Fantasy Lookahead: Trust Charl Schwartzel's stats without course history factor

Charl Schwartzel finished in a tie for 30th the last time the U.S. Open was played at Oakmont Country Club in 2007. He finished with a score of plus-17.

Schwartzel has made 10 of 11 PGA Tour cuts in 2016, finishing inside the top 10 on two occasions, and winning the Valspar Championship in mid-March. He missed the cut at the Masters, but he’s made each of three cuts since, finishing better in each progressive tournament. He came T11 at the Memorial Tournament, with a third-round score of 72 being his undoing.

The 2016 season is one pace to be his highest-earning season on the PGA in his career. He’ll have an excellent chance to add to his pocket book this week.

Course History

As stated above, Schwartzel is one of the few true contenders this year to have played Oakmont the last time it hosted this tournament. His high score and reasonably high finish that time around are great indicators of what’s in store this weekend. Scoring is next to impossible on this course.

Here’s a look at Schwartzel’s history in the U.S. Open, looking at the course and winning score of each event:

Year Course Finish Winning Score
2006 Winged Foot 48 +5
2007 Oakmont 30 +5
2009 Bethpage MC -4
2010 Pebble Beach 16 E
2011 Congressional 9 -16
2012 Olympic Club 38 +1
2013 Merion 14 +1
2014 Pinehurst MC -9
2015 Chambers Bay 7 -5

With as many top-10 finishes as missed cuts at U.S. Opens, Schwartzel is well suited to what many consider the most difficult tournament on tour. While no two U.S. Open courses are alike, they meet many of same criterion on a year-to-year basis. The greens will be extremely quick, and the rough will be unfairly thick.

Statistical Breakdown

Per FantasyInsiders, the following stats are best suited for success at Oakmont CC:

Par 4 Scoring Average (P4S)
Strokes Gained: Approach (SGA)
Strokes Gained: Around the Green (SGAG)
Bogey Avoidance (BA)

Here’s how Schwartzel has fared in the selected statistics thus far in 2016:

P4S SGA SGAG BA
15 6 33 19

A major concern for Schwartzel may be his ranking of 154th in Driving Accuracy Percentage, but it’s somewhat of a flawed stat as it doesn’t indicate how far off the fairway the ball ended up. The first cut of rough at Oakmont won’t be much different than most courses, with the trouble coming a little further in. Schwartzel is among the tour leaders in approaches from the rough.

Schwartzel’s putting has been in poor form, but he’s done well from between 10 and 25 feet, a distance many are expecting to be the most common, and most important of the week. He averaged 1.866 putts per hole in the 2007 season. He’s averaging an improved 1.773 PPH this season.

Daily Fantasy

With each of the top-50 players in the Official World Golf Ranking present this week Schwartzel is modestly price, despite his own ranking of 22nd. He offers a combination of consistency and upside rarely seen in this tier.

His modest four eagles this season won’t matter this week, as fans are likely to go the entire week without seeing one made by any golfer. More importantly, Schwartzel’s made nearly twice as many birdies as bogeys this season, with 10 doubles, and two scores worse than that. His scoring average of 70.13 ranks 13th on tour.

With all tournament upside this week coming in the form of bonus points for placing, Schwartzel is a strong GPP option. His likelihood of making the cut makes him one of the safer cash-game options.

Season-Long Fantasy

Schwartzel is part of a C-List which might be the best collective tier this week. His thin schedule allows owners to save his starts for the most marquee weeks, which should include all four majors.

While several members of the tier have the experience and potential to finish high on the leaderboard, Schwartzel is one of the few in the tier who can be considered to have a legitimate chance to win.

The first round has been his worst of the four on average this season. The second is his best, with the third and fourth rounds following suit.

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