This article is part of our FanDuel PGA series.
British Open – Carnoustie, Angus, Scotland
Carnoustie Golf Links (7,402 yards, par 71)
$1,890,000 and 600 FedEx Cup points to the winner
Carnoustie is known more for the carnage it causes than the champions it crowns. Whether you call it "The Beast", "Monster" or "Carnasty", this week's British Open venue is regarded as one the toughest link course in Scotland – even more so when the wind blows. Any mention of the name Carnoustie reminds many of Jean Van de Velde, who collapsed on the 72nd hole with a triple bogey to eventually lose a three-man playoff in 1999. Only 33 players in the 156-man field have played an Open at Carnoustie, most of them playing in the latest installment in 2007. With a dry spell in Scotland this year, the course is expected to play firm, so players will likely hit plenty of long irons off the tee to control ball flight and get plenty of runout. Expect a higher winning score in a grind-it-out event that feels like a survival challenge above all else.
Recent Past Champions
2017 – Jordan Spieth (Royal Birkdale)
2016 – Henrik Stenson (Royal Troon)
2015 – Zach Johnson (St. Andrews)
2014 – Rory McIlroy (Royal Liverpool)
2013 – Phil Mickelson (Muirfield)
2012 – Ernie Els (Royal Lytham & St. Annes)
2011 – Darren Clarke (Royal St. Georges)
2010 – Louis Oosthuizen (St. Andrews)
2009 – Stewart Cink (Turnberry)
2008 – Padraig Harrington (Royal Birkdale)
Key Stats to Victory
• Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green
• World Ranking
Though no strokes gained data are available for the British Open, it's clear that ballstriking is very important to success. As always, wind serves as the major X-factor since the greens must run slower to remain playable in such conditions. Carnoustie is known to cause plenty of carnage with its winding burns and history of major collapses. In fact, only one player – Ben Hogan – has held onto a 54-hole lead to win at Carnoustie. Given the warm, dry spell Scotland has encountered this year, expect a firm, bouncy course that could become brutal if winds pick up. Focus on players with strong Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green stats and high world rankings to give yourself the best chance for success.
FanDuel Value Picks
Dustin Johnson, $12500 – DJ has not teed it up since notching a third-place finish at the U.S. Open, but he enters in great form with top-10s his last three events, including a dominating victory at the St. Jude Classic prior to the U.S. Open. Johnson has earned five top-15 finishes at the British Open and made eight of nine cuts, making him an incredibly safe option to thrive at Carnoustie.
Rory McIlroy, $11500 – Rory has been an British Open staple since he notched his first top-5 in 2010 at St. Andrews. Since then, he's posted three additional top-5 finishes and missed the cut just once in nine career starts. There's nothing to suggest he'll be anything but solid this week, so expect him to produce a top-25 with upside for victory.
Rickie Fowler, $11400 – Off a good week at the Scottish Open, Fowler is primed to contend for his first major this week. Having collected a pair of top-5 finishes in eight British Open stats, Fowler's great all-around game is well suited for this event. It's only a matter of time before he breaks through for his first major, so why not this week?
Jordan Spieth, $11100 – Putting woes or not, Spieth is the defending champion at the British Open. He's made all five career cuts at this event, twice finishing inside the top-5. This year will be Spieth's first look at Carnoustie in competition, but his ability to remain patient and think his way around the course will be a huge asset. I can certainly see why some might steer clear from him, but he remains an elite talent who can compete in any major.
Longer Shots Worth a Risk
Sergio Garcia, $10100 – Sergio encountered a heart-breaking playoff loss in 2007 at Carnoustie to Padraig Harrington, but that should provide motivation for him to get back into contention and perhaps clear the hurdle this time. Now with a major championship under his belt (2017 Masters), Sergio should enter with confidence. He's arguably the most consistent British Open player since Tom Watson having earned 10 top-10s in this event since 2001.
Alexander Noren, $9800 – Noren has notched a pair of top-10s at the British Open in his last four starts at this event. His strong tee-to-green ability combined with his experience make him an intriguing option this week. He won the HNA Open de France just two weeks ago, so he's riding plenty of momentum coming in.
Russell Knox, $9000 – Knox is arguably the hottest player in golf right now, with a win at the Irish Open two weeks ago and runner-up at the HNA Open de France the week before. His British Open record is very limited with just three starts and two missed cuts, but his unbelievable form right now can easily trump a spotty event record.
Tyrell Hatton, $8900 – The 26-year-old has not fared well in British Opens with five missed cuts and a top-5 finish in six career starts. However, he did win the 2016 and 2017 Alfred Dunhill Links Championships that rotate to Carnoustie for one round, meaning he's clearly comfortable with the course. At just $8900, he might turn out to be an underrated player this week.
Strategy Tips for this week (based on 60k standard salary cap)
It's likely only the best players in the world will have a chance for victory as such a tough course, so focus on including as many elite players as you can to improve your chances this week. This lends itself to a studs and duds strategy with four elite options combined with two lower salary options.