Let’s be honest… nobody reads this recap, especially this week, so here’s a quick rundown of the FedEx St. Jude Classic:
Daniel Berger won. Charl Schwartzel was a shot behind, as was Whee Kim. Phil Mickelson tripled away a chance to win. Is that enough?
How did team Electric Mayhem do last week? Poor.
2017 FedEx St. Jude Classic recap
Yahoo! Tournament Points – 160; Yahoo! Segment Points/Ranking – 1,543/1,782nd; Yahoo! Season Points/Ranking – 3,406/128th Overall
I don’t like slipping, so moving backward 31 spots on the overall leaderboard is irritating. I didn’t have Berger or Schwartzel, and nobody had Whee Kim. If you had Whee Kim, send me a screenshot of your team… first person to do that gets a free membership to this site on me. No photoshopping allowed.
Fairway – Many of the players that I liked just well enough to leave off my team – Berger, Schwartzel, Billy Horschel, Chad Campbell – played very well. I rode Kevin Chappell, Adam Scott and Mickelson to top-10 finishes. It just wasn’t enough last week.
Rough – Rickie Fowler looked like he didn’t care one bit, and posted a glorious MC. Kyle Stanley finished T27, but only had two good rounds, and he was on my bench for both. Scott was also riding pine for his weekly 64. Sung Kang was a bad choice. I’ll keep that in mind.
The United States Open is here, and the field is set! Sort of… (Phil.)
Note: There are many different narratives this week. Some believe the course will play like Chambers Bay did two years ago. Some believe that you have to win from the middle of the fairway. Some ignore form completely and look at U.S. Open history. Nobody knows how this will play out… hopefully, the preview gives you enough information to support whatever storyline you subscribe to.
This is also the last start in the Yahoo! segment, and it isn’t scored differently than any other tournament. As such, if you are worried about starts, and you can’t win a segment prize, this actually isn’t a bad week to take “lesser” options, as the field is deep and anything can happen on a new course.
2017 US Open Yahoo fantasy golf picks
- Jason Day (7) – The Aussie is a U.S. Open horse… five top-10s in six starts, including two runner-up finishes. Getting to the green should be critical this week, and Day sits 163rd on Tour in SG:Approach. That’s the only thorn in his game right now.
- Rickie Fowler (4) – Ignore the MC last week; his mind was in Wisconsin. Should you also ignore the MC at the past two U.S. Opens? Hard to say. Rickie is a different animal this year, and he did hit the top-10 when the tournament was at Merion and Pinehurst. I’m expecting another one this week… is 2017 his year to hold the trophy?
- Branden Grace (8) – This is tempting. Grace is in wonderful form, posting top-30s all over the world at ease. His last two U.S. Opens have gone for T4-T5. Statistics don’t jump off the page, but I don’t really care this week. If you are saving starts, he’s a must. If not, don’t automatically write him off.
- Dustin Johnson (4) – What to say? He’s the defending champion and the best player in the world. He has a new baby to win another trophy for. He’s in the prime of his career, and as we’ve seen with DJ, his situation can change in an instant. Strike while he’s hot.
- Marc Leishman (9) – Leish has only made two weekends in five U.S. Open tries, but his form is
- Shane Lowry (9) – See Grace, Branden. Same story… Lowry’s last two U.S. Opens have produced 9-2 and he’s in beautiful form. Led by four shots heading to Sunday last year and faded. Seriously, just go back and read Grace’s preview.
- Graeme McDowell (10) – He’s a cut-making machine with nothing spectacular to brag about. The 2010 U.S. Open Champion finished runner-up two years later at Olympic, but hasn’t done much else on these tracks. Statistically, he’s incredibly poor for a guy having a solid season.
- Rory McIlroy (7) – Yikes. He has played one competitive tournament in the last nine weeks, and has been nursing injuries all year. He’s rolling with a new putter this week, which is also a bit scary. Nothing lines up, except that he’s Rory, he’s a past champion, and he can dominate a golf course with his driver like no other. Huge gamble this week who could pay off, but I think he’s more likely to MC than win.
- Louis Oosthuizen (10) – Oosty is 4-7 with two top-10s at the U.S. Open, and he’s been hot lately. Solid game across the board should play well on an uncertain course. I won’t use him, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see him inside the top-20 come Sunday.
- Patrick Reed (9) – He’s a big-game player, but has little success at the U.S. Open. Form was awful early this season before he turned it around late. There isn’t enough here to roll the dice.
- Adam Scott (6) – He’s striking the ball as good as ever, and he has some history at this tournament, with posts of 15-45-9-4-18 in the last five years. Gut says he won’t win, so he’s on my bench, but his driving distance and approach game could lift him to the first page.
- Brendan Steele (7) – Finished T15 at Oakmont last year, and his stats are off the charts, but he can’t seem to put it all together at the same time. If he hits it well and makes a few putts, you never know. Sounds like a good formula, no?
- Gary Woodland (9) – Statistically, he’s magic… top-50 on Tour in SG:Tee and SG:Approach, and he sits 15th in driving distance and 25th in par five scoring. At the U.S. Open, he’s just 3-6, and his only top-25 was in 2011. Could surprise based on pure numbers, but a top-10 is highly unlikely.
- Paul Casey (6) – We start with the biggest enigma in the ‘B’ group. Casey is one of the hottest players in the world, finishing 9-6-12-22-10 in his last five worldwide starts. However, the last time he was inside the top-39 at the U.S. Open was at Oakmont… not last year, but 2007. His form should help him see the weekend, but I’ll fade.
- Kevin Chappell (9) – He does have U.S. Open top-10s on his resume at Olympic and Congressional, but no other success. Already a winner on Tour this season, his week-to-week performances have been inconsistent. I can’t trust him enough this week to roster him.
- Jim Furyk (10) – With respect to his ridiculous record of 19-22 with seven top-5s at the U.S. Open, it seems like the end of his competitive career has arrived. Maybe Father Time throws him a bone this week, but Furyk isn’t worth the wager.
- Lucas Glover (10) – He won the tournament in 2009, and has MC the last five years. Why throw him in here? Glover sits ninth in SG:Tee and 50th in SG:Approach. I’m calling it now – Glover finishes top-50. Not enough for Yahoo!, but a great story nonetheless.
- Charley Hoffman (8) – He has played phenomenally at times this season and he stripes the ball off the tee, but I can’t see Hoffman throwing out a solid all-around game to win a major. He’s 4-5 at this tournament, but nothing better than his T37 last year. I’ll fade.
- Kevin Kisner (5) – Scary good trends here… he’s 2-3 at the U.S. Open with a T12 at Chambers Bay two years back. He has been white hot lately, winning at Colonial and finishing T6 a week later at The Memorial. His approach game is exceptional and he sits 23rd in SG:Putting. His rank of 132nd in driving distance is the only thing keeping me from fully endorsing Kis for the win, but it might not matter with bouncy fairways. I’m buying.
- Matt Kuchar (4) – Same old Kuchar… He will throw you a ton of top-30s, and maybe a top-10 or top-5, but he won’t win. Ever. Kooch hasn’t won on Tour in three years, and he has three top-5 finishes in 45 major starts. If you want a guy to make the weekend so you can gamble elsewhere, go for it. I don’t care how hot he is right now, he won’t win.
- Jamie Lovemark (9) – Deep, deep sleeper. Finished T18 in his only U.S. Open start, which came at Chambers Bay. Lovemark sits 20th in driving distance and 28th in par five scoring on Tour this season. T18-T10 in his last two starts. He won’t be talked about much, but Lovemark could sneak into the top-20 this week. I can’t play him because the pedigree isn’t there, but everything else is. Shhh…
- Hideki Matsuyama (4) – His four trips to the U.S. Open have given us 10-35-18-MC. Since burning up the track early in the year, he has settled into a Kucharian mode, finishing between 11th and 51st in each of his last six starts. Ball-striking numbers are off the charts, but he sits 181st on Tour in SG:Putting. 181st. That’s bad. Really bad. Can he overcome?
- Francesco Molinari (8) – Molinari’s last eight starts? 7-58-33-22-24-6-21-24. Molinari’s seven trips to the U.S. Open? 27-MC-MC-29-MC-23-27. Lots of 20s in there. If you believe this is the year he bucks the trend and hits the podium, have at it. I don’t, so I won’t.
- Phil Mickelson (8) – As of Tuesday afternoon, he hasn’t withdrawn officially, but he won’t be there. If he is, he’ll either win (because that’s what happens) or he will MC miserably. Stay away.
- Kevin Na (10) – He’s already complaining about the fescue, and he doesn’t hit the ball far enough to score on long holes. Two top-12s in the last three U.S. Opens, but those were par-70 courses. Pass.
- Justin Rose (5) – Rose is the all-or-nothing option in the ‘B’ group. He has played just six weekends in 11 tries, but five were top-25 finishes, including the 2013 title at Merion. His approach game and his putter haven’t matched the rest of his phenomenal game, and I think those two items will be the key this week. That said, he’s Justin Rose, and the group isn’t flush with great options. Save for THE PLAYERS, he’s in phenomenal form.
- Brandt Snedeker (6) – Since returning from a wrist injury, he has gone MC-48. Balls in the 35-foot tall fescue this week won’t be easy on the wrists, so I’m worried about Sneds. Driving distance and approach shots are not his specialty, but he’s simply masterful around and on the greens. Strange record at the U.S. Open – he has made seven cuts in 10 tries, with all seven going for a top-25. However, he has finished eighth twice and ninth twice, and nothing better. Proceed with caution.
- Jordan Spieth (3) – He won at Chambers Bay. That fits one narrative. Surprisingly missed two cuts a month ago, switched back to his old putter, and posted a runner-up and a T13 since. His win was his only U.S. Open finish in the top-16. He leads the Tour in SG:Approach and sits fourth in par-five scoring. I simply have no idea what to do. Spieth is one of the few ‘B’ players who could win, so I’ll stash him on the bench and hope I don’t need him.
- Steve Stricker (10) – This would be a story, wouldn’t it? Had to play his way into the tournament and now sits in prime position to be the hero against the villainous USGA. In 68 career major starts, he has hit the podium once, and that was the 1998 PGA Championship. Strick is 17-19 at the U.S. Open with 11 top-25s, if that matters to you. Cheer for him this weekend, but please don’t roster him.
- Justin Thomas (6) – Love it. Has only played the U.S. Open twice, and missed the cut in his first try before T32 last year, but he is dancing with the stars now. He’s a beautiful statistical fit, sitting fourth in SG:Approach and 11th in driving distance, and he slays par fives. There are four of them, remember? If Thomas is going to be considered elite, he has to compete this week. It’s all there. I think he answers the bell.
- Jimmy Walker (8) – Despite his age, he has played in just five U.S. Opens, and two were immediately after turning pro in 2001. More recently, he finished T9 in 2014, but 58-MC since. He showed with the PGA Championship win last year that he can sneak up on you, but I’ll take the chance that he’ll stay in bed this week.
- Byeong Hun An (9) – Every week, I tout his ball-striking ability. Every week, I think he’ll break through and win. Every week, I’m wrong. He’s thrown 8-5-24-25 in his last four starts, so the form is solid, and striking translates to any course. I’m expecting a successful weekend for An, and a finish between 25-40.
- Daniel Berger (8) – I doubted Berger last week and he successfully defended his FedEx St. Jude Classic title. Nobody has ever won the week before the U.S. Open and then gone on to win the U.S. Open, and Berger won’t be the first. Good-looking player, but if he missed the green, he’s toast.
- Stewart Cink (10) – 14th in SG:Approach and 19th in SG:Putting has my attention. Cink is playing great, with results of 10-25-10 the last three weeks. He just has had no success at this tournament whatsoever; 13-19 with three top-10s isn’t awful, but the top-10s were in 1998, 2000 and 2001. I’m fading, but I’m rooting.
- Jason Dufner (8) – I dumped him right before The Memorial, which he won. I feel bad about that, so I might ask him to run with me one more time… just not this week. The numbers don’t work out, but that doesn’t always tell the story. Duf has gone 4-4-MC-18-8 in his last five U.S. Opens, which is sick. His ball-striking is beautiful. He’s on the ‘C’ short list, but I’m going elsewhere.
- Sergio Garcia (5) – No more monkey on his back means he can focus on adding to the trophy case. Stats line up brilliantly, as he ranks second in SG:Tee, ninth in par five scoring and 20th in SG:Around The Green. His putter is awful, as usual, but even his 174th ranking in SG:Putting doesn’t scare me off. He has seen 15 weekends in 17 U.S. Open tries, with three top-10s in the last eight years. Bring it!
- Emiliano Grillo (10) – Another phenomenal ball-striker… see a trend? T54 in his first U.S. Open last year was solid, and he has been an unspectacular cut-maker this season. Solid is solid, not great. Solid finishes T41, not WIN.
- Tyrrell Hatton (10) – I love this as a crazy deep sleeper. He has cooled off considerably since going nuts early this season, but Hatton still has the game to get around Erin Hills. If he is off the green, he’s done, as evidenced by his 182nd ranking in SG:Around The Green. Peripheral statistics don’t work, but he has the game to compete.
- Russell Henley (8) – T16 at Pebble is his best U.S. Open in five tries. MC three of his last four tournaments. Fade.
- J.B. Holmes (9) – Any place that requires big hitting, J.B. should compete. He has been a rollercoaster, both recently on Tour and at the U.S. Open. Move along…
- Billy Horschel (9) – Ugh. Hard to believe his FedEx Cup Championship was three years ago already. He could find that form and win, or explode to an MC. Billy has seen the weekend at his last four U.S. Opens, with finishes of 4-23-25-32, so he likes the USGA setup. If I wasn’t so high on others, I’d go here.
- Martin Kaymer (10) – Here’s another former champion who won’t be on my team. I love Kaymer, but he has only played twice in the last eight weeks, and it was ugly both times. He’s 7-9 here with the win and one other top-10. You could do worse, but I don’t see him winning.
- Brooks Koepka (7) – It’s all here, except for his trouble with approach shots. Brooks is a bomber who shows excellent putting stats. He has posted 4-18-13 in his last three U.S. Opens. His recent form has cooled from boiling a few months ago, but still excellent. He’s one of three I’m considering for two spots, and I might not decide until Wednesday night.
- David Lingmerth (10) – DFS darling this week, Yahoo! outlier. Two trips to the U.S. Open have produced 17-12 and his form recently is similar; four top-20s in his last five tournaments. Statistically, he’s not a great fit, but I love the converging trends here.
- Alex Noren (10) – Noren is back to looking like a worldwide star after tripping a bit a few months back. He’s ranked eighth in the world for a reason. However, in four tries at the U.S. Open, he only played four rounds once. He could step up and threaten the leaderboard, but a lower finish on the weekend is more likely.
- Thomas Pieters (9) – Me hit ball. Me hit ball far. He dazzled all of us with his wizardry at Augusta, and there is no reason he can’t fly high again. First-timers at the U.S. Open don’t typically fare well, but Pieters is special. Like Ben Crane last week, Pieters will be on very few Yahoo! teams and he could win the whole thing. That’s the last time I’ll compare him to Ben Crane.
- Jon Rahm (5) – Since finishing T23 at Oakmont last year and capturing Low Amateur honors, he has set the world on fire. Rahm sits third on Tour in SG:Tee and sixth in SG:Approach. That’s straight dangerous. Without wasting space, the ‘C’ group is between Rahm, Garcia and Koepka for two spots. Stay tuned…
- Charl Schwartzel (10) – I hate to leave Schwartzel out, but there isn’t enough room. Looked great last weekend as he claimed runner-up honors, and he’s 8-10 at the U.S. Open with five top-25s, but I’m not ready to give him a win yet. He’s messy off the tee and his greenside game is sub-par. I’ll fade.
- Henrik Stenson (8) – Not long ago, this was a no-brainer selection. His U.S. Open record is excellent; 7-10 cuts made with all seven in the top-30. Then, he started missing cuts every week. His form has recovered, but he hasn’t played enough where I can trust him.
- Lee Westwood (10) – I want Westy to win so badly… shot 80 on Sunday last year to fade to T32. He hasn’t hit the top-10 at the U.S. Open since 2012, so he might have to win his major elsewhere.
- Bernd Wiesberger (10) – Brilliantly hot across the world of late, but 0-3 at the U.S. Open. Good, deep gamble in DFS on form only.
2017 US Open Yahoo roster
denotes first round starter
- A – Dustin Johnson* and Jason Day
- B – Jordan Spieth*, Justin Thomas*, Kevin Kisner and Justin Rose
- C – Brooks Koepka* and Jon Rahm
This could get interesting. I’m considering switching out Day for Fowler, and moving Spieth to the bench. My thought is if I’m going to use him, I want all four days from Spieth, short of him being bad early. ‘C’ group should include Sergio, but I’m not sure who to dump. Watch my Twitter feed for last-minute thoughts.
My son and I will be at Erin Hills on Friday, so if any of you will be on the grounds, hit me up on Twitter and I’d love to meet you!
I think Kisner could win the tournament, but DJ is the favorite to repeat and Day has knocked on the door so many times that he is owed one. It’s the U.S. Open – anything can happen!
Hit me up at @commishjoe on Twitter with questions, comments or emotional outbursts. Follow along for last-minute changes. If you aren’t a GNN Plus member, sign up today! $10 for the year! I’m about to spend that on one bottle of water at Erin Hills! Good luck!