With the Greenbrier Classic being cancelled due to the extreme flooding, many players have decided to play in the Scottish Open in preparation for the British Open. I have been following the European Tour closely for years and have been playing the Euro events on DraftKings since they were first offered a few months ago. I feel like this week could be a GREAT opportunity to make some serious dough. With no PGA Tour event, I expect a large number of people to try out the Euro event for the first time. This will lead to weaker fields with very easy to predict rosters. Most new players will only know a handful of names and will play those players only. I'm here to help you out and call out some players who you should roster this week.
Before that, we need to discuss a bit of strategy for Euro events and how they differ from the PGA events. The European Tour utilizes a cut of 60 and ties as opposed to 70 and ties on the PGA Tour. So, it is of extreme importance to have all 6 guys make the cut (usually less than 5% of rosters have all 6 players make the weekend). One thing to exploit on the Euro Tour is the way that DraftKings prices the players. Based on some of my statistical analysis, the pricing is based mostly on the odds for a player to win in Vegas. On the contrary, the PGA salaries seem to take into consideration a multitude of items when setting the salaries. Since the Euro Tour is based mostly on odds to win, we can choose some guys who are underpriced because they have lower odds to win, yet are very good players and should be priced higher. Many Euro players are like Matt Kuchar on the PGA Tour, where they rack up high finishes but don't win that often. With that being said, here are the picks:
Henrik Stenson $12,200
In his last two appearances at this course, he finished 3rd and 8th. (Note: the same course is not used every year for this event.) Stenson is on a bit of a hot streak, including a win in his last start two weeks ago. Stenson’s stats are off the charts. When analyzing this week's field, he is first in GIR, adjusted round average and birdie average. On top of that, he is fifth in driving accuracy. You can't ask for a clearer choice to win this week.
Gregory Bourdy $7,600
As you may recall, I featured Bourdy as one of my picks for the U.S. Open and he played pretty well (leading during part of the second round). I liken him to Matt Kuchar, in that he plays very consistent with lots of top finishes, but not that many wins. Over his last ten events, he has 9 top 35 finishes but no victories. Based on that, he has lower odds to win this week, but is a great value to finish in the top 35 once again. On top of that, he has one of the highest birdie rates in the field which will be perfect for DraftKings’ scoring which emphasizes birdies.
Chris Hanson $5,200
Now, I know what you are thinking….is this the same guy that hosts Dateline: To Catch a Predator on NBC? The answer is no. I have been riding Hanson’s underpriced coattails the last few weeks on DraftKings and will play him again this weekend. He has 7 consecutive top 45 finishes in Europe but no victories. Similarly to Bourdy, his price is depressed since his Vegas odds to win are very low. However, he has great value as he has a great chance of making the cut and making some birdies. He is in the top 20% of birdie percentage in this week's field as well.
Nicolas Colsaerts $8,600
He is the typical horse for the course. In his last three appearances here, he has finished 8th, 36th and 3rd. Many people will skip over him at this price point due to his last two starts of 22nd and MC. However, if we dig deeper, we see that Colsaerts just barely missed that cut and has suffered from a cold putter, as he is averaging more than 2 putts per round above his long term putting average of 30 for the last two events. There is random variance in putting as we all know. I look at more predictable statistics, such as GIR, in which he has hit at least 68% of greens in each of his last 8 events. Meanwhile, compiling 6 top 25s in those eight events. With that type of consistent ball striking, look for Colsaerts to make the cut and rack up another top 25.
If you have any questions about the Euro Tour or need any lineup advice, feel free to hit me up on Twitter @friedeggpaulie