DraftKings has added European Tour Golf to its offerings of Daily Fantasy Sports. For those who love golf, this is huge news as the Euro Tour has tons of emerging and big named golfers already playing on their tour week to week. For those who might be a little unfamiliar with the European Tour, this article will be a quick introduction to the tour and its players, and, hopefully, make your research a little simpler.
The European Tour is played year-round. The season officially starts and ends in November and culminates with the prestigious World Tour Championship, a tournament in Dubai with a field featuring only the top 60 players on the European order of Merit. The winner of the European Tour Race to Dubai receives a cash bonus of 1 million Euros every year.
European tour events are played all around Europe, but also take place in other parts of the world as well. Check out the current order of merit standings for 2016 here.
With venues in China, Australia, South Africa and Thailand, the European tour is truly world-wide and is undoubtedly the second most prestigious golf tour in the world outside of the PGA Tour. Many of the world’s top golfers honed their craft playing these events before making it big over in America, and there are still several top international players who split their time between the European Tour and the PGA Tour. The European Tour shouldn’t be confused with a minor league “feeder” style of tour, and there will be some weeks where the strength of field over in Europe will rival or even outclass the one on the PGA.
As mentioned, there are a ton of quality players making a living playing on the European Tour already. If you already play PGA DFS on DraftKings then you’re probably semi-familiar with some of them. However, here’s a quick rundown of some of the top and up and coming players who will spend most of their time playing on the European golf tour this season:
Danny Willett: You’re probably familiar with Willett by now after he, you know, won the year’s first major championship. The young Englishman still spends most of his time over in Europe, although we’ve started to see him play on the PGA Tour more frequently. He’s currently a huge leader in the European order of merit race.
Rafa Cabrera Bello: He’s been a fixture on the Euro Tour for several years now but is finally coming into his own in 2016 and currently sits 4th on the order of merit. He has won two Euro-titles over his career already and recently had a nice stretch on the PGA as well. Someone to keep note of whenever he’s in the field.
Chris Wood: A name many people in the United States might not be that familiar with, Wood is a solid young English player who also has two European titles to his name. Without a big title or result in a major, Wood remains somewhat of an unknown to many DFS players, so he might be overlooked by gamers many weeks. He’s a player who could be a consistent source of value for play on DraftKings in many tournaments.
Thorbjørn Olesen: An exciting young player, he’s already got three Euro titles to his name, including one at the prestigious Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, played at St. Andrews every year. Olesen has gone through some injury issues, but he’s healthy now and has already posted some big numbers in majors, including a surprise 6th at Augusta in 2013. Olesen will likely be the epitome of a GPP play for DFS purposes as his results can vary from sublime to sub-par in the span of a couple tournaments.
Joost Luiten: One of the most consistent players on the European tour the past couple of years, Luiten is seemingly always in contention and already has three finishes of 6th or better on Tour this season (but no wins). The Dutchman might quickly become a favorite of DFS players who are looking for that week in, week out play they can rely on to post a solid performance.
Other players to note: Andy Sullivan, Matthew Fitzpatrick, Thomas Pieters, Martin Kaymer
As already mentioned, the European Tour is truly year round and culminates in mid-November with the World Tour Championships in Dubai (Nov 17th-20th 2016), but there are some other big events worth noting as well. Here are some important dates to mark on your calendar for Daily Fantasy Sports purposes:
The BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth (May 26th-29th 2016): Often considered the Tour’s “flagship” event, it produces one of the best fields of the year and has the one of the largest prize-pools for golfers (5 million Euros) outside of the Race to Dubai playoffs.
Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open (July 7th -10th 2016): Always played the week before the year’s third major — the Open Championship — it always draws a strong field as many American born players make the trip over to play it as a warmup for the following week.
Alfred Dunhill Links Championship (Oct 6th – 9th, 2016): This tournament is significant for both its prize-pool and the fact it is played at the home of golf, St. Andrews. The multiple course, links venue typically draws a great field and is one of the better stops of the year for Euro players.
The Final Series: A three tournament stretch intended to crown an order of merit winner, it culminates with a limited field event in Dubai. These have some of the largest prize pools on Tour and will always attract great fields. These will be exciting weeks for European DFS golf as the regular PGA Tour is on their limited schedule at this point.
Other Dates to Note
- Turkish Airlines Open (Nov 3rd—6th 2016)
- Nedbank World Golf Challenge (Nov 10th –13th 2016)
- World Tour Championship (Nov 17th – 20th 2016)