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The British Open Preview

It's been called the British Open my entire life, and it differentiates it from the US Open for us across the pond. I get why it's called the Open Championship in Britain, but I will never call it that, end of rant. The venue this week is a classic Scottish Links setup at Royal Troon, which surprisingly hasn't hosted a British Open since 2004, where little known American Todd Hamilton took it down. The layout is somewhat boring at first glance, with the elements expected to make it difficult, the norm for most links golf. The course is really split up by the front and back nine, which run in the opposite direction and play like completely different golf courses in the wind. The front nine runs down wind usually, and will be prime for scoring, with the treacherous back nine usually playing into the wind. This is one of the toughest Open tracks in their rotation, so if it's windy, I would expect a winning score of around -6 to -8. Make sure to check the weather forecast before you lock your lineups in, as there may be an advantage for one of the morning or afternoon tee times.

Key Stats for Royal Troon

Since there isn't a lot of course history data to go off of, with the last time Troon hosting the open way back in 2004, making picks strictly on stats this week just isn't a good strategy for a number of reasons. The data on past Opens at Troon is old and small, and this is a very international event with a good size of the field with no PGA Tour stats to analyze. If you just used stats, you would be eliminating a lot of international players who are in great shape to have a good showing. I heavily weighted current form and links golf history in my selections this week, as I think links experience will be the biggest X factor. There are a few stats that I used this week that I think are important for Draftkings scoring, or have are synonymous with success in links golf. Scrambling (SCR) is always crucial at British Opens, with undulating greens that run off leaving golfers with very tricky up and down situations. I will strokes gained around the green (SGAG) instead though, as it's a more telling stat of scoring around the greens. Birdie or better percentage (BoB%) is always key for Draftkings scoring, and I'll be using Fantasy Golf Metrics' birdie or better stat sheet to see who's been making a lot of birdies recently, as well as in past British Opens.

Top Pin Seekers

Dustin Johnson
DK Salary SGAG BoB%
12,000 107 1

The guy is in 'God Mode' right now, with back to back wins on the PGA Tour. That includes his first major at the US Open, and like when Happy learned how the putt, this could be a scary revelation for the rest of the golfers teeing it up with DJ. He never should have been labeled a 'choker', but now his resume is complete and there is less pressure on him at these majors. Was the 36 hole leader at St. Andrews last year before a disappointing weekend, but has four top 15's in his last seven British Opens. Milly Maker Ownership Guess: 25-30%

Jordan Spieth
DK Salary SGAG BoB%
11,700 5 3

Spieth is my pick to win this week, and he doesn't seem to be getting much buzz around the golf world. He came over earlier than he ever has to prepare for this Open, and he's coming in good form with a 3rd in his last start. He missed the playoff at St. Andrews by one shot last year, and has a very impressive BoB% of 22.7% in his three British Opens. Milly Maker Ownership Guess: 12-17%

Sergio Garcia
DK Salary SGAG BoB%
10,000 137 10

With DJ's win at Oakmont, Sergio now takes the role as 'Best Ever to Never Win a Major,' but I wouldn't be surprised if that ended soon. He was so close at the British Open with six top 10's, including multiple 2nd place finishes. BoB% of 26.8% in his last three starts shows that he's coming in hot, and full of confidence. Milly Maker Ownership Guess: 15-20%

Branden Grace
DK Salary SGAG BoB%
9,700 60 71

Grace seems to be the darling of many this week, and for good reason. He's never missed a cut at the British Open, and is coming in great form with four top 10's in his last six starts, including a win. One of, if the, best links players in the world. Milly Maker Ownership Guess: 20-25%

Middle Tee Plays

Justin Rose - DK Salary $9,400 - great value, don't let the back injury scare you, he's fine and committed to the Olympics as well - 6th last year

Lee Westwood - DK Salary $8,500 - in great form right now, looking to get the major monkey off his back as well - Three top 3's in last seven Opens

Martin Kaymer - DK Salary $8,400 - in great form with four top 7's in his last six starts - 7/8 cuts at British Open with three top 12's

Hideki Matsuyama - DK Salary $8,300 - bad form right now but this price is too good to pass up, never missed the cut at BO - 5th in BoB%

Zach Johnson - DK Salary $8,100 - defending champ should play well on this short accuracy track, good BO track record - good form with back to back top 10's

Matt Fitzpatrick - DK Salary $8,000 - will break through at a major sooner than later, has a win five weeks ago

Patrick Reed- DK Salary $7,900 - great showing at the Scottish Open last week, and fired up to compete in Rio - 3rd in SGAG

Charl Schwartzel - DK Salary $7,800 - not liking the club switch before a major, but great price and in great form - four top 16's in last six BO starts

Matt Kuchar - DK Salary $7,800 - will be popular, my favorite DK play of the week - five top 6's in lastg six starts

Russell Knox - DK Salary $7,600 - Scotland native, in good form with a 10th at the Scottish Open last week

Graeme McDowell - DK Salary $7,500 - great links player, in good form - two top 10's in last four BO starts

Scott Piercy - DK Salary $7,400 - hot fire right now, especially in majors, contending in the last two - very good wind player - 42nd in BoB%

GPP Dart Board Dreams

Andy Sullivan - DK Salary $7,200 - in great form with back to back top 6's - 30th last year at first BO

Francesco Molinari - DK Salary $7,000 - in great form with back to back top 10's - great links player - four straight BO cuts made with two top 15's

Rafa Cabrera-Bello - DK Salary $6,900 - in great form and leads Euroo Tour in driving accuracy - 3/4 cuts made at BO

John Rahm - DK Salary $6,500 - in great form right now and making a lot of birdies - 25% BoB in last two starts

JB Holmes - DK Salary $6,500 - top 40 in BoB% & SGAG - good price, but not in great form and bad Open track record, just a hunch he turns that around this week

Steve Stricker - DK Salary $6,400 - game is tailor made for this course, in good form, never missed BO cut - 12th SGAG

Soren Kjeldsen - DK Salary $6,300 - favorite sub 7k play, loves these greens, and in good form

Danny Lee - DK Salary $6,300 - in great form with a 3rd place at the Scottish Open

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