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Xander Schauffele is Ready for His First Major Victory: The Open Championship Plays and Pivots on Yahoo!

We’re heading to Royal Portrush this week for the 148th Open Championship. The course itself is one of the most visually striking courses you’re likely to ever see. It’s a links-style par-71 course in Northern Ireland that plays a touch over 7,340 yards, and has been around since 1888. There are 60-plus bunkers that the golfers will face as they make their way around the track. The greens will seemingly run a bit slow – around 10.5 on the stimp. The size of the greens and the undulations will bring plenty of three-putts into play this week, as well.

Vegas Values

Tommy Fleetwood ($37) is underpriced over on Yahoo! this week. He’s priced at 28/1 at most books but is surrounded by a bunch of golfers in the 40/1 – 60/1 range. Fleetwood hit a bit of a lull at the PGA Championship and US Open but seems like he’s gearing up for a run this week. Since the US Open, he’s made two starts. He’s finished in the top 25 in both, carding seven rounds in the 60s. Fleetwood is averaging 75% of his GIR hit during that span. 

Another golfer that is priced a bit low relative to their odds is Shane Lowry ($24). In a sea of triple-digit odds, Lowry stands above the rest in this range at 55/1. Lowry is coming into his second start after a few weeks off and played reasonably well last week. His short game wasn’t too sharp, as he saved par at less than a 60% clip this past week. Fan-favorite Eddie Pepperell ($24) has some value as well as he’s only 80/1. He finished in fourth place at the Irish Open two weeks ago but struggled to score last week, finishing 43rd. All eight of those rounds finished in the 60s as he hit 55 of 72 greens in regulation both weeks.

Price Pivots

Rory McIlroy ($49) is tied for the highest salary on the slate with Dustin Johnson ($49).Rory has some familiar names on his pivot list including Patrick Cantlay ($42) and Hideki Matsuyama ($36). Both are great options, but if you’re looking for a deep discount, Erik Van Rooyen ($20) is all the way down at min price but has nearly a 90 Sim Score to McIlroy. EVR is coming off of a 14th-place finish at the Scottish Open last week. It could’ve been even better if not for a shaky 72 on Sunday. He hit over 80% of his greens in regulation.

Brooks Koepka ($48) has been decent in majors lately but he’s struggled in regular events. Sungjae Im ($25) has been on a tear lately. Over his past five events, he’s finished 15 of his 20 rounds in the 60s. Im has really hit his stride from a ball-striking perspective over his last three events. He’s outperforming his career averages in every statistical category during that stretch.

Some guy named Tiger Woods ($45) is in the field and has the fourth-highest salary on the slate. Xander Schauffele ($40) is the closest comp in the field to Tiger. We’ve seen Schauffele show up in big fields, almost in a Koepka-like way – just without the breakthrough victories. He’s right in line with Woods with ball-striking and has actually been putting a bit better than Woods over their past three events. 

Image Credit: Adam Lacy/Icon Sportswire. Pictured: Xander Schauffele.

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