The best golfers in the world will all be in one place this week: Merseyside, England. This year the Open takes place at the Royal Liverpool Golf Club the last time a British Open took place at Royal Liverpool was back in 2006 when Tiger Woods won it in conditions that look to be different this year. In 2006, it was very dry. A driver wasn’t needed.
This year, the wind looks like it may play a big factor in round 1 while in round 2 we should get some rain. So, basically, a typical British Open. A nice, low, straight shot usually prevails here. Hit the fairways, avoid the bunkers, hit the greens, and of course, make the putts.
That’s the recipe of winning most tournaments, but that’s what’s needed at major championships. Going back in history when Woods won here in 2006, Woods hit 85% of fairways – which was first for the week – and Woods hit 80% of GIR which was second for the week.
With that said, here are my 2014 Open Championship fantasy sleeper picks. And I will say as one final note, there’s been a pretty big change in the fantasy game. DraftKings bought out DraftStreet, so, it makes it easier for me to just to go to the one site and find value picks instead of bouncing back between both sites. Anyway, we got that out of the way, let’s get to some of the golfers to keep an eye on.
Miguel Angel Jimenez: The most interesting golfer in the world is having a fantastic year and has typically played The British Open extremely well. Surprisingly enough, though, Jimenez is a very cheap pick up.
Jimenez has made the cut in the last five British Opens finishing, T-13, T-27, T-25, T-9, and last year T-13. And in 2006, when Royal Liverpool hosted The Open Championship, Jimenez was T-5 going into the weekend at -7. Jimenez struggled on the weekend and end up finishing T-41, but still, Jimenez made the cut and for two rounds showed he could win it seven years ago.
Jimenez is playing some fantastic golf, The British Open has produced older champions of late, maybe Jimenez can get that major under his belt. If he’s in contention come Sunday I think just about everybody will be rooting for the long haired, cigar smoking Spaniard.
Francesco Molinari: Francesco Molinari is the cheapest pick on here, meaning he has the most value as well, and it’s puzzling to me. Molinari may not be coming into The Open in the best of form – he missed the cut at the Scottish Open last week – but he’s still has had a very good season and he’s played well at the big tournaments this season.
At the WGC-Cadillac Championship, Molinari finished T-25, at The Masters he made the cut and finished 50th in his debut at Augusta, at the BMW PGA Championship he finished T-7, and at the U.S. Open he finished T-23.
Not only that, but he’s played well here at The British Open. Last year, Molinari finished T-9 and in 2012 he finished T-39 at The British Open. Molinari has had a tendency to step his game up when the spotlight is the brightest and I think he’ll step up once again.
Joost Luiten: Luiten has been in great form all season long, but has struggled of late with a MC at the U.S. Open, T-18 at the Open de France, and a T-51 at the Scottish Open. Nevertheless, Luiten is someone to consider. Luiten is a superb ball striker, very accurate from tee-to-green.
Luiten has only played in two British Open’s in his career, but he’s made the cut both times. In 2011, in his rookie year, Luiten finished T-63, and in 2012 he finished T-45. Experience maybe a problem, but, keep in mind that Luiten played in his first Masters and didn’t have too many problems there. The moment didn’t get to big for him in unknown territory.
Victor Dubuisson: Since the year started I’ve had my eyes set on taking Dubuisson at the U.S. Open and at The British Open. Dubuisson was on my team for The British Open and he didn’t disappoint. I just really like Dubuisson’s overall game. He bombs it a long way, he isn’t the straightest hitter, but he’s got a fantastic short game which was put on display at the WGC-Accenture Match Play.
Dubuisson lacks experience, but I’m not too worried about that. Dubuisson is the kind of golfer where the moment isn’t too big for him. Dubuisson just goes with the flow, doesn’t get too high and doesn’t get too low. Not only that, but he lacked experience at the U.S. Open and he had no trouble making the cut finishing T-28. And the thing about this year’s U.S. Open at Pinehurst No 2 is that it played a lot like a British Open.