US Open Golf 2022: Daily Fantasy Picks and Tips for Thursday

Joe TanseyJune 16, 2022

BROOKLINE, MASSACHUSETTS - JUNE 15: Cameron Smith of Australia plays his shot from the tenth tee during a practice round prior to the 122nd U.S. Open Championship at The Country Club on June 15, 2022 in Brookline, Massachusetts. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
Andrew Redington/Getty Images

Cameron Smith and Joaquin Niemann lead the PGA Tour in first-round scoring average.

The two men have been in the mix for the top spot on the leaderboard after the opening day's play at both of this year's major tournaments.

The consistently strong play of both golfers in the first round makes them two of the best daily fantasy golf options for the opening day of the U.S. Open.

Smith has been more of a fixture at the top of major leaderboards. Four of his last six opening-round scores at majors have been in the 60s, and he has stuck around for three top-15 finishes in those events.

Smith and Niemann are just two of the golfers who should have your attention for first-round DFS lineups. Some of the top-ranked names in the world have gotten off to great starts at majors this season, and they could follow that trend at The Country Club in Brookline, Massachusetts.

Roster Cameron Smith and Joaquin Niemann

Smith and Niemann are two of three players on the PGA Tour with a first-round scoring average under 68.

Smith leads the PGA Tour with an opening-round average of 67.73. Niemann is second to the Australian at 67.87, while Russell Henley is the only other golfer with an average under 68.

Smith and Niemann both landed inside the top 10 after Thursday at the Masters and the PGA Championship.

Smith was second to Sungjae Im after 18 holes at Augusta National Golf Club and was tied with the Chilean for seventh place at Southern Hills. Niemann finished in a tie for third with three other golfers after Thursday at Augusta.

Both golfers will have plenty of eyes on them during the first round at The Country Club.

Niemann tees off at 8:02 a.m. ET alongside Cameron Young and Will Zalatoris. Smith plays with Brooks Koepka and Scottie Scheffler in the threesome that tees off at 1:25 p.m. ET.

The two first-round aces could outperform others in their groups and land high on the leaderboard after 18 holes.

There is always a chance one of them struggles at a tough U.S. Open course, but they have to be included in first-round lineups because of their consistency to start tournaments.

Put Focus on the Rory McIlroy Group

Rory McIlroy, Hideki Matsuyama and Xander Schauffele feature in one of the marquee morning threesomes.

McIlroy and Matsuyama are previous major winners, and Schauffele has three straight top-10 finishes at the U.S. Open.

All three men could be front and center on the leaderboard by the time Thursday's opening round ends.

The McIlroy group should have the favored split on Thursday. The wind is not supposed to pick up above 10 miles per hour until the afternoon, per Accuweather.

However, calm conditions for the morning tee times could produce a handful of low scores.

McIlroy is the favorite to win the entire tournament, and he may be the best bet to choose as a first-round leader because of the form he enters the U.S. Open in. He won the RBC Canadian Open in a duel with Tony Finau and Justin Thomas last weekend.

Matsuyama and Schauffele do not have a top-10 major finish this season, but both could thrive off playing with McIlroy and on a difficult U.S. Open course.

Matsuyama has finished inside the top 30 in each of the last five U.S. Opens, and although he has only a single top-10 major finish in the last four years, he missed the cut just once in that span.

The consistency displayed by each of the three golfers could help them get off to strong starts and help your lineups move to the top of the DFS leaderboard.