PGA First Look: The Open Championship

The PGA First Look is complete with a course preview, odds, salaries, Official World Golf Rankings, and course history.

If you’re looking for more in-depth golf betting picks strategy, check out our breakdown of the course and the Betting Picks for the 2019 Open Championship.

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Event Preview

Welcome back to the PGA First Look. We have the year’s final major on our hands this week and while nothing quite compares to The Masters in my eyes, the Open Championship is my second favorite major each and every year. Whether you are playing DFS or placing outright bets, we get to stay up all night sweating golf. The Open will be held in Northern Ireland for only the second time in the event’s history. Royal Portrush Golf Club hosted the 1951 Open Championship, the 2012 Irish Open, and the 2017 Senior Open, but has undergone some changes since then. It’s always hard to predict scoring at unfamiliar venues, especially when the weather could change at a moment’s notice. Early forecasts suggest a lot of rain throughout the four days, but the wind might not be as big of a factor as you would typically see in this championship.

Royal Portrush (Dunluce Course) will play as a Par 71 that measures 7,344 yards. It’s a traditional links that will attempt to reward good golf shots and punish poor ones. The fairways are fairly wide, but feature slopes and penalizing bunkers. There are only 64 total bunkers on the course (which is the lowest that we’ve seen at any recent Open Championship), but they will cause havoc. Most golfers that find the fairway pot bunkers will opt to take their medicine with a lay-up rather than complicating their original mistake by going for the green. It’s still early, but the greens have been receptive in practice rounds. The greens have large swales and can be very tricky to putt on, especially when firm. They are mostly made of bentgrass, but I’m not looking at any particular putting split this week.

I always suggest checking the weather for this event right up until lineup lock because weather can change quickly in this part of the world. We often see huge differences in scoring between tee time waves, which makes a big difference on those who make the cut and on those who find themselves in contention on Sunday. Depending on the wind, we could see the winning score be 20-under or we could see the winning score be five-under. Unlike the USGA, the R&A doesn’t try to manipulate the winning score at their championship. Again, it’s early in the week, but it doesn’t look like the wind will be a huge issue outside of some gusty conditions on Thursday. The course is certainly score-able, Rory McIlroy held the course record with a 61 when he was only 17 years old.

Now we get into the fun part — trying to decide which type of golfer to target. First and foremost, we want golfers that are in good form. Recent winners of this event were all in great form leading up to the week of the Open Championship. Links experience is critical as well. It’s a different type of golf played in North America. Even though we don’t have course history to work with, we should take a look at past Open Championship leaderboards as well as other European Tour leaderboards from links courses. It sounds like the rough could be a little more penal than we usually see for this tournament and on-course reports have noted that golfers are hitting a lot of irons off the tee. Iron play will be critical this week, which placed a huge emphasis on strokes gained approach.

In order to win this week, you have to be patient, you have to take your medicine when you make a mistake, you have to be able to battle the cold weather and windy conditions, and you have to have all parts of your game working. I typically don’t look at the all-around statistic on the PGA Tour, but this might be a week where it makes an appearance in my model. With so many Euro Tour regulars in the field this week, make sure to use the Euro Tour site for their statistics. For a player like Matt Wallace, it’s much better to use his statistics from the Euro Tour since he has only logged a few rounds on the PGA Tour. Honestly, if you are deciding between a PGA Tour regular with no links experience and a Euro Tour regular with plenty of links experience, you should side with the latter even if he’s not a house-hold name over here in the states.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask. Make sure to check out our great premium content as well as our Drive for Show, DFS for Dough stream on Tuesday night at 8:00 PM ET.

Tuesday update: After listening to interviews from players and others on the course, I have a few more thoughts on how Royal Portrush will play this week. We’ll start with the shape of the course. It’s in pristine condition and there has been plenty of rain in the area recently. While it will still be a firm course, it will be nothing like last year’s Open Championship where we were seeing 400 yard drives in the practice rounds. You can hit more drivers here than most Open Championships, but many have lost their ball in the thick rough in practice rounds with their drives running through the fairway. Many have said that they were surprised how many irons were being hit off the tees during practice rounds, but even Rory McIlroy said he may only hit three or four drivers each round. In an interview with Tiger Woods, he said these greens are more like Pinehurst No. 2 than a traditional links course. The greens are domed, which repel approach shots if you don’t hit it on the right level. He said you will see many putts and many hybrids from off the greens. This could create a need for creativity with your short game. Free drops from grandstands around the green are often a hot topic debate in golf, but the R&A has an answer for it. The rough is knee high in these drop areas, so golfers will not be able to use the stands as a backboard for approach shots. You’ll be lucky to chip it on the green from some of these drop areas. The forecasts are constantly changing, but as of Tuesday morning it looks like there won’t be a significant edge for either tee time wave.

Cut Rule: Top 70 and ties move on after the first two rounds. There is no MDF this week.

Recent Winners of this Event: Francesco Molinari (2018), Jordan Spieth (2017), Henrik Stenson (2016), Zach Johnson (2015), Rory McIlroy (2014)

Key Statistics (In Order of Importance)

1) Strokes Gained Approach
2) Scrambling
3) Bogey Avoidance
4) Strokes Gained Off the Tee
5) Strokes Gained Putting

Sports Betting Picks

What a frustrating week of betting. We didn’t have anything close on outrights, but had Vaughn Taylor and Cameron Tringale for top fives. They both finished in a tie for sixth. One more place higher on the leaderboard and that’s a 24 unit swing. We also had Johnson Wagner and Shawn Stefani finish outside of the top 20. The only positive was a Roger Sloan top 20. We need to hit an outright soon and what better week to do it than the final major of the year? Be sure to check the bets throughout the week, as I will likely be adding a few plays to the card.

YTD: 5 wins, -15 units

Outright Bets

Adam Scott 33/1
Matt Kuchar 33/1
Henrik Stenson 33/1
Jason Day 35/1

Top 5 Bets

Adam Scott 7/1
Matt Kuchar 7/1
Henrik Stenson 7/1
Jason Day 7/1
Rafael Cabrera-Bello 11/1
Shane Lowry 12/1

Top 20 Bets

Webb Simpson 3.5/1
Lee Westwood 4.5/1
Mike Lorenzo-Vera 5/1
Zach Johnson 6/1
Romain Langasque 10/1
Jazz Janewattananond 10/1

Salaries, Odds, and Open Championship History (2014-2018)

Golfer DK Salary FD Salary Odds DK % FD % Cuts 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014
Rory McIlroy $11,600 $12,000 8 0% 50% 4/4 2 4 5 500 1
Brooks Koepka $11,400 $12,200 10 0% -100% 4/4 39 6 500 10 67
Dustin Johnson $10,900 $11,900 15 -33% -33% 4/5 101 54 9 49 12
Jon Rahm $10,600 $11,300 14 25% 57% 2/3 90 44 59 500 500
Tiger Woods $10,200 $11,700 17 0% -25% 2/3 6 500 500 147 69
Justin Rose $9,900 $11,600 20 0% -20% 5/5 2 54 22 6 23
Tommy Fleetwood $9,700 $10,900 26 -57% 0% 2/5 12 27 101 81 116
Xander Schauffele $9,500 $11,000 24 0% 20% 2/2 2 20 500 500 500
Francesco Molinari $9,400 $11,400 23 22% -17% 4/5 1 89 36 40 15
Rickie Fowler $9,300 $11,100 30 -40% -56% 5/5 28 22 46 30 2
Bryson DeChambeau $9,200 $10,600 36 -73% -36% 1/2 51 148 500 500 500
Justin Thomas $9,100 $10,700 27 -8% 0% 1/3 80 89 53 500 500
Patrick Cantlay $9,000 $10,800 27 8% 0% 1/1 12 500 500 500 500
Jordan Spieth $8,900 $11,200 33 -14% -100% 5/5 9 1 30 4 36
Adam Scott $8,800 $10,500 26 40% 40% 5/5 17 22 43 10 5
Matt Kuchar $8,700 $10,000 33 6% 25% 5/5 9 2 46 58 54
Jason Day $8,600 $10,400 35 0% -6% 5/5 17 27 22 4 58
Hideki Matsuyama $8,500 $10,300 35 0% -6% 3/5 80 14 111 18 39
Henrik Stenson $8,400 $10,100 26 47% 47% 5/5 35 11 1 40 39
Paul Casey $8,300 $9,900 43 -5% 5% 4/5 51 11 122 74 47
Gary Woodland $8,200 $10,000 54 -10% -15% 5/5 67 70 12 58 39
Matt Wallace $8,100 $9,700 43 9% 26% 0/1 80 500 500 500 500
Louis Oosthuizen $8,000 $10,200 43 4% -22% 3/5 28 137 143 2 36
Shane Lowry $7,900 $9,800 58 -13% -13% 1/5 90 123 101 81 9
Graeme McDowell $7,900 $9,700 63 -21% -7% 3/3 500 500 63 49 9
Sergio Garcia $7,800 $9,900 60 -8% -27% 4/5 80 37 5 6 2
Tony Finau $7,800 $9,800 65 -19% -29% 3/3 9 27 18 500 500
Marc Leishman $7,700 $9,700 56 14% 11% 5/5 60 6 53 2 5
Ian Poulter $7,700 $9,500 67 -18% -3% 1/4 141 14 500 107 73
Webb Simpson $7,600 $9,400 67 -13% 0% 4/5 12 37 39 40 137
Matthew Fitzpatrick $7,600 $9,500 63 0% 6% 1/3 90 44 138 500 500
Eddie Pepperell $7,600 $9,400 67 -7% 6% 2/2 6 500 500 49 500
Rafael Cabrera-Bello $7,500 $9,300 56 24% 32% 4/5 74 4 39 40 73
Danny Willett $7,500 $9,300 93 -15% -3% 4/5 24 76 53 6 89
Phil Mickelson $7,500 $9,800 90 -12% -54% 4/5 24 123 2 20 23
Lee Westwood $7,400 $9,000 94 -8% 11% 4/5 61 27 22 49 73
Patrick Reed $7,400 $9,600 79 0% -20% 3/5 28 99 12 20 110
Rory Sabbatini $7,400 $8,500 196 -94% -11% 0/0 500 500 500 500 500
Brandt Snedeker $7,400 $9,200 108 -19% -10% 2/4 141 500 22 93 58
Tyrrell Hatton $7,400 $9,400 70 3% -3% 2/5 51 131 5 93 131
Hao-Tong Li $7,300 $9,000 101 -2% 5% 2/2 39 3 500 500 500
Thorbjorn Olesen $7,300 $8,900 98 2% 15% 3/4 12 62 122 500 64
Kevin Kisner $7,300 $9,000 118 -7% 0% 3/4 2 54 76 81 500
Alexander Noren $7,300 $9,100 120 -12% -12% 3/3 17 6 46 500 500
Branden Grace $7,300 $9,200 125 -17% -23% 4/5 80 6 72 20 36
Jason Kokrak $7,200 $8,300 227 -67% -8% 0/1 115 500 500 500 500
Zach Johnson $7,200 $8,900 145 -26% -23% 5/5 17 14 12 1 47
Abraham Ancer $7,200 $8,800 140 -9% 2% 0/1 106 500 500 500 500
Bubba Watson $7,200 $9,100 148 -30% -46% 2/5 101 27 39 107 89
Padraig Harrington $7,200 $8,600 144 -17% 10% 2/5 115 78 36 20 131
Jim Furyk $7,100 $8,600 144 -6% 10% 3/3 500 500 59 30 4
Erik Van Rooyen $7,100 $8,600 98 22% 33% 1/1 17 500 500 500 500
Bernd Wiesberger $7,100 $9,600 57 49% 13% 2/4 500 74 122 68 121
Chez Reavie $7,100 $9,100 123 8% -15% 0/1 80 500 500 500 500
Russell Knox $7,100 $8,900 139 4% -4% 1/4 80 89 30 93 500
Emiliano Grillo $7,100 $8,800 163 -22% -22% 1/3 115 113 12 500 500
Mike Lorenzo-Vera $7,000 $8,300 189 -18% 6% 1/1 500 62 500 500 500
Kevin Streelman $7,000 $8,200 230 -39% -4% 1/2 500 500 500 138 54
Andy Sullivan $7,000 $7,900 119 21% 49% 3/4 90 70 12 30 500
Thomas Pieters $7,000 $8,700 141 9% 7% 3/3 28 44 30 500 500
Sungjae Im $7,000 $8,700 145 0% -2% 0/0 500 500 500 500 500
Keegan Bradley $7,000 $8,800 149 -7% -20% 3/4 79 500 18 107 19
Byeong Hun An $7,000 $8,800 140 11% 0% 3/5 51 99 59 93 26
Joaquin Niemann $6,900 $8,900 145 9% -23% 0/0 500 500 500 500 500
Billy Horschel $6,900 $8,200 144 16% 29% 1/4 500 137 130 30 89
Jorge Campillo $6,900 $7,800 195 -8% 27% 0/1 90 500 500 500 500
Adam Hadwin $6,900 $8,500 185 -2% -3% 1/2 35 148 500 500 500
Dylan Frittelli $6,900 $8,800 142 17% -4% 0/2 115 99 500 500 500
Aaron Wise $6,900 $8,400 167 2% 5% 0/0 500 500 500 500 500
Cameron Smith $6,900 $8,700 190 -6% -21% 1/2 78 113 500 500 500
Andrew Johnston $6,800 $8,100 199 0% 12% 2/2 500 27 8 500 500
Joost Luiten $6,800 $7,900 218 -6% 16% 1/4 500 44 101 93 151
C.T. Pan $6,800 $8,300 245 -21% -21% 0/1 500 500 500 500 89
Kiradech Aphibarnrat $6,800 $8,400 242 -20% -29% 1/4 75 500 101 118 73
Lucas Bjerregaard $6,800 $8,700 175 10% -14% 0/0 500 500 500 500 500
Robert Macintyre $6,700 $7,000 450 -58% 6% 0/0 500 500 500 500 500
Tom Lewis $6,700 $7,800 229 -3% 17% 1/1 47 500 500 500 500
Brian Harman $6,700 $8,400 206 5% -9% 1/4 90 99 500 81 26
Kyle Stanley $6,700 $8,300 217 3% -4% 1/2 39 99 500 500 500
Alexander Bjork $6,700 $7,700 253 -18% 8% 0/2 115 99 500 500 500
Ryan Fox $6,700 $7,900 323 -38% -18% 2/3 39 78 500 49 500
Charley Hoffman $6,700 $8,400 231 -7% -23% 4/5 17 20 77 138 67
Luke List $6,700 $8,200 253 -18% -18% 1/1 39 500 500 500 500
Si Woo Kim $6,700 $8,100 251 -17% -10% 1/2 67 78 500 500 500
Romain Langasque $6,600 $7,000 230 7% 38% 1/1 500 500 500 65 500
Jazz Janewattananond $6,600 $7,700 239 2% 15% 0/1 115 500 500 500 500
Paul Waring $6,600 $7,000 260 -11% 26% 0/1 500 89 500 500 500
Andrew Putnam $6,600 $8,000 210 14% 15% 0/0 500 500 500 500 500
Robert Rock $6,600 $7,000 272 -13% 24% 0/1 500 500 111 500 500
Jimmy Walker $6,600 $8,100 240 1% -4% 3/5 115 54 130 30 26
J.B. Holmes $6,600 $8,100 304 -19% -25% 2/4 500 54 3 107 121
Adri Arnaus $6,600 $7,500 267 -12% 10% 0/0 500 500 500 500 500
Lucas Glover $6,500 $8,300 186 29% 7% 0/0 500 500 500 500 500
Ryan Palmer $6,500 $8,500 226 18% -21% 3/3 500 500 30 30 58
Benjamin Hebert $6,500 $7,000 248 5% 31% 0/0 500 500 500 500 500
Adrian Otaegui $6,500 $7,000 277 -4% 24% 0/0 500 500 500 500 500
Christiaan Bezuidenhout $6,500 $7,700 246 6% 11% 0/0 500 500 500 500 500
Mikko Korhonen $6,500 $7,500 308 -11% 2% 0/0 500 500 500 500 500
David Lipsky $6,500 $7,800 337 -16% -15% 1/2 500 78 500 58 500
Keith Mitchell $6,500 $8,100 294 -6% -22% 0/0 500 500 500 500 500
Brandon Stone $6,500 $7,300 283 -5% 16% 2/3 61 70 122 500 500
Alexander Levy $6,500 $8,000 350 -18% -28% 0/3 101 78 500 81 500
Andrea Pavan $6,400 $7,000 234 20% 35% 0/0 500 500 500 500 500
Oliver Wilson $6,400 $7,200 259 10% 23% 0/1 90 500 500 500 500
Justin Harding $6,400 $8,000 257 11% -7% 0/0 500 500 500 500 500
Richard Sterne $6,400 $7,500 300 3% 5% 1/2 500 500 46 500 131
Joel Dahmen $6,400 $8,200 354 -9% -47% 0/0 500 500 500 500 500
Prom Meesawat $6,400 $7,000 552 -23% 0% 0/0 500 500 500 500 500
Stewart Cink $6,400 $7,600 448 -15% -16% 3/4 24 123 500 20 47
Shugo Imahira $6,400 $7,700 350 -7% -12% 0/1 500 500 89 500 500
Brandon Wu $6,400 $7,300 325 -3% 9% 0/0 500 500 500 500 500
Nate Lashley $6,300 $8,400 304 10% -53% 0/0 500 500 500 500 500
Corey Conners $6,300 $7,900 327 4% -20% 0/0 500 500 500 500 500
Kurt Kitayama $6,300 $7,600 429 -4% -14% 0/0 500 500 500 500 500
Sung Kang $6,300 $8,200 310 7% -37% 2/2 67 44 500 500 500
Connor Syme $6,300 $7,000 533 -13% 1% 0/1 500 113 500 500 500
Patton Kizzire $6,300 $7,500 483 -9% -16% 1/2 128 500 68 500 500
Zander Lombard $6,300 $7,200 380 -2% 5% 2/2 67 500 66 500 500
Chris Wood $6,300 $7,500 338 3% -4% 3/3 28 14 500 500 23
Miguel Angel Jimenez $6,300 $7,200 490 -10% -3% 1/3 500 500 18 118 89
Doc Redman $6,200 $7,900 358 7% -27% 0/0 500 500 500 500 500
Callum Shinkwin $6,200 $7,000 450 1% 6% 0/2 500 137 101 500 500
Yuta Ikeda $6,200 $7,800 552 -5% -35% 2/4 51 123 72 118 500
Ernie Els $6,200 $7,400 448 2% -6% 2/5 106 61 82 65 131
Yuki Inamori $6,200 $7,600 760 -9% -29% 0/0 500 500 500 500 500
Sang-hyun Park $6,200 $7,200 552 -7% -8% 0/1 106 500 500 500 500
Jack Senior $6,200 $7,000 927 -16% -10% 0/2 146 500 130 500 500
Darren Clarke $6,200 $7,500 560 -7% -24% 2/5 152 99 30 93 26
Yoshinori Fujimoto $6,200 $7,000 893 -12% -7% 0/0 500 500 500 500 500
Nino Bertasio $6,100 $7,000 392 12% 9% 0/0 500 500 500 500 500
Dimi Papadatos $6,100 $7,100 802 -3% -8% 0/0 500 500 500 500 500
Shaun Norris $6,100 $7,100 496 5% 0% 2/2 61 62 500 500 500
Shubhankar Sharma $6,100 $7,400 500 4% -13% 1/1 51 500 500 500 500
Tom Lehman $6,100 $7,300 1021 -15% -29% 0/3 80 99 500 118 500
Jake McLeod $6,100 $7,100 771 -2% -7% 0/0 500 500 500 500 500
Sam Locke $6,100 $7,000 1177 -16% -19% 1/1 75 500 500 500 500
Takumi Kanaya $6,100 $7,300 567 -1% -13% 0/0 500 500 500 500 500
Paul Lawrie $6,100 $7,000 1013 -15% -17% 2/4 500 113 63 40 140
Chan Kim $6,100 $7,400 433 10% -5% 1/1 500 11 500 500 500
David Duval $6,100 $7,000 1583 -20% -23% 1/3 500 131 500 49 131
Mikumu Horikawa $6,100 $7,000 948 -8% -11% 0/0 500 500 500 500 500
Austin Connelly $6,000 $7,400 917 4% -23% 1/1 500 14 500 500 500
Matthew Baldwin $6,000 $7,000 979 -1% -13% 0/1 500 500 500 500 116
Doyeob Mun $6,000 $7,000 970 0% -12% 0/0 500 500 500 500 500
Garrick Porteous $6,000 $7,000 990 -4% -16% 0/0 500 500 500 500 500
Ashton Turner $6,000 $7,000 1375 -7% -20% 0/1 146 500 500 500 500

Color Coding
Course history in BLUE indicates a top ten finish.
Course history in GREEN indicates a top 25 finish.
Course history in YELLOW indicates a made cut with a finish outside the top 25.
Course history in RED indicates a missed cut.

Legend

Term Description
Site % Odds The percentage differential between a golfer’s salary rank and odds rank. The higher the %, the better.
OWGR Official World Golf Ranking
Cuts Cut record of each golfer at this course in the last five seasons.
2014 – 2018 Columns Course history at this event in the last five seasons.

Cover Image Credit: USA Today Sports Images

About the Author

  • Derek Farnsworth (Notorious)

  • Derek Farnsworth, aka Notorious, is one of the most recognizable names and faces in all of DFS, thanks in large part to the great advice he gives on a daily basis in RotoGrinders.com’s Grind Down for NBA and MLB as well as the First Look column that gives a preview of the day’s games from a DFS perspective. Before joining the RotoGrinders team, Derek received a Masters Degree from the University of Utah. When he’s not busy providing content, he’s dominating the industry as evidenced by his consistent top rankings in multiple sports. Farnsworth provides expert analysis for RotoGrinders Premium members on a daily basis during the NBA season and has also been nominated for five different Fantasy Sports Writer’s Association (FSWA) awards.

    Interview after $100,000 Win

Comments

  • RiskyBiscuits

    Noto- Where do look for all the on-course set-up/ player interviews/ all that good stuff? Been googling, but haven’t found a spot with everything.

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