Golfers are preparing for a daunting week at Shinnecock Hills for the 2018 U.S. Open. Unlike most tournaments, past history does not offer much help as the U.S. Open will be at Shinnecock Hills for the first time since 2004. Rory McIlroy is one of a few golfers that has been critical of past U.S. Open courses.
“I think the USGA thinks we’re better than we actually are, if that makes sense,” McIlroy told ESPN. “I think they overthink it. I don’t want to single out [USGA executive director] Mike Davis here; I think it’s a collective thought process. I don’t think it should be as much of an exact science to set up the golf course as it is. I mean, I get the fairways sort of firm, grow the rough, put the pins in some tough locations. But fair — and go let us play.”
The course has undergone quite a few changes over the past several years, which means the handful of golfers that played the 2004 event will not be at much of an advantage. ESPN described the changes, including lengthening the course by 450 yards, which could assist golfers who are able to drive the ball.
Shinnecock should at least look like a traditional U.S. Open, even if it will be different from the last time it was there in 2004. For starters, the course has added 10 new tees that have lengthened it by 450 yards. Most of the additional tees have been moved back at angles, instead of straight back, to try to restore the shot values that architect William Flynn had in mind.
The fairways were widened in a renovation project just over five years ago. Then in a response to the swing-for-the-fences style that wide-open Erin Hills allowed, the USGA had 200,000 square feet of turf removed from the sides of the fairways and replaced it with fescue.
As for the players I like, the value comes after the favorites. There is not a golfer that comes in with a huge advantage, which means the majority of favorites do not offer much value. For DraftKings and FanDuel, the real value comes in the second tier of golfers, loading up your lineup with as many of these golfers as possible. All odds listed below are courtesy of OddsShark.
Here’s my top five picks for the 2018 U.S. Open.
U.S. Open Picks 2018
Tiger Woods enters the 2018 U.S. Open with nice recent form.
No. 1 Rickie Fowler
Odds: 16 to 1
DraftKings Price: $10,200
FanDuel Price: $11,400
Fowler keeps knocking on the door for his first major, and the U.S. Open could finally be the tournament where he closes the deal. Fowler’s recent form gives us a lot of confidence heading into a grueling four days at Shinnecock Hills. Aside from a disappointing outing at THE PLAYERS, Fowler enters the U.S. Open with a number of strong performances including T-8 at the Memorial, T-14 at the Fort Worth Invitational and second at the Masters.
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