It’s hard to believe but the third major of the season is already here. Brooks Koepka, finally getting the recognition he deserves, will go for the 3-peat and try to become the second person to complete such a momentous achievement (Willie Anderson did it in 1903,04,05). Accuracy will be at a premium this year, as Pebble Beach’s fairways have been narrowed and the rough lengthened in an attempt to up the challenge. The entire top-60 of the World Golf Ranking will be in attendance, as will the sectional qualifiers, and 14 amateurs. Ernie Els will also play this year in his 27th consecutive US Open start.
In contrast to several recent US Opens, Pebble Beach plays on the shorter side and should weigh in right around 7100 yards depending on the day. This should help level out the playing field for some of the shorter hitters and accuracy players. Given the length of the rough, getting off the tee is going to be of maximum importance here. Don’t be surprised if the winner leads the field in fairways hit.
If you can get it in the fairway at Pebble, it doesn’t get any easier. The greens are the size of dinner plates, and if they’re rolling like they usually do in the US Open, there could be problems. The USGA has come out and said this year that they’re not going to let the greens get as fast as last year, but that’s still up to be determined. Players better be able to roll the rock. Oh, and did we mention the rough yet? Well it’s worth saying again, if you miss the green here, you best know how to scramble.
All this considered, if you’re assembling a Draftkings lineup, you might want to find some value in a couple of lower ownership and less expensive players, so you can stock your lineup with the world’s elite. Here’s our top 5 favorite sleeper picks below $7,000 this weekend.
Byeong Hun An – $6,900
Statistically, Ben An is one of the best golfers on tour. He’s 11th in Strokes Gained: Tee-to-green, 3rd in Around-the-green, 44th Off-the-tee, and 35th in Approach-the-green. Where does he suffer? With the flat-stick. He’s not even in the top 200 in putting. Luckily for him, we mentioned that the greens at Pebble are tiny. If he can find them, he should be close enough to avoid damaging 3-putts.
Erik Van Rooyen – $6,900
Van Rooyen has been a hot golfer as of late, and we like his price here. He played well at the WGC Mexico, and finished T-8 at the PGA Championship. Last week, he got off to a hot start in Canada and then cooled off on the weekend. Yet throughout the entire RBC Heritage he drove the ball well. Hopefully his tough weekend will lead to a desire to get after it on Thursday.
Charles Howell III – $6,900
We’re not gonna lie, CH3 has not had a successful few weeks. Several missed cuts have made his Draftkings price plummet, but let’s not forget something: he usually plays great on the west coast. This year he was T-20 at Torrey and solo-6th at Riviera. Plus, he’s 40th in SG: Off-the-tee, and 16th Around-the-green. This is a deep sleeper, but we’d like to see CH3 put up a fight at Pebble.
Danny Willett – $6,800
Trending upward since the PGA Championship, Danny Willett is a previous major winner who’s completely off the radar. The rough was long last week, and he didn’t drive the ball well, but was still able to hit almost 70% off his greens in regulation. Look for him to continue trending upward this week at a place that really values his approach statistics.
Kiradech Aphibarnrat – $6,800
Ranked 46th in the world, Kiradech is a steal at $6,800. He’s not bad off the tee, but where he really shines is with the putter. Ranked 12th in SG: Putting, Kiradech could get hot at any moment with the irons and his putter could help him make a deep run on Sunday.
All of our stats are provided by www.pgatour.com. Let us know if you have any favorite sleeper picks for the tournament or if our advice leads to any cash in your pocket! We always love to talk golf on social media @frogger, or in the comment section below.
Thanks for reading!