Yahoo DFS Golf: Open Championship Picks and Strategy

Yahoo DFS Golf: Open Championship Picks and Strategy

This article is part of our Yahoo PGA DFS Picks series.

The Open Championship

Fife, Scotland
St. Andrews Links (Old Course) - Par 72 - 7,313 yards
Field - 156 entrants
Purse - $14M

The Preview

The 150th edition of the Open Championship finds itself poetically on the sacred grounds of the birthplace of golf, as the Old Course at St. Andrews plays host to the final major of the season along the coast of Scotland for the first time since 2015. A true links test, the Old Course features wide fairways and massive greens, guarded by invisible pot bunkers and awkward undulations. Inclement weather, especially severe winds, are typically the primary defense, but a relatively tame breeze could persist all week, resulting in favorable scoring conditions. The par-72 layout has had a chance to dry out, so firm landing areas off the tee are producing a ton of roll as the field's bombers attempt to reach several of the 14 par-4s in one. GIR percentages will inflate due to the short approach distances into these colossal dance floors, making proximity to the hole paramount in order to rack up birdie opportunities while avoiding common three-putt zones. Let's identify some potential contenders for the coveted Claret Jug.

Recent Champions

2021 - Collin Morikawa (Royal St. George's)
2020 - None
2019 - Shane Lowry (Royal Portrush)
2018 - Francesco Molinari (Carnoustie)
2017 - Jordan Spieth (Royal Birkdale)
2016 - Henrik Stenson (Royal Troon)
2015 - Zach Johnson (St. Andrews)
2014 - Rory McIlroy (Royal Liverpool)
2013 - Phil Mickelson (Muirfield)
2012 - Ernie Els (Royal Lytham & St. Annes)

Key Stats to Victory

SG: Approach
Par-4 efficiency
Birdie or Better percentage
SG: Off-the-Tee

Yahoo Value Picks 

Based on $200 salary cap

Cream of the Crop

Rory McIlroy - $48

McIlroy's obvious ball-striking prowess has him positioned in the No. 1 spot of the SG: Tee-to-Green metric over his last 24 measured rounds, but he's also eighth on Tour in SG: Putting this season, and he's gained strokes with the flat stick in four of his last five measured starts. During the recent 24-round sample, he's also first in both par-4 efficiency and Birdie or Better percentage. He's the consensus betting favorite for a reason, but it's much more feasible to secure McIlroy exposure at $48 in a Yahoo DFS setting than in the outright markets. Like we saw at the Masters, the PGA Championship and the U.S. Open, he's plenty capable of returning value at this price point even without a win.

Xander Schauffele - $43

Speaking of wins, how about Mr. Schauffele just rattling off three consecutive victories from the Travelers Championship through the Genesis Scottish Open, if you also count the loaded JP McManus Pro-Am, that is. Second to none in SG: Approach over his past 24 measured rounds, Schauffele's iron play is especially strong right now, though he's also ninth in sand saves and 12th in three-putt avoidance during this stretch. He's a perfect 4-for-4 in cuts made at the Open Championship, highlighted by a T2 at the 2018 edition hosted by Carnoustie.

Jordan Spieth - $43

Spieth's likely going to foster a decent amount of rostership at $43 given his notable creativity that's led to past Open Championship success, so it'll be important to get different elsewhere in your lineup if anchoring the squad with two of these three studs near the top. The 2017 champion just rebounded from a missed cut at the Travelers Championship by tying for 10th at the Scottish Open, where he ranked seventh among the field in SG: Off-the-Tee. He might only be 145th on Tour in SG: Putting this season, but he's turned it around on the greens as of late, ranking 22nd in this metric over his last 12 measured rounds. 

Glue Guys

Max Homa - $37

Given a lack of Open Championship experience and the nerve-wracking circus that accompanies his pairing alongside Tiger Woods for Rounds 1 and 2, I think enough gamers will shy away from Homa this week at $37 to make him a target for us at that somewhat awkward price. A lot of people will choose to just make the $4 jump to add one of Finau/Fitzpatrick/Zalatoris from the $41 group. Nonetheless, Homa has displayed a newfound 'It-Factor' this season, and he just picked up his 12th top-25 of the 2021-22 campaign at the Scottish Open while rising to ninth in the FedExCup standings and a career-best 19th in the Official World Golf Ranking. His caddy, Joe Greiner, is rapidly becoming one of the better loopers on Tour in my opinion, and the confident duo should enjoy the challenges of links golf now that Homa is striking it among the elites. He's sixth in proximity from 50-125 yards, which could be a common approach range if this really does turn into a wedge fest.

Shane Lowry - $35

Lowry burned his backers with a missed cut at the U.S. Open after an otherwise spectacular first half of the 2022 calendar year, but he bounced right back with a T9 at the Horizon Irish Open. He's now three years removed from his Open Championship victory at Royal Portrush, though his game might be in even better shape now. Over his last 24 rounds, Lowry stands fourth in SG: Approach, fourth in overall proximity and seventh in par-4 efficiency. 

Tommy Fleetwood - $30

Surrounded on the salary board by LIV's very own Kevin Na, Talor Gooch and Abraham Ancer, Fleetwood is going to draw a ton of attention at just $30, but for good reason as he comes off a T4 at the Scottish Open. He finished top-20 among the field at The Renaissance Club in both driving distance and accuracy, good enough for fourth in SG: OTT, but he's also seventh in proximity from 100-125 yards and 13th in SG: Putting over his last 24 rounds.

Bargain Bin

Keegan Bradley - $28

He's never placed top-10 through eight career Open Championship appearances and he's coming off a missed cut at the Scottish Open, which makes for a sneaky spot to take a risk on such a high-quality ball striker. Bradley's MC at The Renaissance Club doesn't really concern me as he simply posted a poor performance Friday, after ranking ninth among the field in SG: Approach in Round 1. Stateside, his short game has been quietly commendable over his past 24 measured rounds, in which he's 10th in sand saves, 11th in SG: Putting and 14th in three-putt avoidance.

Joohyung Kim - $23

Kim isn't much of an unknown anymore, racking up four top-25s in five starts dating back to the AT&T Byron Nelson on the heels of a stellar run on the Asian Tour. He most recently earned solo-third honors at the Scottish Open, pacing the entire field in scrambling as he ultimately climbed inside the top 40 in the OWGR for the first time at just 20 years old.

Dylan Frittelli - $20

Frittelli's added power off the tee helped catapult him into a fifth-place finish at last year's Open Championship, but he's also gained strokes putting in six of eight measured events since the start of April. The South African has missed just one cut throughout his past 13 tournaments played, and he's inside the top quartile on Tour in both scrambling from 20-30 yards and scrambling from 30-plus yards.

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire. Bryce Danielson plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: DraftKings: brycedanielson99, FanDuel: brycedanielson99, Yahoo: RotoBOOM.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Bryce Danielson
Bryce covers the PGA for RotoWire and provides input on the golf cheat sheet. He also contributes to the coverage for NFL, NBA and other sports.
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