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2019 Open Championship Deep Sleepers: The Return to Royal Portrush

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The Open Championship is returning to Royal Portrush in Northern Ireland after a 58-year “hiatus”. I was originally tempted to discuss a little Irish heritage and history this week. Alas, I know you came here just to get my 2019 Open Championship deep sleepers and predictions. And normally I give you very little course information in these deep sleeper previews. But given that it has been years since a major has been played at Royal Portrush, let’s make an exception. I want to discuss the course a little so we can set the stage for those aforementioned 2019 Open Championship deep sleepers.

Nestled along the North Atlantic coast, Royal Portrush is a typical links style course. As one might expect, there are rolling dunes, undulating (i.e. challenging) greens, and deep bunkers. Interestingly, there are less deep bunkers here than any other course on the Open rota. Of course, those bunkers are still in ample supply. Keep that in mind should your golfers play “arseways”, possibly leaving them “knackered out” and likely “fluthered” before leaving the green isle.

Like any windswept course, the weather could be an issue. A host of mixed conditions is in the forecast. Surprisingly, the forecast calls for fairly mild winds most of the tournament. Be forewarned however that your early Thursday morning golfers might be facing some blustery conditions. Like most Opens, there will be a premium on putting and keeping the ball out of the penal rough.


Also, while it has been more than half a century since hosting a British Open, Royal Portrush did host the 2012 Irish Open. Of note, both Rory McIlroy and defending champion Francisco Molinari finished in the top ten. Both are likely to see high ownership this week, with the former the betting favorite for the week.

If you want Rory in your lineup, however, he’s gonna cost you quite a few pounds since he’s the most expensive player on DraftKings this week. Which means you need at least one golfer under $7K this week, which of course brings us to my 2019 Open Championship Deep Sleepers.

2019 Open Championship Deep Sleepers

Sung Kang $6300

The “Sun King” could easily bring a warm smile to your face at this price. I caution you however that he can send your DFS investments crashing to earth in a fiery blaze as well. You could easily be getting the same golfer whose last four PGA tournaments include three missed cuts and a 78th place finish. Or, should you decide to play with fire with this very low-cost option, you could be rewarded with the same golfer who finished 7th in the last major at the PGA. And right before that? All he did was win the Byron Nelson. To win the British Open, you either find a way to navigate around the sand traps or you better be good at getting out of them. Kang is a strong 28th in Sand Save Percentage. You make the call.

Lucas Glover $6500

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Glover’s current form is strong. He arrives on the heels of back to back top tens. The last time he played The Open was 2013 and he missed the cut. However, his stats are strong across the board: He’s 40th in SG: Off the Tee, third in scrambling, and 20th in Total Putting.  As he plays the Open more, he will likely see more and more success. That success should start this week.

Andrew Putnam $6600

Putnam has been under the radar all season and there’s a chance that might continue. I said might. He is a cut maker (14 out of 18), especially at this price, and coming off a T-4 at the Scottish Open. He might be more popular than one thinks. But I’m not overthinking this. Putnam is third on Tour in shots gained putting. I’ll worry about the other golfers around him instead.

Charles Howell III $6800

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Howell hasn’t missed a cut since May, fired back to back rounds of 65 to finish T-6 this past week, and is 13th in the FedEx Cup race for a reason. He’s 8th in SG: Around the Green and 4th in GIR. His poor record in the British gives me pause, but I’m not going to overthink this given that it’s a new course for most of the field. I’m less worried about tournament history this week, so I definitely like “Chucky-three-sticks” this week.

[Editors Note: Howell withdrew shortly after this article was submitted]

Joaquin Niemann $6900

Do you think the 2018 rookie class might be weary of hearing about this year’s rookie class? Regardless if they are or not, Joaquin Niemann is showing the rooks he’s not ready to be ignored. Niemann just posted his fourth Top 25 in a row this past weekend and is on absolute fire. Simply put, I’m going to have multiple shares of Niemann this week and you should too.

Jorge Campillo $6900

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You should know that I could have confidently loaded this article with six players at the $6900 level. Billy Horschel, for example, has missed only one cut this year. He seems extremely underpriced to me. But then I would have cheated you out of the lower price guys. Plus, I felt I was over-indexing on Americans. A South American, an Asian, and three members of the USGA leaves us with a glaring omission from Europe. Because despite the well-chronicled inability for an Englishman to win the British Open recently, the Euros tend to dominate this tournament.



Molinari won in ’18 and Stenson in ’16. Is it possible we see a Spaniard win this year? Jon Rham will be a popular pick this week given his most recent tournament was a victory in the Irish Open two weeks ago. Don’t overlook Rham’s fellow countryman, Jorge Campillo. Campillo is 62nd in the world golf ranking. He’s rattled off a string of 5 consecutive top 20 finishes this spring, including a victory in the Trophee Hassan II. That tournament featured many of the same Euros that Campillo will face again this week. He’s worthy of being one of my 2019 Open Championship Deep Sleepers!


Click here to read DFSx42’s Open Championship Tiered Rankings

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