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DFS Dish: Which 2024 major champion should top your roster at Pinehurst?

6 Min Read

Golfbet News


    Written by Mike Glasscott @MikeGlasscott

    The third major of the season returns to Pinehurst Resort & Country Club for the fourth time in history.

    Restored in 2011 before the 2014 U.S. Open by Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw, the 2024 edition of the legendary Donald Ross design will play to the same par 70 but have two extra yards (7,548) on the scorecard.

    Martin Kaymer rolled the field by eight shots in 2014 to win his second major championship. He joins reigning champion Wyndham Clark in the field of 156 players.

    The most noticeable change for the 2024 edition will be on the greens. The famous turtle back putting surfaces have been grassed with Ultradwarf Bermudagrass, replacing the Bentgrass used for 2014. For the first time in the history of the championship, the greens will feature Bermudagrass.

    DraftKings – Top of the Board

    Scottie Scheffler ($13,000): Here we go again! The Masters champion sits comfortably at the top of the DraftKings market and has been beaten by only nine players since March 1. Running him to the No. 1 spot on the lineup card is understandable, to say the least. Surrounding him with players who will make the weekend is the bigger challenge. Roster management is always a massive angle in this format, but there is nothing that Pinehurst No. 2 presents that would push me away from the five-time winner in 2024. The Texan has all the shots required and there’s not a weakness in his bag.

    Scottie Scheffler’s winning highlights from the Memorial

    Rory McIlroy ($12,100): Without a top-10 finish in the first two majors, investors have plenty to digest before loading him into the lineups this week. Cashing in the top 10 in five consecutive years, the event brings out the best in the four-time major champion. The first two majors of the year found him picking up checks for T22 (Masters) and T12 (PGA Championship). I can’t believe it has been almost 10 years since he last lifted the trophy in one of golf’s biggest events.

    Overvalued or Undervalued?

    Xander Schauffele ($11,500): I could easily argue he should be the second choice this week. Fresh off his win at the PGA Championship, he produced his 10th top-10 payday of the year with T8 at the Memorial Tournament presented by Workday last week. His full bag includes a deft short game (1st Scrambling, 16th SG: Putting), and his resume shows seven consecutive starts of T14 or better, the fifth-longest streak in history trailing only Nicklaus, Hogan, Jones, and Snead.

    Jon Rahm ($10,900): After cashing T45 at the Masters and missing the cut at Valhalla I am struggling to connect the dots. I will allow the competition to prove me wrong.

    Collin Morikawa ($9,400): I must be missing something here. Cashing solo second last week following consecutive events of T4 and fourth, the two-time major champion is flying along. Pinehurst requires precision iron play, and that is his best weapon. Morikawa has posted nine of his last 12 rounds in red figures and has cashed T14, T5, and T4 in those three editions. Sign me up again this week.

    Bryson DeChambeau ($10,100): The 2020 winner at Winged Foot gets a bump here this week after running T6 at the Masters and second at the PGA Championship. I prefer the big hitter on tracks where his power translates. Smashing it, finding it, and smashing it again works when the trouble off the tee is just tall Bluegrass. This week, wire grass, sandy waste areas, and tough greens to hit in regulation will require all the shots. There are too many bad breaks out there for me.

    Wyndham Clark ($9,000): There are too many moving parts for me this week. Missing the cut in the first two majors of the season and not playing the weekend last week at a difficult Memorial doesn’t fill me with confidence. Pass.

    Tommy Fleetwood ($8,500): In a week where missing GIR will happen, I need a short-game artist to save pars. Over the recent past at this event, The Englishman has proven that he can grind on the biggest stage on the toughest courses. Highlighted by three top-five finishes from six weekends, including T5 last year at Los Angeles Country Club, he shared third at the Masters and T26 at the PGA Championship.

    Makers or Breakers

    Brooks Koepka ($10,000): The two-time winner from 2017 and 2018, Koepka feels like he’s an automatic top 10 at this event, but his last one was in 2021 (T4). I’d expect him to litter many rosters this week regardless of his T45-T26 finishes in the first two majors.

    Patrick Cantlay ($9,200): The number screams value, but recent results suggest his game is not ready to contend. Never missing the cut in eight previous starts at this event, he would be an excellent contrarian play. I don’t prefer the Californian on Bermudagrass.

    Viktor Hovland ($9,800): All the pieces have not fallen into place yet, but the reigning FedExCup champion is starting to come around. My biggest concern this week is his skills around the greens. Much has been made about his chipping, and the numbers back up that concern. Bogeys will outweigh the birdies this week. Getting up and down to save par is crucial.

    Hideki Matsuyama ($8,000): Already a winner this season at The Riviera Country Club, the Japanese star, when healthy, deserves inspection. Currently, first in SG: Around the Green and third SG: Tee to Green, he won’t need a lights-out putter to prosper this week.

    Sungjae Im ($7,100): Top-10 finishes in three of his last four events on TOUR, the Korean is in flying form. Firm and fast fairways will help him make up the lost distance from the tee, and he sits in the top 50 in Scrambling.

    Sepp Straka ($6,500): The courses and events where he has posted his best results this season are staggering for this price. It is impossible to fake it into the top 20 time after time. The Austrian has produced T16 or better in his seven of his last nine events, including T5 at Colonial and T5 at Memorial, in his last two.

    Christiaan Bezuidenhout ($6,200): The wide fairways, 35 to 45 yards on average, will help his biggest weakness of finding fairways. Ranking inside the top 12 in SG: Total and SG: Putting, the South African cashed solo fourth last week after T17 at Colonial. I don’t have to worry about finding form this week and that always helps.

    Nick Dunlap ($5,800): I don’t think I’ll be sneaking him in the back door while nobody is watching, but I will try! The 2023 U.S. Amateur victor also won the North & South Amateur on this track last June. The winner at The American Express missed the cut in the first two majors but now has a point of reference plus a familiar course to play. Playing in the Signature Events, he ran T24 at Wells Fargo and cashed T12 at Memorial last week.

    The Lineup

    Here’s a look at how I would devise a six-team roster this week while staying below the $50,000 salary cap offered for DraftKings contests:

    • Xander Schauffele ($11,500)
    • Collin Morikawa ($9,400)
    • Hideki Matsuyama ($8,000)
    • Min Woo Lee ($7,300)
    • Sungjae Im ($7,100)
    • Sepp Straka ($6,500)

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