The season has really flown by with the new PGA Tour schedule and its hard to believe we are already at the final major of the year as we go across the pond to Royal Portrush for The Open Championship.
Royal Portrush: Par 71, 7,344 yards.
The Open will be held in Northern Ireland for only the second time since 1951. Royal Portrush will feature sloped fairways filled with pot bunkers that will often force golfers to just pitch out to a layup position rather than attempt to go for the green in regulation and risk a blow-up hole in the event they are not able to execute. The fairways are lined with thick rough and fescue and we’ve been seeing players like a lot of irons off the tee in practice rounds. The greens are typically kept at slower speeds than most PGA Tour events, however, there will be more slope to them than we typically see on links courses. Royal Portrush has three par fives, all of which should be reachable in two in the right wind conditions. Three of the four par threes are under 200 yards so the key approach distances to consider are from 175-200 yards out. Golfers to target this week will need to be in good recent form a good links track record. We also want to keep an eye on the weather as we get closer to Thursday as we often see a gap in scoring average between the AM/PM and PM/AM waves.
Here are our top stats to consider this week:
- Strokes Gained Approach
- Bogey Avoidance
- Proximity 175-200 yards
Field Size: 160
Cut Rule: Top 70 and ties (MDF rule is in effect)
Notables in the Field: Tiger Woods, Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka, Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm, Justin Thomas, Justin Rose, Jordan Spieth, Francesco Molinari, Rickie Fowler
We have all the big names set to compete this week at the final major of the year and with this comes softer pricing on all the DFS sites as better players will be available to fill the lower pricing tiers. Because of this I generally increase the amount of bankroll in play for the week and along with the percentage of it I put into play in cash games and single entry GPP contests. With this being a major championship motivation will not be in question for the golfers we roster and we have the ability to have a higher number of golfers we are very confident in our DFS lineups. There is a lot of money on the table to be won in DFS contests this week on all sites including Draftkings, which has already posted contests with over $8 million in prizes up for grabs. Here are two targets to build around for your DraftKings cash game/single entry GPP lineups. Get our best plays to construct the remainder of your lineup by clicking the link at the bottom of the page.
Upper Mid-Range – Justin Thomas – $9,100
I’ve been heavily on JT for the past several weeks as his approach game has come alive after his recovery from a wrist injury that caused him to miss several starts including the PGA Championship in May. He has gained an average of 7.6 strokes tee to green over his past three Shotlink events in the US and also struck the ball well last week at the Scottish Open. The only thing holding him back has been the putter, but it seems that moving over to links golf helped him out in that depart as he showed some improvement on the slower and flatter greens that are seen on most courses in the UK. The $9,100 price tag is far too cheap for a player of his caliber in good form and while he has historically struggled playing links golf, his strong performance at the Scottish Open should provide the prep and confidence needed to play well at Royal Portrush.
Mid-Range – Henrik Stenson – $8,400
Another good mid-range target this week is Henrik Stenson who seems to finally have broken out of a prolonged slump. Stenson has always been very accurate off the tee which is a must at Royal Portrush and his irons have been in great form as of late as he has gained no less than 3.5 strokes on approach in each of his last seven Shotlink events. Like JT, he also had a great showing last week at the Scottish Open where he finished in a tie for fourth place. Stenson also has proven he can win on the big stage as he is only three years removed from his Open Championship victory at Royal Troon, a course that plays similar to this year’s venue.
How we did last week:
Cash/Single Entry Article Plays:
Joaquin Niemann – T10
Peter Malnati – T56
Optimal Sports Subscribers Core Plays:
Sam Ryder – T18
Vaughn Taylor – T6
Hank Lebioda – MC
Zach Johnson – T37
Joaquin Niemann – T10
Peter Malnati – T56
Last Week’s DraftKings Double Up Contest Result: Win
2018-2019 Season Double Up Record: 22-13
Record in Double Ups Since 1/1/18: 47-23
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