Daily Fantasy Golf: British Open Breakdown for DraftKings
The Open Championship (British Open) gets started tomorrow morning, and without any other sports going on until Friday, we can bank on a lot of DFS participants for this event.
Before we dive into who are the best plays, let’s take a look at Royal Liverpool, the golf course for the tournament. The British was last played here in 2006.
The course only plays at 7,312 yards, and it’s a par 72. There are four par 5s that range from 528-to-577 yards. A total of 61 eagles were made in 2006! Tiger Woods is the defending champion (the first event Tiger won after his father passed away) and shot a magnificent -18. But he didn’t blow away the field. Chris DiMarco came in second at -16, Ernie Els -13, Jim Furyk -12, and so on. If you’re thinking the course played a lot shorter back then, it played at 7,258 with only one of the par 5s (No. 16) coming 23 yards shorter than it will this year.
So, eagles should be plentiful this weekend. However, if you think stats will help you, forget about it.There has been wind throughout the week, and it’s blowing a different direction every single day. The tide on the coast often changes the direction of the wind. Some holes can literally play 100-150 yards shorter/longer depending what day and time you play it. There’s also rain expected through the weekend. Essentially, random weather will determine the likeliness of birdies.
This course is about accuracy, not length. Tiger didn’t pound driver all week to win this event in 2006. He hit driver once the entire tournament, seriously.
That brings us to players. First of all, if you’re wondering if there’s truth that international players typically play better than Americans in this event, there absolutely is. And that’s what’s interesting about comparing sportsbook odds vs. DraftKings. The books do a pretty good job factoring that in, while DraftKings barely adapts for it. You’ll see big-name American golfers, such as Matt Kuchar, Zach Johnson and Bubba Watson who you think should be at the top, but are somewhere between 35 and 50-1.
Why do international (particularly European) players typically do better in this event? There are a few reasons. First, they feel at home and the crowds are more motivating to those players. Second, they’re more accustomed to these types of courses and grew up playing in more windy and adverse conditions. Basically, they’re typically better at controlling trajectory. There are some other reasons I’ve heard/read, such as they adapt to time zone better, but really, those are the main reasons. If you don’t buy into it, then just trust the sportsbook odds and look at any leaderboard in the past compared to the rest of their season.
Having said this, you don’t want to just abandon all American golfers. Some have done well in this event before, such as Dustin Johnson finishing T32, T9, T2 and T14 the last four years. Why Dustin? He’s not just good at hitting it a long ways, he’s very good at hitting low-ball flights.
Interestingly enough, there’s reason to use Tiger, and I’m not saying that since he won here last time. A lot of people won’t use him since he was awful at Congressional three weeks ago and admitted he was using that as a warm-up for this event. Tiger has said he has no restrictions or concerns about his game heading into this tournament and his biggest challenge is just adapting to weather all week. Tiger is usually honest in all his press conferences/interviews and usually when he says his game feels good, he means it. He’s not a must-play by any means, but this is an opportunistic time to use him.
Okay, let’s get to the best plays. If you want to know which sportsbook you should use to compare odds vs. DraftKings, Bovada usually does a pretty good job. Daily Fantasy Winners usually takes the mean average of a bunch of different books and runs it against the salaries. But if you’re looking for a book that usually gets it somewhat close enough to the mean each time, Bovada is the way to go.
Francesco Molinari $5,800 – He’s between 65 and 80-1 at this price. It’s by far the biggest misprice. Molinari finished T9 and T39 in his last two Opens, 50th at the 2014 Masters and T23 at the 2014 US Open. Play him. Don’t think about it.
Angel Cabrera $7,600 – Cabrera is between 30 and 65-1. Another outstanding play who is great at hitting low-ball flights. DraftKings has undervalued Cabrera all year and for some reason continues to do so. Cabrera is also looking to cross the British off his bucket list with a Masters and U.S. Open under his belt. He finished T11 in last year’s British.
Edoardo Molinari $4,400 – At 150-1, this is great value and will give you a perfect opportunity to load up on the top guys. Francesco is Edoardo’s brother. Interesting note about Edoardo – he hasn’t played in a major since the 2012 Masters. However, he played in every possible major from then until the Masters in 2010. With the exception of that 2010 Masters, he made the cut at every major. Edoardo has also never missed the cut at the British. Why has he missed time at the majors? He battled several different injuries in 2012 and 2013. However, he has played very well in 2014 making several cuts with a handful of top 10s.
These three are the best plays in terms of value and giving you an opportunity to play whoever you want at the top, but here are a few other solid plays if you’re looking to enter a bunch of different GPPs.
Ross Fisher $5,100 – He’s between 125 and 150-1. Fisher hasn’t played in a major since the 2012 British Open (finished T45). His best result this year is a win at the Tshwane Open (European Tour event in South Africa). Fisher has played some solid golf on the European Tour and has had a nice season. Think of him as a good alternative option to Edoardo, but just not as good.
Miguel Angel Jimenez $7,200 – He’s listed between 75 and 85-1. You’re looking at an alternative to Cabrera here with slightly worse odds, but still solid. However, the books might be slightly inflating Cabrera since he’s a two-time major winner. Jimenez has a great record at majors recently (besides the U.S. Open, especially at the British: 2014 Masters – 4th, 2013 PGA – T29, 2013 British T13, 2012 PGA – T27, 2012 British – T9. Jimenez has a European Tour and Champions Tour win this year. He also posted a T13 at the WGC Cadillac. The only thing to not like about this pick is if he’ll be able to keep his cigar going in the potential nasty weather.
Graeme McDowell $9,600 – McDowell historically does great on courses that aren’t lengthy, so this fits him well. But so do the odds at him being between 20 and 28-1 at this price. McDowell has also historically been very good under pressure, winning the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach and defeating Tiger down the stretch at his tournament with several clutch putts.
Lee Westwood $9,000 – The sportsbooks support this one too. He’s between 25 and 40-1. Even though Westwood is kind of forgotten these days, before his cut at the 2014 U.S. Open, look at his previous majors: 7th at 2014 Masters, T33 at 2013 PGA, T3 at 2013 British, T15 at 2013 U.S. Open, T8 at 2013 Masters. It looks just as good if I keep going further back. Westwood also won the Malaysian Open (Asian Tour) by a dominating seven shots. Remember, DraftKings only factors in PGA Tour events.
So, those are your best options. Any of the players at the top should be paired with a few of these guys to ensure the best chance at success. You’re looking at Adam Scott, Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose, Martin Kaymer, Henrik Stenson, Tiger, etc. Most importantly though, I would avoid some of the rising American names that may be trendy public picks. Leave that up to the fish.
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