Daily Fantasy PGA Picks and Betting Guide for DraftKings & FanDuel – 149th OPEN Championship

Daily Fantasy PGA Picks and Betting Guide for DraftKings & FanDuel - 149th OPEN Championship

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The big season will come to an end after this week when the world’s best players travel to Royal St. George’s Golf Club in Sandwich, England for the 149th OPEN Championship. With the 2020 event canceled, it feels like forever since Shane Lowry hoisted the Claret Jug at Royal Portrush, and I’m pretty sure he used the extra year as the defending champion.

The OPEN Championship returns to the Royal St. Georges Golf Club this week for the first time since 2011 when Darren Clarke defeated Phil Michelson and Dustin Johnson in three strokes to lift the hardware. It’s a classic links venue that is heavily affected by the wind, which can be seen by looking at the weekly forecast. In addition to the weather, the place can also be very unpredictable due to the continuous ripple.

From the tee off, golfers will see slightly wider fairways than 2011 but not much comfort as the rough / fescue is very high and challenging, forcing many players to just chip and try to save par or even bogey. The approach is not easier because the greens are undulating and protected by deep and very demanding bunkers, which in 2011 only recorded a savings rate of 34%.

I re-center everything in my statistical model Strokes Scored: Tee to Green, both long term and short term. Aside from the tea, I focus on Fairways won(via FNGC), as the course is not long and missing fairways definitely eliminate birdie and even question par. I look at the approach from a broad perspective with an overall view Strokes Received: Approach and check out some too Close to the fairway to combine with those who hit many fairways. Next, I forecast an average of 55-60% of the GIR field at best, and that automatically gives a lot of meaning Strokes Scored: Around the Green / Scrambling. After all, with a par 70 and only two par 5s, I also have a very high par 4 score in my model.

With all this information, we take a look at the scorecard and then go into the selection!

Of course

TPC south wind
Around 70-7,237 yards

** Click the image above for a hole-by-hole breakdown from PGATour.com. **

Top tier goals

Jordan Spieth
Golf world rankings (# 23)
Vegas Odds (18/1)
Draftkings ($ 9,700)
Fan Duel ($ 11,600)

After thinking about it for a long time over the past few days, I decided to choose Spieth as my best overall DFS game this week. What matters is that he ticks almost every box and it starts with the form that wasn’t just a couple of weeks of good play. Since his last missed cut (Farmers) in late January, Spieth has scored 12 in a row, including a win at the Valero Texas Open, and seven top 10 finishes, six of which happened to be top five. During this time he is 5th in SG: Tee to Green, 7th in SG: Around the Green, 1st in Par 4 Scoring and 10th in Opportunities Gained. He won the 2017 OPEN at Royal Birkdale and since that victory has finished T9 and T20 in both OPENS. He’s number 1 in my model and I’ll be heavy in DFS and bet on him right away as well.

Jon Rahm
Golf world rankings (# 2)
Vegas Odds (8/1)
Draftkings ($ 11,300)
Fan Duel ($ 12,300)

While Spieth is my overall favorite game due to the under $ 10,000 price tag at DraftKings, Jon Rahm beats our system predictions on both sides, and for good reason. In preparation for this event, he will take a T7 at the Scottish Open last week and also take a big win at the US Open in June. In terms of performance in the majors, Rahm was also probably the most consistent. Take a look at his placements since the beginning of 2019:

  • 2021 US Open – WIN
  • 2021 PGA Champion – T8
  • 2021 Masters – T5
  • 2020 Champion – T7
  • 2020 US Open – T23
  • 2020 PGA Champion – T13
  • 2019 OPEN Champion – T11
  • 2019 US Open – T3
  • 2019 PGA Champion – MC
  • 2019 Champion – T9

He has made nine out of 10 cuts with one win and six top 10s in his last 10 majors. With these data he is of course Top 3 in this field in SG: Tee to Green in difficult scoring conditions and also Top 20 in SG: Tee to Green in Windy AF conditions (both drawn by FNGC). It’ll be chalky this week with the softer prices, but I’ll find other ways to differentiate my lineups as I won’t be fading cream.

Collin Morikawa
Golf world rankings (# 4)
Vegas Odds (35/1)
Draftkings ($ 9,200)
Fan Duel ($ 11,000)

I love Louis Oosthuizen this week and every major, but I’m going to put some of that engagement on Morikawa, who is probably half the property. This will be his first OPEN Championship so it goes against the tales of experience and age in this major, but literally everything else stands out. It starts with form as he hasn’t missed a cut since October 2020 (14 in a row) and has one win (WGC Mexico) and seven top 10s in that time, including a T4 at the US Open and a T2 at the Memorial in his last both events. He is arguably the best iron player in the world and has recently proven that he has won 7+ hits on approach in five straight events and eight of his last nine events with Shot Tracker (except Masters). I will be reviewing the property forecasts at several outlets on Wednesday evening and if nothing changes I will likely be overweight at Morikawa this week and also love the 35/1 total.

Mid-tier goals

Daniel Berger
Golf world rankings (# 16)
Vegas Odds (66/1)
Draftkings ($ 7,400)
Fan Duel ($ 10,000)

No golfer stands out more for PTS / $ this week than Daniel Berger at DraftKings. He comes in 17th place in SG: Tee to Green in the last 24 laps led my irons when he finished 4th in SG: Approach during this time. He was also one of the most consistent golfers on the tour that season, scoring 15 of 17 cuts with one win (Pebble Beach), five top 10 and 10 top 25 finishes. He comes with a low ball flight, which is an advantage in windy conditions, and that shows how he ranks in the top 10 in SG: Tee to Green in Windy AF conditions (via FNGC). All in all, I’m going to be overweight on the field this week and also attacking him directly.

Shane Lowry
Golf world rankings (# 44)
Vegas Odds (40/1)
Draftkings ($ 7,900)
Fan Duel ($ 9,800)

We can’t talk about links golf without mentioning the defending champions. He showed what he can do in the wind in 2019, en route to a six-stroke win at Royal Portrush, where he took an astonishing 19.7 strokes from tee to green. He couldn’t quite keep up with the bombers at the US Open (T65), but previously finished T6 at the Memorial and T4 at the PGA Championship, so he’s starting in great shape.

Value targets

Ian Poulter
Golf world rankings (# 50)
Vegas Odds (75/1)
Draftkings ($ 7,200)
Fan Duel ($ 8,400)

Poulter missed the cut at his last two OPEN Championships, but this time comes in much better form. He’s been consistent on the PGA Tour this season, making 13 of his last 16 cuts and while the top 25 or better are few and far saturated, we don’t necessarily need that at his current price. It is a bit everywhere in the statistical model, but stands out in four major areas in the last 24 rounds (via FNGC):

  • Fairways won – 10.
  • SG: All about green – 13.
  • Par 4 rating – 11.
  • SG: Putten – 10.

All in all, Poulter is one of my favorite games in all formats and is well worth browsing the betting market for a good top 20 price.

Keegan Bradley
Golf world rankings (# 78)
Vegas Odds (160/1)
Draftkings ($ 6,800)
FanDuell ($)

We’d talked a long time about Keegan’s resilience this spring, and after missing two cuts in June (Memorial, Travelers), he bounced back on a T14 at Rocket Mortgage. As we all know by now, supporting Keegan and his inconsistent putter (to put it nicely) can be a wild ride, but it’s hard to ignore one of the tour’s top ball strikers and wind players. While he had inconsistent placements in this major, he was in the top 20 three times in his last six OPENs. With these prices, I’m on board in all formats.


Image sources

  • SMBC Singapore Open Golf (AP Photo / Wong Maye-E)


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