Whether this is your first time playing fantasy golf, or you’re a PGA DFS Tour Vet, the First Cut should have something for you, for our third Major of the year, the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach. This article serves as a guide for the week ahead, covering a wide variety of topics in a short amount of space.
Here’s what you can expect to see in the article:
- Tournament intro
- Course commentary
- Sweatsheat & scorecard
- DFS preview
- Player and statistical preview
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Tournament Intro: U.S. Open
It’s MAJOR time! To some, this is the best week of the year, as the National Open presents the toughest test in golf each year, while that certainly held true last year at Shinnecock, it likely won’t be as prevalent this year at the “easier” albeit souped/tricked up Pebble Beach Golf Course. In 2010 it did, in fact, play the toughest course of the year, but there’s a reason why. More on that in a bit.
The next line is one of my favorites I get to say all year, and I only get to say it once a year, but the national Open has been played since 1895, where ten professionals and one amateur competed in a 36 hole stroke play event played at… NEWPORT COUNTRY CLUB IN RHODE ISLAND!
The championship wasn’t played during the world wars (1917 & 1918) as well as 1942-1945. Using 1895 as our first Open, this will be, if my brain my necessary math skills work today, 108th playing of the U.S. Open.
This Week’s Course(s): Pebble Beach Golf Course
One of, if not the most iconic golf course in the world, Pebble Beach offers the most spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean and the Golden Coast. Pebble is a public course that runs about $500 bucks a round, something I’ll likely do in my life. Even if it just once. Since it is a Major, and I’ve played the course over a thousand times, on PlayStation, I feel like I know the course fairly well, at least well enough to give a play by play.
Course Hole by Hole
If you think mine is too wordy, or don’t like my writing, or simply want to validate my writing click here to read the play by play from pebblebeach.com
- Par 4, 380 Yards: A dogleg left that sets up left to right off the tee that does give players a chance to get aggressive. The an iconic tree that guards the right side may be about 280 out that seems like it would be a good line off the tee, but the fairway thins out very quick inside 100 yards. Most players will opt for something less than driver.
- *Par 4, 502 Yards: #ProtectPar. Very similar to the seventh hole at Bethpage, this short par 5 is made into a very long par 4, taking it from the easiest hole on the course to the toughest. It’s also got a heavily guarded on tee shot with bunkers left and right, and the Pacific ocean just off to the right of the players, while the approach shot isn’t a cup of tea either, as there is a barranca about 75 yards short of the green, while bunkers heavily guard the green itself.
- Par 4, 404 Yards: A pair of shorter Par 4’s await the players, as positional tee shots will be critical. Those golfers (right-handed) that like to draw the ball will enjoy this tee shot, as a good one off the tee here will leave a wedge into the green. Bunkers guard the entire right side of the green, and long left.
- Par 4, 331 Yards: The Pacific ocean in play just off the right, will force most golfers to lay up with an iron here on this very short, and drivable par 4. The green though has about a four yard wide opening in the front between the bunkers. If players do opt to take driver, they best have their best sand game. When the pin is back, that might not be a bad play for some of the longer hitters in the field
- Par 3, 192 Yards: This longer par three is guarded by bunker and ocean right, and another bunker long left. Plenty of room in the front left for payers to miss, but those that challenge the back right flag will bring danger into play.
- Par 5, 523 Yards: The easiest hole on the course relative to par, this shorter uphill par 5 requires an accurate ball of the tee. You cannot lose to the right, or else you’re going for a swim. The approach shot is blind and plays up a massive hill to a green that’s guarded by bunkers left and ocean right.
- Par 3, 100 Yards: The most iconic par 3 in the world? This short hole has players hitting right into the ocean to a small green guarded by bunkers and ocean all around.
- Par 4, 427 Yards: The start of a grueling stretch of par 4’s that wind around the cliffs and showcase the beautiful rocky golden coast. This is the shortest of the bunch, but will likely require something less than driver off the tee.
- Par 4, 505 Yards: Another plus 500-yard par 4, this one though plays pretty severely downhill. The ocean will come into play on the second shot for those that go right. Beware of the deep bunker that guards the front left of the green.
- Par 4, 495 Yards: Ocean right and bunkers left to make the t-shot visually scary. The green has bunkers guarding the front left, but with the green heavily sloping left to right. Players will find themselves in that bunker more often than not trying to use the pitch
- Par 4, 390 Yards: Finally a bit of a break for the players this shorter par four will play very similar to #3 in terms of desire shot type. A good drive should lead to a wedge in hand for the second shot.
- Par 3, 202 Yards: Length uphill and the bunkering system is where this hole gets its teeth. Likely they tuck pins near those bunkers, so a precise mid iron is needed to have a good look at birdie.
- Par 4, 403 Yards: This one plays a bit uphill from the tee and approach, but is certainly a scoreable hole with a good drive. The green has just one bunker left of the green, but is two-tiered and sits upon the plateau.
- Par 5, 572 Yards: Players will need to take advantage of good wedge game here as this hard to reach in two Par 5 plays all uphill on the second shot. The green has bunkers in front and a big run off behind.
- Par 4, 397 Yards: Golfers need less than driver here for the 15th, that should leave players with a nine iron or wedge. Bunkers come into play on both the tee shot and approach shot.
- Par 4, 401 Yards: Players will look to aim over the bunker that sits alone in the fairway off the tee, because, while the green sits on its own “island” of sorts, as there are about 60 yards between the edge of the fairway and green that is covered with thick heavy rough.
- Par 3, 210 Yards: The last two holes here are the most exposed in terms of wind. It’s not overly long, but the green complex is very tricky, and heavily guarded by bunkers. The ocean sits just 10 yards behind the green, which won’t accumulate too many balls this week. Though it certainly adds an element of wind to the tee shot.
- Par 5, 543 Yards: The most iconic hole in golf needs no description. It’s likely to provide some big-time moments come Sunday.
- Par 71, 7040
- Winning score: > Single digits under par
- Top-five score: -3 to -5
- Cut number:+4 to +5
- Easiest hole: 6
- Hardest hole: 2 or 17
- The best chance at streaks: 3-5
- Ranks the first hardest in 2010 with the change in par to the second hole.
DFS Sweatsheet & Scorecard
Big time Contests:
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Player & Statistical Preview
It’s a Major, so I don’t really so much point to posting here. By my count, all of the top 60 ish players in the world are here to compete.
The PGA Tour has a set of “statistics” that measure golfers performances vs. each other/the rest of the field. While there are strokes gained for that tournament, it is only two rounds, so it really isn’t that measurable. Head to my model to see that data. I’ll post scoring averages from Pebble a little bit later.
For now, that’s all. I’ll be updating the article the more info we get!
As always message me on Twitter or in our Premium PGA Slack Chat if you have any fantasy golf questions. We’ll have loads more articles out soon, because, well… Major.