Fantasy Golf: U.S. Open Preview


Oakmont Country Club will act as host of the United States Open for a record NOYNE times this week.

Arguably the hardest track in America, Oakmont has hosted the lot:

  • U.S. Open championships (8)
  • U.S. Amateurs (5)
  • PGA Championships (3)
  • U.S. Women’s Open championships (2)
  • NCAA Men’s Championship (1)


Of the top 60 players in the OWGR, 59 are in attendance this week (Thongchai Jaidee, WD) along with 13 previous champions.

Angel Cabrera defends his title from 2007 but I’m not sure how much that’s going to mean almost a decade later.

Looking back on the stats from 2007 we learn that those who hit the most GIR had the least amount of chances of hacking it out of the rough green-side. With par being an EXCELLENT score this week, bogeys will be plentiful and have to be accepted. We also learned that hitting fairways is nice, but with 7,000-square foot greens, there can be recoveries.

If the rough is playable, that is.

The U.S. Open has never had ONE stat or one facet of the game that determines its champion so remember that when assembling lineups and rosters this week.

All 14 clubs will get a proper test.

All six inches between the ears will be stretched as well.


2015-16 Winners (at time of victory)


In 2014-15 there were 14 players in their 20s who won tournaments. They accounted for a whopping 24 victories in 47 events.

Under 30 Winners (10 different winners from 13 events)

  • Emiliano Grillo, 23;
  • Smylie Kaufman, 23; Shriners
  • Justin Thomas, 22; CIMB
  • Peter Malnati, 28; SFC
  • Jordan Spieth, 22; HTOC, DEAN & DELUCA at Colonial
  • Hideki Matsuyama, 23; WMPO
  • Jason Day, 28; API & WGC-Dell Match Play, THE PLAYERS
  • Danny Willett, 28; Masters
  • Branden Grace, 27; RBC Heritage
  • Daniel Berger, 23; FESJC


Prime-Time Players

The guys between 30-39 years of age produced 16 multiple champions in 17 events last season.

Winners 30-39 (16 players in 17 events)

  • Russell Knox, 30; HSBC Champions
  • Graeme McDowell, 36; OHL Mayakoba
  • Kevin Kisner, 31; RSM Classic
  • Fabian Gomez, 37; Sony Open
  • Jason Dufner, 38; CB Challenge
  • Brandt Snedeker, 35; Farmers Insurance Open
  • Vaughn Taylor, 39; AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am
  • Bubba Watson, 37; Northern Trust Open
  • Adam Scott, 35; Honda Classic, WGC-Cadillac Championship
  • Charl Schwartzel, 31; Valspar
  • Jim Herman, 38; Shell Houston Open
  • Charley Hoffman, 39; Valero Texas Open
  • Brian Stuard, 33; Zurich Classic
  • James Hahn, 34; Wells Fargo Championship
  • Sergio Garcia, 36; AT&T Byron Nelson
  • William McGirt, 36; Memorial


Old Guard

There were only four winners last season from 47 events (Furyk, Cejka, Love III and Harrington). Sentimentality and name recognition has no place in fantasy golf, folks.

Winners 40-plus

  • none

No country for old men as Steve Stricker, 49, and Phil Mickelson, 45, both finished T-2. Add Brian Gay, 44, at solo sixth and Ken Duke, 47, at T-9 to affirm TPC Southwind caters to all.



Last year the only rookie to pick up a first-place check was Canadian Nick Taylor. This season it took ONE EVENT to match that total.

Rookie Winners

  • Emiliano Grillo;
  • Smylie Kaufman; Shriners


Plenty of rookies played the weekend and hung around which shouldn’t be surprising given the amount of first-time winners over the last few years.


First-Time Winners

Rookies, journeyman, up-and-comers, I’ll keep track of them all. It’s a life-changer.

McGirt/Berger makes it back-to-back weeks for the virgins!

 First-Time Winners on Tour

  • 2013: 12
  • 2014: 10
  • 2015: 11
  • 2016: (13 and counting)
  •    Emiliano Grillo (
  •    Smylie Kaufman (Shriners)
  •    Justin Thomas (CIMB)
  •    Peter Malnati (SFC)
  •    Russell Knox (WGC-HSBC Champions)
  •    Kevin Kisner (RSM)
  •    Tony Finau (PRO)
  •    Jim Herman (SHO)
  •    Danny Willett (Masters)
  •    Branden Grace (RBC Heritage)
  •    Brian Stuard (Zurich Classic)
  •    William McGirt (Memorial)
  •     Daniel Berger (FESJC

The total of 12 first-timers matches the best total in the last four years and we’re only one tournament into June.   Heading into uncharted waters now!


History Lesson(s)


Last Week’s Recap Column can be accessed by clicking HERE.

Winners since 2000

Tiger Woods: (2000, 2002, 2008) — USA

Retief Goosen: (2001, 2004) — RSA

  • 2003: Jim Furyk — USA
  • 2005: Michael Campbell — NZ
  • 2006: Geoff Ogilvy — AUS
  • 2007: Angel Cabrera — ARG
  • 2009: Lucas Glover — USA
  • 2010: Graeme McDowell — NIR
  • 2011: Rory McIlroy — NIR
  • 2012: Webb Simpson — USA
  • 2013: Justin Rose — ENG
  • 2014: Martin Kaymer  — GER
  • 2015: Jordan Spieth — USA

Last Amateur inside the top 15 was Spencer Levin in 2004 at Shinnecock Hills (T-13)

This will win you a bar bet:

Robert Garrigus is one of only eight players to post all four rounds in a U.S. Open under par. The others are Sam Snead, Billy Casper, Lee Trevino, Tony Jacklin, Lee Janzen, Curtis Strange and Rory McIlroy.

Read all about it by clicking below!

Good luck!

These players have made the cut in the last five U.S. Opens:

Jason Day, Matt Kuchar, Adam Scott, Webb Simpson, Sergio Garcia and Phil Mickelson.





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