Welcome back to Golf News Net's weekly fantasy golf picks. Each week of the PGA Tour season, we'll present our top picks for that week's tournament and make recommendations for DraftKings' one-week fantasy leagues.
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It's time for the world's major championship this week. It's time for the 2016 Open Championship...or maybe the British Open. Whatever the name, it's links golf at Royal Troon, and that has us excited.
The Scottish Open came to a thrilling finish, while the PGA Tour was forced into the rare off week by the flooding in West Virginia that cancelled The Greenbrier Classic. We have our top 15 picks for you for free, and our GNN Plus subscribers get a ton more information!
For GNN Plus subscribers, you can access our NEW searchable database of PGA Tour results from 2011-present, our top-15 finish chart and season-long trends on DraftKings valuations. They'll be available at your disposal as part of a growing set of tools to help in your research.
2016 PGA Championship top 15 picks
1. Dustin Johnson -- The U.S. Open champion has been in tremendous form this entire year. He can get around Baltusrol without driver if he chooses, and he's dramatically improved in his wedge play.
2. Rory McIlroy -- This is Major for Rory McIlroy. He's won two of his four majors here and has the best record in this major of the four. Back-door top-five at the Open is nice, but he should be a part of it from start to finish at Baltusrol.
3. Jason Day -- Day's best is still better than anyone else's in golf. However, in the last two majors, Day has dug himself an early hole that's proven impossible to get wholly out of. Still, the defending champion deserves a serious look.
4. Jordan Spieth -- Spieth may actually be a sneaky pick this week. He's struggled in the last two majors. However, he's also showed improvement in his ballstriking, and he now doesn't have to live up to trying to replicate 2015.
5. Phil Mickelson -- The Open runner-up won here in 2005, and it's crazy to think that a 46-year-old guy has three runner-up finishes this year. But here we are.
6. Henrik Stenson -- The Open champion also has an excellent PGA Championship record. He should fare well here because this is a ballstriker's track, but there's a reasonable worry of a hangover from the best major performance in history.
7. Sergio Garcia -- Great ballstriker and top fives in the last two majors. Sergio might never win a major, but he's damn sure going to be there in a lot of them.
8. Lee Westwood -- Westwood had a bad draw at Troon and finished with a nice 68. Had a bad first nine in the final round of the U.S. Open. The guy can golf his ball, though, and this course should line up with him.
9. Adam Scott -- Scotty has a brilliant record in the PGA Championship, doing pretty much everything in this championship short of winning it. Four top-15s in the last five years.
10. Zach Johnson -- Z.J. has made a nice showing for himself in the Opens this year -- T-8 and T-12, respectively. He should be able to use his ballstriking ability to his advantage despite a mediocre PGA Championship record.
11. Tony Finau -- Finau deserves a serious look because of his strong, albeit limited, major record: four starts, three top-20s.
12. Jason Dufner -- The 2013 PGA champion (and the guy that probably should've won in 2011) is built for this tournament. He's missed three cuts all year, so he's consistent. He's gone T-8 and T-22 in the last two majors.
13. Steve Stricker -- I know it sounds crazy to recommend a 49-year-old part-time player, but he has a great PGA Championship record in the last five years and has finished T-2 and 4th in his last two starts. Not bad for an old man.
14. Justin Rose -- Rose is a top-notch ballstriker, and he seems to be getting back in the swing of things after a back injury. T-22 at Troon is a good sign.
15. Charl Schwartzel -- Schwartzel was solid at the Open despite making a quick switch from Nike Golf to PXG.
My DraftKings team for this week:
1. Rory McIlroy - $11,400
2. Matt Kuchar - $8,600
3. Lee Westwood - $7,900
4. Jason Dufner - $7,100
5. Steve Stricker - $7,000
6. Tony Finau - $6,900
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If you want to win at DraftKings daily fantasy golf, you have to figure out a way to find six golfers that play all 72 holes and earn roughly 85 points each.
You likely have to identify a couple of players in the top five, at least the top seven, and you'd ideally not have a player finish outside the top 20.
Doing that takes research, looking at a variety of factors, including:
- Finish trends, both in recent weeks on the PGA Tour and at that week's event,
- Salary trends, deciphering which players are showing value based on their performance, and
- Statistical trends, identifying the common threads among winners in that week's event
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