July 18, 2013; Gullane, United Kingdom; Hideki Matsuyama hits his tee shot at the 6th hole during the first round of the 2013 The Open Championship at Muirfield Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: Paul Cunningham-USA TODAY Sports
$8,900 to $8,000
I wouldn’t be surprised to see a couple of golfers in this price range be in the top five in terms of ownership. We’ll start off with Hideki Matusyama ($8,500) as he is vastly underpriced again.
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Before the salaries were revealed I had jotted down what I thought the prices might be. For the most part, they were pretty much right on the money. But, for Matsuyama I was off.
I had Matusyama penciled in at $9,300, which seemed fair to me. I couldn’t see him much cheaper than that, but low and behold, DraftKings has him at $8,500. What a steal!
Matsuyama is probably going to be one of the most owned golfers again, if not thee most owned golfer. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him around 30%. Which he ought to be because you are getting a premier golfer at the very cheap price of $8,500.
I originally thought Brandt Snedeker ($8,300) would be a sneaky under-the-radar pick, but with how he has played of late and with his price, I think some folks will target him. As they should.
Snedeker is playing decently and he has mentioned how he is figuring out the links-style of golf. The T-58 from last year doesn’t exactly exude confidence, but he likes the kind of game and putting surfaces across the Atlantic.
So, long as he doesn’t get paired with slow golfers like Kevin Na and/or Tiger Woods then Sneds should be a fine pick.
Speaking of Tiger Woods ($8,600), he played well at the Greenbrier Classic. From a selfish standpoint I was encouraged by that because now we could potentially see his ownership jump up over 10%.
Now, this isn’t like the U.S. Open where I said something along the lines of his chances of winning were slim to none and slim just left town. This isn’t the case here.
I won’t say he’s a favorite, obviously not, but he could be a spoiler. If he were a thousand dollars less I would consider taking a flyer on him.
At this price, he is way too risky, but he has won at St. Andrews, he knows the course and it fits his game. Wide open spaces, wide fairways, in that regard it is like the Greenbrier. I won’t have any Woods exposure, he’s way too expensive, but I will say that he is interesting.
Instead of taking Woods at 86 I could pivot down and take someone more reliable, like Brooks Koepka ($8,200). Koepka has a better chance of making the cut and competing come the weekend and is $400 dollars less.
Koepka started his career on the European Tour just to get himself ready for Open Championships. That work hasn’t really paid off yet as he is one-for-two in Open Championships and he finished T-67 last year.
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However, Koepka is improving as a golfer and is only getting better. Koepka was injured at The Masters and still finished T-33 in his debut.
At the U.S. Open, Koepka finished T-18 without making a putt…figuratively speaking, of course. At The Open, I’m anticipating at least a T-25 finish from Koepka. He will be in quite a few of my lineups.
Shane Lowry ($8,100) might not be a sexy pick because he’s Shane Lowry, but, I wouldn’t advise sleeping on him. Lowry hasn’t missed a cut at The Open in three tries. Plus, he finished T-9 at last year’s Open and at the U.S. Open this year he finished T-9.
Throw in the fact that Lowry is in great form of late making the cut his last four starts including a T-6 at the BMW PGA Championship, and T-29 at the BMW International Open.
On the flip side, Branden Grace ($8,100) will definitely have more ownership than Lowry. Grace burst on the scene at the U.S. Open for American television audience’s and will have his fair share of plays.
As he should, Grace hasn’t missed a cut at The Open in four tries. However, his best finish is just a T-36 from last year.
The bar is getting ready to close and this is the last call for Lee Westwood ($8,000) at winning a major. He came close at winning The Open in 2009 and 2013, but it just hasn’t happened.
The good news is that Westwood is playing better this year, he made the cut at the Chambers Bay which didn’t suit his game. So, who knows? Coming back to St. Andrews where he finished 2nd in 2010 might be just the thing Westwood needs.
Jimmy Walker ($8,000) and Martin Kaymer ($8,900) are just ‘meh’ this year. I wouldn’t expect anybody to be on Kaymer. He is struggling this year and has struggled at Opens in the past.
Walker has just been ho-hum. He has the game to play well at St. Andrews with that high, long shot he has, but he just hasn’t put it together this year.
One golfer who I almost missed talking about is Patrick Reed ($8,600). He’s in between the likes of Woods, Matsuyama, Snedeker, and Koepka so his name just didn’t pop out to me right away.
Reed missed the cut last year, but with how he performed at The Ryder Cup last year I’m not worried about that. Plus, Reed is a better golfer than what he was last year. Reed is more consistent and way better off the tee and with the putter.
Reed is 34th in Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green and 18th in Strokes Gained: Putting. Last year, Reed was 93rd in Tee-to-Green, and 51st in Putting. Reed should be another fine pick.
With all that said, there are a number of golfers I like, but as you might have guess I’m taking Matsuyama. I don’t like taking chalk, but he’s just too good to pass up at that salary.
Next: $7,900-$7,000: Potential Spoilers