Right off the bat, you have a huge decision to make. Dustin Johnson is the World No. 1 and sets up perfectly for this huge course, so fading him is a massive gamble (for clarification, I will be using Johnson a bunch this week, just not in this particular lineup). However, if you do decide to start your lineup with a cheaper option, you can afford two of the elite players without having to downgrade much elsewhere.
In terms of skill set, Jon Rahm is awfully similar to DJ, ranking 13th on Tour in driving distance, third in strokes gained off the tee and sixth in strokes gained approaching the green. All of those are extremely important for Erin Hills, which sets up as a first- and second-shot course.
Rickie Fowler is coming off a missed cut at this week’s FedEx St. Jude Classic, but that’s probably a good thing. Not only could it result in a lower ownership percentage, but he likely wasn’t focused too much on the St. Jude anyways, and missing the weekend ultimately gave him a better chance to get ready for Erin Hills. He’s still the same player who has a win and five Top-10’s this year, and he’s still the same player who ranks 13th on Tour in strokes gained approach and seventh in strokes gained putting. He’s my pick to win, so I’m fine spending $10,500.
Going with two $10,000-plus players means we need to skip the next couple of tiers and jump down to the $8,000-and-below range. Fortunately, there are a ton of options at that price point.
Thomas Pieters is no longer a secret after his performance at the Masters, but he hasn’t done much since, so he could still fly under the radar. One of the most talented young players in the world, he has the power off the tee and approach game (his .908 strokes gained per round would rank third on Tour if he qualified) to be successful here.
The next two players, Kevin Kisner and Shane Lowry, both come in playing well (win and T6 in Kisner’s last two; T6 and T15 in Lowry’s) and both were excellent at the 2015 US Open, finishing 12th and ninth respectively. That’s important because it took place at Chambers Bay, which is perhaps the best comparable course to Erin Hills in the fact that they are both American-style links courses.
Finally, we have Ross Fisher, who feels like a steal at $6,600. Not only is he playing well with three Top-10’s and a T22 in his last five starts, but he also grades out well in a number of important stats. Over the last 12 weeks, he ranks 28th in the field in strokes gained off the tee, third in proximity from 200-plus yards (there will be lots of long approach shots on this course), and 11th in strokes gained tee to green.
Other players I’ll have exposure to this week: Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth, Rory McIlroy, Sergio Garcia, Brooks Koepka, Branden Grace, Paul Casey, Alex Noren, Louis Oosthuizen, Patrick Reed, Charl Schwartzel, Bernd Wiesberger, Martin Kaymer, Francesco Molinari, Peter Uihlein, Byeong-Hun An, Tony Finau
US Open Predictions 2017: Power Ranking Top 10 for Erin Hills
There is no shortage of contenders for the 2017 US Open at Erin Hills. We take a look at the Top 10.
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US Open Odds 2017: Best Bets & Sleeper Picks at Erin Hills
Dustin Johnson is the clear favorite at the US Open, but there are a bevy of compelling sleepers with valuable odds at Erin Hills.
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