Long Shots at the Open Championship

Sleepers and Long Shots: Others Considered for Fantasy Draft and Value at the Open

He’re a list with brief analysis of long shots at the Open with some players providing more value in the betting market and for fantasy drafts. Odds to win courtesy of Golf Odds and the Westgate SuperBook in Las Vegas.

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Brandt Snedeker – Healthier from a hand injury and it’s showing for one of the Tour’s premier putters. Sneds contended in the U.S. Open with a top-10 finish and recall he finished T-3 for his best Open finish in 2012 and also has a top-15. He’s won on Tour and overseas in tough, windier conditions and is strong in key stat categories of strokes gained around the green and scrambling.

Charles Howell – Has not missed a cut in 2017 and can play well in the wind. Missed cut at Birkdale in 2008, but is presently playing well and leads the Tour in bogey avoidance.

Louis Oosthuizen – Still not given enough credit in the betting market despite being a past Open Champion (2010) who also finished T-2 at the 2015 Open. He has 13 professional wins, is a strong wet weather player, and current and consistent form shows the veteran has made every cut this year.

Paul Casey – Seven-straight top-30 finishes including a T-5 last time out at the Travelers. Casey held the lead through 54 holes at this year’s U.S. Open at Erin Hills before a sub-par weekend of 74, 75 to finished 26th. His Open record however has shown limited success in 14 appearances, but he did finish T3 in 2010.

Patrick Reed – Continued improved play and U.S. Ryder Cup member last two years, Reed is being offered at long odds despite solid stats and T12 in last year’s Open; his third appearance. Four-straight top-20 finishes entering the Open.

Kevin Kisner – Dropped from 125-1 to 30-1 at U.S. Open, and Kisner’s overall game is solid and a top scrambler. Won on Tour in May and has a pair of runner-up finishes this year, but  T76 is best finish in two Open appearances.

Matt Kuchar – Consistent and reliable, Kuchar has recorded top-10 finishes in all four Majors and recall he ranked top-5 in world in 2013-14. Finished T16 at this year’s U.S. Open at Erin Hills, and his form is solid throughout 2017. His best Open finish is T9 in 2012 in 12 total appearances.

Lee Westwood – A member of Europe’s last 10 Ryder Cup sides, the Englishman has been close on many occasions to winning his first Major. The Open is his most desired, and at home he’ll try to contend again in his 23rd Open appearance with a best finish of 2nd in 2010.

Gary Woodland – Overlay for big bomber who has solid tee-to-green game. Played very well earlier this year and recall he finished T12 at last year’s Open. Runner-up to McIlroy in 2015 WGC Match-Play Finals.

Ross Fisher – the Englishman is long odds despite strong play on the European Tour with top-10 finishes in the French Open, BMW PGA Championship and Volvo China Open.

Andy Sullivan – In two Open starts, he’s finished T-30 and T-12, and he’s in solid form having contended at the Scottish Open and finished top-20 in three of four previous starts.

Xander Schauffele – He opened some eyes as a huge long shot with a T-5 in the U.S. Open at Erin Hills. Winning the Greenbriar Classic for his first PGA Tour win is nothing compared to competing in your first Open championship. We’ll find out if Schauffele is up for the challenge, but he’s an up and comer on the right path.

Emiliano Grillo – Off the radar despite three top-30 finishes in last year’s Majors, including T-12 at the Open in his first start.

Marc Leishman – He’s show the ability to handle the vagaries of Open Championship golf well. Leishman lost in a 3-man playoff in the 2015 Open at St. Andrew’s to Louis Oosthuizen and winner Zach Johnson. He’ll tee it up at Birkdale in his 7th Open and the Victorian was also 6th at Royal Liverpool in 2014.

Ryan Fox – Aussie has finished top-6 in last three European Tour events, including Scottish Open last week. Long hitter with strong tee-to-green game and GIR. He T-49 in only Open appearance in 2015, but clearly better player now and greater than 225-1.

Ian Poulter – Englishman’s game coming around and was top-10 at Scottish Open. His iron play is still strong (6th on Tour in strokes gained: approach), and now he’s made 7-straight cuts. Poulter finished 2nd in 2008 Open at Birkdale.

Andrew Johnson – Englishman finished Top-10 in last year’s Open and solid top-20 last week in Scottish Open. ‘Beef’ will be popular this week, and his game is moving forward. Top-40 driving accuracy and capable putter.

Tony Finau – Big hitter in good form who finished top-20 in only Open appearance.

Other values in the market and drafts: Berger, Bryan, Hadwin, Henley, Howell, Lovemark, Na, Steele

Best wishes at the Open as you shoot for #birdies and a big long shot score!

Author: FairwayJay

FairwayJay is a leading national sports handicapper and is recognized as one of the sports industry's most insightful analysts. Follow him on Twitter: @FairwayJay