Connect with us

Tour News

6 picks to win the U.S. Open… and $1 million, special prizes

Published

on

It’s finally U.S. Open week, and even if Chambers Bay’s early reviews aren’t great, I’m still excited!

But let’s get away from the bellyaching and focus on this: DraftKings is putting forth an insanely lucrative $2.5 MILLION CONTEST for the year’s second major. As was the case with the Masters, the winner of this week’s contest will win $1 million. Yes, $1 MILLION, with $2.5 million worth of prizes being awarded.

Enter the $2.5 million contest here!

Going down the line, it’s $100,000 for second place, $50,000 for third, and you’re guaranteed at least $10,000 if you’re one of the top-10 finishers. The entry fee is upped to $20 this week, but these are exorbitant potential winnings.

GolfWRX is getting in on the giving as well. As was the case a few weeks ago, we are offering up prizes of our own.

The rules are simple: click the link in this article, make a deposit and you are part of the pool for our contest! Here are the wonderful potential prizes (and here’s the link again):

1st Place: Adams Blue Driver, 3 Wood and 3 Hybrid (Regular-Flex Shafts)

DraftKingsAdamsBlue

2nd Place: Callaway Mack Daddy 2 PM Grind Wedge (60-degrees, RH)

DraftKingsMackPM

3rd Place: John Daly’s House of Forged Tour Spec “Great White Shaft” Long Drive Shaft

HouseOfForgedDraftKingsExciting week, huh? Anyway, onto my analysis.
unnamed

Click to enter the $2.5 million contest!!

The Course

As I said, not the most resoundingly positive reviews for Chambers Bay thus far. The course is already extremely firm and fast, and media members appear worried that the layout might get out of control.

ChambersBayCourse

I don’t know; I think the doom and gloom here is a bit off base. Mike Davis has been a legend at creating brutal but fair setups since taking over that part in 2006. He also saw what this course is like when it’s too baked out (as was the case at the 2010 U.S. Amateur) and admitted he preferred not to see it that out of control again.

I expect this course to be quite firm and fast (rain is barely in the forecast, and Chambers drains impeccably anyway), but I’m not counting on this setup becoming a race track.

Anyway, with virtually no playing record at Chambers Bay, my course breakdown will be a little different. We have one event (the 2010 U.S. Amateur) and even if I was willing to use a sample size that small as a predictor (I’m not), the course underwent a sizable makeover on a couple of holes since 2010, and we won’t get the Amateur conditions again either.

So, what can we do? We just have to look at what everyone else is saying and see if we agree.

From what players and media have put forth, there seems to be at least a semi-consensus: This course favors long, high-ball hitters with great short games. (That thinking is most evident here).

It appears that with the wide fairways, driving is getting diminished, and with the greens being rough surfaces, putting is also being put down.

That’s the gist. As for my thoughts, I actually think driving will still be pretty important. Yes, these fairways are wide, but as Jordan Spieth noted, if you miss them, you’re in big trouble. There’s also a lot of sloping on some of these fairways that can kick balls forward (which really enables long hitters) if hit in the right spot, and there’s a lot of angling strategy for hitting it in the correct part of the fairway.

I don’t think putting will be that important but more so than people are letting on. I’m also a little dubious on the high-ball hitter thing.

Honestly, it’s what you choose to believe. I feel from looking at this course extensively that every part of the game at Chambers Bay is incredibly important, except for putting, which still isn’t minute. I would also look for long hitters, and high ball hitters to a far lesser extent.

Six-Man Roster (Last Week: 401.5 points, 1,665th of 28,807, WON $10!!!)

  • Jordan Spieth, $12,600
  • Matt Kuchar, $8,800
  • Patrick Reed, $8,500
  • Kevin Na, $7,100
  • Tony Finau, $6,400
  • Roberto Castro, $5,900

Spieth

I actually had a choice between Spieth and McIlroy at the top, I picked the former because Rory freely admits he struggles on a firm and fast layout like we have this week at Chambers Bay. Until he can prove otherwise, Rory isn’t getting my money at this type of setup.

Kuchar has had a pretty “meh” past few months, with just one top-10 in his past 11 starts. He’s still getting good finishes, just not what one would expect from him. I think he breaks out of this quasi-slump soon, and considering he excels in pretty much all parts of the game, Chambers doesn’t have much it can trip him up with.

The problem Reed may have this week is he’s not a very accurate driver, but he’s so gritty and his short game is so good that I’ll let it slide. He also can be very precise with his approaches when he’s on. Reed has a great U.S. Open mentality, he’s really right on the brink of some great play and I know he’s only been in a handful of majors so far, but it feels like about time for him to finally contend. Oh, and that 68 in the 2010 U.S. Am at Chambers Bay doesn’t hurt either.

I’m not sure how much Na fits with this layout (short hitter and not particularly accurate driving either), but he just posts great finish after great finish, EIGHT STRAIGHT TOP-20S IN STROKE PLAY EVENTS. Na actually profiles worse at Augusta (Chambers Bay rewards his creativity a little more) but has two T12s there, so poor course fit doesn’t faze me with him.

This is Finau’s first major, but I don’t expect him to be overwhelmed. This course should really appeal to him. He can really bomb it down there on a lot of these holes, and he’s a solid iron player, too. If he just reigns in his accuracy a little, this could be a great initial experience for him in the Big Four.

As for Castro, he is a total wildcard. He only has conditional PGA Tour status, he’s played poorly of late and he’s missed both his cuts at the U.S. Open. He did shoot 66 to finish last week in Memphis, though, and I see him as a guy who could surprise contend in a major at some point. Why not this week?

Random roster via two non-golf fans (Last Week: 157 points, 28,232nd of 28,807)

  • Rory McIlroy, $13,000
  • Jimmy Walker, $9,100
  • Zach Johnson, $7,600
  • Luke Donald, $7,400
  • Charl Schwartzel, $7,300
  • Ollie Schniederjans, $5,400

Here is the reasoning they chose for each in order…

ZachJohnson

Zach Johnson: No explanation needed if you read this column regularly. (Hint: Iowa)

Luke Donald: Also pretty standard fare, as Donald is a Northwestern alum and so are these two.

Charl Schwartzel These guys love the name. Not sure I see how this is a great name myself, but whatever.

Rory McIlroy Because he’s good. Well that’s boring…

Ollie Schniederjans Also because of that name. This is more respectable, Ollie’s last name is legitimately pretty funny/awesome.

Jimmy Walker The duo only had $9,100 left and this was the only player at that exact price to hit $50,000. Always a good reason. 

Alternate Six-Man Roster (Last Week: 299 points, 13,781st of 28,807)

  • Rickie Fowler, $10,800
  • Henrik Stenson, $10,000
  • Jimmy Walker, $9,100
  • Marc Leishman, $7,000
  • Kevin Kisner, $7,000
  • Lucas Glover, $6,000
USGA/Hunter Martin

USGA/Hunter Martin

Fowler somehow missed the cut on me at the Memorial, but I don’t hold grudges. Not sure why, but it seems like this course could really fit Fowler’s eyes. He’s also a great short game player, which is helpful if his ball striking falters at any point.

Stenson just hasn’t had much going since he got sick right before and during Masters week. He should be back at any moment now, though, and he’s still hungry for a first major. Walker’s driving accuracy woes are problematic, but he makes up for it with how far he hits it, along with immaculate iron play and putting.

Leishman quietly put together a very solid stretch (two top-10s, five top-30s in six starts) after the awful scare with his wife. I’m trusting him on his form coming into this event.

Kisner’s run has not been quiet, but ditto the reasoning I gave to Leishman. I don’t know that his back is fine, but I’m going to take the risk here.

Yes, I think we are diminishing putting too much this week. That being said, it still won’t be that important and that is big for Glover, who is 202nd — DEAD LAST — in Strokes Gained Putting in 2015. He’s made a lot of cuts of late and is striping the ball, it just seems that if the role of the putter could be diminished he might contend. This is the perfect week to test that out, because if the flatstick doesn’t kill him, man does this course look good for his game (long, accurate driver, precise approach player).

unnamed

Click to enter the $2.5 million contest!

Enter the $2.5 million contest here!

Your Reaction?
  • 6
  • LEGIT1
  • WOW0
  • LOL2
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP1
  • OB0
  • SHANK12

Kevin's fascination with the game goes back as long as he can remember. He has written about the sport on the junior, college and professional levels and hopes to cover its proceedings in some capacity for as long as possible. His main area of expertise is the PGA Tour, which is his primary focus for GolfWRX. Kevin is currently a student at Northwestern University, but he will be out into the workforce soon enough. You can find his golf tidbits and other sports-related babble on Twitter @KevinCasey19. GolfWRX Writer of the Month: September 2014

2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. George

    Jun 23, 2015 at 11:18 am

    Great article great picks:

    Here are my picks for the million dollar one: Won $41

    Paul Casey 7.2% T39 (+6)
    72 – 69 – 73 – 72 – 286
    Final
    47 PAR, 10 BIR, 14 BOG, 1 DBB, 1 31st-40th 47.5
    J.B. Holmes 6.0% T27 (+5)
    72 – 66 – 71 – 76 – 285
    Final
    34 PAR, 15 BIR, 2 EAG, 18 BOG, 3 DBB, 1 26th-30th, 1 BIR3+ 72
    Hideki Matsuyama 28.5% T18 (+3)
    70 – 71 – 72 – 70 – 283
    Final
    47 PAR, 13 BIR, 8 BOG, 4 DBB, 1 16th-20th 59.5
    Patrick Reed 14.1% T14 (+2)
    66 – 69 – 76 – 71 – 282
    Final
    34 PAR, 17 BIR, 2 EAG, 15 BOG, 4 DBB, 1 11th-15th 78.5
    Brandt Snedeker 15.0% 8 (-1)
    69 – 72 – 70 – 68 – 279
    Final
    48 PAR, 13 BIR, 10 BOG, 1 DBB, 1 8th, 1 BIR3+ 69
    Jimmy Walker 15.3% T58 (+12)
    72 – 73 – 72 – 75 – 292
    Final
    39 PAR, 12 BIR, 18 BOG, 3 DBB 43.5

  2. Gus

    Jun 17, 2015 at 8:19 pm

    i think matsuyama can do this, he’s been doing well pretty much all year and it takes a good striker and seriously good iron player to handle this course. He’s not a bomber but he gets it out there. Justin Rose also fits this bill. Also, Jim Furyk. He does not hit it long but he’s accurate as all hell, and if he places the ball in the right spot he can get some kick from it to help his distance, his short game is probably top 10 on tour and if he gets the flatstick going like he did at RBC he will put up some insane scores.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Tour Photo Galleries

Photos from the 2024 RBC Heritage

Published

on

GolfWRX is on site this week at Harbour Town Golf Links on Hilton Head Island for the RBC Heritage. Plenty of golfers who competed in the Masters last week will be making the quick turnaround in the Lowcountry of South Carolina as the Heritage is again one of the Tour’s Signature Events.

We have general albums for you to check out, as well as plenty of WITBs — including Justin Thomas and Justin Rose.

We’ll continue to update as more photos flow in from SC.

Check out links to all our photos, below.

General Albums

WITB Albums

Pullout Albums

See what GolfWRXers are saying and join the discussion in the forums.

Your Reaction?
  • 9
  • LEGIT0
  • WOW0
  • LOL2
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP1
  • OB0
  • SHANK0

Continue Reading

Tour Photo Galleries

Photos from the 2024 Valero Texas Open

Published

on

GolfWRX is on site this week at the Valero Texas Open.

The event has been around since 1922, making it one of the oldest on the PGA Tour calendar. Over the years, it’s been held at a variety of courses across the Lone Star State, but it’s found its home at TPC San Antonio in recent years. Some of the biggest names in golf have taken home the title here, including Arnold Palmer, Ben Hogan, Lee Trevino, and Ben Crenshaw.

GolfWRX has its usual assortment of general galleries, WITBs and special pull-out albums. As always, we’ll continue to update the links below as more photos come in from TPC San Antonio.

General Albums

WITB Albums

Pullout Albums

See what GolfWRXers are saying in the forums

Your Reaction?
  • 16
  • LEGIT3
  • WOW6
  • LOL2
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP0
  • OB0
  • SHANK0

Continue Reading

Tour Photo Galleries

Photos from the 2024 Texas Children’s Houston Open

Published

on

GolfWRX is on site in the Lone Star State this week for the Texas Children’s Houston Open.

General galleries from the putting green and range, WITBs — including Thorbjorn Olesen and Zac Blair — and several pull-out albums await.

As always, we’ll continue to update as more photos flow in. Check out links to all our photos from Houston below.

General Albums

WITB Albums

Pullout Albums

See what GolfWRXers are saying in the forums.

Your Reaction?
  • 19
  • LEGIT5
  • WOW2
  • LOL4
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP1
  • OB0
  • SHANK0

Continue Reading

WITB

Facebook

Trending