Oakmont Country Club – Par 70 – 7,257 Yards
It’s Millionaire Maker Week so this week we will focus on GPP plays and strategy for trying to separate yourself and win BIG money. With over 200K entries you are going to have to find a player or two that is low owned and will finish pretty high and have 6/6 players make the cut. To get a good idea who some low owned players may be I would suggest listening to a few DFS Podcasts and perusing the internet and looking for US Open DraftKings DFS picks. Make some notes do some stats research and see if you can find that guy that no one is talking about that fits your stat requirements.
Onto the tournament. Oakmont Country club last hosted the US Open in 2007 when Angel Cabrera shot a 1-under 69 on the final day to come back from 4 behind Aaron Baddeley and hold off Jim Furyk and “Sunday” Tiger Woods down the stretch. “El Pato” Cabrera ended up winning with a total 285 / 5 over. The course itself has 209 bunkers which includes the famous Church pew style bunkers that run between the 3rd and 4th holes and down the 15th fairway. Many of the remaining bunkers are very deep and will require players just to get out of the bunker and not go at the green. Also you are going to see more shots from the wrong fairway than you normally do due to the fact the course is pretty open and not many trees to divide the fairways. You can be sure the rough will be brutal and there will be many shots hit from the rough that will travel short distances. After the players navigate their way to the greens it isn’t going to get any easier. In-fact it will probably get more difficult. The greens will run 14-15 on the stimpmeter so it is fitting that Oakmont is where the stimpmeter was first thought up. When you get down to it this week is going to be about survival. We may see a 90 + this week!
Stats to Focus on this week – Driving Accuracy (DA), Bogey Avoidance (BA), Strokes Gained Tee to Green (SGT2G), Par 4 scoring, Strokes gained putting (SGP), 3 putt avoidance, Scrambling
Rickie Fowler $10,700 – Fowler’s ownership #’s may be lower than usual coming off of 2 MC’s in a row. I think what Rickie has going for him this US Open is the fact that he is not being touted as a potential winner. Rickie played well in all of the Majors in 2014 when expectations were not nearly as high but by the time 2015 came around he was being hyped big time. He ended up missing the cut last years US Open at Chambers Bay. Rickie has the stats to fit what it will most likely take to win the US Open. He ranks #1 in BA, #2 in par 4 scoring, #4 in SGT2G, #19 in Scrambling. I’m hoping he learned something at the Masters this year and may ease off trying to ram the ball into the back of the hole, if he does this I think he has a legit chance to win in 2016 and add his name to the list of great players to win at Oakmont.
$8,000 – $9,900
Brandt Snedeker – Sneds is a grinder type player as is evidenced by his recent US Open finishes. His last 4 have resulted in top 17 or better finishes with the last two being top 10 finishes. Coming into these last 4 US Opens Snedeker had not been on any sort of substantial consecutive cut roll, no different than this year. Hopefully people will fail to notice this fact and overlook him a bit due to his recent form. I see several names in his price range that could draw more attention (Oosthuizen, Koepka, Reed, and Furyk). Snedeker ranks in the top 15 in BA, Par 4 scoring, and Scrambling. If he can keep the ball in the fairway and get his pop-shot putter rolling another Top 10 is a real possibility.
Martin Kaymer $7,600 – Two years ago Kaymer ran away with the US Open. He was a master of using his putter from off the greens and he kept the ball in the fairway pretty regularly. Then last year while competing as the defending champ he ended up with a MC. Kaymer has not played much here in the states this year which should keep him off of most people’s radar. But when you look at his play recently in Europe, albeit against lesser talent overall he has recorded 3 straight Top 10’s. His driving accuracy #’s do not suggest a guy who is overly accurate but when the German gets his swing righted he can be as accurate as anyone on tour for a stretch of 4 days. Honestly he doesn’t have a bunch of stats that scream pick me, but he has been making cuts consistently for the last 3+ months. At the price he is listed at he will make a good contrarian play to Charl Schwartzel who is likely to be owned a a much greater %. Kaymer has won big tournaments in the past and he fits the mold of guys who will most likely be under owned with winning upside.
$6500 and below
David Toms $6,300- He has made 7 of his last 8 cuts on tour which only includes one top 20 a 14th place finish at RBC Heritage. That being said 5 of his other cuts made have resulted in finishes ranging from 25th-39th. Not bad for a guy who be eligible for the Senior Tour in 6 months. I know it was almost 10 years ago when the US Open was last played at Oakmont but that year Toms finished T5 so that has to count for something. He is ranked 16th on tour in scrambling and 21st in driving accuracy 38th in Par 4 scoring and 40th in Bogey avoidance. At $6300 making the cut and eking out a top 25 could be large for you. Not saying he should be a GPP Staple but I think he will be overlooked and could provide solid value.
Good luck to all this week!