No golf course outside of Augusta National elicits the emotion, feeling, and general positive vibes like Pebble Beach Golf Links does. Site of the annual Pebble Beach Pro-Am, California’s golf gem is the setting for the season’s third major championship – and often the toughest to win – the U.S. Open. With the largest field of the four major championships, largely made up of amateurs who won local qualifying events, the first two rounds will separate the few who can win the event from the guys happy to be playing there.
I feel like outside of the local muni course I grew up playing on, I think there is no course I have a better feel for the difficult holes vs. the scoring holes – shout out to the Tiger Woods Golf video game franchise. The course was a staple in the game that I logged an obscene amount of hours playing in college.
It also stands out as the location of the most dominant performance in the history of the sport when in 2000 Tiger Woods won the Open posting a 12 under par score over four days. The runner ups? Ernie Els and Miguel Angel Jimenez – who were THREE OVER PAR! A 15 shot win. In the U.S. Open. In which no one else was under par.
Check this out if you need a refresher:
I reached out to my uncle Roger who was at that Open for his memories of Pebble that year. Outside of witnessing the greatness of the best player to ever walk the earth and Sergio Garcia exploding a bird Randy Johnson-style my uncle’s thoughts about Pebble are a bit more impactful than my college video game addiction. He caddied for his nearly life long best friend in a 2000 Open qualifying event. His friend tragically was dealing with his brother’s terminal cancer for which the hope was he’d make it to the U.S. Open if he won the event.
A few weeks before the qualifier his brother succumbed to pancreatic cancer. Unfortunately my uncle’s friend didn’t play his best that day and didn’t advance out of the qualifier. He had rented a condo near Pebble Beach to take his brother and family to the Open but sadly his brother didn’t make it that long. Roger was asked to take his place with the family and attend the Open with them – which is a time I know he will always cherish.
The perfect course and the perfect event – it touches on all the emotions of golf fans. In an interview this week on Barstool Sports’ Fore Play podcast, Kevin Kisner discussed the run outs to the ocean on holes 4, 6, 8 being shaved down to counter the extremely thick rough. Make a mistake and you’re either in the ocean or in grass so thick you might almost wish you’d have the drop instead. Intense ocean winds, unforgiving rough, and a course length that only the longest hitters stand a chance of surviving all chip in to the mystique Pebble carries.
Nick and I are back for the third installment of our golf major DFS plays. As we have said before in these, use this as a guide to help – not a bible for gospel. Let’s get on to the winners.
Remember – the key in DFS golf is getting each player on your squad to at least make the cut. Get as many balls in the hopper as possible. When you have six guys in, anything can happen and it’s such a strong advantage over people with only four or five. From there, you want guys who avoid the major meltdowns.
Justin Thomas – $9.3k
I am an unabashed Brooks Koepka fan. He’s the best player in the world as it currently stands and he absolutely rips apart majors. However, I am going off the gut instinct that the guy can’t win every major, right?
So that brings me to Thomas – who like Koepka is so consistent and rarely beats himself. He’s fourth overall in greens-in-regulation (GIR%). He has a major under his belt and you know he will always be in the hunt. It sounds like he is starting to get past a wrist injury that has impacted his game in the last year or so.
Bryson DeChambeau – $8.1k
He’s a weird quirky guy. But also supremely talented and appears to be knocking on the doorstep of winning a major. He hung around at The Masters until Sunday when Tiger Woods ran away with the win while in turn struggling a bit at the PGA Championship last month. He hits the ball long and when his game is on, he always seems to be putting for birdies – which are huge points in DFS. You’ll know half way through round one which Bryson DeChambeau shows up – I’m banking heavily on the one you saw leading halfway through the Masters.
Cheaper DFS Targets
Marc Leishman – $7.8k
Si Woo Kim – $7.1k
Rafa Cabrea Bello – $7.3k
Kevin Kisner – $ 7.4k
Brooks Koepka: +900 to win
Tiger Woods: +1100 to win
Justin Thomas: +2800 to win
Bryson DeChambeau: +800 top 5 finish
Gary Woodland: +550 top 10 finish
72 Hole Matchups
Jordan Spieth +130 (vs Patrick Cantlay -170)
Rickie Fowler -135 (vs Xander Schauffele +105)
Brooks Koepka: +900 to win
Best Bets from Nick
-Tiger to win +1200
-Koepka to win +900
-Finau to win +5000