THE OVERVIEW

Carnoustie Golf Links, Carnoustie, Angus, Scotland - Both tours converge on Carnoustie, Scotland this week where open golf is always legendary. Carnoustie Golf Links has been given the nickname The Beast and is also often referred to as Carnasty. It is known as being one of the most difficult courses for majors golf in the entire world. The fairways get super tight in areas, OB creeps in very close on a number of holes, there is gorse that you can lose your children in, tall-walled pot bunkers, visual illusions, often wind and rain, and the seaside burn that winds back and forth throughout.

It is a serious test of championship golf that has crowned some of the game's very best as champion. Tommy Armour won here in 1931, Henry Cotton in 1937, Ben Hogan in 1953, Gary Player in 1968, Tom Watson in 1975, Paul Lawrie in that epic 1999 tournament, and Padraig Harrington in 2007.

This week the course will be playing as a 7,402-yard, par 71. Reports say that recent weather has the course playing hard and fast and there is some debate as to whether or not players will be able to bomb and gouge here this week. The general consensus is that most players will be keeping their drivers in the bag and will still be able to get their usual distance due to the hard rolling fairways. Rory McIlroy has said that does indeed intend to use his driver. Which ever strategy any given player goes with this week, it will be a true challenge to avoid all of the dangers while getting around this golf course.

There is no stats model for selecting players this week. We'll be looking at current form, championship pedigree, links prowess, perhaps some familiarity with Carnoustie (Fleetwood shot the course record here last fall), and mental toughness (Carnasty can wither the biggest men).

NOTE: There may also be something to say about veterans here this week. 7 of the last 10 Open winners have been aged 35 or above. 

No matter what happens, this week is set up to be a superb display of championship golf and will offer plenty of drama.

 

PAST WINNERS

2017  -12   Jordan Spieth  (Runner Up:   -9   Matt Kuchar)  @ Royal Birkdale

2016  -20   Henrik Stenson   (Runner Up:   -17   Phil Mickelson)  @ Royal Troon

2015  -15   Zach Johnson   (Runners Up, Playoff:   Marc Leishman, Louis Oosthuizen)   @ St, Andrews

2014  -17   Rory McIlroy  (Runners Up:   -15   Rickie Fowler, Sergio Garcia)   @ Royal Liverpool

 

BETTING ODDS   (Bovada 7/16/2018)

Dustin Johnson  +1200

Justin Rose  +1600

Rickie Fowler  +1600

Rory McIlroy  +1600

Jordan Spieth  +2000

Jon Rahm  +2000

Tommy Fleetwood  +2000

Justin Thomas  +2200

Brooks Koepka  +2200

Tiger Woods  +2200

Henrik Stenson  +2800

Sergio Garcia  +2800

Alex Noren  +3000

Francesco Molinari  +3300

Jason Day  +3300

Patrick Reed  +3500

Paul Casey  +4000

Tyrrell Hatton  +4000

Branden Grace  +4000

Marc Leishman  +4500

Hideki Matsuyama  +5000

Matthew Fitzpatrick  +6000

Ian Poulter  +6600

Phil Mickelson  +6600

Russell Knox  +6600

 

HOT PLAYERS

Francesco Molinari

Justin Rose

Russell Knox

Jon Rahm

Thorbjorn Olesen

 

 

HORSES FOR THE COURSE

No data since 2008.  

 

LONGER SHOTS

Thomas Pieters  +7500

Bubba Watson  +8000

Louis Oosthuizen  +8000

Matt Kuchar  +8000

Tony Finau  +10000

Zach Johnson  +10000

Thorbjorn Olesen  +10000

Luke List  +12500

Bryson DeChambeau  +12500

Rafa Cabrera Bello  +12500

Adam Scott  +12500

Lee Westwood  +12500

Hao Tong Li  +12500

Ryan Fox  +12500

Webb Simpson  +12500

Matthew Southgate  +12500

Andy Sullivan  +15000

Brandt Snedeker  +15000

Chris Wood  +15000

Danny Willet  +15000

Paul Dunne  +15000

Shane Lowry  +15000

Xander Schauffele  +15000

Brandon Stone  +15000

Charley Hoffman  +15000

Eddie Pepperell  +17500

Kevin Na  +17500

Patrick Cantlay  +10000

Kiradech Aphibarnrat  +20000

Padraig Harrington  +20000

Dylan Frittelli  +20000

Ross Fisher  +20000

Cameron Smith  +20000

Beau Hossler  +25000

Jimmy Walker  +25000

Stewart Cink  +25000

Jens Dantorp  +40000

Sean Crocker  +50000

 

 

FAITHFULS

Justin Rose

Tommy Fleetwood

Sergio Garcia

Alex Noren

Francesco Molinari

 

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 

Tommy Fleetwood  (22:1).  No stats to reference. World class ball striking ability. Lots of links experience. Knowledgeable of the subtleties of Carnoustie, especially of the greens. Mature enough. Tough enough. At a great spot in his career for a win of this magnitude.    

Alex Noren  (30:1)  & Tyrrell Hatton  (40:1).  No stats. These two men possess as much if not more tenacity than any other two names you could choose in this range. Euro pedigrees. Both have wonderful links games and can thrive in cruel conditions. Both as competitive as any other player in the field. Noren currently ranked 11th OWGR. Hatton 23rd in OWGR. Love both of these guys this week.     

Matthew Southgate  (125:1).  Again, no stats to reference here, just a warm, fuzzy feeling about the 29-year-old Englishman. In the last two Open Championships, Southgate finished T12 at Royal Troon in 2016 and T6 at Royal Birkdale in 2017. He is also enjoying a decent season on the Euro side this year, with finishes of T27 at the BMW PGA, a T23 at the Scottish Open last week, and a T5 at the Open de France. An experienced links golfer who should know how to approach a course like he will be faced with this week.  I also looked very closely at Hoffman 150 and Johnson 100 who both played well here in 2007, and Pepperell 175 and Dunne 150 (but feel they may just be a hair too young for a championship of this caliber).

 

**(differing odds come from Will Hill)

 

JOHN'S 'FORE' SOME 

Patrick Reed  35:1

Francesco Molinari  33:1

Paul Casey  40:1

Tony Finau  100:1

 

GAVIN'S 'FORE' SOME 

Justin Rose  16:1

Francesco Molinari  33:1

Tyrrell Hatton  40:1

Thorbjorn Olesen  100:1

 

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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