Let's dive into the 2022 PGA DFS: The Open FanDuel picks to get you ready for the fourth and final major of the 2022 PGA Tour season!
The Open will be played for the 150th time and it will return to the home of golf; The Old Course at St. Andrews. This year's iteration of The Open has the ingredients to be a historic occasion.
In addition to being played for the 150th time and returning to the most historic golf course in the world, there are three storylines that should be worth monitoring.
First; Scottie Scheffler is looking to make it two major wins to go along with a runner-up in four major appearances this season.
Second, Matthew Fitzpatrick is looking to make it back-to-back major wins after winning the U.S. Open in June, to go along with his impressive T-5th at the PGA Championship and T-14th at the Masters Tournament.
And third, and more minuscule in comparison to the other two, is Xander Schauffele going for three straight victories after winning the Travelers Championship and the Genesis Scottish Open last week.
Oh, yea, I almost forgot to mention, Tiger Woods is also teeing it up this week.
Get your popcorn ready, and let's dive into my 2022 PGA DFS: The Open FanDuel picks!
2022 PGA DFS: The Open FanDuel Picks
The Old Course at St. Andrews and Key Indicators
The Old Course at St. Andrews checks in as a par-72, measuring 7,297 yards. While appearing to be a long track, it can play a variety of ways depending on course conditions and weather.
The expectation this week is that it will play firm and fast, meaning it will play shorter than its listed yardage.
St. Andrews is also home to some of the largest and most undulating greens in the world. A good short game will be a necessity this week.
Having said that, I'll be looking at three key indicators; good drive percentage, strokes gained: around the green, and strokes gained: putting.
Cameron Tringale - $7,900
I really liked what I saw out of Cameron Tringale last week at the Genesis Scottish Open. He finished T-6th in a similar setup and playing conditions that we will be seeing this week for The Open.
Tringale has also had a solid season. The 49th-ranked player in the world is in solid form and has just two missed cuts in his last 11 tournaments. That stretch has included the T-6th last week, a T-14th at the U.S. Open, and a T-12th at the RBC Heritage.
Quite frankly, Tringale is too solid of a player to let go at this price point. He shows OK in my three key indicators, coming in at 103rd in good drive percentage at 81.76%. Tringale is currently 78th in SG: around the green, picking up .115 strokes per round on the field. Lastly, he's been solid with the flat stick this season, coming in at 65th in SG: putting, picking up .178 shots per round on the field.
I like Tringale to compete for a top 30 finish this week after his impressive showing last week, in a field that featured 14 of the top 15 ranked players in the world.
Talor Gooch - $8,500
My second cheapest pick also has a solid world ranking. Talor Gooch checks in at 40th in the world. Because he has joined the LIV Tour, he hasn't played a PGA Tour event since the U.S. Open, when he missed the cut.
Gooch did have solid showings in the two majors before the U.S. Open, however. He finished T-20th at the PGA Championship and T-14th at the Masters Tournament.
Gooch has appeared in 21 PGA Tour events this season and has made the cut a respectable 16 times. It will be interesting to see how comfortable he feels now that he has jumped ship to LIV. Whether that had an impact on his performance at the U.S. Open is up for debate, but he did miss the cut.
I'm going for the value play here. Gooch is too good of a player to steal at $8,500, and he shows decently in my three key indicators.
He is currently T65th in good drive percentage at 83.05%. Gooch shows elite in SG: around the green, currently ranking 4th, picking up .502 strokes per round on the field. His worst showing is in SG: putting, where he ranks 106th.
My gut tells me Gooch shows up this week and performs well. I think this could be the value pick of the week.
Billy Horschel - $9,100
I know this is a strong field, however, some of these price points feel off. Billy Horschel has been as solid as they come this year and is currently ranked 15th in the world. On the surface, to be able to get him for $9,100 feels like grand larceny.
However, I do have a bit of trepidation about this pick. Horschel missed the cut last week at the Genesis Scottish Open and he has only made the cut twice in seven appearances in The Open. It appears links golf is not up Horschel's alley. One positive to take away from that, however, is the fact that Horschel finished T30th the last time The Open was held at St. Andrews, in 2015.
Some more good vibes with this pick come by way of Horschel's rankings in my key indicators. Horschel enters this week 29th in good drive percentage at 84.79%. He is among the world's best in SG: around the green, ranking 13th, picking up .410 strokes per round on the field.
Lastly, Horschel checks in at 14th in SG: putting, picking up .527 strokes per round on the field.
This is admittedly a risky pick with Horschel's history in The Open. However, he's had a great year, his price point is ridiculous, and if my key indicators are spot on, he should be fine this week.
Cameron Smith - $10,900
Cameron Smith has had an incredible season. He has two wins, including THE PLAYERS Championship, and a T-3rd at the Masters Tournament. Smith has also moved all the way up to sixth in the world rankings.
Although he missed the cut in his first appearance in The Open, at Royal Birkdale in 2017, he's made the cut each of the last three tries and has back-to-back solid finishes with a T-20th in 2019 and a T-33rd in 2021.
Smith's performance last week in the Genesis Scottish Open kind of pushed me over the edge with this selection after he finished T-10th. It appears, after a sluggish start to his pro career in events featuring links courses, that Smith has figured out this style of play.
I do have a bit of nervousness about his poor driving this season, however, especially if the rough is as high as it typically is for The Open. Smith is a paltry T-146th in good drive percentage, and to add on to that he is 140th in SG: off-the-tee. He needs to be better from the tee to compete for a win this week.
However, his short game is absurd, and one of the main reasons I'm selecting him. Smith is currently 32nd in SG: around the green. He is picking up .284 strokes per round on his competition for the year.
Lastly, Smith backs his reputation up as one of the world's greatest putters. He is currently 16th in SG: putting where he gains .521 strokes per round on the field.
If Smith is hitting the driver accurately this week, he can win his first major.
Xander Schauffele - $11,300
The odds that Xander Schauffele wins for the third consecutive week are not great. He's actually one of my selections for the week as a favorite to fade. However, I still think he will play well and be in contention, I just don't think he wins this tournament based on sheer odds.
I hope he proves me wrong, however.
Schauffele is one of the world's hottest players. The fifth-ranked player in the world has the following finishes over his last seven events:
- 1st - Zurich Classic
- T-5th - AT&T Byron Nelson
- T-13th - PGA Championship
- T-18 - the Memorial Tournament
- T-14 - the U.S. Open
- 1st - Travelers Championship
- 1st - Genesis Scottish Open
Quite honestly, it's hard to pick against that form.
He's also been solid in his career at The Open. He has made the cut each of the four times he has teed it up and has a T-2nd at Carnoustie in 2018. Schauffele has shown he can play links golf.
He also shows well in my three key indicators for the week. Schauffele is currently T-52nd in good drive percentage at 83.63%. He is currently 37th in SG: around the green, picking up .276 shots per round. Lastly, he is 31st in SG: putting, picking up .378 strokes per round.
Again, I have a hard time believing he wins three tournaments in a row, but Schauffele certainly has the firepower to do so.
Rory McIlroy - $12,000
My top dog this week is the world's second-ranked player, Rory McIlroy. Not a lot of justification is needed, ever, when selecting Rory McIlroy. Simply put, he's one of the greatest of all time.
I will give some justification in case you need convincing. McIlroy has teed it up in The Open 12 times, he's missed the cut just twice. He has finished 1st (2014 at Royal Liverpool), T-2nd, T-3rd (at St. Andrews), T-4th, and a T-5th. McIlroy knows how to play links golf.
Though McIlroy was the only player ranked inside the top 15 of the official world golf rankings to not tee it up last week at the Genesis Scottish Open, it doesn't matter, he doesn't need the prep week for links golf.
McIlroy has also performed splendidly in the majors this season. He was the runner-up at the Masters Tournament, 8th at the PGA Championship, and T-5th at the U.S. Open. He has the guts to perform in majors.
Simply put, McIlroy's standings in my key indicators don't matter. The key indicators could literally be anything and you could justify taking him, especially for The Open. I look for him to compete for his second Claret Jug