Daily Fantasy Golf Preview – The Open Championship

The Course

Carnoustie Golf Links located in Scotland will look to play a lot like Shinnecock Hills did at the U.S. Open. Long from tee to green, very quick, and windy conditions will help to keep scores higher than normal. Nicknamed “Car-nasty”, the course is widely known as one of the hardest in the world.

The all-time low score here was produced by Tommy Fleetwood just last year at -9. It was playing as a par 72 instead of 71, which is where it will be this week, even though it will be roughly the same length. Even Fleetwood was quoted saying that the course will play much tougher this year.

This will only be the 8th time that The Open has been played at Carnoustie, the last being in 2007, so course history won’t be very relevant. The last 3 times it was played here each tournament came down to a playoff so it seems to be tough to hold a lead here.

The course extends to 7,402 yards, or 6,768 meters for you non-American metric folks, with only two par 5’s and three par 3’s. One of the par 3’s will reach roughly 250 yards and seven of the par 4’s will be close to 460 yards or longer. The course is also riddled with nasty little pot bunkers that can be impossible to get out of at times.

Key Stats:

  • SG: off the tee
  • Scrambling %
  • SG: approaching the green
    • especially from further away
  • SG: putting
  • Birdie or better
  • Bogey Avoidance
  • Driving Distance

The Field

Anyone and everyone who is good at golf. That might be all that needs to be said here.

Big Dogs ($8,000 and up on DK)

Solid: This covers a wider range of golfers than usual but that’s because there are so many good guys in this field. Most of the golfers in this price range have one or two holes in their game whether it comes to getting off the tee, putting, long irons, scrambling etc… so I will just highlight the guys that really pop or flop on first sight.

  • Dustin Johnson – the most expensive and best odds to win for a reason. In his last 14 starts his worst finish was 17th place, that’s incredible. He hasn’t golfed since the U.S. Open but long absences haven’t seemed to bother him at all this year. I’m predicting that both DJ and the next guy will have a high ownership percentage.
  • Justin Rose – statistically he is one of the best in the game right now. His last two majors were T12 and T10 and he hasn’t been outside of the top 25 in his last six events. His long irons scare me a bit being T117 in GIR from 175-200 yards out, so hopefully he can get inside that yardage.

Pretty much everybody else in this price range is solid that I won’t be naming in a second under Risky.

Risky

  • Rory McIlroy – I was on the fence with these next two guys but ultimately it was their price tags that was the deciding factor. Out of the big dogs he’s the most likely one to miss the cut according to my model. Putting hasn’t been easy for him (114th) and he’s 110th at GIR from 175-200 out.
  • Jordan Spieth – outside of his putting, where he ranks 175th, he’s been great so any day now he could charge right back into the conversation. But his last top 25 was at the AT&T Byron Nelson which was a very poor field and he’s missed two out of his last three cuts.
  • Phil Mickelson – since the U.S. Open where Phil finished T48 he carded a 65th at the Greenbrier and missed the cut last week at the Scottish Open. At 144th in SG: off the tee, he could find himself in trouble this week.
  • Marc Leishman – also struggles off the tee (130th) and can’t exactly afford to lay it up much because he’s 105th in GIR from 175-200 yards. In his last four starts he’s averaged just over 55th place.

Value ($7,900 – $7,000 on DK)

Solid

  • Branden Grace – a guy whose almost always in the mix when it comes to big events, Grace was a T25 at the U.S. Open, his last tournament. He’s also the 16th best at finding the green from 175-200 yards.
  • Ian Poulter – Mr. Consistency, in his last six starts he hasn’t finished outside of the top 30 with a T25 at the U.S. Open.
  • Bubba Watson – he’s the 3rd best at gaining strokes off of the tee and at GIR from 175-200 yards. He’s also coming off of a 1st and 13th place finish.
  • Luke List – he was T3 at the Scottish Open last week and is 6th at SG: off the tee. His putting is his only downfall (167th) but if he can clean that up he’ll be in contention.
  • Patrick Cantlay – at the U.S. Open he finished 45th but before that he was 4th at The Memorial and T15 at the Travelers Championship. Another guy that’s good off the tee (12th) and good with his long irons (29th GIR 175-200).
  • Zach Johnson – getting off the tee is the hardest part of ZJ’s game (90th). If you have to ask what a ZJ is, you can’t afford it. But that didn’t stop him at the U.S. Open where he finished T12. Since then he has a 19th and 16th place finish.
  • Webb Simpson – he won the Players Championship and was T10 at the U.S. Open. The worst part of his game is SG: off the tee where he lands at 132nd but he’s great everywhere else.
  • Tony Finau – he’s good off the tee (32nd) and great at going into the green (18th), especially from deep (6th). Three of his last four events he’s been inside of the top 25 including a 5th place finish at the U.S. Open.

 

Risky

  • Adam Scott – in recent years Adam Scott has fallen of the wagon but tends to perform well overseas and at The Open. He’s actually very good at getting off the tee (25th) and approaching the green (T10) and he has been the best on tour from 175-200 going into the green. His short game has been bad, especially his putting, but he is rumored to be using his claw putter again so maybe that will be the difference.
  • Louis Oosthuizen – scrambler extraordinaire, Louie is the best on tour at scrambling percentage and is 33rd at SG: off the tee. His last three starts have been T5, T13, and T16 at the U.S. Open.
  • Rafa Cabrera Bello – He missed the last three cuts but was T36 at the U.S. Open and had two top 10’s just before that. His iron play is good especially into the green (8th) so this could be one where Rafa bounces back.
  • Bryson DeChambeau – he would’ve been an excellent pick before an apparent dislocated shoulder last week at the John Deere Classic. There is a good chance that he is a WD but his ownership will be very low. Big risk here.
  • Matthew Fitzpatrick – he was 14th last week at the Scottish Open and T12 at the U.S. Open so he could be a sneaky good pick to snag another top 25.
  • Thomas Pieters – he was even better last week with a T6 at the Scottish Open and in his last three tournaments he hasn’t finished worse than T40.
  • Byeong Hun An – he’s been very good at getting off of the tee (16th) and gaining strokes approaching the green (38th) and he also isn’t a bad scrambler (T45). In his last three starts he hasn’t cracked the top 40 which could have him slightly undervalued.
  • Kevin Na – coming off a win at the Greenbrier and having excellent survival game, 5th SG: around the green and 4th scrambling percentage, Na could possible scratch and claw his way into the weekend.

Sleepers ($6,900 and under on DK)

Solid

  • Russell Henley – his last two starts have been top 10’s and before that was a T25 at the U.S. Open. He’s not great from just off of the green and his scrambling is poor but he’s solid everywhere else.
  • Beau Hossler – he’s good off the tee (43rd) and an efficient scorer when it comes to picking up negative numbers (39th birdie or better) and avoiding bogeys (18th). His last two events have been a 2nd and 6th place finish.
  • Ryan Fox – he’s had three top 10’s in his last six starts and the other three events he didn’t finish worse than T44.
  • Emiliano Grillo – he missed the cut at the U.S. Open by one stroke but finished 19th the next week and 3rd and 23rd the two tournaments prior. He’s 19th at SG: off the tee and good just about everywhere else.
  • Alexander Bjork – in his last three tournaments overseas he’s finished 8th, 14th and 19th. Bjork will be more at home here and is favorably priced.
  • Dylan Frittelli – in the same three events as Bjork, Frittelli finished 12th, 14th and 23rd. He’s another guy that could be comfortable here.
  • Charles Howell III – outside of a 65th place finish at The Memorial Howell hasn’t been outside of 30th in his last 8 events. He’s good at gaining strokes off the tee (34th) and great at avoiding bogeys (6th).

 

Risky

  • Chesson Hadley – his SG: approaching the green (4th) allows him to score favorably on par 4’s (T20) which could be big here.
  • Kyle Stanley – he’s been very up and down lately but is 21st at SG: off the tee. In his last five events he has a 2nd place finish alongside two missed cuts.
  • Ryan Moore – Moore has great recovery game, 7th in scrambling and 5th in bogey avoidance. Pair that with his 37th in SG: off the tee and you could have a very good sleeper here. Also, two of his last four starts have been 13th place finishes.
  • Chez Reavie – he fits the same mold as Ryan Moore but he’s a slightly watered down version.
  • Jens Dantorp – he’s made his last five cuts (all overseas) and is coming off a nice 3rd place finish at the Scottish Open.

 

Dark Horse

Risky

  • Jason Kokrak – his last event was a T3 at the Greenbrier and is pretty good at gaining strokes off the tee (36th). His long irons are really good too which is huge here, he’s 11th at GIR from 175-200 yards out.

 

 

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Mark Lee

Written by 

Detroit sports fan, also sufferer of seasonal depression. Avid golfer and former college baseball player. Would've been in the league if it weren't for my lack of ability. Accountant by day, fantasy golf guru by night.

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