Looking for 2017 US Open picks, either for betting or fantasy golf games like DraftKings, FanDuel, Yahoo, Golf Channel or the PGA Tour?
We have your 2017 US Open rankings and expert picks, as we do each week of the PGA Tour season.
The U.S. Open is here! Erin Hills hosts the national championship for the first time, and Wisconsin again puts a stamp on golf as a place for major championship golf. The gang is all here, except Phil Mickelson, and it should be a special week with lots of drama on a rare par-72 U.S. Open host track.
For those new to our weekly picks, we offer our top 10 players for free. For the US Open, GNN Plus members get additional analysis and research otherwise hidden to the general public (including an additional 10 players), and that’s in addition to access to a searchable database of PGA Tour results from 2011-present, top-15 PGA Tour trends and season-long DraftKings salary trends.
2017 US Open rankings: Top 10 picks
1. Dustin Johnson – DJ is the best player in the world. He has he length. He’s got the touch. He’s the defending champion, which counts for something. Don’t worry about the MC at Jack’s place.
2. Jason Day – Day is putting it all together at the right time. Unexpectedly lost the Nelson playoff. He had his best finish at Memorial, where he usually tanks. He is a top-15 MACHINE in the U.S. Open.
3. Jordan Spieth – This is a ranking out of both respect for his game and some very good recent results. Don’t worry about the Sawgrass cut; that place is in his head. He played great here in the ’11 Amateur, and he’s been good in his last two starts.
4. Justin Thomas – Justin Thomas struggles to finish off golf tournaments at times. He does. Should’ve won Memorial and booted it. That said, he was a key part of the ’11 U.S. Am here, and he just needs to not be wild off the tee to contend.
5. Rory McIlroy – Rory won an Open, and, yet, his game hasn’t translated in this championship since. Excellent driver of the ball, but his short game can bite him. It can’t here. But the par 5s should keep him hanging around.
6. Jon Rahm – Rahm was reportedly a little pissy at Memorial when he didn’t play well. We know he has that fire in him. We also know he’s fearless, long and can play anywhere. My worry is Rahm’s worried about his hype now. If he avoids that, he can win going away.
7. Adam Scott – Scott has done nothing spectacular all year, so why put him in the top 10? His game works for the Open. It always has. Frankly, he should’ve won one of these already.
8. Jason Dufner – The Duf Daddy isn’t long, yes, but he knew that and still won Memorial on a track he figured too long for him. Putting is an issue on normal weeks for him, but it’s not when putting is an issue for everyone at the Open.
9. Rickie Fowler
10. Kevin Kisner – Kevin Kisner is a bad man. He’s been great almost all year, and his relative lack of length is not a problem here at all.
My DraftKings lineup for this week:
We’ll have several this week, but this is our A-lineup:
- Brooks Koepka – $9,000
- Adam Scott – $8,800
- Branden Grace – $8,600
- Jason Dufner – $8,100
- Brandt Snedeker – $7,800
- Kevin Kisner – $7,500
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2017 US Open rankings: Picks 11-20
11. Sergio Garcia – Psst. This guy won the Masters. Yeah, he basically took May off save for a round and a shot at The Players. But don’t be fooled. He can win this.
12. Brooks Koepka – When I think majors, I don’t typically think Brooks Koepka, but his record in the Open is really good. Threatened 62 on Sunday last year in really tough conditions at Oakmont. He gets this brand of golf.
13. Alex Noren – Noren’s winning plenty in Europe. So why isn’t he ranked higher? He’s winning in Europe. This is a different game. However, his short game is divine.
14. Justin Rose – Rose skipped Memorial, and that was a bummer since it’s typically a part of his cadence. Past winner on a track as different in length as could be compared to Erin Hills. Rest should be good for him.
15. Hideki Matsuyama – I’d argue Erin Hills is a second-shot course despite its length because the actual space on the greens you can hit isn’t that big. Hideki isn’t playing top-tier golf right now but has the game to do well at Erin. (NOTE: The more words I write about a player is usually me trying to talk myself into why I should like them.)
16. Paul Casey – Following up on the point with Matsuyama. Casey is a ballstriker playing great overall.
17. Matt Kuchar – It doesn’t make any sense given how short he is, but Matt Kuchar is great in the U.S. Open. Great. T-12 or better in five of his last seven 2017 starts.
18. Charl Schwartzel – A few weeks ago, Schwartzel wouldn’t have made this top 20. Now, I feel like I’m underrating him. Almost won in Memphis, and maybe he’s peaking at the right time.
19. Louis Oosthuizen – Louis’s playing great this year. No missed cuts. Runner-up at Sawgrass. He’s got a pretty good Open record. Just needs putts to go down.
20. Branden Grace – Grace has the game for the U.S. Open. Nearly won the last two, in completely different ways, mind you. Not playing a lot of golf, but he’s playing good Euro Tour golf.
GNN Plus Research and Analysis
Recent PGA Tour Trends
We start by looking at the recent past, back at players who have finished inside the top 15 in the last five PGA Tour events.
- Adam Scott – 2 – T-6 The Players, T-10 FedEx St. Jude
- Billy Horschel – 2 – WIN Byron Nelson, T-4 FedEx St. Jude
- Dustin Johnson – 2 – T-12 The Players, T-13 Byron Nelson
- Jason Day – 2 – P-2 Byron Nelson, T-15 Memorial
- Jason Dufner – 2 – T-13 Byron Nelson, WIN Memorial
- Jordan Spieth – 2 – T-2 Colonial, T-13 Memorial
- Kevin Kisner – 2 – WIN Colonial, T-6 Memorial
- Marc Leishman – 2 – T-13 Byron Nelson, T-15 Memorial
- Matt Kuchar – 3 – T-9 Byron Nelson, T-12 Colonial, T-4 Memorial
- Rafa Cabrera Bello – T-4 The Players, T-4 FedEx St. Jude
- Sean O’Hair – 2 – T-5 Byron Nelson, T-2 Colonial
- Stewart Cink – 2 – T-10 Colonial, T-10 FedEx St. Jude
Event Finish History
We’re also interested in the players in the field that have finished in the top 15 at the U.S. Open multiple times in the last five years:
- Adam Scott – 3
- Brandt Snedeker – 3
- Brooks Koepka – 2
- Charl Schwartzel – 3
- Dustin Johnson – 3
- Ernie Els – 2
- Graeme McDowell – 2
- Jason Day – 5
- Jason Dufner – 3
- Jim Furyk – 3
- John Senden – 3
- Justin Rose – 2
- Kevin Chappell – 2
- Kevin Na – 2
- Lee Westwood – 3
- Louis Oosthuizen – 2
- Martin Kaymer – 2
- Matt Kuchar – 3
- Rickie Fowler – 2
- Rory McIlroy – 2
- Sergio Garcia – 2
- Shane Lowry – 2
- Steve Stricker – 2
- Webb Simpson – 2
DraftKings salaries change from week to week, depending on field strength and size, as well a player’s recent record and their history on a course. It’s in looking at how a salary changes over time that we might get some clues as to players that could be a little overrated or underrated.
Here’s the list of players in the field playing $200 or more over their 2016-17 average salary:
- Alex Noren
- Sergio Garcia
- Yusaku Miyazato
- Ernie Els
- Hideto Tanihara
- Bubba Watson
- Jon Rahm
- Jason Day
- George Coetzee
- Justin Rose
- Branden Grace
- Bradley Dredge
- Rickie Fowler
Here are the players playing this week with multiple top-15 finishes in the last five PGA Tour events that re playing AT LEAST $400 BELOW their average salary from the 2016-17 season:
- Adam Scott
- Billy Horschel
- Kevin Kisner
- Marc Leishman
- Matt Kuchar
- Rafa Cabrera Bello
- Sean O’Hair
Success at Erin Hills
I really think you’ll love Erin Hills. I really do. I played it in 2015 and had a great time. The fairways are wide and generous. The golf course is imminently playable, and the length really isn’t that scary. There are plenty of places for roll and hitting downhill. What’s scary is that this is unknown as a U.S. Open host site. How firm will it get? How will the USGA screw with the setup each day? The 5s should generally be reachable, but they’re not what makes Erin Hills hard. Erin Hills will penalize players who take dumb risks and don’t pull them off (like trying to drive No. 2, getting cute on No. 9, not playing smart on No. 11, etc.) because there will be little margin for error on those close-in shots. Play to score on the 5s, pars on the 3s and sneak in a birdie or two on the shorter par 4s.