The Sleeper Report: Fantasy Golf Sleepers, Long Shots, and Undervalued Picks for the 2017 U.S. Open
The U.S. Open Fantasy Sleeper Preview
It’s June and that can only mean one thing: the US Open….and what an intriguing contest we have in store.
The action will unfold at a brand new course, in a professional golf sense of the word, at Erin Hills in Wisconsin, and with several plotlines rather clouding who we might expect to lift the trophy. Dustin’s a new daddy, Rory’s got a new putter and Jordan’s….well, just being typically inconsistent Jordan.
Throw in to the mix recent missed cuts for the likes of Rickie Fowler, Jon Rahm, and Henrik Stenson, plus a probably absent Phil Mickelson, and we can lick our lips at the prospect of a wide open competition.
That’s good news for sportsbook punters then, as most of you will already know the majors are ripe for a long odds winner. Both Danny Willett and Jimmy Walker were priced at 100/1+ by the bookmakers when they took down The Masters and the PGA Championship in 2016.
The outstanding item on the agenda this week is this Erin Hills course, which will make its Tour level bow this week, let alone its first major hosting. The track welcomed the 2011 US Amateur Championship, where Kelly Kraft took victory over Patrick Cantlay (Jordan Spieth was knocked out in the early rounds), but other than that it is very much a venture into the unknown. Worryingly, the general consensus isn’t great, although apparently it’s not as bad as Chambers Bay. So that’s something.
This is the US Open, so we shouldn’t expect an easy course, and that’s the word on the street this week too. It’s devilishly long, and while yardage will fluctuate from round-to-round we’re expecting something around the 7,600-7,700 yard mark across the board. At least it will play as a Par 72; the first time the US Open has had a such a mark since 1992.
The fairways have been described as wide enough, but the devil is in the detail: there’s only a couple of yards of shorter rough on most holes, which then blends seamlessly into the kind of fescue that you could lose a small child in. Distance AND accuracy is the key off the peg this week.
Erin Hills is built into a typically rugged Milwaukee landscape, with the architects staying true to much of the original formation of the land. The upshot is that many of the greens sit either in bowls or on top of mounds, with undulating fairways providing plenty of run too. Approach play could be the trophy winner this week, with bump-and-run from around the green a risky strategy given the speedy Bentgrass surfaces.
This course will provide a stern test of credentials on any given day, and that’s before we mention the rain (scattered thunderstorms predicted) and wind (stiff breezes too). A brilliant major awaits us this week….but it might not be pretty for the players.
So with all that in mind here are five fantasy sleepers who could go well given what we know about Erin Hills:
The U.S. Open Fantasy Sleeper Report
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