Each week, “Chalk…or not?” looks at exclusive Tour Level Data and past trends to create a model that projects DraftKings ownership. The golfers with our highest projected ownership percentages and some other potentially low-owned golfers are then analyzed for you to give you a true ownership edge on the competition.
Jordan Spieth ($11,600, 23.5 percent projected ownership): He’s Tour Level’s guy this week, so I won’t deviate from that. Plus, he’s a perfect four for four at The Open, and he’s playing really good golf recently with a runner-up and a win in two of his last four events. I fully expect Jordan to improve upon his disappointing 35th-place finish at his last major — the U.S. Open in June.
Hideki Matsuyama ($9,500, 19.6 percent ownership): I’m not sure if his ownership will get all the way up here or not, but he’s certainly trending in this direction. He was just under 19 percent at THE PLAYERS Championship in May and he finished second at the U.S. Open a few weeks after that, so I’m expecting a bump. Hideki-bot comes in hot with a 14th-place finish at The Irish Open two weeks ago. He missed the cut at Royal Troon last year, but prior to that, had ripped off three straight made cuts at the Open with a T18, and T6 finish included in that run.
Rickie Fowler ($9,200, 36.8 percent projected ownership): I think Rickie is the most likely person to win The Open, it’s only his potentially gargantuan ownership that is scaring me off. That said, I won’t fully fade him — he has a GREAT chance to win — but I will be reluctantly underweight. Chalkie Fowler arrives at Royal Birkdale with three straight top-10 finishes, including a fifth-place finish at the U.S. Open, and a T9 at last week’s Scottish Open. He’s having an epic season, and I could easily imagine him being announced as “The Champion Golfer of the Year” on Sunday.
Sergio Garcia ($10,600, 27.1 percent ownership): Sergio has shown no ill effects from a Masters’ hangover, as he has made five straight cuts — all top-30 finishes — and finished second at the BMW International Open. Garcia also has an insane record at The Open: He has finished 10th or better in 10 of his last 16 starts at this event. Like Fowler, his potential ownership is the only reason I’m not all in.
Adam Scott ($8,500, 20.9 percent ownership): Scott, like Sergio, has been incredibly steady at The Open: He’s made 12 of his last 13 cuts at the event, and has compiled five top-10s in that stretch. Scott’s best finish this season is a sixth-place finish at THE PLAYERS Championship, but he’s finished 31st or worse in four of his last six starts. If he were in better form, I’d be all-in, but based on his mediocre form, I will use Adam more cautiously.
Matt Kuchar ($7,200, 24.7 percent projected ownership): Kuchar was owned right around 22 percent at the U.S. Open, and he’s now priced $200 less for The Open, so I’m projecting his ownership to see a bump. Plus, he’s an american, so all the non-regular-DFS-dudes hopping on DK for the weekend to play a major are much more likely to click on the name of a player they actually know. Kuchar makes a great cash game play (as always), but I’d prefer to find a lessar-owned player in this salary tier, and attempt to wipe out a quarter of the field with a mis-step from Kuuuuuuuuuch in GPPs.
Hump’s Hacks From The Deep Rough
Allow me to introduce you to Mark Foster, a two-time English amateur champion, who is making his return to The Open for the first time since 2007 at Carnoustie, where he finished 35th. Foster has played in the tournament three times, and has made the cut in all three events. After qualifying in a 36-hole competition Foster said, ““I played fantastic and can’t wait to get to Birkdale. Once you get to my age, you start to wonder if you are going to get another chance.” I believe the soon-to-be 42-year old Foster parlays this chance into a solid top-25 finish this week.
Hump also likes a player discussed in The Winning Element — Soren Kjeldsen is a little dude that could make some big noise this week. He fits the profile of recent Open winners: He’s close to 40, and coming off a strong showing at the Scottish Open.