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The Open: Fantasy Expert Picks

Rory seems to be overlooked as a contender to win the Open

Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports

What: The Open
When: July 20th -€” 23rd
Where: Royal Birkdale Golf
2016 Winner: Henrik Stenson (-20)
Purse: $10.25MM (Winner - $1.8MM)

Course: Royal Birkdale Golf. Ahh the Links courses. Established in 1889, Royal Birkdale Golf runs in Southport England right along the Irish Sea,  The course, designed by Frederick Hawtree and J.H. Taylor is a par 70 stretching 7,170 yards. The course features rolling hills, deep bunkers and a stadium effect making observation a breeze. The roughs and out of bounds can be dangerous and calculated placement will be crucial for success.

A Golfer.
Rory McIlroy. Somehow he seems to be forgotten in the fray and excitement despite the fact that he is ranked 4th in the Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR). He has missed the cut in 3 of his last 4 tournaments but amidst his last 10 tournaments (and the 3 missed cuts) he also has a 17th place finish (Travelers Championship), 35th place finish (The PLAYERS Championship), 7th place finish (Masters), 30th place finish (WGC Dell Techonologies Match Play), 4th place finish (Arnold Palmer Invitational), 7th place finish (WGC Mexico Championship) and 2nd place (BMW SA Open).

B Golfers:
Phil Mickelson. The Open encourages creativity which is perfect for Phil and a large reason why he has a win and two top ten finishes across his last 5 appearances. Add in his hunger to prove something after missing the US Open and I think this is going to be a time for him to shine. His last 5 tournaments this year: 20th, 9th, 22nd, 29th and 41st.

Francisco Molinari.  4th on the tour in strokes gained tee to green. He's made the cut the last 5 Open matches and prior to missing the cut at the US Open he had 4 straight top 25 finishes inclusive of 7 in the last 10 tournaments.

C Golfer.
Jon Rahm. After back to back missed cuts at the Memorial Tournamnet and the US Open, Jon went abroad to get his game back with an 11th place finish at the HNA Open de France and a win at the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open. I think he has a good chance at a top 5 finish at the Open.

Dark Horse:
Zach Johnson. Accurate drives and fairways shots are always a cornerstone for success at the Open, perhaps that's why Zach Johnson has 3 top ten finishes in his last 5 appearances. 11th in driving accuracy and always a strong irons player.

Current Stats on picks so far this season:
A Golfers: Avg finish 50th (36th percentile)
B Golfers: Avg finish: 50th (36th percentile)
C Golfers: Avg finish: 53rd (39th percentile)
Sleepers: Avg finish 50th (37th percentile)
2017 average 136 golfers per tournament.