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The Open Championship – My Preview
Major Championship fantasy golf returns this week with the most historic of them all, The Open Championship. The event returns to Royal Liverpool this week, otherwise known as Hoylake, the first time it has been played here since Tiger Woods won the last of his three Opens in 2006. Phil Mickelson is the defending champion, and a stellar field line up to try and grab their hands on the prestigious Claret Jug.
The Open Championship – The Player Field
There is no real need this week to take a look at who is in and who is out, because everyone is in. The last qualifying place went to Brian Harman after his win at the John Deere Classic on Sunday, with Kristoffer Broberg, Scott Jamieson and Tyrell Hatton winning spots with their top ten finishes in the Scottish Open. Tiger Woods makes just his second start since returning from injury and Justin Rose looks to win three in a row, possibly going to world number one in the process.
The Open Championship – The Course
It was a relatively low scoring affair the last time the Open was played at Royal Liverpool, all of the top seven players finishing at ten under or lower, which is somewhat unusual for an Open Championship. One of the reasons for this is that it had been unusually dry eight years ago, and the course was extremely firm – so we may well see a single figure under par score win this time out. The course is 7312 yards long, plays to a 72, with four par 5’s and four par 3’s – a little unusual in that the closing three holes contain two par 5’s.
Past Tournaments & Course History
Royal Liverpool rejoined the Open rotation in 2006, having not hosted an Open previously since 1967. Tiger Woods won the championship in 2006, beating Chris DiMarco by two shots with Ernie Els finishing third. Phil Mickelson won the Open last year, the only player finishing under par at Muirfield, threeshots ahead of eventual Fedex Cup champion Henrik Stenson. Ernie Els hoisted the Claret Jug in 2012, despite trailing Adam Scott by six shots going into Sunday, beating Scott by a solitary shot.
What the Stats Tell Us – Important Stats To Look At
With the tournament being played at a different course every year, stats wise there is not too much to tell – and going back eight years to the last championship doesn’t provide too much meaningful information you can apply to 2014. Therefore this week I’ll pick players who are entering the week in form and have a record of playing good links golf.
Picks and Sleepers – Eight Players to Pick
Justin Rose – Rose cannot be ignored right now. Winner of the Quicken Loans National three weeks ago and the Scottish Open last week – this is a player at the top of his game. Last year Phil Mickelson followed up his Scottish Open win by bagging the Open crown, and Rose will be looking to do the same. Rose also knows how to win a Major.
Zach Johnson – Johnson bounced back to form last week, finishing second in the John Deere Classic. Top ten finishes in the last couple of Open Championships see a player who knows how to play links golf. Johnson is another player who knows how to win on Major Sunday.
Adam Scott – The world number one has never won an Open, coming so close two years ago, and joint 3rd last year. He has a game that is made for links golf and is a player on form – four top ten’s and a victory in his last six outings. Having said that, in some ways Scott will be disappointed on the year – a player of his caliber would expect to at the very top of the leaderboard at the Majors, and tied 14th at the Masters and tied 9th at the US open, although solid will not be deemed good enough.
Brandt Snedeker – Snedeker has been in contention at both of the last two renewals of this famous championship. Snedeker led in 2012 after opening with rounds of 66 and 64, and fought back well last year after a 79 in round two to finish joint 11th. 18 months ago Snedeker was world number four, but an average run of form has seen him slump to 33. His worst finish in his last three outings is 21st however, so Snedeker is finding some form at the right time.
Angel Cabrera – Sleeper – Cabrera is a golfer who seems to disappear for a long time, then suddenly pops up and wins a Major. Finished joint 11th last year but won the Greenbrier Classic on the PGA tour just two weeks ago – this two time major winner is never one to discount.
Ernie Els – Sleeper – Can you ever really ignore the Big Easy at the Open? Winner of the Claret Jug two years ago, solid last year in 26th. No great form this year, but showed he can still mix it with the big boys at the World Matchplay, reaching the last four. Wouldn’t have made my eight – but a stunning 66 on the final day of the Scottish Open couldn’t have come at a better time.
Tyrell Hatton – Sleeper – For a low salary pick, Hatton cannot be overlooked. A rising star on the European tour, and made the Open field with an impressive finish at the Scottish Open. Up to a career high 161st in the world, this player is moving in the right direction at a rapid pace, being a challenge tour regular just a year ago.
Shane Lowry – Sleeper – Fourth at the Scottish Open last week and just missing out on the BMW PGA Championship a few weeks ago to an inspired Rory McIlroy, Lowry is a player who is either very hot or very cold. Eight missed cuts from fifteen this year is a worry, but when he’s on, he’s on. Up to 68th in the world, Lowry is a player who has the ability to go all the way.
The British Open Betting Odds
It’s very tight at the top of the betting – with Justin Rose, Rory McIlroy, Adam Scott and Henrik Stenson all within a point or two. US Open champion Martin Kaymer comes next, followed by a couple of Americans in Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson (you might have heard of them). Graham McDowell, Sergio Garcia and Rickie Fowler complete the top ten.
Join a Fantasy Golf League & Play The Open
Fast, easy and fun.
- Draft 6 golfers under salary cap.
- They score points per hole and for tournament finish.
- Compare your score vs your competitors. The most points wins!
- The fantasy golf league lasts 4 days only. Once the British Open is over (4 rounds / days), winners are paid.
- Real money leagues start at $0.25 on DraftKings and gradually go up in price to higher stakes games.
- *100% legal. Paypal and Credit cards work for deposits / cashouts.
*a small number of states are not allowed due to specific state legislation, regulated by the site themselves.
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