FanDuel PGA QuickPick Primer: The Open Championship

Rory McIlroy finds himself in the top tier of golfers in FanDuel's QuickPick format. Should he anchor your lineups?

Ever wanted to give daily fantasy golf a try but felt intimidated by the long list of golfers to decide between?

FanDuel's got your back.

With their new QuickPick format, your choices are whittled down to five different tiers of golfers. That adds a lot of strategy, but it also makes picking your lineups easy. If you want to read up more on how to handle building QuickPick golf lineups, we've got you covered.

And don't forget: we have daily fantasy golf projections to help you on your way.

Let's take a look at some golfers to target this week in QuickPick. (If you're looking for picks for the conventional FanDuel setup, that's right here for this week.)

Key Stats

Key Stats for The Open Championship at Carnoustie GC
Par 4 Scoring
Bogey Avoidance
Strokes Gained: Tee to Green
Strokes Gained: Links-Style Courses

For more information on why we're focused on these stats, check out our course primer.

Stats cited below come from FantasyGolfMetrics and include the past 50 rounds on the PGA Tour. Ranks are among the field with at least 10 rounds in that span.

Note that QuickPick strategy depends largely on expected ownership for each golfer in each tier, so updates throughout the week are likely.

Tier A

Golfer FanDuel Salary Paddy Power Win Odds
Dustin Johnson $12,500 10/1
Justin Rose $12,200 14/1
Justin Thomas $11,700 20/1
Rory McIlroy $11,500 16/1
Jordan Spieth $11,100 16/1

The big boys. Some of them, at least. Johnson is the odds-on favorite at 10/1, via Paddy Power, and he owns the best statistical profile in the group if we look at our key stats over the past 50 rounds on the PGA Tour. However, he's the priciest option in standard setups ($12,500), and that could draw high ownership his way when he's lumped together with the rest of Tier A.

Rose is just behind him in recent form via the stats, and Spieth has dominated at The Open Championship in the past but doesn't have the best recent form. Rose (1st), McIlroy (3rd), and Johnson (6th) are all near the top of the field in strokes gained: tee to green over the past 50 rounds, and Thomas (32nd) actually outperforms Spieth (43rd) there. Thomas should wind up the least popular of the top tier, but he lacks good form at links courses. McIlroy has a 2014 Open Championship and two more top fives in two tries since then.

Safe Bet: Dustin Johnson - Johnson has the best blend of current form (6th in strokes gained: tee to green and approach) and Open performance in the tier, and that's saying a lot.

Overlooked Gem: Rory McIlroy - Thomas doesn't profile as a great fit, and the three other options should carry hefty ownership in their own right. McIlroy won't be an off-the-radar pick by any means, but Spieth's victory last year and Johnson and Rose's combined popularity and safety should leave McIlroy lower owned than he should be.

Tier B

GolferFanDuel SalaryPaddy Power Win Odds
Brooks Koepka$12,10018/1
Jason Day$11,70030/1
Henrik Stenson$11,60022/1
Rickie Fowler$11,40016/1
Jon Rahm$11,30020/1
Paul Casey$11,00030/1
Tommy Fleetwood$10,90018/1
Sergio Garcia$10,10025/1

Koepka always shows up at majors and won the past two U.S. Opens, so he's on the list for sure. He also grades out as one of the best recent form fits for Carnoustie. Stenson and Day are on par with Koepka, but Stenson is dealing with an injury that caused him to withdraw from the Scottish Open last week. Fowler is always a popular play. Rahm, Casey, and Fleetwood all have some intriguing form of their own.

Safe Bet: Brooks Koepka - Koepka ranks 30th in strokes gained: tee to green over the past 50 rounds, but that won't account for his U.S. Open win (where there's no strokes gained data). He's 5th in bogey avoidance and 7th in scrambling, and he's got back-to-back top-10s at The Open (6th last year and 10th in 2015).

Overlooked Gem: Henrik Stenson - Stenson's injury is the only reason to be worried about him this week. Stenson ranks 16th in approach strokes gained, 1st in par 4 scoring, 12th in bogey avoidance, and 31st in scrambling. He also has six top-15 finishes at The Open in nine tries since 2008. If he doesn't give it a go, then Jason Day is the pick. It's such a big tier that all we need to do is avoid the chalky pick or two, and Day always goes overlooked. He has made seven straight cuts at The Open and ranks 17th in strokes gained: tee to green in the field, second only to Fleetwood (13th) in the tier.

Tier C

GolferFanDuel SalaryPaddy Power Win Odds
Patrick Reed$11,40033/1
Tiger Woods$10,80025/1
Bubba Watson$10,70070/1
Hideki Matsuyama$10,50040/1
Francesco Molinari$10,40028/1
Phil Mickelson$10,30050/1
Bryson DeChambeau$10,20066/1
Branden Grace$10,00033/1
Louis Oosthuizen$9,90055/1
Marc Leishman$9,80035/1
Alex Noren$9,80022/1
Ian Poulter$9,40055/1

This tier is pretty mixed between big names and some overseas studs. A few stand out, however. Francesco Molinari's been on fire and is second in strokes gained: tee to green and first in approach. Tiger Woods is actually fourth and second, respectively. He's almost always prohibitively popular, however.

Safe Bet: Patrick Reed - Reed is the only golfer in this tier to cost more than $11,000 in the salary cap format, and he's up at $11,400. However, he's just the best all-around pick here. He's 8th in approach, 7th on par 4s, 28th in bogey avoidance, and 27th in scrambling. We know he can close it out if he's close (as we saw with his Masters win), and if we're looking for the safe pick, it's Reed.

Overlooked Gem: Branden Grace - With Woods, Molinari, and Reed in the group, pretty much everyone else is a candidate to be nearly unowned. Grace fired off a 62 in the third round at last year's Open Championship and has a strong pedigree on links tracks, evidenced by seven straight made cuts at The Open. Grace ranks 27th in strokes gained: tee to green of late, as well.

Tier D

GolferFanDuel SalaryPaddy Power Win Odds
Webb Simpson$10,600100/1
Matt Kuchar$10,40066/1
Tony Finau$10,20066/1
Rafa Cabrera Bello$9,900 80/1
Zach Johnson$9,70066/1
Daniel Berger$9,600125/1
Patrick Cantlay$9,50080/1
Adam Scott$9,40070/1
Xander Schauffele$9,30080/1
Matthew Fitzpatrick$9,10050/1
Tyrrell Hatton$8,90033/1
Charl Schwartzel$8,600125/1
Thomas Pieters $8,80070/1

The final tier before the rest of the field still offers up some strong plays this week because of how good the field is.

Safe Bet: Matt Kuchar - Kuchar would've won last year's Open by three strokes if not for Jordan Spieth. Kuchar is 16th in strokes gained: tee to green in this field and is 18th in bogey avoidance. He's a cut-maker, and he's done just that in six straight Open Championships.

Overlooked Gems: Zach Johnson and Adam Scott - I couldn't decide between the two. Johnson has 10 straight made cuts at The Open and ranks 27th in strokes gained: tee to green in the field. Nobody cares to play Johnson anymore, even with his Open Championship win in 2015, and we can take advantage. Scott doesn't have the recent win that Johnson does, but since 2010, he's finished no worse than 43rd and has four top-10 finishes in the past six years. Scott ranks eighth in strokes gained: tee to green in the field.


With the tier so large and comprised of the afterthoughts, I'll just list some options. All carry some risk in their own way.

Russell Knox - Knox has been playing a lot of golf and finished second at the Open de France and won the Irish Open. Last week, he slipped up after three strong rounds and finished in the middle of the pack. He's 15th in strokes gained: tee to green, though, and stands out as the golfer with the best win odds in the wildcard tier (55/1).

Emiliano Grillo - Grillo is strong across the board in our key stats and may be the top pick in this range. He finished 12th in the 2016 Open but did miss last year's cut. He missed the cut at the U.S. Open, as well, however. The stats are there -- meaning the current form is there -- but there is no guarantee.

Jimmy Walker - Walker ranks 24th tee to green over the past 50 rounds. He's three for five on cuts at The Open, but he's a cut above most of this tier.

Shane Lowry - Lowry knows a links course. We know that much. However, he's missed three straight cuts at The Open. Prior to that, he finished 9th in 2014 and 32nd in 2013. He enters just 58th in strokes gained: tee to green, yet there's something to be said for his links knowledge when you compare him to the rest of the wildcard options.

Peter Uihlein - Uihlein has actually made two of three cuts at The Open before, but those were spread out and not overly promising: 48th in 2011, cut in 2014, and 44th last year. But he's 40th tee to green and has been here before, more than you can say for a lot of these longshots.