GOLF

Daily Fantasy Golf Helper: The Open Championship

Can we go right back to Jon Rahm at Royal St. George's for the British Open? Which value golfers look poised to contend?

By now, you've probably dabbled in daily fantasy sports, but if not, don't worry. Now is a great time to start, especially with FanDuel's daily fantasy golf offering.

Golf can be one of the most exciting DFS sports to follow, as tournaments span four days and allow ample time to prepare each week. It's a great balance between time to research and time spent tracking your team.

But whether you're brand new to the PGA or daily fantasy sports in general, we have you covered -- and we have daily fantasy golf projections and lineup building tools, too.

Let's take a look at some golfers to target this week.

Key Stats for The Open Championship at Royal St. George's

- Strokes Gained: Approach
- Good Drive Rate
- Strokes Gained: Putting on Bentgrass
- Scrambling/Strokes Gained: Around the Green
- Bogey Avoidance

For a more detailed breakdown on the course, check out my course primer.

Daily Fantasy Golfer Picks for The Open Championship

All stats cited below originate at FantasyNational. Strokes gained data includes stats from the past calendar year and is adjusted based on my field strength and recency tweaks. Putting surface splits also come from FantasyNational and include the past 100 rounds when possible, unless noted. All ranks and percentile ranks are among the field.

Best of the Best

Jon Rahm (FanDuel Salary: $12,300 | FanDuel Sportsbook Win Odds: +850) - It's really hard not to start off talking about the most recent major winner, Jon Rahm. It feels like a floodgate has opened for Rahmbo at this point, and his status as the best long-term adjusted golfer in the world finally led to a major win and the number-one world ranking. Rahm's past eight majors have all been top-25 finishes, and he has four consecutive top-10 results. His history at The Open is just okay (59th, 44th, cut, 11th) since 2016, but that hardly matters for a golfer with all the skills to succeed. Rahm ranks in the 99th percentile in adjusted strokes gained: tee to green and just has no holes in his game. That's a must for major contention.

Xander Schauffele ($11,500 | +1600) - Speaking of a well-rounded game, it's really difficult not to look at Schauffele in any major, and that's why I recommend him every week every major week. Xander is the only golfer in the field to rank in the 85th percentile or better in all four adjusted strokes gained categories over the past year. He also gained an average of 1.7 strokes per round at his three British Opens leading to a 20th, 2nd, and 41st at the tournament. Schauffele's missed cut at the PGA earlier this year is an outlier, as he has had 10 top-20 finishes in his past 13 majors.

Viktor Hovland ($10,900 | +2700) - Viktor Hovland hasn't played any Open Championships yet but is off to a pristine major record thus far. He has finished top-35 in all six that he finished (he withdrew at the U.S. Open this year while destined to miss the cut). I mentioned that Schauffele is the only golfer to rank in the 85th percentile or better in adjusted strokes gained in all four areas, yet only eight rank that well in even just strokes gained: off the tee and strokes gained: approach. Hovland is one of them, and the short-game is now above-average, as well.

Patrick Cantlay ($10,700 | +3100) - Cantlay is generally reliable in majors. He has a 12th and a 48th at British Opens in two starts. His past four majors have led to a 17th, missed cut, 23rd, and 15th, which may not be elite, but the salary is very affordable for all he brings to the table for a more balanced lineup build. Cantlay is in the 96th percentile in both scrambling and bogey avoidance and is in the 81st percentile or better in all three tee-to-green strokes gained stats.

Tony Finau ($10,200 | +4100) - We could abandon hope with Finau after his two straight missed cuts, each of which stemmed from poor ball-striking, but that's not really ideal, given the long-term form we know from Finau. His other missed cuts of late have been from weak putting, which is a fair criticism of his game. However, Finau ranks in the 92nd percentile in adjusted strokes gained: tee to green and is a big-time performer in majors, generally. Yes, he missed the cut at the U.S. Open but has 12 top-20 finishes in his past 21 majors. At the British Open, Finau has finished 18th, 27th, 9th, and 3rd.

Mid-Range Picks

Daniel Berger ($10,000 | +5500) - Berger will have to cross the ocean to play at Royal St. George's after starting the John Deere Classic as the betting favorite, yet it's really hard to dislike him at this salary. Berger ranks -- when combining long-term adjusted form and recent stats -- sixth in my model for The Open. He's an elite iron player (94th percentile) and scrambler (92nd percentile). While one possible drawback would be a spotty history at the British Open, which features two missed cuts and a 27th since 2015, Berger is a significantly better golfer now than he was then.

Matt Fitzpatrick ($9,900 | +4200) - Though Matt Fitzpatrick's heater has come and gone -- back when he was still "Matthew" -- there are still reasons to be okay with Fitz at the British Open setup. Fitzpatrick finds himself in the 87th percentile in bogey avoidance and in the 97th percentile in good drives gained over the past 100 rounds. His major history has been cooling off, too, but that still includes four straight made cuts. The long-term data tells us to like Fitzpatrick well enough for Royal St. George's difficult setup.

Scottie Scheffler ($9,700 | +5000) - Though Scheffler has a few question marks, mainly centering on his scrambling (17th percentile), he's actually in the 65th percentile in adjusted strokes gained: around the green, a stat I do prefer to scrambling (which factors in putting conversion). Although Scheffler's major history is shorter than others in this salary range, it does include five straight top-20 finishes (with three top-10s, including two straight). This will be his first British Open.

Abraham Ancer ($9,300 | +8000) - Ancer has bricked both of his two starts at British Opens but missed the cut on the number in 2019, the most recent Open Championship. Ancer's past four majors have led to three top-26 finishes (13th at the November Masters, 26th at the April Masters, 8th at the PGA Championship, and cut at the U.S. Open). He's not going to get himself into trouble off the tee (98th percentile in fairways gained and 99th percentile in good drives gained) and is a 92nd-percentile bogey avoider with 74th-percentile irons.

Harris English ($9,200 | +8000) - English's most recent major was a 3rd-place showing at Torrey Pines for this year's U.S. Open, and he has actually made 13 straight cuts at majors -- or, put another way, in all of his major starts since 2015. English ranks in the 97th percentile in scrambling and bentgrass putting while ultimately ranking in the 92nd percentile in adjusted strokes gained: tee to green over the past year.

Low-Salaried Picks

Jason Day ($9,000 | +8000) - Day snapped a three-event missed-cut streak with a 44th at the PGA Championship and then withdrew from the Memorial due to a back injury. He got himself sorted out and finished 10th at the Travelers Championship and 14th at the Rocket Mortgage Classic. There's always risk with Day, but he is a historically strong gamer in majors, and that's worth something at such a low salary.

Charley Hoffman ($8,800 | +15000) - Hoffman has returned to legitimate relevance in recent weeks and has strong showings at big events, including a 17th at THE PLAYERS, a 17th at the PGA Championship, and a made cut at the U.S. Open (57th). He's leveraging elite iron play in these and ultimately ranks 88th in adjusted strokes gained: approach over the past year. As for his Open Championship record, Hoffman has four straight made cuts, including two top-20 results in the past three.

Francesco Molinari ($8,700 | +10000) - Frankie Molinari has missed four of his past six cuts, which you do hate to see, but there are glimmers of hope in his data. He finished 52nd at the Masters while ranking near the bottom of the field in putts per green in regulation and 13th at the U.S. Open, which is very welcomed to see. Molinari is a former British Open winner and was 11th at the event in 2019. He owns a viable 64th-percentile adjusted strokes gained: tee to green value over the past year.

Alexander Noren ($8,600 | +8000) - Noren's got an elite short game that should help him get out of trouble at Royal St. George's. Noren is also a 91st-percentile bentgrass putter and has finished 6th, 17th, and 11th at the past three British Opens with four straight made cuts at the event.

Russell Henley ($8,600 | +12000) - Henley is one of the best iron players in the field (97th percentile) and also sits in the 98th percentile in bogey avoidance despite being merely a baseline putter overall. Henley does have a top-20 at the 2015 Open Championship and most recently was 13th at the U.S. Open.

Robert Macintyre ($8,500 | +5000) - Big Shot Bob is an outlier based on his FanDuel Sportsbook odds. I still think he's a good play, but not quite that good. His iron play is close to baseline, and he's not really a plus putter. There's upside for the big hitter. Just don't mistake it for safety.