Fantasy Golf

2017 Open Championship DFS Golf Outlook

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The Open Championship

The name of this tournament is perfect. The simplicity of it is what makes it so elegant and important-sounding. Sure, it’s similar to ‘The Masters’, but then I think about it further. There’s so many different golf tournaments that end with ‘open’ – U.S. Open, Irish Open, Sony Open, Shell Houston Open, and who could forget the Waste Management Open. But if your tournament is so prestigious that it’s just called ‘The Open’ championship… That must make you feel pretty special!

The name definitely fits the narrative though. There’s only been, oh, 146 of these things. Each one is just as riveting as the last and I’m completely ready to enjoy another week of fantastic golf. As long as another random ass dude doesn’t win this week (looking at you Si Woo Kim and Brooks Koepka), this will shape up to be another amazing edition of this wonderful major.

What will make this week even better? Rolling around in some DFS winnings, baby! Let’s hop across the pond and return back on a private jet to a private island… Okay, I can’t make promises like that. But still, time to have some fun in DFS!

2017 U.S. Open DFS Golf Outlook

Course Preview

Royal Birkdale Golf ClubSouthport, England
Par70
RatingN/A
SlopeN/A
Length7,156 yds
GreensBentgrass blend
WeatherRounds 1 & 2 - rainy & windy; Weekend - partly sunny, 60 F
Purse$10.25MM

Key Statistics

  1. Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green
  2. Strokes Gained: Approach
  3. Ball Striking
  4. Scrambling Percentage
  5. Wind Performance

The Strokes Gained statistics are going to be common in these rundowns. The importance of those two is obvious, so I won’t spend any time on that.

Look, it’s a shorter course so you are going to see all types of players compete. More specifically, this opens the door for older and shorter players to succeed. All that being said, I include Ball Striking in the important statistics just to introduce driving distance if only for a small amount. Otherwise, it’s all about precision / accuracy approaching and around the greens this week.

I have beat this horse to death in my previous articles, but the weather will play the biggest factor at this track. 20 mph winds with scattered showers will be the story early on in the tournament. Whoever can escape these conditions without many blemishes should be in great shape for the weekend. I will again be using the Future of Fantasy stats in regards to players who perform well under windy conditions.

Recent History

There hasn’t been an Open Championship here since 2008 when Patty Harrington took home the hardware. Therefore, we will ignore previous Open Championship results at this time. However, if you are looking for advantages for certain players, look at British players and others that are used to extreme weather.

Golfers to Own

Jon Rahm, $10000

He’s my winner this week despite my whole explanation about how the shorter / older players will contend. If I keep saying he will win a major, it will come true and make me look wise at some point, right? He straight up wrecked the Irish Open and proved to me that he can win in the British Isles (in dominant fashion no less). I have him edging out a strong field by a couple of strokes.

Justin Rose, $8700

Well, I left Rickie Fowler off my list for once, so I had to include another favorite of mine here. Rose won me some money at the Masters so he’s got me seeing green here too. Some people may see his past Open Championship results and shy away. I say use that opportunity to cash in on Rose in tournaments and cash games.

Phil Mickelson, $7600

If you are looking for safety and stability in the middle of the salary cap this week, Mickelson is your guy. No, Mickelson is THE guy. He’s perfect on cuts made this season and only getting better by fantasy points per event in 2017. With the trends projecting the right way and a history of success at this major, Lefty should not disappoint you this weekend in cash games. Hell, throw him out there in a tournament lineup or two as well to cover yourself in case he pulls off another major win.

Golfers to Avoid

Dustin Johnson, $10400

Obviously I am not going to bash the favorite to win this tournament. I just feel like he’s going to be so highly owned and expensive that he will have to win the whole damn thing to produce value. That’s not at a bad bet to make at 10-1, but the reverse of those same odds could make way for a profitable tournament for your DJ-less lineups.

Henrik Stenson, $8700

A lot of folks are on Stenson this week after his past success at the Open. I’m just not willing to ignore his awful season thus far. Sure, he’s had much more success over the last couple of months, but he hasn’t been facing as stacked of fields as this one. Look for Stenson to be highly owned and not worth it in any format.

Justin Thomas, $8300

This guy has lost me so much money this year in DFS. I just am done believing in him so blindly. He’s very inconsistent, even missing his last two cuts. The second I get off the bandwagon he will dominate, as does happen in any fantasy sport. However, he’s just not reliable enough to play in a large portion of your lineups. 100% do not play in cash games and limit your exposure in tournaments.

Sleeper of the Week

Pat Perez, $5500

Can Perez really be identified as a sleeper this season? He’s made 15 of 18 cuts this season and 11 of those were top 25 finishes. His wind performance is very good along with the other statistics on the list. It’s a gut call for me, but I just foresee Perez making some noise this week and having at least another top 25 for the 2016-2017 season.

Plus, he’s just a cool dude. Yes, you can be a cool golfer without going on a spring break trip with half the tour. Keep being yourself, Pat!

My Friend JSK’s Lock of the Week

The great JSK takes this tournament off to focus on his own game. Disappointing, I know. But don’t be disappointed in him. Be disappointed in the author who might have forgotten to alert JSK of his piece until the night before. Damn it.

Wait, what’s this? A submission provided by JSK! This is somewhat of a miracle. I bet he picks someone really off the wall this week – someone he would never, EVER think of picking on a normal week…

Sergio Garcia is going to capture his second major of the year at the 2017 Open Championship.

Garcia has always said that this was his favorite major, and his record reflects that sentiment with ten top-10s in twenty starts. In fact, he has gone T-2, T-6, T-5 over the last three Open Championships. The Spaniard consistently plays well in this tournament due to his superior ball striking, but his putting keeps him from partying with the Claret Jug (I’m still scarred from 2007).

However, Sergio proved that he still has what it takes to roll in clutch putts as he slipped on the Green Jacket in April. You simply don’t win at Augusta without making putts. Furthermore, as the weather is predicted to become very nasty over the course of the Championship, a solid striker, like Garcia, holds a tremendous advantage.

With the Major Monkey off his back and a solid major start in the intermediate, Sergio is poised to finally break through at his favorite stop.

Okay, I kid about JSK always picking his boy Sergio, but I don’t hate the pick this week. I think the shine has worn off on him for DFS players since his Masters win and many people will be off of him.

Proposed DFS Lineups

Tournament

PlayerSalary
Total$60,000
Jon Rahm$10000
Hideki Matsuyama$9000
Justin Rose$8700
Tommy Fleetwood$8100
Matt Kuchar$7500
Padraig Harrington$5600
Xander Schauffele$5600
Pat Perez$5500

I already touched on Rahm and Rose as elite options this week. Also, I have included my sleeper Perez in the mix. How do I finish this high upside tournament lineup?

Matt Kuchar was more of a stable pick, but after him it’s a boom or bust list. Hideki Matsuyama can rival anyone in the field with point potential and could be an under-looked name when discussing predicted champions.

When selecting European Tour players, Tommy Fleetwood stood out among the crowd. He may be under-appreciated on DFS sites given the small sample size, but he should certainly be on everyone’s radar with this major in his backyard. Padraig Harrington could shock some folks out here given the weather and length of course. And, hell, he’s had a touch of success here before so why not?

Lastly, Xander Schauffele surprised many at Erin Hills for the U.S. Open. Apparently, FanDuel wasn’t buying it one bit. I can’t say that I am sold either, but for this price he easily outproduces value.

Cash

PlayerSalary
Total$60000
Justin Rose$8700
Adam Scott$8600
Phil Mickelson$7600
Branden Grace$7500
Matt Kuchar$7500
Charl Schwartzel$7000
Bill Haas$6700
Andy Sullivan$6400

Safety is the name of the game here! We certainly don’t lack safe options here with Rose, Adam Scott, Mickelson, and Kuchar all repping the squad.

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Branden Grace could actually be someone I am comfortable playing in any format. He’s a fantastic wind performer and doesn’t miss cuts. Bill Haas is a cut-making machine and you should have no issues throwing him in your cash lineups. Now, I’m not a huge Charl Schwartzel guy – you should no this if you’ve read any of my past articles. However, I can’t deny that he provides value at $7000.

Finally, give Andy Sullivan a long look this week. He’s on fire in his last three European Tour events and has performed well at the Open the last two years. Not at all a tournament play, but he can be a stalwart for production throughout the event while not costing much.

About Tyler Thompson

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