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DraftKings PGA TOUR Fantasy Golf Preview: U.S. Open Course History vs. Current Form

Zach Thompson takes a look at golfers with the best course history and current form ahead of the U.S. Open.

The PGA TOUR is teeing it up this week for the third major championship of 2021, as the best golfers in the world compete in the U.S. Open, which will be held this year at Torrey Pines Golf Course in San Diego, California. There have been plenty of storylines lately on the PGA TOUR including an improbable major win for Phil Mickelson ($7,700) and the feud between Brooks Koepka ($10,100) and Bryson DeChambeau ($10,400). While those headliners will be in action this week, there are plenty of other players to watch as well. To help you get in on the fantasy action this week, make sure to check out the DraftKings Countdown to Golf’s Third Major for special offers this week.

For each major, this post examines two of the key factors to consider when building your DraftKings fantasy golf teams—course history and current form. In the charts below, check out the most notable players scheduled to tee it up this week who have had success at this venue in the past or have been playing well in recent weeks.



Course History

The U.S. Open is held at a different course each year but is typically played under extremely difficult conditions. That’s expected to be the case again this year as the PGA TOUR rolls into Torrey Pines for the second time this season.

Torrey Pines has hosted the Farmers Insurance Open every year since 1968 back when it was known as the Andy Williams-San Diego Open Invitational. As a result, we have an extended course history to look at this week, although the setup is expected to be tougher than it typically is for that event.



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Torrey Pines Results

Player Name Salary 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021
Player Name Salary 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021
Jon Rahm $11,200 -- 1 29 5 2 7
Dustin Johnson $10,700 18 CUT -- -- -- --
Rory McIlroy $9,900 -- -- -- 5 3 16
Xander Schauffele $9,300 CUT CUT CUT 25 CUT 2
Patrick Reed $9,000 -- -- 23 13 6 1
Tony Finau $8,900 18 4 6 13 6 2
Hideki Matsuyama $8,800 72 33 12 3 45 53
Justin Rose $8,000 CUT 4 8 1 CUT --
Cameron Smith $8,000 CUT 33 20 9 64 CUT
Phil Mickelson $7,700 CUT 14 45 -- CUT 53
Jason Kokrak $7,600 25 CUT -- 20 21 29
Gary Woodland $7,500 18 20 12 9 CUT 48
Adam Scott $7,400 -- -- -- 2 -- 10
Marc Leishman $7,400 CUT 20 8 43 1 18
Billy Horschel $7,300 8 64 54 8 68 CUT
Max Homa $7,300 -- CUT -- -- 9 18
Ryan Palmer $7,100 -- -- 2 13 21 2
John Huh $6,600 8 MDF 45 25 45 65
Jimmy Walker $6,500 4 CUT 63 CUT 30 CUT

As you can see, Patrick Reed ($9,000) emerged with the victory the first time the PGA TOUR visited Torrey Pines. He ran away with a five-shot win over Tony Finau ($8,900), Viktor Hovland ($9,200), Ryan Palmer ($7,100), Xander Schauffele ($9,300) and Henrik Norlander. That group who tied for second has shown some of the best consistent form all season, and any one of that group (except for Norlander) could avenge their second-place finish with a win this week.

This week won’t be the first time Torrey Pines has hosted the U.S. Open. The event was held here in 2008 when Tiger Woods beat Rocco Mediate in the first extra hole of a memorable Monday playoff with Woods hobbling around on a knee that would require surgery following the tournament. While Woods and Mediate aren’t teeing it up this week, Lee Westwood ($7,300) finished just one shot out of that playoff, Stewart Cink ($7,200) finished T14, Sergio Garcia ($7,500) tied for 18th with a group that included Phil Mickelson ($7,700), Adam Scott ($7,400) finished just outside the top 25, and both Dustin Johnson ($10,700) and Matt Kuchar ($7,100) also squeaked inside the top 50 in that tournament held 13 years ago.

Mickelson has an insane cumulative history at Torrey Pines, having played the event 29 times as a pro. Lefty won three times, including two straight in 2000 and 2001, but he hasn’t won the event since, posting five top-10s but not contending recently. He is trying to close out his career grand slam, but there’s no way lightning could strike twice, right?

If you’re looking for a sleeper to rise from the ultra-cheap end of the salary structure based on course history, Jimmy Walker ($6,500) is a player to keep an eye on since he has played the Farmers Insurance Open 14 times with four top-10 finishes. Walker also has a little recent form after a T6 at the Memorial.

Playing as a par-71 this week, the South Course is known for its awesome sweeping vistas of the Pacific Ocean, which makes it one of the most camera-friendly courses on the PGA TOUR each season. While it will be extremely easy on the eyes, it won’t be easy for pros to battle the conditions which are expected to feature thick, overgrown rough, hard-to-hit fairways and very fast greens.


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Current Form

The last time most of the top pros played was two weeks ago at the Memorial, where Jon Rahm ($11,200) was starting to pull away from the field before a positive COVID-19 test forced him to withdraw prior to the final round. He has a great course history at Torrey Pines and is now testing negative, so he should be ready to roll this week as he continues to search for his first major championship. Here are 25 players in strong form coming into the week:

Current Form

Player Name Salary Masters RBC Heritage Valspar Wells Fargo AT&T Byron Nelson PGA Championship Charles Schwab the Memorial Palmetto
Player Name Salary Masters RBC Heritage Valspar Wells Fargo AT&T Byron Nelson PGA Championship Charles Schwab the Memorial Palmetto
Jon Rahm $11,200 5 -- -- CUT -- 8 -- WD --
Jordan Spieth $10,900 3 -- -- -- 9 30 2 18 --
Dustin Johnson $10,700 CUT 13 48 -- -- CUT -- -- 10
Bryson DeChambeau $10,400 46 -- -- 9 55 38 -- 18 --
Rory McIlroy $9,900 CUT -- -- 1 -- 49 -- 18 --
Collin Morikawa $9,500 18 7 -- -- -- 8 14 2 --
Xander Schauffele $9,300 3 -- -- 14 -- CUT -- 11 --
Viktor Hovland $9,200 21 -- 3 3 -- 30 -- 47 --
Patrick Cantlay $9,100 CUT CUT -- CUT -- 23 -- 1 --
Patrick Reed $9,000 8 CUT -- 6 -- 17 CUT 5 --
Tony Finau $8,900 10 -- -- CUT -- 8 20 32 --
Will Zalatoris $8,600 2 42 -- CUT 17 8 59 -- --
Scottie Scheffler $8,500 18 -- 29 -- 47 8 CUT 3 --
Tyrrell Hatton $8,300 18 39 -- -- -- 38 -- -- 2
Corey Conners $8,200 8 4 21 43 -- 17 20 -- --
Justin Rose $8,000 7 -- CUT -- -- 8 20 -- --
Abraham Ancer $7,900 26 18 5 2 -- 8 14 -- --
Shane Lowry $7,600 21 9 -- 65 -- 4 -- 6 --
Jason Kokrak $7,600 49 13 -- -- -- 49 1 -- --
Brian Harman $7,400 12 13 -- 18 -- CUT 8 -- --
Stewart Cink $7,200 12 1 -- 37 -- 30 -- 47 --
Charley Hoffman $7,200 -- 18 18 -- -- 17 3 57 --
Kevin Streelman $7,100 -- 33 CUT 26 -- 8 20 13 --
Kyoung-Hoon Lee $6,900 -- 56 29 58 1 CUT -- 65 --
Troy Merritt $6,500 -- CUT 8 CUT 7 -- 7 50 --

Patrick Cantlay ($9,100) went on to get the win at the Memorial after Rahm withdrew and South African Garrick Higgo ($7,200) won last week at the Palmetto Championship, although on a vastly different course against a much weaker field. Other big winners recently include Jason Kokrak ($7,600) at the Charles Schwab Challenge, Sam Burns ($7,700) at the Valspar Championship and Rory McIlroy ($9,900) at the Wells Fargo Championship.

Dustin Johnson ($10,700) seemed to find a nice groove last week on his way to a top-10 finish and has a good history on West Coast courses like Torrey Pines. Jordan Spieth ($10,900) has been one of the most consistent names near the top of the leaderboards to this point in the season, and don’t overlook Patrick Reed either, who finished fifth at the Memorial but looked sharp enough to contend for his second win at the same course this season.

Further down the salary structure, Tony Finau ($8,900) seems to have rediscovered his form after a couple of rough weeks and always seems to be on the verge of a breakthrough. He also has a great history at this track and in U.S. Open conditions, so he’s one of my favorite picks this week. Local-boy Charley Hoffman ($7,200) has also been playing well lately and could offer nice value while veterans Kevin Streelman ($7,100) and Stewart Cink ($7,200) have had solid runs as well. Troy Merritt ($6,500) is a punt play that could make sense after three top-10 finishes in his past five events.

Looking at some of the key stats coming into this week, defending U.S. Open champ Bryson DeChambeau ($10,400) leads the PGA TOUR by a wide margin in Shots Gained: Off-The-Tee, which will be key on this long layout. Jhonattan Vegas ($6,800) slid into the top five in that category after a strong week last week at Congaree Golf Club. In Shots Gained: Approach, Collin Morikawa ($9,500) leads the way with Tyrrell Hatton ($8,300) jumping into the top five after a great ball-striking week last week at the Palmetto. In Bogey Avoidance, Webb Simpson ($8,700) still has the top spot, so if this week turns into a battle of just not dropping shots, he should be set up for success. Abraham Ancer ($7,900) and Cantlay are also in the top five in that category.

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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is Z.Thompson) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.


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