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Going Bargain Hunting at Pebble Beach: Yahoo! Values and Pivots for the U.S. Open

After a weekend north of the border where Rory dismantled the field, we’re back in the states for the U.S. Open. Pebble Beach Golf Links will play host to the 2019 version of the event. It’s one of the most famous golf courses in the world, and one we’re quite familiar with as golf fans. There are some tweaks for this setup, though. The course will play as a par 71 with just three par 5s on the card. We’re used to the U.S. open featuring mammoth courses but Pebble will be just a shade above 7,000 yards, relying on other measures than distance to challenge the field. The greens and rough are poa annua grass and are littered with 118 bunkers.

The lack of the typical course preview is due to the fact that the Pebble Beach Pro-Am involved two other courses and the database doesn’t split them up. That’s compounded by the fact that this is a US Open set-up and not what we’d typically see from our usual late winter stop on the Monterey Peninsula. I figured I’d give the basic trends for courses below 7,100 yards, but it should be pretty intuitive. Of the 499 golfers that have finished in the DK top 20, 84 (17%) have finished in the top 10 of driving distance compared to 98 (19%) that hit that same rank in driving accuracy. But greens in regulation, as always, is where the bread gets buttered. Nearly 30% of golfers in the top 20 of DK scoring hit the top 10 in GIR, as well.

Vegas Values

Matt Wallace ($30) is a textbook example of what we look for in this section each week. There are only a couple of other golfers at $30 or below that boast the same odds as Wallace. His results have been mixed this year as he’s gone through quite a few highs and his share of lows. Wallace has made a dozen worldwide starts this year, making nine cuts. Of those made cuts, he has six top 20s including three in the top three. The 29-year-old Englishman has shown that he can hang with the big boys in a major, finishing third at Bethpage a few weeks ago.

Patrick Cantlay ($41) has the ninth-highest salary but the fifth-best odds in the field. It’s not a huge discrepancy but at the top, every bit of savings matter. He’s all the way down to 15/1 on some books. He got the fourth best score in my power ranking model this week. Dating back to 1990, golfers that are his group heading into an event have an average finish of 18.6 and go on to win the event 15.8% of the time. Cantlay is gaining twice as many strokes tee to green over his past four starts then he has since the start of 2014.

Price Pivots

Dustin Johnson ($49) and Rory McIlroy ($47) are up at the top of the pricing heap once again this week. They’re both in the aforementioned group with Cantlay. They obviously have plenty of win equity between the two of them, and they also have similar comp lists. As always, we’re looking for the discount golfers that can make some noise for us in this section. The highest comp for DJ is Brooks Koepka ($46) but if we go a bit deeper we see a familiar name in Shane Lowry ($21). He doesn’t have the same type of length that Johnson has, but he compares quite well in every other category. Did I mention he’s coming off of a second place finish last week?

Cantlay at his price is a steal this week, but if we look for arbitrage Cantlay a couple of even cheaper options pop up, including Lowry. Have I mentioned that I like Lowry? Emiliano Grillo ($25) also makes an appearance on this list. As far as ball-striking goes, Grillo has actually hit more greens and fairways than Cantlay over his past three starts. He thrives on shorter courses which makes his performance at the PGA Championship that much more impressive. Grillo had no business sniffing the Top 25 but he continued his streak of hitting more than 60% of greens and more than 60% of fairways as he made it around Bethpage for a 23rd place finish.

Tommy Fleetwood ($38) at a sub-$40 price tag is enticing. He has a 90-plus sim score with Rickie Fowler, Tiger Woods, Justin Rose, and Xander Schauffele this week. Fleetwood was abysmal on Sunday at the PGA Championship, shooting 78 in the final round there. He’s been playing great golf overall, though. In his 11 starts this calendar year, he’s made every cut and has six top-25 finishes. Those top finishes include third and fifth place efforts during the Arnold Palmer and The PLAYERS Championship, respectively, which are two of the stronger fields in golf. In preparation for this event, Fleetwood even altered his schedule this year, playing the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am for the first time in his career so he could play competitive golf at Pebble.

Yahoo Pricing and Model Score - U.S. Open

Dustin Johnson490.93
Rory McIlroy471.00
Justin Rose460.88
Justin Thomas460.87
Brooks Koepka460.76
Tiger Woods450.84
Rickie Fowler420.83
Jon Rahm420.72
Patrick Cantlay410.93
Xander Schauffele410.78
Jason Day410.77
Matt Kuchar390.86
Bryson DeChambeau390.81
Paul Casey390.79
Francesco Molinari390.70
Tony Finau390.70
Tommy Fleetwood380.79
Webb Simpson370.88
Jordan Spieth370.76
Phil Mickelson370.60
Adam Scott360.86
Marc Leishman360.78
Gary Woodland360.70
Bubba Watson360.64
Hideki Matsuyama340.86
Patrick Reed340.64
Louis Oosthuizen330.66
Sergio Garcia320.69
Kevin Kisner320.64
Kevin Na310.82
Matt Wallace300.90
Rafa Cabrera-Bello300.70
Keegan Bradley300.68
Billy Horschel290.79
Ian Poulter290.65
Henrik Stenson280.79
Cameron Smith280.57
Charles Howell III280.45
Jim Furyk270.74
Scott Piercy270.66
Matthew Fitzpatrick270.60
Byeong-Hun An260.73
J.B. Holmes260.60
Brandt Snedeker260.37
Emiliano Grillo250.78
Si Woo Kim250.66
Cheng Tsung Pan250.45
Chez Reavie250.45
Rory Sabbatini240.71
Kiradech Aphibarnrat240.67
Tyrrell Hatton230.73
Lucas Glover230.71
Keith Mitchell230.63
Justin Harding230.63
Jhonattan Vegas220.66
Jimmy Walker220.64
Abraham Ancer220.63
Joel Dahmen220.63
Aaron Wise220.63
Branden Grace220.60
Thorbjorn Olesen220.58
Hao-Tong Li220.56
Lucas Bjerregaard220.54
Shane Lowry210.81
Andrew Putnam210.73
Danny Willett210.63
Alex Noren210.62
Luke List210.61
Kyle Stanley210.59
Shugo Imahira210.55
Erik Van Rooyen200.81
Collin Morikawa200.78
Thomas Pieters200.76
Graeme McDowell200.74
Martin Kaymer200.74
Aaron Baddeley200.71
Zach Johnson200.69
Nick Taylor200.69
Daniel Berger200.69
Matt Jones200.67
Scottie Scheffler200.67
Brian Stuard200.67
Kyoung-Hoon Lee200.66
Jason Dufner200.65
Harris English200.64
Viktor Hovland200.63
Dean Burmester200.62
Sam Horsfield200.62
Nick Hardy200.62
Bernd Wiesberger200.62
David Toms200.62
Sepp Straka200.60
Billy Hurley200.60
Roberto Castro200.60
Zac Blair200.59
Anirban Lahiri200.56
Ernie Els200.55
Luke Guthrie200.55
Matthieu Pavon200.55
Matt Parziale200.55
Luis Gagne200.55
Tom Hoge200.54
Ollie Schniederjans200.54
Alex Prugh200.52
Sam Saunders200.52
Nate Lashley200.51
Carlos Ortiz200.51
Brian Davis200.47
Rob Oppenheim200.46
Chesson Hadley200.45
Chun An Yu200.45
Charlie Danielson200.45
Cody Gribble200.45
Chan Kim200.45
Chip McDaniel200.45
Patton Kizzire200.44
Ryan Fox200.43
Marcus Kinhult200.37
Julian Etulain200.37
Brendon Todd200.37
Jovan Rebula200.37
Devon Bling200.37
Brett Drewitt200.37
Rhys Enoch200.37
Kevin O'Connell200.37
Richard H. Lee200.37
Mike Weir200.30
Adri Arnaus200.29
Andy Pope200.22
Stewart Hagestad200.20
Luke Donald200.12
Kodai Ichihara200.09
Image Credit: Ben Warden/Icon Sportswire. Pictured: Dustin Johnson.

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