Miscellaneous

PGA DFS: The Open Championship Picks

Joey Ricotta | July 17th, 2019

Royal Portrush Golf Club located in Northern Ireland about an hour from Belfast will play host to The Open Championship for the first time since 1951. The last time it hosted a notable tournament was in 2012 for the Irish Open. The weather should play a factor, specifically the wind as it is a links course and the wind can pick up dramatically in the blink of an eye. Many golfers have high hopes heading into the final major of the year, including four-time major winner Rory McIlroy who will be returning to his homeland and a course he’s very familiar with. McIlroy set the Dunluce course record by shooting an 11-under 61 back in 2005. The course is a little different than it was then. The Dunluce links course has since been redesigned and lengthened. It is now a Par 71, 7,344 yards. Adding to the excitement, there’s expected to be record setting crowds as The Open has sold out for the first time in its 148-year history. The stage and tee times are set for one of the biggest events in Northern Ireland history. With that said, let’s get into some golfers to target for DFS to help win us some cash.

Disclaimer: All pricing is geared towards Draftkings. Please check the weather prior to finalizing your lineups. It may be in your best interest to target golfers with tee times that will avoid any major wind gusts. Either that or golfers that the wind might not have as much of an effect on.

The Core Four (Fore!)

Matt Kuchar ($8,700)

The FedExCup Standings points leader seems to be underpriced. He’s made 16 of 17 cuts this season. Kuchar took a break after the U.S. Open where he placed T16. This past week, he returned to the Scottish Open to place T20 and rack up 108 DK points. Kuchar holds nine career PGA Tour victories, two of which have come in the 2018/19 season. Kuchar gets it done a plethora of different ways. This is going to sound like a run-on sentence but I promise it’s super telling about the high quality of golf Kuchar has been playing. He’s eighth in strokes gained: total, fifth in greens in regulation percentage, 15th in birdie or better percentage, third in Par 4 and Par 5 scoring, eighth in scrambling, 13th in SG: tee-to-green, and 11th in driving accuracy. Simply put, Kuchar is a lock for me in cash games.

Henrik Stenson ($8,400)

Stenson, like Kuchar, took some time off after finishing T9 at the U.S. Open. Only to return this past week at the Scottish Open to finish T4. A nice little tune-up for him on a links course. He has now made ten straight cuts. Stenson is the number one ranked golfer on the PGA Tour in strokes gained: Approach the Green (1.245). Having a good approach and being good off-the-tee could be huge this weekend. Stenson is 20th in SG: Tee-to-Green (1.032) and fifth in driving accuracy (73.12%). In both of those areas he has been solid on the Euro Tour as well, highlighted by ranking eighth in SG: Approach the Green. His only major win was The Open in 2016 at Royal Troon. Look for him to make a push and be in the running to take down his second major and second Open Championship.

Bernd Wiesberger ($7,100)

Wiesberger’s recent form has been outstanding. He won the Scottish Open last week and placed second in the Irish Open two weeks ago. Both of those tournaments were played at links courses which should benefit Wiesberger as many PGA Tour golfers aren’t as familiar with these types of courses. Wiesberger ranks well in some key categories on the European Tour. He’s sixth in Greens In Regulation (72.8%), 16th in SG: Approach the Green (0.912), and 37th in SG: Tee-to-Green (1.023). You could make the case for other golfers in this price range for cash games. But I’m going to go ahead and save salary with the red hot Wiesberger.

Rafa Cabrera Bello ($7,500)

Cabrera Bello is 23rd in birdie or better conversion percentage at 33.43%. He ranks third in Par 4 birdie or better leaders (21.23%). Those are some of the key stats I see from his PGA Tour numbers. On the Euro Tour, he ranks first in Putts per Round (27.7), seventh in scrambling (63.3%) and eighth in SG: Around the Green (0.614). Cabrera Bello also has good form going into the tournament with three straight top-ten finishes, including two of those being top-five finishes. He finished T2 in 2012’s Irish Open at Royal Portrush. Given his recent form and track record at this course and other links courses, I expect him to be popular. But that won’t stop me from locking him into my cash game lineups.

Other Golfers To Consider

High Tier: Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm, and Justin Rose.

Mid Tier: Adam Scott, Patrick Cantlay, and Graeme McDowell.

Value Tier: Webb Simpson, Eddie Pepperell, and Patrick Reed.

Super Value Tier: Paul Waring, Nate Lashley, and Andrew Putnam.

My favorites out of these other golfers to consider would depend on the style of contest you are entering and how much salary you are working with. Please reach out to me on Twitter if you have any questions about which golfers I prefer as it pertains to your personal constructions. My favorites out of each range from high to low (if the salary is not an issue) are Rory McIlroy, Adam Scott, Webb Simpson, and Paul Waring.

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