Each week, including this week’s 2018 British Open Championship, Golf News Net offers daily fantasy (DFS) golf advice, picks, lineups and tips for DraftKings PGA Tour games, scrutinizing the pricing model and looking for players who will perform best in both guaranteed prize pool (GPP) events and cash games.[s2If !is_user_logged_in()]
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- Searchable PGA Tour results database — A full database of PGA Tour results dating back to 2011, including strokes gained breakouts, money, designers and grass info.
- PGA Tour top-15 finish trends — A look at the players who have finished in the top 15 in any of the last five PGA Tour events.
- Player-course fit modeling — This one is experimental, but I think it has lots of potential. This tool looks at the breakdown of each player’s Strokes Gained Putting, Approach, Off the Tee and Tee to Green when they finish in the top 25 and compare to the averages in those categories for top 25 finishers at each week’s event. I believe similarities in the breakouts can help clue us in to potential course fits (or horses for courses).
- Player performance comparison — Each player has different strengthes and, therefore, a different path to success, be that finishing in the top 15 or making the cut. So, we compare Strokes Gained Putting, Approach and Off the Tee when each player finishes in those positions to help understand player strengths and weaknesses.
- Strokes gained putting by grass type — Some guys just putt better on Bermudagrass or Bentgrass, the two dominant strains on the PGA Tour. Always helps to see specialists on either surface.
- NEW! Strokes gained by course length
- NEW! Strokes gained by course par
- Course demands: Each week, you’ll be able to see the strokes gained breakout — putting, approach, off the tee, tee to green — for each host course compared to the PGA Tour as it relates to winners, top-15 finishers and top-30 finishers.
- Top average Quality Strokes Gained for the year: Our Quality Strokes Gained combines strokes gained and strength-of-field figures into a single statistic, so this data shows the players who perform the best against the best competition.
- Top 50 QSG performances of the year: We wanted to help you understand Quality Strokes Gained more broadly, so we have the rolling list of the top 50 QSG performances of the year.
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2018 British Open Championship preview
We’re at Carnoustie for the third major of the year, and, frankly, it’s the best major of the year. This is my favorite brand of major golf. Yeah, the Masters is great, and I love the US Open, and the PGA Championship is very nice, but the Open is different. It’s raw golf, and it’s my favorite to watch.
With Carnoustie baked out — and, as Tiger Woods has said, there being faster fairways than greens — a whole variety of players have the potential to win. Length matters every week, yes, but if guys are pounding irons as far as normal drives and drives as far as they can imagine, then perhaps the fear comes out of playing. The weather forecast calls for limited wind. I’m not saying these guys are going to embarrass Carnoustie, but 10-under total winning wouldn’t be shocking.
2018 British Open Championship DraftKings picks
Each week, we’ll offer players in 3-5 buckets of pricing so as to offer some mix-and-matching with your lineups based on our recommendations.
Recent PGA Tour Trends
We start by looking at the recent past, back at players who have finished inside the top 15 in the last five individual, stroke-play PGA Tour events.
- Bronson Burgoon – 2 – T-6 National, T-2 John Deere Classic
- Russell Henley – 2 – T-6 Travelers Championship, T-10 Greenbrier
- Beau Hossler – 2 – 2nd Travelers Championship, T-6 National
- Russell Knox – 2 – T-12 US Open, WIN Irish Open
- Anirban Lahiri – 2 – T-9 Travelers Championship, T-13 National
- Francesco Molinari – 2 – WIN National, T-2 John Deere Classic
- Harold Varner III – 2 – T-5 Greenbrier, T-6 John Deere Classic
- Bubba Watson – 2 – WIN Travelers Championship, T-13 Greenbrier
Event Finish History
Here are the players who finished in the top 15 in this event in the last 5 years (remembering the 2016 event was cancelled because of flooding):
- Sergio Garcia – 3
- Dustin Johnson – 2
- Zach Johnson – 4
- Brooks Koepka – 2
- Matt Kuchar – 2
- Marc Leishman – 3
- Hideki Matsuyama – 2
- Rory McIlroy – 3
- Phil Mickelson – 2
- Francesco Molinari – 2
- Ian Poulter – 2
- Charl Schwartzel – 2
- Adam Scott – 3
- Matthew Southgate – 2
- Jordan Spieth – 2
- Henrik Stenson – 3
- Danny Willett – 2
It seems to me the best way to use Strokes Gained data is to give a sense of a course fit. My working theory is a player is a course fit — or a potential course fit, at least — if their Strokes Gained breakout when they finish in the top 25 is similar to the average for top-25 finishers at this week’s event.
Of course, current form then informs thinking around these possible course fits. However, in concept, many of these names make some sense and help narrow down a potential list of golfers.
The Open Championship is tough to create course fits for, thanks to a variety of factors: varying weather, changing equipment, length of time between tournaments at one spot in the Rota, etc. However, we know driving won’t be quite as important as it might otherwise be, in large part because players can use whatever makes them comfortable off the tee to get out in the fairways. We know around-the-green play will be more important than normal, in part because there are 100-plus bunkers sprinkled tee to green and the putting surfaces will repel a variety of approach shots. Hit good approaches, of course, and win.
Despite not having strokes-gained data for British Opens, here’s an estimated breakdown of the ideal player for Carnoustie:
Off the Tee: 18%
Tee to Green: 71%
Based on that data, some great course fits include:
- Tommy Fleetwood
- Brendan Steele
- Kevin Na
- Kiradech Aphibarnrat
- Justin Rose
- Jon Rahm
- Tiger Woods
- Louis Oosthuizen
- Bryson DeChambeau
- Russell Knox
- Branden Grace
- Jimmy Walker
- Peter Uihlein
- Ryan Armour
- Justin Thomas
- Satoshi Kodaira
- Adam Hadwin
2018 British Open Championship DraftKings recommendations
$10,000 and up
We have five players in this group, and I think you can love Dustin Johnson and Rory McIlroy. Justin Thomas seemingly fits and plays well on tougher tracks, so I like him as well, particularly as a cheap option.
We have 15 players in this group, and the strategy this week should really be to build in this price range. I’m not sure Jon Rahm’s strategy of lots-o-drivers will pay off, but it’s an interesting one. I like Tommy Fleetwood if he’s not ill. Brooks Koepka, Tiger Woods and Sergio Garcia are good choices. Paul Casey is a solid pick, so is Francesco Molinari. I like Alex Noren and Marc Leishman, particularly Leishman, who should go under-owned.
DraftKings basically breaks the rest of the field in half at the $7,000 mark. We have some OK names in this price range, but we can’t sink below $7,000 this week, so we have to play in these waters.
Russell Knox stands out here, as does Rafa Cabrera-Bello. Paul Dunne can sneak up here. Kiradech Aphibarnrat is a super pick, as are Thorbjorn Olesen and, especially, Zach Johnson. Tony Finau really intrigues me at his cheap price. Charl Schwartzel always scores well at The Open. Brian Harman is playing well again.
Peter Uihlein and Adam Hadwin are worth a lookk.
Below or at $7,000
We’re looking for bargains in this range with a threat to top-10. Please try to avoid this range.
LOVE Eddie Pepperell and Russell Henley in this range. Jimmy Walker, Beau Hossler and Matthew Southgate are great plays as well. I like Emiliano Grillo, too.
My primary DraftKings lineup
- Brooks Koepka – $9,200
- Tiger Woods – $8,900
- Francesco Molinari – $8,600
- Marc Leishman – $8,000
- Russell Knox – $7,700
- Kiradech Aphibarnrat – $7,300