It’s time for the third major of the year, and we head to Royal Birkdale for the Open Championship. Birkdale is a short, yet difficult par 70. It places an emphasis on accurate tee balls in combination and an iron game that can be controlled in the wind. We will focus most of our picks this week on players who keep it in play and excel with their irons. Please note that weather often plays a major role in scoring so check the most recent forecast prior to the event starting. Without further ado, here are this week’s picks
Matt Kuchar $7,200
Kuchar is the best value on the board at $7,200. He provides consistency and upside as he is an amazing course fit. He keeps it in play off the tee and is very accurate with his irons. He also has the ability to flight the ball low into the wind and excels at scrambling in bad conditions.
Matsuyama joins Fowler on the list of players who may add a major to their resume shortly. Matsuyama has long been known for his talent with the irons. At a course which will feature a lot of shots from 150-200 yards, I expect him to excel. Similar to Fowler, he has finished in the top 11 in the first two majors of 2017. This could be the week we see Hideki holding the Claret Jug come Sunday.
Longshots to Win:
Ian Poulter 70-1 (5-1 top 10)
The fan-favorite finished runner up at Birkdale in 2008. Combine that with the fact that Poulter has been playing solid of late and you have yourself a good value. He finished ninth at the Scottish Open last week and hasn’t finished outside the top 45 in any event since April. He fits this course well since he has a solid iron game and is an impeccable chipper and pitcher of the golf ball.
Brandt Snedeker 70-1 (6-1 top 10)
If the wind picks up, Snedeker is a great play this week. He is the ultimate scrambler and has had success in extremely windy conditions as shown by his come from behind victory at the 2016 Farmers Insurance Open during 35mph winds. Snedeker will keep the ball in play off the tee and is really skilled at flighting his irons down.