2022 PGA Tour: The Open Prop Bets Picks

by Mark Strausberg

We come to the fourth and final major of the year, which means it is time for the 2022 PGA Tour: The Open Prop Bets Picks.

Good thing it's a major too and I can look forward to the excitement instead of focusing on the beating I took last week with my published picks. I put up a big stinking goose egg, which leaves our ledger for the season looking like this:

  • Balance Coming Into Last Week:  +27.5175 Units
  • Units Wagered on Scottish Open: 3.5 Units
  • Units Won (gross winnings): ZERO Units
  • Net Profit YTD: +24.5175 Units

Sigh....

While I'm not going to quite push "all in" this week, it is a major, so I will be making all kinds of wagers this week. That means upping the total amount of units but with that comes an increased number of wagers as well.

If my math is correct, I'm wagering 10.25 units this week. Here's how those 10+ units will be wagered.

2022 PGA Tour: The Open Prop Bets Picks

Justin Thomas To Miss the Cut (+350 DK) - Half Unit

Would it surprise me if JT not only made the cut but then went on to win the whole thing? No. But I've been pretty good with the "miss the cut" bets all year. We hit on it last time I posted one, and I've been kicking myself for not making miss the cut bets as I turned out to be right but failed to make the wager. The theme of the week is no "coulda woulda shoulda"s.

I feel like Thomas has about a 30% chance to miss the cut, so I'll take the value that DraftKings is giving us. JT's missed cut last week is not the reason I'm picking against him. But Thomas seems to have problems playing links-style golf courses. Yes, he notched a T-11 at Royal Portrush in 2019, but the rest of his Open history looks nothing like a player currently 7th in the world. He did not play The Open last time it was at St. Andrews, but since then he has two missed cuts, a T-40, and a T-53. Not exactly inspiring.

Throw in JT's accuracy issues off the tee (168th) and my gut is telling me to bet against him.

So who do I like this week?

Rory McIlroy or Jordan Spieth to Win (FD +600 DK +450) - One Unit

Might as well start at the top. I listed both odds here just to show you what kind of edge you can get depending on what site you explore. At +450, I'd probably still make this best because I like Rory and Spieth so much this week. But with extra 150 points on FanDuel, I really like this bet there. I openly admit that some of the confidence I have in this bet is based purely on a gut feeling. Yet there are so many other more concrete reasons to like both of these golfers this week.

First off, Spieth has never missed an Open cut. He was last year's runner-up, which was his fourth top 10 at The Open. He already has an Open victory as well, which he won at Royal Birkdale in 2017. I'm a little worried about last week's final round at The Scottish Open, but he still managed to finish T-10. Otherwise, his odds probably would have been too low for my tastes. Currently 12th in both OWGR (Overall World Golf Ranking) and FedEx Rankings, I'll bet anyone even money he soars into the top ten after this weekend.

Rory meanwhile is the PGA Tour's top scorer; has an Open title on his resume along with three other top-fives; grew up playing links courses; and oh yeah, just happens to be the number two golfer in the world behind Scottie Scheffler who missed the cut last week. McIlroy is coming in hot with three top 20s including a T-5 at the US Open and a victory at the Canadian Open. Still blows my mind how long it has been since Rory has won a major. I'll call my shot: the drought ends this week.

Winner - Tenth of a Unit on Each of the Following (Total: 1 Unit)

As confident as I am that Spieth or McIlroy win, I'm not that cocky to think that it is a 100% lock. So I'm going to spend another unit and spread it across ten options. Here they are:

Cameron Smith (DK +2500)

Smith's Open finishes have been on a steady incline and he is currently having his best year yet. Getting 25 to 1 for the sixth-best golfer in the world rankings seems like a decent value, especially coming off of a strong T-10 at the Scottish Open last week. Smith is in the Top 20 for nearly any putting category on Tour. With the Old Course at St. Andrews having some of the largest greens anywhere, that should play directly into Smith's wheelhouse.

Fleetwood (DK +3500)

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McIlroy and Spieth are definitely my clear and away top two choices this week, but Fleetwood is my third choice. Lots of reasons why he could win it, but my favorite piece of data in favor of a Fleetwood victory is that he's broken par in 21 of his 22 rounds at the Old Course. Not too shabby.

Tony Finau (FD +4000)

There is so much to like here. After a rough stretch, he's rolling again with three Top 4's in his last seven starts. And few have elevated their game more for majors and The Open specifically than Finau has. He has five straight top 30's including a T9 in 2018 and a 3rd in 2019.  Can he finally crash into the winner's circle? I don't know, but I know I will be holding a winning ticket when he does.

Justin Rose (DK +6500)

Of those golfers in the field this week alive when Seve Ballesteros won at St. Andrews, Rose might be one of the few who could follow in Ballesteros' footsteps. Rose has made the cut in seven straight Open appearances, including a T-6 at St. Andrews in 2015 and a runner-up as recently as 2018 at Carnoustie. He is definitely past his peak, but like Tiger Woods, Rose can still bring his best for the majors. Rose logged a couple of major top-10s last year. He followed that up with a solid T-37 at the US Open this year and an even better T-13 at the PGA Championship. Throw in the 59 he shot in the last round of the Canadian Open and you have to believe Rose can be a Claret Jug contender this week.

Sungjae Im (DK +6500)

I'd say this two-time Tour winner has the all-around game to be a surprise winner this week, but it would hardly be shocking. Despite lacking much links experience, he did play extremely well at Royal Melbourne. He might be one of the coldest golfers of all my picks to win coming into this week off two missed cuts. But he also garnered six top tens this season. 21st in Sand Save Percentage, 37th in Driving Accuracy,  and 16th in GIR makes him a great fit for this course and wouldn't be surprised to see him raising the Claret Jug come Sunday.

Marc Leishman (DK +10000)

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Leishman was the runner up last time The Open was at St. Andrews. I'll take him to avenge that loss at 100-1 happily.

Christian Bezuidenhout (DK +11000)

Yup, I'm riding this horse again. CB is coming in hot with a T2 at the John Deere and most recently a T-16 at the Scottish Open last week. He's made 14 of 18 cuts and already has six Top 25 finishes. One of the better putters on Tour, he can also play well should the weather take a turn this week. It was long before he joined the Tour, but he has a 67 to his name at the Old Course. Intrigued, aren't you?

Max Homa (FD +12000)

Homa is one of the few Americans that would not surprise me if he won this week. I could give you the stats on him, but instead I will simply provide you with this tweet to encourage you to bet on Homa:

Aaron Wise (DK +13000)

Wise has four top-10 finishes on Tour this season, including a second at the deep fielded Memorial. He also has Top-30s in both his Majors earlier this year and this venue might be an even better fit for his game. He's not someone I will betting a ton on this week, but a tenth of a unit is worth the gamble.

Jordan Smith (DK +15000)

See my write-up about DraftKings values from earlier in the week.

Top 40 Finish - Christiaan Bezuidenhout, Jordan Smith, Chris Kirk, Min Woo Lee, and Robert McIntryre (Total: 3.25 Units)

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I like all five of these golfers as Top 40 bets. That's the takeaway. But those quick at math might be asking how I am getting to 3.25 Units? This might get a little confusing. So try to stay with me. Let's start with the easier part:

Jordan Smith (+150 DK) and Robert MacIntyre (+130 DK) - One Unit Each

No need to dive into Smith, let's dive into MacIntyre, as I went back and forth on this one. I really liked MacIntyre to start the year and placed an early bet for him to win The Open. But every speedbump he hits gives me less and less confidence. And missing the cut in last week's Scottish Open on a similar course gives me great pause. But when it comes to majors, he's been a machine. He's made seven cuts in seven Tour Majors, including two top-10s in The Open. He's the best young Scottish player out there and a Top 40 is probably too conservative. But that might be as safe as I am going to go this week, which brings us to my Top 40 Round Robin.

Fan Duel Round Robin: Pairs (+948) - Tenth of a Unit; Trips (+3199) - Tenth of a Unit ; and Quad (+10122) - Quarter Unit on Jordan Smith (+150), Christiaan Bezudenhout (+190), Min Woo Lee (+220), and Chris Kirk (+250) for Total of 1.25 Units

MacIntyre's payout is not high enough on FanDuel, so we are taking him out on FD, but I love Kirk's odds on FanDuel. Kirk hasn't played The Open often, but he does have a top-20 finish in his three tries. He also can hold his own in a deep field, like he did earlier this season when he finished 5th at the PGA Championship. He is one of the better players in windy conditions and I got a hunch that the wind might just kick up in Scotland this week. Kirk also has a statistical profile that fits this course (56th in Shot Gained Approaching the Green; 25th in Sand Save %; 42nd in Driving Accuracy) and should be able to crack the Top 40.

Min Woo Lee might be a bit of a surprise pick, but his star is definitely on the rise. He's shown his mettle in Majors already. He notched a T-27 at the US Open and a T-14 at the Masters earlier this year. Is a Top-40 finish this week too much to ask for? Given he beat both Thomas Detry and Matthew Fitzpatrick in a playoff in last year's Scottish Open, I will say "no".

First Round Leader Bets: Louis Oosthuizen, Ryan Fox, and Patrick Cantalay - 1.5 Units Total

DraftKings is letting us not only pick the FRL, but we can pick first-round finishes of Top 5 and top 10 as well! All of my FRL bets will be on DK because of the better odds, but FYI FanDuel is letting us pick the top-20 first-round finishes! Obviously, the payout is lower, but with a little bit of a safety net, I can't help but take the leap this week. Here are my thoughts on each of those three.

Louis Oosthuizen (+5000 FRL - Half Unit, +1100 Top Five - Half Unit)

This is probably the most obvious choice for an FRL bet. Oosty lost in a playoff the last time The Open was at St. Andrews. He shot an opening-round 67, the third-lowest score of the round. So he knows how to play St. Andrews. But there was something else....what was it...oh yeah--Oosty was your first-round leader last year at The Open! I think he can do it again, but I'll take the top five safety net to go with it.

Ryan Fox (+7000 FRL - Half Unit, +370 Top Twenty - Half Unit)

Wanted something a little more aggressive, but I'm taking advantage of FanDuel offering us the Top 20 safety net with this pick.  He didn't start off too hot last week, but bounced back with extremely strong 2nd and 4th round scores. Moreover, the week before at the Irish Open he was your first-round leader. He also closed with a 67 at St. Andrews back in '15, so we know he can shoot low this week. At +370, I am willing to bet on him finishing in the top 20 on Thursday.

Patrick Cantalay (+3500 FRL - Half Unit, +800 Top Five - Half Unit)

Last year's FedEx Champion absolutely has the skill to win this week. He's currently fourth in the OWGR thanks to eight top tens including four top threes. I think Cantalay makes some noise this week and one way to do that would be by going low on Thursday. Besides just pure raw ability, he is fifth overall in opening round average. With Cantalay's current FRL odds being better on DraftKings, we'll bet half a unit there and give ourselves a little cushion with another half unit bet for him to finish Thursday in the top five.

"Luck of the Irish": Seamus Power Top 20 (+225) and Shane Lowry Top 20 (+130) - One Unit Each

So the title above is my own not-so-clever title. But don't let a stupid title get in the way of making a couple of smart bets. Both of these golfers have the game to win this week, but I'll be a little more conservative and simply bet a unit on each. Power is a Majors debutante having played in each of the four majors this year for the first time. A T-27, a T-9, and a T-12 respectively at the Majors this year should be enough proof he has the credentials. He's got ten Top 20s already and I'd bet on him getting an 11th this week.

Lowry meanwhile has plenty of Majors experience including a 2019 British Open victory.  In 11 Tour events in 2021 he has a Top 20 in seven of them. Sixth in both sand save percentage and scoring average, plus a strong 36th in SG: Putting, he is a great match for this course. Ignore making this bet at your own risk.

Fan Duel Boost: Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, and Will Zalatoris to Each Make the Cut (+200) - One Unit

I was almost done writing this article when I saw this boost appear. I've told you how much I like Rory, so he's a given for this bet. I don't see Woods winning this week, but I do think he makes the cut. He's won The Open here not once but twice and just seems so dialed in this week. If the odds were just a little higher, I would have suggested making Woods to make the cut bets as well.

The tough one here is Zalatoris as he did miss the cut last week. But the 25-year-old can golf with the best of them. I wouldn't bet him to win The Open just yet. But Willy Z is 6th on Tour in SG: Total thanks to being 1st in SG:Approaching The Green and 1st in SG: Tee to Green. If he can just putt even with the field for the first two days, he'll make the cut. Take the boost.

So that will do it for the 2022 PGA Tour: The Open Prop Bets Picks. Follow me on Twitter (@MarkStrausberg) to see what other bets I might be contemplating, as I still got at least another day to make more bets. In the meantime, good luck with your bets, and let's get that green!


Check out Tyler's FanDuel Picks for this week!

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