By: Edward Egros


The "Reliable" Open

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Colloquially, Carnoustie might be considered the toughest test of all courses that are part of the Open's rotation. Often when the course adds to the already high degree of difficulty a major provides, those who reliably do well at majors become natural favorites when picking a winner and putting together fantasy lineups.

In the last five years, when measured, the winner of the Open finished in the Top 25 in Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green and Strokes Gained: Approach-the-Green, and the only reason why it isn't even more selective is because of Phil Mickelson's 2013 victory when he hovered around the 25th position in both metrics.

Perhaps the most intriguing option for a winner is Henrik Stenson. In the last five years, the player with the lowest score to par in the Open is Stenson, who won the 2016 championship in what was essentially match play that Sunday. However, he is battling through an elbow injury and even claimed he is not 100%. The second lowest score in the last five years belongs to the man Stenson beat that year, Mickelson. Given Stenson's price in DFS, I'm willing to take a risk on him and make a "preliminary" favorite to win.

If, for some reason, his injury prevents him from playing to his potential, my pick to win is Justin Thomas. He currently ranks 4th in Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green and has performed well in other majors that were played on links style courses, such as the PGA Championship at Whistling Straits in 2015 and the U.S. Open at Erin Hills in 2017.

Here are my two DFS lineups:

Justin Thomas
Patrick Cantlay
Marc Leishman
Luke List
Francesco Molinari
Henrik Stenson

Keegan Bradley
Tony Finau
Sergio Garcia
Rory McIlroy
Alex Noren
Xander Schauffele

Prelude to the Masters

Pasted Graphic 1The uniqueness of the Shell Houston Open is not so much the course itself, but its timing. Some of the top players skip the event altogether so they can focus solely on next week's Masters, some may very well use the event as a tune-up, vying less for the win and more for retooling and some are playing this event to win. There are some players with a lot of success at this event, notably Phil Mickelson, Russell Henley and Henrik Stenson. Strokes Gained: Off-the-Tee, Tee-to-Green and Approach-the-Green all have predictive value; in fact, when looking at the last 50 Top 5 finishers, the majority were all in the Top 50 in the second pair of statistics. Given this information, here are my Daily Fantasy Lineups:

Keegan Bradley
Tony Finau
Luke List
Ryan Palmer
Kevin Streelman
Jhonattan Vegas

Chesson Hadley
Phil Mickelson
Henrik Stenson
Scott Piercy
Chez Reavie
Nick Watney