The Open Championship is back! And for the first time since 2011, it returns to Royal St. George’s Golf Club. This is a classic Open rota links course. The wind will likely blow, and players who miss fairways will find pot bunkers and thick fescue that has grown up recently because of rains. This will not be a bomb-and-gouge exercise.
The greens at Royal St. George’s are hard to hit because of the wind, the severity of the slopes, and the fact that a fair portion of approaches will be hit from the rough. As a result, the field at the Open will face an abundance of shots around the greens. Those with strong short games will have a real advantage.
With that in mind, here are some players to target in your DraftKings and one-and-done leagues this week:
Daniel Berger $7,400
Berger is the most underpriced player at the Open Championship and it’s not close. He should be $8,800. He is the 16th-ranked player in the world, has finished inside the top 30 in 23 of his past 30 events, and has two wins in the past 13 months. Also, Berger is an elite wind player; he has a low ball flight and is good at manipulating his trajectory, so a lot of his success has come at windy events. Locking him in your lineup is a great way to make room for some of the most expensive studs.
Robert MacIntyre $7,300
If you are looking for a dark horse who might just win you a million dollars, look no further than Robert MacIntyre. The Scotsman loves links golf and thrives in the kind of conditions we’ll see at Royal St. George’s. He finished sixth in his only Open start and has made the cut in all five of his other major appearances. On the European Tour, Bobby Mac ranks ninth off the tee and 12th around the green.
This is the biggest event left in the season, so this is an important pick. If you are near the top of your league’s standings, stick with one of the favorites. If you’re lagging behind, go for a dark horse and try to leapfrog some of your competitors.
Thomas has 12 wins in his past 106 worldwide starts, an absurd 11.3% winning percentage. We know he’s a great iron player who typically performs slightly above average off the tee and around the green. But last week, on his way to an eighth-place finish at the Scottish Open, he actually led the field both off the tee and around the green. If he can match those skills with his typical approach game, we may see him hoist the Claret Jug on Sunday.
Fitzpatrick is somehow going under the radar even though he’s in great form and fits Royal St. George’s well. He played well at last week’s Scottish Open, losing in a playoff to Min Woo Lee. That was his eighth finish of 11th or better in his past 16 starts. In the Open Championship field, Fitzpatrick ranks fourth off the tee (he is striping it right now), ninth in putting, and 35th around the green. His strong mental game and patience, paired with his current form, should get him in contention this week.