Paulie's Picks: 2018 Open Championship

The third major of the year has arrived as players head to Carnoustie for the Open Championship. Carnoustie is typically one of the hardest courses in the Open rota. This year may be slightly different due to the drought that the area has seen. The course is playing extremely firm, and the rough is not as penal as it was in previous Opens held here. In my opinion, I think the player who wins this week will be one who plays aggressively off the tee, challenges the bunkers and scrambles out of the rough when need be. With enough of the world’s top players being elite drivers of the golf ball, I’m sure one of them will have a great week off the tee and walk away with the Claret Jug come Sunday.

DraftKings:

Start:

Rory McIlroy $11,000

Rory’s high price tag and lack of recent results should have him come in as one of the lowest-owned of the top tier players this week. Rory always has immense upside for DK due to his high birdie rate and ability to go low. He has finished in the top five in the last three Opens. With the firm conditions this week, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Rory play super aggressively and try to drive it close to some of the par 4s.

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Chris Wood $7,300

Wood makes a great pivot from some similarly-priced golfers who will be highly owned (Z Johnson, Snedeker, Finau, etc). Wood is a links specialist who has four top 25s in seven Open appearances. He comes into this event in good form, finishing in the top 15 in the Irish and French Opens.

Fade:

Tommy Fleetwood $9,400

So much has been said this week about Fleetwood’s past success at Carnoustie and his course record 63. However, the course this week is going to play completely differently, so you can throw that out the window. Fleetwood has struggled in the Open with three MCs and a 27th in his four appearances. Since his runner-up finish at the U.S. Open, his finishes are 59th and MC. I’m thinking he will be around 20% owned, and I don’t want any part of that.

One-and-Done:

  • This week is a very pivotal week in many leagues as there is a substantial purse up for grabs. In order to determine who to choose this week, you need consider a few things:
  • Where are you in the standings in your league? If you are not near the top, you may not want to take one of the popular players this week.
  • What players do you have left? I would suggest charting about potential players to use for the six big money events left after this week (WGC, PGA and 4 FedExCup events)

Here are some players to consider:

Rory McIlroy

As mentioned above in the DK section, Rory is a good fit this week. This may be one of the best spots to use him this year.

Jon Rahm

Rahm is another player who is an elite driver who loves to play aggressively. I think he will try to attack this course. If he has a solid driving round, he could very well contend. He comes into this event playing great, with top-5 finishes in his last two events.

Justin Thomas

Thomas is a great contrarian play this week as he has gone under the radar. He is one of the best players in the world and a major champion. His aggressive nature and driving prowess could lead to success with the firm conditions this week.