If you're reading this, you're probably in a British Open pool, and you're freaking out about how you're going pick the right golfers to win.
Whether you're an experienced degenerate or a newbie, we're here to help you win your pool -- let's be honest, pools.
Unless you're into some next-level kind of gambling -- and we're all ears, then -- you're probably in one of three types of British Open pools: One and Done, Pick 5 or 6 or Calcutta. Let's break 'em down one by one.
One and Done: In this type of pool, you pick one player and usually submit a winning score.
1. Todd Hamilton, the 2004 winner here, isn't going to win this week.
2. The Open winner since 2009 has played somewhere the week beforehand.
3. Royal Birkdale tends to produce great ballstriking champions.
Pick 5 or 6: In this kind of pool, you'll be asked to pick five or six golfers. In some cases, every golfer counts. In others, just the top three or four. If you have to use players that didn't make the cut, there's usually some penalizing score, especially if there's a points system or the contest is based on each team's aggregate score.
1. You won't nail all of the top five or six, so it helps to think of players in groups. Pick three guys you think will win. Pick two guys you think are an absolute lock to make the cut. Then take a flier. Remember, John Daly won this thing. You're going to need a top three finisher and two guys in the top 15 to have a chance.
Daily fantasy golf: You have a chance to win $1 million this week playing British Open fantasy golf with DraftKings. It costs just $20 to enter, and you can enter multiple times. You'd be a fool not to try it. The concept is similar to Pick 5 or 6 pools. You'll have a salary cap of $50,000 and need to pick six players to round out your team. The tips are the same: Find two guys who will make the cut, two guys who you think can win and then two fliers.
Calcutta: A Calcutta starts with an auction, where pool participants bid for the rights to a player for the tournament. Depending on the pool, there are typically minimum bids and sometimes maximum prices. Sometimes, there are maximum numbers of players a participant can own in the pool. Then, based on a pre-determined payout schedule or using an algorithm, participants are paid out if they have the winner and/or players finishing usually in the top three.
It's important to keep in mind value. Of course, when you're bidding for that player you really want, you don't know how much that player's auction will contribute to the total pool. However, if you have a maximum bid in mind for any one player and can do a little mental math, then you can take a guess at how much the total purse will be. You don't want to contribute more as a percentage of the total pool for a player than you think a player's odds are to win. In other words, if you think a player has a 33 percent chance of winning the British Open, you shouldn't bid them up to over one-third the purse.
Good luck and have fun!