PGA Sim Sports Picks for The U.S. Open on FanDuel

The U.S. Open at Winged Foot will be simulated this week on FanDuel. Which golfers might get the win?

The PGA Tour's season is on hold, but FanDuel is doing its part to keep golf going -- in spirit.

They have simulated out four big-time events so far: THE PLAYERS, the Masters, the PGA Championship, and the Open Championship. This week, they're onto another one: the U.S. Open.

So far, the simulated results saw Jon Rahm take home THE PLAYERS and Seve Ballesteros (not a typo) win the 2020 simulated Masters.

Rahm again won the simulated RBC Heritage by a full five strokes over Rory McIlroy, Scottie Scheffler, and Marc Leishman. Rory got payback at the Wells Fargo, edging out Dustin Johnson and Rahm.

At the PGA Championship, Brooks Koepka won in a playoff over Nick Faldo, Jim Furyk, and Tyrrell Hatton. Then Jhonattan Vegas fended off Hideki Matsuyama, Rahm, Webb Simpson, and Bryson DeChambeau to win the simulated Valspar.

Paul Casey got his revenge after losing the Valspar to win the Open, and Rahm again won at the simulated Northern Trust. The Memorial victory went to Rafael Cabrera-Bello.

FanDuel is running back the simulations for the U.S. Open. You can join the free-to-play contest here.

There are some caveats, so we'll dig into everything about it now.

The Basics

You can learn all the details about PGA Sims Sports over on FanDuel, but I'll run down the basics: it's the same format as your usual PGA DFS event. You roster six golfers and accrue fantasy points for how they do in the simulated event. Scoring is the same as a standard PGA Tour event.

Are there any wrinkles? Of course. The main one is that -- rather than these golfers playing out the event -- stats are the basis for the simulation. Specifically, "distance, par, and player skill." That's really all we have to go on.

So, we're going to have to use some guesswork here.

Overall Strategy

The field is small (106 golfers), but with the regular cut rule, we're going to see around 61% of golfers play the simulated weekend. We can get a little punt heavy as a result, but a six-for-six lineup is always key.

Without knowing exactly what data goes into projecting the winner of a golf tournament, I went back and leveraged's adjusted strokes gained data.

Typically when breaking down an event, current form is key, but I would have to assume a larger sample of data goes into this. I used data since 2019 to try to identify some of the best per-dollar plays on the slate among the active golfers.

Handling the Active Golfers

With pricing pretty static week to week and no actual changes to the stats to input, I figure I can make a running list of the best values per tier.

Best Values
Salary Best Values
Salary Best Values
Rory McIlroy $11,900 Xander Schauffele $9,300 Erik van Rooyen $7,200
Patrick Cantlay $11,600 Tommy Fleetwood $9,900 Paul Casey $8,500
Adam Scott $11,200 Gary Woodland $9,200 Collin Morikawa $8,800
Justin Thomas $11,500 Justin Rose $9,400 Ian Poulter $8,100
Jon Rahm $12,300 Rickie Fowler $9,700 Sungjae Im$8,700
Webb Simpson $11,300 Jason Day $9,000 Billy Horschel$8,600
Bryson DeChambeau $10,200 Tiger Woods $10,000 Jason Day$9,000
Dustin Johnson $11,400 Abraham Ancer $9,600 Brandt Snedeker $8,900

Of the 65 golfers who were in all nine simulations so far, five have made every cut: Jon Rahm, Brooks Koepka, Tony Finau, Jason Day, and Webb Simpson.

Another two golfers missed just one of the cuts: Hideki Matsuyama and Jim Furyk.

Legends and Fictional Golfers

Seve Ballesteros won The Masters, but the success for legends overall in the simulations has been pretty mild. They have combined to make the cut 69% of the time in the three majors, so a little above expectation, but they have just 8 top-10 finishes among 86 individual events. Nick Faldo has fared best with two top 10s and a missed cut. Legends can be values, but we shouldn't spend up on the top-dollar studs, based on the sims so far.

As for the fictional golfers, they've combined to make 5 of 27 cuts (19%) with a lone top-10 from Shooter McGavin. Of note, McGavin has made two of three cuts, and Rannulph Junuh made both of his cuts.

It's best to load up on the current golfers or look to the legends for value.

The author of this article has no involvement with the PGA Sim Sports simulations powered by numberFire and has no knowledge of the results of the upcoming contest.