The Open 2022 DraftKings Preview
the 150th champion golfer of the year to be crowned this week at the home of golf
For the final time in 2022, the best the game of golf has to offer will compete for a major championship. Feels bad to have it so crammed and over in mid-July but golf unfortunately does have some issues. All of that can be put aside for the week as the home of golf takes the stage once again, almost 600 years after its inception. The Old Course at St Andrews is set to host the 150th Open. Let's get you set to see some green screens on DraftKings this week.
What's up golf addicts! AC here, checking in week to week to provide a quick preview of the upcoming PGA Tour event. I’ll give you the lowdown on the course, the players, some key stats, and some favorite DraftKings picks for the week.
All of the course data, player stats, and most of the information below can be found on Fantasy National Golf Club (FNGC). At FNGC you can view historic course conditions, course scoring breakdowns, tournament history, simulators, and official strokes gained data provided by the PGA Tour. Start building your models at Fantasy National now!
The Field and Tournament Details for The Open
and The crew is back together again! One last time? The world's best from every tour has descended upon the Scottish coast for what could be the final major for some. There will definitely be lots of awkwardness in the locker room this week but everyone should be here to try and win a major. The field is set at 156 with a cutline of the top 70 and ties. A total purse of $14 million is up for grabs with a record $2.5 million for the new Champion Golfer of the Year. There are 42 players in the field making their Open debut including six amateurs.
The top of the field is exactly what you want. And Tiger F#$King Woods! Tiger is gearing up to tee off on Thursday and is already on the grounds, having walked the course on Saturday.
World #1, Scottie Scheffler will be starting at just his 2nd Open championship. A T8 last year. However, it is Rory '2014 Champion Golfer' McIlroy who has the top salary on DraftKings. Jon Rahm, Justin Thomas, Collin Morikawa, and Jordan Spieth are the rest of the $10k and up options. The $9ks kick off with the latest man on a heater, Xander Schauffele. Since winning the Zurich he's arguably the best player in the world. Decided to fade the ownership last week and he got me. US Open champ, Matthew Fitzpatrick, Will Zalatoris, Cam Smith, Patrick Cantlay, Shane Lowry, Dustin Johnson, Hideki Matsuyama, and Viktor Hovland fill out the $9k range.
The 150th Open Championship will be the 30th time St Andrews hosts the fight for Champion Golfer of the Year. Arguably the most prestigious title in golf. The Claret Jug awaits the winner, held by the game's best including Tiger Woods (x3), Jack Nicklaus (x3), Seve Ballesteros (x3), Arnold Palmer (x2), Sir Nick Faldo (x2), Tom Watson (x4), and Peter Thompson who won the event five times between 1954-65.
The reigning Open champ, Collin Morikawa, tamed a gettable Royal St Georges in 2021. Before that; Shane Lowry subjugated Royal Portrush; Francesco Molinari mastered Carnoustie; Spieth surmounted Royal Birkdale; Henrik Stenson wrestled Royal Troon; Zach Johnson jousted St Andrews; Rory McIlroy routed Royal Liverpool. Besides ZJ in '15, Luis Oosthuizen (2010), Tiger Woods (2005/2000), and John Daly (1995) are The Open champions at St Andrews over the last 30 years.
The Open Course Breakdown
- Course: St Andrews Links (Old Course)
- Location: Fife, Scotland
- Yardage: 7,313
- Par: 72
- Architect: N/A (1552)
- Renovations: Many
- Grass: Fescue/Bentgrass/Poa/Other
The Old Course at St Andrews. The home of golf. A place where golf has been so popular for hundreds of years that kings had it banned for over 50 years because the boys were playing it too much. Not practicing killing enough! Imagine... Fortunately, a new king came around and decided golf was too awesome to be banned!
St. Andrews is one of 14 courses to host The Open. It first played host in 1873 and has since crowned the Champion Golfer of the Year 29 times. It is also one of three courses in rotation for the Alfred Dunhill Links event played on the DP World Tour every year. The 7,300-yard Par 72 plays straight out and straight back in. It is the only event in which every player tees off the first hole for all four rounds. Players will share fairways and green complexes with adjacent holes throughout the course while navigating uneven lies, some nasty rough, and severely large and undulated greens. To put it in context, most of Pebble Beach's greens fit inside just the 13th and 15th shared green at St Andrews.
A mix of Fescue, Bentgrass, and Poa Annua cover the grounds at the Old Course. Bunkers cover the rest. Kidding, kind of. However, they are part of the defense. There are 112 of them and these aren't your typical beach. More like a sandy grave for some. Adding to the chaos, the undulation on the greens will also wreak havoc on the scorecard as players try to avoid three-putting them. Last but not least, the weather. Wind and rain are in the forecast and may make things difficult. Especially the wind. It's Scotland. Tighten the straps!
Barring the conditions, the old course can be scorable. ZJ won in a playoff in '15 after he, Marc Leishman, and Oosthuizen got it to -15. This is after Oosty blew the field away in 2010, winning by seven with a -16 72-hole score. Tiger got it to -14 in '05 but he also ran away with the Claret Jug when he got it done in just 269 shots (-19) in 2000, winning by eight strokes.
St Andrews features a unique layout for a Par 72. Just two Par 5s and two Par 3s. The Par 5s won't be reached by most, one is over 600 yards. Both Par 3s will play less than 200 yards. Seven of the Par 4s play between 350-400 yards. Five others play over 450 yards.
There isn't much point in mentioning the weather as it changes frequently but things don't look too bad right now. A bit of rain on Thursday and Friday perhaps mixed with some afternoon gusts. Winds follow the tides and low tide will be in the AM followed by high tide in the mid-afternoon. Generally, expect more winds with high tide.
Key Stats for St Andrews
- Off the Tee/Accuracy
- Approach/Opps Gained
- Putting/Scrambling/Around the Green
- Bogey Avoidance
- Par 4 Scoring
- Links History
- Major Championship Prowess
Where you put your ball off the tee this week is going to have massive effects on the scorecard. These might be generous fairways in spots but the slopes and mounds can leave awkward positions and lead to a ball rolling in any number of directions. Length is certainly going to be a weapon, though the course is set up to punish the most aggressive drives lacking precision. Accuracy over distance.
Well-placed drives are step one. The next step is to get it close. This won't be as simple as sticking it close. Darts here may need to weave and roll through several mounds to wind up close. Having a variety of approach shots in the bag will be a big help. A history on links courses, good or bad, can be an advantage but like we saw with Morikawa last year, strike your ball well and make the putts.
Whoever does the best on and around the greens this week is likely going to win. Tiger says it best; "You have to hit the ball in the correct spots. You’re also going to have some real long putts here no matter how you hit it, and you just have to get down in two. So many times you can three-putt, you can go around here and hit 18 greens and shoot a number, a high number because you’re just so far away from the hole. And if the wind blows, hitting a wedge 30, 40, 50 feet happens a lot. The two years that I’ve played well here, I’ve lag putted beautifully and I’ve also hit the ball in the right spots.”
A solid short game is also going to keep the bigger numbers off the card. Bogey Avoidance is always key in major championships. Find a player who doesn't miss many fairways, has above-average pop in the bat, confidence in the flatstick, and ultimately, has the stones to perform on the world's largest stage.
Here's a tidbit from our Nut Hut in-house caddie: "Players/caddies are going to have to have a clear gameplan off the tee and improvise a bunch from the second shots in based on the bounces and angles - far less is in control here than normal. I think instinct and links acumen will be huge, always is."
If you are not yet a member, join the Tour Junkies crew and some brilliant minds in Goalby’s Nut Hut. The Nut Hut is a discord chat with tons of insight, caddie news, banter, trash talk, and most of all a collection of golf addicts that have won more than $4 million since the restart. Click the banner below to sign up!
The Open Picks & Fades
I'll give you some plays and a fade from every DraftKings salary range each week. For all of DB and Pat’s thoughts and picks, check out and subscribe to the Tour Junkies Podcast.
$9K & Above
- Play - Rory McIlroy, Justin Thomas, Cameron Smith | Fade - Collin Morikawa
I'm going to put my weight behind the two faces of golf; Rory and JT. They are both incredible players who have been elite on and off the course recently. This is the grandest stage they will both have ever stood up on and I think we are going to see a duel between these two coming down the stretch on Sunday. Tiger will make sure they are both prepared. Despite a lot of love for the guys in this range, my last lean will be Aussie Cam. One of the best putters in golf and slick with the short wedges too. Smith struggles off the tee but has been working on that issue. One of these three is going to be Champion Golfer of the Year.
Kawa is still struggling a bit with the ball striking and when that's not dialed, he's not going to look very appealing. The ownership is VERY appealing. However, his already less than stellar short game is another reason I'm going to fade him winning a second Open in a row.
- Play - Corey Conners, Joaquin Niemann | Fade - Bryson DeChambeau
A couple of pure ball strikers in the $8ks for me again this week. Both were in the preview last week for the Scottish. One did pretty well. The other... not so well. 16th for Niemann and 61st for CoCo. Conners' last two majors didn't go so well either but he was 6th at Augusta and was near the top after three rounds at last year's Open before falling to 15th. The numbers are still great outside of the short game but has gained putting in three of his last five. Niemann has just been so good it's kind of ridiculous he's this low. It may come with some ownership but tons of upside and a great fit.
I don't see how Bryson breaks par this week.
- Play - Seamus Power, Justin Rose, Christiaan Bezuidenhout | Fade - Max Homa
I'm going middle of the pack with some sleepers. Power rates out really well for me especially in the short game categories. He's also played the last few majors incredibly well, rattling off a T13 at the US Open, a T9 at the PGA Championship, and 27th at Augusta. What Power ma lack in Open experience, Rosey does not. Rose finished runner-up at Carnoustie and bagged a T6 here in 2015. The form has also been decent, flaming out on the 72nd hole trying for a 59 at the RBC Canadian. He did MC at Agusta in April but followed it up with a 13th at the PGA and 37th at the US Open. Last but not least, my boy, CBez. Seabiscuit has climbed into the top 10 in my model and I'm here for it. Superb short game skills should keep him in the mix this week. Four top 16s or better in his last six outings with a career-best runner-up at the Travelers a couple of weeks ago.
Homa rates out incredibly well and is underpriced. These two things are going to make him heavily owned. He's also playing the first two rounds with Tiger. Many don't fare well in that light
- Play - Mackenzie Hughes, Wyndham Clark, Zach Johnson
I think you can pretty much write off the bottom 50 or so players in here. If you need to go that low, you're a little too top-heavy and have some issues. Before missing the cut at the Scottish last week (meh), Mac had three straight top 30s that included a T24 at the US Open. He got his first taste of The Open last year at Royal St Georges and grinded a T6. His short game will allow him to seek out a similar result. I liked Clark last week and he fought for a 16th at the Scottish. No reason not to stay on board. Along with Mac, Clark can putt. The defending St Andrews Open champion, ZJ. The game obviously hasn't been what it once was after he won The Open, ZJ rattled off a T12, T14, and a T17 in his next three Open starts. There has been a lot of MCs lately but he can compete in this type of contest.
There ya go! Soak this week in. This is the best tournament in golf and might be the last time we see this type of competition. Literally get to watch the 150th Open at the home of golf and Tiger Woods is in the field. What a time to be alive and in love with golf. Nut Hut will be active Wednesday leading up to the Wednesday Night live chat shortly before lock. Good luck!
THE INS & OUTS
*The field is 156