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Favorite Plays by Tier
The Open Championship/British Open
Royal Portrush, Northern Ireland Par 71: 7,344 Yards
It changes often so even as of 2:00 EST on Wednesday, this is not a definite happening. Thursday looks to be windy, with winds around 15 mph, with gusts up to 25 mph. Maybe a slight bit of rain in the afternoon. Friday is much calmer with the winds, but could see some 20 mph gusts mid-late afternoon, with a decent rain chance.
Based on this, I would think the slight advantage would be to Thursday PM/Friday AM golfers. But weather can change in an instant over in the U.K., so keep checking until roster lock. As usual, if you are playing multiple lineups, it doesn't hurt to stack lineups with a certain tee time wave, in case a weather advantage does occur.
The 8k range is where ownership is heavily falling this week, making the balanced lineup approach the most popular. The three highest owned players, who could get to 25% ownership would be Matt Kuchar, Adam Scott, and Henrik Stenson. Looking at FanShare Sports and Fantasy National, here are other golfers who could end up being 15%+ owned in tournaments (in no particular order): Patrick Cantlay, Rory McIlroy, Hideki Matsuyama, Brooks Kopeka, Jon Rahm, Webb Simpson, Xander Schauffele, Justin Thomas, and Rafa Cabrera-Bello.
Rory is coming in lower owned than I thought, but it may be due to the depth of the 8k range and people wanting multiple plays from that range. Cantlay may be the highest priced player in a lot of cash lineups, as he allows you not to dip into the low 7k or 6k ranges. Dustin Johnson has seen some movement in the betting markets, but will most likely fall in the 10-15% range. And, based off of comments at the U.S. Open and other concerns, if you like Tiger Woods this week, you will get him under 10% potentially.
- If you're looking for some ownership relief with your lineups, there looks like there are a couple of ways to go about it. First is to find a Euro player or two what doesn't play often in the U.S. Second would be to look in the 9K tier. Usual popular plays such as Tommy Fleetwood, Franceco Molinari (Reigning Open Champion), Bryson DeChambeau, and Rickie Fowler are all in the single digits. Even playing 2 or 3 of the chalky 8k players with one of these Euros or 9k players should make yourself unique. Of course, leaving salary on the table is also a good way.
- I have a couple of decisions left to make in my lineup. One is what to do with Justin Rose. He hasn't played since the U.S. Open and has made some comments about not liking this new schedule. He has won off a 4+ week layoff before, but in the last year or so, his finishes in his first tournament off a four week layoff are as follows, starting with the 2018 Player Championship: 23rd, 9th, 3rd (18 person Hero World Challenge event), 34th, 63rd. Those finishes are certainly not awful, but as the 6th highest priced golfer, it's enough for me to seriously think about not playing him.
- My other two lineup decisions still remaining (only playing one lineup): Hideki vs Kuchar, and Campillo vs Wiesberger. Hideki rates out better statistically and should be about 8-10 percentage points lower owned. Kuchar has had the better year and better history at The Open. Campillo has been playing well with a win and five other Top 10s on the Euro Tour this year. Wiesberger is returning to form and has won twice in the past two months. Campillo may be less than 3% owned, and Wiesberger will probably be in the 8-12% owned range; not bad for someone with two wins recently.
If I notice any big weather changes later tonight, I will post on here. If not, good luck at The Open this week.
The fourth and final major of 2019 is upon us as The Open returns to Royal Portush for the first time in 68 years. This means we have no history to look at from the course, other than it's Rory McIlroy's home course. Expect heavy ownership on him for that reason alone (and Top 5 player in the world, great 2019, and great recent history at The Open).
As with many Opens, weather will determine how easy or hard the course plays. Looking at Windfinder early on Monday, it doesn't look like the winds will be extreme. This can change quickly though, so be ready to adjust. Even stats will be a bit skewed, as the Euro Tour events are not included in most statistical databases. If you are looking for stats from the Euro Tour, this should help you. I did create a summary of the Top 10 for 12 different statisical categories up above. This is only for players in The Open and who meet minimum requirements. As far as the stats that I will focus on, I will be looking at the Tee-to-Green stats, Approach, Scrambling, and Par 4 scoring from 400-450 yards (10 of the holes fall in this range). Depending on what the weather looks like on Wednesday, I may weight Bogey Avoidance and Birdies or Better more or less.
Lastly, this is a week where there's a fine line between going for a low owned Euro play, and getting too cute. Look at the recent form and stats for some of these Euro players, and if you find one going underneath the radar that you like, go with it. However, don't force mulitple plays into your lineup. If you like someone who is not a household name here in the states, such as a Joost Luiten, Tom Lewis, or Robert Rock (I have not done my research yet so I'm not recommending them or fading them), feel free to use them, but don't force them. Playing one of these types of players will be contrarian enough. I'm sure there will be some names that get trendy (Beef Johnston and his battle into The Open after some mental health issues this year) so be aware of that. Last reminder: depending on where you live, this event will start either late Wednesday night, or in the very early hours of Thursday morning. I would say you would want to enter all contests by Wednesday morning and have your lineups set by early evening on Wednesday.