Branden Grace ($11,600) – Grace has had an insanely consistent season thus far, but it’s really his record on links courses that we’re targeting here. Castle Stuart, the course this week, is generally a very traditional links setup, and Grace has thrived at those types of venues in his career, with his best achievement being a win at the Alfred Dunhill Links championship in 2013. In 2013 he also finished second at this event, on this course, to Phil Mickelson, but this season comes into the event in much better form. As a result, I’ll take Grace this week over the other big names on tap here, this could easily end up being his second win on the year.
Shane Lowry ($10,500) – Lowry had a disappointing follow up to his huge U.S. Open week, but were more into his territory now as Lowry has traditionally been a solid links player throughout his career as well. Even better, some extremely good scramblers have had fantastic results at Castle Stuart and Lowry’s short game was on great display at Oakmont a few weeks ago. With two top 15 finishes at this course between 2011-2013, Lowry seems like he could be in line for a bit of a “makeup” week, and I wouldn’t be shocked to see him get the job done here either. The experience at Oakmont should benefit him and he’s my other main target above $10k.
Patrick Reed ($10,200) – Patrick Reed has really let gamers down over his last three events, and as a result I would suggest that this might end up being a great week to target him for GPPs. Reed may not be in top form but his shot shape and ability to keep the ball down in higher winds should benefit him on what is a traditional links course. Additionally, having seen other players with great short games shine at Castel Stuart, I can’t help but think the change in continents might help jump start Reed’s game, especially since his short game is a huge strength. I like Reed as a low owned GPP play among the top players this week, don’t be shocked if he ups his game and continues his “love affair” with the European fans.
David Lingmerth ($9,400) – Some might complain about the lack of links experience for a player like Lingmerth this week, but the current form is certainly there. Lingmerth has now finished 7-12-27-22 in his last four starts and looks to be trending well heading into this week. He was scrambling like a champ last weekend and if that form holds, he could easily sneak in with a huge finish at Castle Stuart. Lingmerth is a great competitor, and at $9,400 I’d be fine paying up for him in DFS in this field. His recent play has been stellar.
Steve Stricker ($7,900) – Stricker doesn’t often come over to Europe, and, in fact, skipped the Open Championship altogether two years ago for personal reasons. However, he’s not only playing the Open this year, but this event should also speak to his motivation at the moment. Stricker is coming off his best finish in a couple years (T2 at the FedEX) and has always been a terrific scrambler over his career which should really help him at the venue this week. Shorter hitters like Luke Donald and Jeev M. Singh have won at this venue, and with Stricker’s pedigree, I could see a very solid week incoming. I like the price and motivation here for Stricker, he’s one of the American players I’ll definitely be targeting this week.
Thomas Pieters ($8,000) – Pieters is definitely one of the most talented players on Tour. He withdrew from a tournament a few weeks ago with a minor injury but bounced back last week with a good showing at the French Open. This is a pretty talented field, so I wouldn’t go so far as calling Pieters insane value, but at his price he’s definitely a great option on a discount. The young Belgian won the KLM open last year on another links style venue and also ranks 6th on the Euro Tour in scrambling. Coming off his nice performance last week, I think you can ride the wave so to speak with Pieters here as the venue could very well suit him. He’s a supreme talent at a great price for this tournament.
George Coetzee ($7,000) – Coetzee’s a pretty talented Euro Tour vet who now has 3 wins to his name and some decent links golf results as well. Coetzee is a co-owner of the course record at St. Andrews and also has a 3rd place finish to his name at Castle Stuart from back in 2011 as well. At $7k, Coetzee is coming off a nice week at the Bridgestone where he finished 21st and could easily be in for another one at a course he’s had success at in the past. At $7k he looks like great value to me and would be a player I’d want to target heavily in this range. He has experience, good links results and looks to be getting back into solid form.
Victor Dubuisson ($6,900) – Dubuisson is always in play for me as a potential GPP target whenever he tees it up over in Europe, especially at certain venues. The young Frenchman has done next to nothing this season but has been playing decent recently and put up a sneaky 9th place over in Japan a couple weeks ago. Dubuisson has shown some affinity for links golf over his career too as he’s one of the course record holders at St. Andrews and has some solid results at past incarnations of this week’s event as well. I expect “Dubie” to be low owned this week as many fear his volatility (and tendency to withdraw), but at his low price I think he’s worth a shot. He’s shown solid form of late and has usually shown up well at this event in the past.
Tommy Fleetwood ($6,300) – Fleetwood was a player I liked last week due to his low price tag, but he really faltered. I still don’t mind taking a shot on Fleetwood again this week though as he’s a high quality player going through a rough patch, and eventually he’ll start posting nice results again. The other nice thing about Fleetwood this week is that he’s somewhat of a links specialist who has some great results at the Alfred Dunhill Links event and this week’s tournament as well (including a T17 on this course from back in 2013). He’s maybe more suited to GPPs because of his erratic play, but there’s no doubting the fact that you’re getting great upside at a very low price with him in this event.
Eddie Pepperell ($6,300) – Pepperell is another young English player who is currently struggling at the moment but who could easily pop back up this week with a strong start. Over his career, Pepperell has had a ton of strong finishes at some marquee events on the Euro Tour, although he’s still searching for his first win. Back in 2013, Pepperell was a strong 12th place at this event when it was played at Castle Stuart, and his ability on links courses definitely gives him an advantage this week.
Chris Paisley ($5,700) – Paisley’s my last selection this week. At $5,700, you’re getting a player in decent form who is now coming off three of four made cuts in some pretty tough events. I also like the fact that he has experience playing this course and finished 31st here back in 2013. At $5,700, he’s a nice stars and scrubs candidate, and his recent play is definitely a lot better than many of the other players at his salary level this week.
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is wavegoodbye) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above.