elevated from the approach shot. Funky looking, difficult to get level footing and makes you want to curse even with your momma around bunkers surround far too many of the holes. I know it’s the U.S. Open, but it doesn’t have to be difficult just for the hell of it. This game should be dominated by the long hitters, but will need more than a little luck and the right bounces to go the way for the eventual champ.
The freshness seal is about to be broken….
Top DFS Players this weekend
To find the best possible players for DFS Golf, you must look at what the golfers will be going up against, not the other competitor’s, but the course itself. Comparing the golf course to the players game normally amounts the most. Long hitters are great on long courses and short game players are huge on tough terrain. The U.S. Open at Erin Hills will require both of these and more. When looking for our lineup, we need to find players that have a history of playing well in similar tough courses as well as players who seem to be on role. Lets increase our pocket green!
Dustin Johnson Salary- $12,000
You really have to pay up here but it’s worth it. Erin Hills suits Dustin just perfectly. You must be on point with your Driver for this long course and that’s exactly him. He ranks first in driving distance and strokes gained off the tee, as well as first in GIR percentage. Expect Johnson to be in the final conversation on Sunday.
Jason Day Salary- $10,800
A course like Erin Hills can really test your short game. Misplaced approach shots can easily lead to head hanging double bogeys here. No one has a better short game than Jason Day and this weekend he will once again prove it. He doesn’t have the best Iron game, but if he can Drive accurately and get close to the greens in regulation, he should set himself up for several birdie opportunities. After the US. Open,Day might be nicknamed the “Fresh Prince of Erin Hills”.
Justin Rose Salary- $9,800
Boy it just feels like it is time for Rose to once again end Victorious. He has finished in 2nd twice this year in the Sony Open and the Masters, and has 4 top 10 finishes total. Rose has all the tools to get up and down in Erin Hills. This season he is ranked in the top ten in both shots gained off the tee and around the green. Putting has been the thorn to this “Rose”, but if he can stick em’ close on approach shots he should be around on Sunday.
Down the middle
Adam Scott Salary- $8,800
When the stakes are high, so is Scott’s golf game. He finished 6th this year in the Players Championship and 9th at Augusta in the Masters. Scott is a very consistent golfer, He doesn’t jump out as one of the best golfers statistically in any category, but when he gets it going he keeps it going. If Scott can settle in and reach the greens accurately and consistently, he has a solid putting game to keep him under Par.
Paul Casey Salary- $8,400
Paul is enjoying a great season so far with 4 top 10 finishes including a 6th place finish at the Masters. Paul struggles off the tee and that can be scary going up against a long and brutal Erin Hills course, but he uses his masterful approach game to keep himself on the green in regulation. In fact this year, Paul Casey ranks 3rd amongst all golfers in approaching the green. If he can be accurate enough with the driver he can really give himself a great shot at another top 10 finish.
Bubba Watson Salary- $8,200
Man it’s been a tough year so far for Bubba and he still has 3 top 10 finishes. He has been all over the place around the green and putting this year and must figure it out if he wants to compete this weekend. The reason to have faith in Bubba this week is that he absolutely destroys the ball off the tee and puts himself in great position to capitalize from close range. If he can get anything going around the green, he can climb the leader board at Erin Hills very fast!
Play it as it lies
Kevin Kisner Salary- $7,500
You might get arrested for picking this guy because at $7,500 he’s a straight up steal! Kisner is the hottest golfer as of late putting up 5 top 10 finishes this year. He ranks 5th amongst all golfers this year in total shots gained and is in the top 10 in total short game. He just won the Dean and Deluca Invitational 3 weeks ago and followed that up with a 6th place finish at the Memorial tournament. After taking this week off to prep for the U.S. Open, Kisner looks ready to make a statement that he should be in the top golfers conversation.
Louis Oosthuizen Salary- $7,400
Louis has been great off the tee and to the green this year ranking in the top 20 in both official categories. Well that’s what you have to do at a long course like Erin Hills, get off the tee and get there quicker than everyone else. Louis is the type of player that can get up and down and stay even par heading into the weekend. He has now made all 9 cuts this year and seems to always give himself a shot over the weekend. If He can knock down some tough puts on these unforgivable greens, he could be the last name you talk about this Sunday.
Charl Schwartzel Salary- $7,300
If your looking for a sneaky play, search no further than Mr. Schwartzel himself. He finds way to hang around tough courses when the rest of the field falls off. He has a great all around game and was able to use it in a 3rd place finish in the Masters this year. If the field has trouble and the leaders hang around par, Schwartzel could steal the spotlight.
Stewart Cink Salary- $6,800
Remember this guy from the first tiger woods video games? You always had to beat him in the story mode. He really had it then and still has it now! Cink has really come into form this season and has been extremely consistent. He has made 14 of 18 cuts and has 12 top 30 finishes! He’s not going to go win this thing, but he should be interesting to watch.
Billy Horschel Salary- $6,700
Horschel might be as inconsistent as they come, but when he’s hot he’s on fire. He missed 4 straight cuts in a row, but then was able to defeat Jason Day in a playoff round at the AT&T Byron Nelson and moved his Fed Ex ranking up to 15th. He has a very solid short game but struggled off the tee in recent outings. If he can settle in, he might meet up with Jason Day in another playoff.
Graeme McDowell Salary– $6,600
For this price you can get great value from McDowell. He has made 11 of his last 12 cuts and seems to wind up playing on Sunday every tournament. He has a very smooth short game and is average off the tee. He plays very conservative which could be a plus on a treacherous course like Erin Hills, but he will need to be aggressive in order to climb the leaderboards.
You can approach this several ways but my favorite is to go with a conservative approach. Take one of your Aces, then balance out with three “middle of the pack” plays,and then two value plays to finish your lineup. Don’t forget lineups lock Thursday Morning at 6 A.M.
Live T.V coverage begins at 11A.M-6 P.M on FS1
Don’t miss these top pairings tee off!
8:35 A.M- Dustin Johnson, Jordan Speith, Martin Kaymer
1:36 P.M- Adam Scott, Bubba Watson, Sergio Garcia
Written collaboration: Jason Soukup & Tim Phillips – Fantasy Life app @2drinkminimum & @tim2fresh in Clock Dodgers chat.