For the final major of the season, we head to Royal Liverpool Golf Club (par 71, 7,383 yards, bentgrass/fescue greens) in Hoylake, England, for the 151st Open Championship. This will be the 13th time this links track has hosted this major, most recently in 2014, when Rory McIlroy – who is coming off a victory at the Scottish Open this past week – won by two shots. Given his form and history at Royal Liverpool, McIlroy is unsurprisingly the favorite of this 156-player field to win the Open on the DraftKings Sportsbook at +650. Since the Irishman’s win in 2014, Royal Liverpool has seen some alterations. After presenting four par 5s, the course now only features three, with two of these holes being longer than 600 yards. Furthermore, the 17th hole is now a scenic seaside par 3. Overall, Royal Liverpool will play 71 yards longer this time around at 7,383 yards, making it the second longest venue in the Open Championship rotation.
On top of Royal Liverpool’s length, the fairways are bordered by thick rough and there is a heaping of perfectly placed pot bunkers to also worry about. McIlroy led his field in driving distance and ranked T20 in driving accuracy when he hoisted the Claret Jug at Royal Liverpool in 2014, and we need to be targeting elite drivers of the golf ball at this track. Like most links courses, the putting surfaces at Royal Liverpool are large, but we still need to be prioritizing players who enter this major in convincing form with their irons. Additionally, with five of the 11 par 4s at Royal Liverpool between 450-500 yards, seeking golfers who are efficient on this length of hole is a sharp strategy.
The Open Championship will feature an expanded cut with the top-70 and ties advancing to the weekend after the first 36 holes, and below, I break down four of my favorite bargain plays for this major, that all cost less $7.5K on DraftKings.
Ryan Fox ($7,400) – Fox has made four-of-six cuts at the Open Championship – most notably with a T16 in 2019 – and is in the midst of a great season. The professional out of New Zealand just finished T12th at the Genesis Scottish Open last week, marking his eighth top-30 finish and 10th made cut in 11 starts on the PGA TOUR this year. On top of some impressive work with his irons – Fox has gained strokes on approach in six straight starts – the 36-year-old ranks 11th in driving distance and 13th in 450-500-yard par-4 efficiency over his last 50 rounds, making him an excellent fit for Royal Liverpool.
As it has been the case for most of the season, Fox is vastly underpriced for his talent and is an easy choice at this low price point.
SI Woo Kim ($7,300) – Don’t let Kim missing the weekend at the Travelers in his last start stop you from attacking the 28-year-old at this cheap price tag. Kim still gained strokes off the tee and on approach despite being sent home early from TPC River Highlands that week, which was only his fourth missed cut in 23 starts this season. Including a win at the Sony Open, Kim has produced 12 top-30 finishes this season, which has been a result of some terrific ball striking, with him ranking top-30 in SG: Tee-to-Green, SG: Approach and SG: Off-the-Tee for the year.
Plus, Kim ranks 10th in 450-500-yard par-4 efficiency over his last 50 rounds, which bodes well for Royal Liverpool, where five of the 11 par 4s fall in this range. Kim has advanced to the weekend in nine of his past 13 starts at majors – including a T19 at last year’s Open Championship – and is an awesome target this week, that should come with decently low ownership in GPPs, given he is coming off a missed cut.
Gary Woodland ($7,100) – Woodland checks all the boxes for Royal Liverpool. Not only has the 2019 U.S. Open champion been one of the best drivers on the planet this season – ranking top-12 in SG: Off-the-Tee, total driving and driving distance – Woodland’s irons have also been sensational, with him ranking ninth in SG: Approach. Thanks to his incredible ball striking, Woodland has made 16-of-20 cuts and provided six top-30 finishes this year, most recently with a T25 at the Genesis Scottish Open last week.
The 39-year-old has made seven-of-10 cuts at the Open Championship – including a T39 at Royal Liverpool in 2014 – and is far too cheap for his chances of making the cut this week.
Robert MacIntyre ($6,800) – Without a doubt, MacIntyre is going to be very popular this week, but he is arguably the best value play we have seen on DraftKings this season and is good chalk we need to be embracing. The Scot is a true links specialist and his prowess for links golf was on full display at the Renaissance Club for the Genesis Scottish Open this past week, when MacIntyre finished runner-up to McIlroy by one shot. MacIntyre closed this event with seven-under 63 – which was the lowest score posted for the final round – and finished the week in a tie for the least bogeys recorded at the Genesis Scottish Open.
This stellar finish vaulted the 26-year-old up 53 spots in the world golf rankings and he has now tallied five top-10 finishes in his last 10 starts worldwide. In addition to MacIntyre’s outstanding form, he has been sensational at the Open Championship, never missing a cut in three appearances at the major, with two of these finishes impressively coming inside the top-eight. On the DraftKings Sportsbook, MacIntyre boasts +7500 odds to win the Open Championship this weekend, which are far and away the best odds of any golfer priced under $7.5K for DFS. In fact, his odds are better than former major champions Hideki Matsuyama and Justin Thomas, who are significantly more expensive for DFS, at $8,900 and $8,600, respectively.
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is Hunta512) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skills and judgment in building lineups. I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.