Recapping a Frustrating US Open – Preview for the Travelers Championship
Many people feel that “strokes gained approach” is becoming the defining stat of modern day golf. Brooks Koepka helped nudge that concept into the forefront with his play this past weekend at the US Open. While his two over par finish didn’t help shatter DFS golf records, his savvy play over the difficult tournament helped him capture golf’s toughest major for the second straight year.
Shinnecock Hills was mostly atrocious for daily fantasy scores, as the dried out greens made approach shots and putting nearly impossible for even the world’s best. The pre-tournament favorites like Jordan Spieth, Rory McIlroy, and Jason Day all missed the cut, as well as Tiger Woods, who has tempted many DFS golfers with his recent improvement of play.
Rickie Fowler posted a monsterous 84 on Saturday, ending any chance for the Southern California native to win his first major, though he did shoot five under on Sunday, 19 strokes better than his third round result. Phil Mickelson made the most headlines, when out of frustration, knocked a moving ball back toward the hole, preferring a two-stroke penalty to the thought of having to keep putting on greens faster than an ice rink.
The DFS Value of Ball Striking and Putting
Big hitters have dominated the PGA tour since its inception. But because of the technological advancement in equipment, length off the tee has become an arsenal for so many more players than in the past. Players are starting to understand that it’s their ball striking and putting, rather than their ability to send it 350 yards down the fairway off the tee, that will lead them to success.
Those who play daily fantasy golf recognize that it’s birdy making that helps win contests. Regardless of where they are after their drive, hitting the ball close to the hole and having the delicate touch to keeping putting average down are the players who help win contests. Koepka proved this at Shinnecock, as he lead the field in strokes gained approach, while finishing in the top ten for strokes gained putting.
Getting Ready for the Travelers
The next tour stop takes the PGA to Connecticut for the the Travelers Championship at TPC River Highlands. Koepka will try and continue his hot streak, while Spieth, McIlroy, Thomas, and Day will look to get back on track after a forgettable weekend in New York. While these five are the Vegas favorites to walk away with the title, there are several intriguing options that could shape four-day contests on FanDuel and DraftKings.
Second tier options are plentiful this week. Players such as Webb Simpson, Ryan Moore, and Xander Schauffele all have robust fantasy points per game numbers, but can be selected for around $9000 on DraftKings.
When scouring the bottom of the draft list for sleeper picks, a few stand out that could prove helpful from the fifth and sixth roster spots. Emiliano Grillo has emerged as a force on the tour this season, though the US Open was largely disappointing for him. Available for $10,200 on FanDuel, Grillo’s 74.54 FPPG could mean the difference between victory and another close call. Other players available in the bargain basement could pose a feast or famine scenario for DFS players. These include Kyle Stanley, Nick Watney, and Jhonattan Vegas.
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