THE OVERVIEW

The European Tour turns its sights from a dominate win at last week's Ryder Cup to the east coast of Scotland and The Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, which is played over three courses: The Old Course at St. Andrews, Kingbarnes Golf Links, and Carnoustie.

The Old Course at St. Andrew’s – The Home of Golf. The Old Course is not as long as most tour stops, but it remains challenging all the same. Rewards long accurate driving and solid putting.

Kingsbarnes – By far the longest of the three courses, Kingbarnes features big rolling fairways and tricky greens. The length here shouldn’t be an issue for players although players with above average accuracy stats with their longer irons should be favored.

Carnoustie – Often touted as among the most difficult golf courses in the world, Carnoustie poses a serious challenge to even the world’s best golfers. The OB encroaches on a number of holes, the gorse is a no man’s land. The Barry Burn winds back and forth, and some of the bunkers are hellish (not to mention the military firing range just next door). Players scoring well here will have high fairway accuracy and strokes gained approach.

The event is formatted for each player to play each course once followed by a top-60 cut after the third round. The final round will be played on St. Andrews. St. Andrews will play as a 7,318-yard, par 72. Kingbarnes will play as a 7,227-yard, par 72. And, Carnoustie will play as a 7,394-yard, par 72. However, none of the courses will be set up too difficult because it is a pro-am event, and the pros will go low. Last year Tommy Fleetwood shot 63 at Carnoustie.

Tyrrell Hatton has won this event two years in a row. He was also pretty fire last week at the Ryder Cup. So you can either choose to ride his super hot current and course form, or take the perspective that he might be a little fatigued after the emotionally-charged week. I think I’m going to fade him just because I don’t like the 14:1 number. Not in this field. Speaking of which...

The field this year is STACKED with Brooks Koepka and Tony Finau sticking around in Europe after their Ryder Cup shellacking. Yet, however badly the Americans were beaten last week, both Koepka and Finau are among the favorites here this week. Brooks has a pretty good history for this event as well. He finished T2 behind Thorbjorn Olesen the last time he played here in 2015.   

When selecting players this week, I’m going to be looking at current form, freshness (which may lead me away from some of the Ryder Cup holdovers), and course history / links prowess. Not a lot by way of stats this week.

 

PAST WINNERS

2017  -24   Tyrrell Hatton   (Runner Up:    -21   Ross Fisher)

2016  -23   Tyrrell Hatton    (Runners Up:    -19   Ross Fisher, Richard Sterne)

2015  -18   Thorbjorn Olesen   (Runners Up:    -16   Brooks Koepka, Chris Stroud)

2014  -17   Oliver Wilson   (Runners Up:    -16   Tommy Fleetwood, Rory McIlroy, Richie Ramsay)

 

BETTING ODDS   (Bovada 10/1/2018)

Brooks Koepka  +900

Tommy Fleetwood  +1200

Tony Finau  +1400

Tyrrell Hatton  +1600

Matthew Fitzpatrick  +2000

Shane Lowry  +2000

Chris Wood  +2200

Eddie Pepperell  +2500

Thorbjorn Olesen  +2500

Branden Grace  +3300

Andy Sullivan  +4000

Lucas Bjerregaard  +4000

Matt Kuchar  +4000

Ross Fisher  +4000

Thomas Pieters  +4000

Erik Van Rooyen  +5000

Matt Wallace  +5000

Tom Lewis  +5000

Alexander Levy  +6600

Brandon Stone  +6600

George Coetzee  +6600

Hao Tong Li  +6600

Jordan Smith  +6600

Lucas Herbert  +6600

Martin Kaymer  +6600

Matthew Southgate  +6600

Padraig Harrington  +6600

Richard Sterne  +6600

Ryan Fox  +6600

Soren Kjeldsen  +6600

Thomas Detry  +6600

 

HOT PLAYERS

Tyrrell Hatton

Tommy Fleetwood

Tom Lewis

Eddie Pepperell

 

HORSES FOR THE COURSE

Tyrrell Hatton

Ross Fisher

Thorbjorn Olesen

Tommy Fleetwood

Joakim Lagergren

 

LONGER SHOTS

Andrea Pavan  +8000

Graeme McDowell  +8000

Paul Dunne  +8000

Robert Rock  +8000

Alexander Bjork  +10000

Bradley Dredge  +10000

Doug Ghim  +10000

Haydn Porteous  +10000

Hideto Tanihara  +10000

Joakim Lagergren  +8000

Marc Warren  +10000

Marcus Kinhult  +10000

Nicolas Colsaerts  +10000

Stephen Gallacher  +10000

Pablo Larrazabal  +12500

Adrian Otaegui  +12500

Ashley Chesters  +12500

Benjamin Hebert  +12500

David Horsey  +12500

Jason Scrivener  +12500

Jeunghun Wang  +12500

Jorge Campillo  +12500

Nacho Elvira  +12500

Scott Jamieson  +12500

Callum Shinkwin  +15000

Chris Paisley  +15000

Lee Slattery  +15000

Matthias Schwab  +15000

Phachara Khongwatmai  +15000

Richie Ramsay  +15000

Sam Horsfield  +15000

Connor Syme  +25000

Christiaan Bezhuidenhout  +25000

 

FAITHFULS

Tommy Fleetwood

Tyrrell Hatton

Shane Lowry

Thorbjorn Olesen

Branden Grace

 

GOLF PICKS

THE 'FORE' SOMES

'FORE' SOMES are chosen by selecting one player from a "low tier" betting pool (30:1 or better), two players from a "mid tier" (30:1 - 75:1), and a final player from a "high tier" (75:1 & up).  

KEITH'S 'FORE' SOME 

Chris Wood  (25:1).  I got my short list down to three names in this range that are probably the last three names almost everyone else would pick. Hahahaaha. However, I trust my gut telling me that the Ryder Cup sucked enough energy to keep those players from actually pulling out a win this week. So, that makes for four easy fades at the top.

I got my short list down to Lowry, Wood, and Pepperell. And I’m going with Wood. Pepperell has outstanding form of late, and Lowry flashed at the Portugal Masters...but Chris Wood has been on the verge of a win recently after narrowly finishing T2 at the KLM Open a few weeks ago. Wood also plays well in this event and embraces the format. T4 in 2015. T9 in 2014. The 30-year-old Englishman is big, strong, in his element on these courses, and has the talent to pull out the win here. So I am taking him at 25:1.

Thomas Pieters  (33:1)  &  Matt Wallace  (40:1).  I’m taking a couple of current form beasts in this mid range. Not a lot to say here, except that both Pieters and Wallace are both having awesome years so far.

For Pieters, it’s a bit of growing into the kind of dominant pro that many expected he would be and for Wallace it’s just staggering how many wins he’s been able to tally this season. Wallace won the Hero Indian Open, won the BMW International Open, won the Made in Denmark, and got an ace at the PGA Championship. It doesn’t get any better than that.

I like Pieters’ poise. Although he doesn’t have a lot of history in this event, the stronger field won’t intimidate him at all. I like Wallace’s current heat and the fact that he’s British.

There are other names to like here. Ross Fisher has an excellent history in this event. But for me his recent form isn’t quite good enough. Erik Van Rooyen had a fabulous run in the open season at a few good links courses and Tom Lewis is as hot as anyone. It was hard to fade both of those players. Either one would be a solid pick this week, too. But give me Pieters and Wallace.

Brandon Stone  (80:1).  This is the hardest range this week. There are a ton of great names up here and a few I will be placing top 10 wagers on. However, the name that jumped out at me the biggest and brightest was Brandon Stone. His win at the Scottish Open back in mid-July was so fire. He left that entire field behind. The 25-year-old South African has the game and the cojones to take this one. It’s a long shot, but there’s not a name in this range that I like more.

 

Some of the other names to consider in this range: Alexander Levy, Jordan Smith, Matthew Southgate, and Joakim Lagergren, all at 80:1.

 

 

Listen to this week’s podcast to hear the team’s thoughts on the event and tweet us @fantasygolfww or #fgww.

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