This article is part of our Yahoo DFS Golf series.
Sandwich, Kent, England
Royal St. George's Golf Club - Par 70 - 7,189 yards
Field - 156 entrants
Purse - $11.5M
Entertaining playoffs at the Travelers Championship, Rocket Mortgage Classic and abrdn Scottish Open have kept golf fans occupied on Sunday afternoons since Jon Rahm's win at the U.S. Open, but the year's final major delivers an extraordinary buzz with that recognizable yellow leaderboard primed for us to monitor throughout overnight tee times. Meanwhile, entrants at Royal St. George's will be tested by unfamiliar links-style undulations on a par-70 layout unlike anything typically seen on the PGA Tour's stateside schedule. Although weather conditions are expected to remain tame by Open Championship standards, wind gusts should be severe enough to alter ball-flight strategies on certain holes as players enjoy using their imaginations over the next four days.
2020 - None
2019 - Shane Lowry
2018 - Francesco Molinari (Carnoustie)
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. George's)
Key Stats to Victory
Par-4: 400-450 efficiency
Proximity: 75-150 yards
Yahoo Value Picks
Based on $200 salary cap
Cream of the Crop
Jordan Spieth - $42
Spieth's 2021 resurgence in form combines with overall course fit to make him a favorite this week at Royal St. George's, where quality approach play and creativity around the greens are especially rewarded. Throughout his past 24 rounds, Spieth is second in Par-4: 400-450 efficiency, fifth in proximity from 75-100 yards, seventh in Opportunities Gained and 11th in SG: Approach. He's also gained strokes around the green in 14 of his last 15 measured starts dating to October's CJ Cup. Spieth's last major victory came at the 2017 Open Championship and he's finally a legitimate threat to return to the winner's circle on this stage again.
Brooks Koepka - $41
Coming off back-to-back top-5s at the U.S. Open and Travelers Championship, Koepka is back where he belongs inside the top-10 of the Official World Golf Ranking after missing five cuts through his first nine starts of the calendar year. Koepka is obviously well known by now for adding focus and kicking it into another gear at majors, tallying three top-10s in his last four Open Championship appearances. He ranks third in Prox: 125-150 yards, sixth in SG: Off-the-Tee and 10th in SG: Approach over his last 24 rounds.
Rory McIlroy - $40
After placing T7 at the U.S. Open, McIlroy had a fairly disappointing return to Europe where he posted results of T59-MC in his two most recent showings at the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open and abrdn Scottish Open. However, he relayed earlier this week that he's figured something out with his swing during his Royal St. George's prep. McIlroy is second in Prox: 100-125, fifth in SG: Approach and 12th in Prox: 125-150 yards over his last 24 rounds, but he needs that confidence and a positive mindset if he's going to claim his first major championship since 2014. Nonetheless, he provides quite a bit of value at just $40 given someone like Harris English is somehow going to cost you $1 more.
Louis Oosthuizen - $36
He'll likely be extremely popular at $36 considering the discount compared to his betting odds and general pricing on other DFS sites, but it's tough to fade the chalk when he's pacing the entire PGA Tour in SG: Putting while also ranking 10th in SG: Around-the-Green. Additionally, he's 18th in SG: Approach and 15th in proximity from 125-150 yards over his last 24 rounds. Oosthuizen, who won the 2010 Open Championship at St. Andrews, infamously owns six runner-up finishes in majors, most recently placing solo second at the 2021 U.S. Open where he gained seven strokes from tee to green and 7.1 with the flat stick.
Sam Burns - $34
The 24-year-old Open Championship debutant has gained strokes around the green in five of his last six measured starts, and he also just notched a top-20 finish in his maiden abrdn Scottish Open appearance. Burns has already racked up nine top-25s and six top-10s on the PGA Tour this season, ranking second in birdie average, 20th in SG: Approach, 29th in SG: Putting and 32nd in proximity among his peers. On paper, Burns' game should translate well enough to combat the inexperience.
Jason Kokrak - $33
Enjoying what has become by far the best season of his career, Kokrak's two wins during the 2020-21 campaign have propelled him to ninth in the FedEx Cup standings ahead of the Open where he's never finished better than T32. This time around, however, he's fourth in Opportunities Gained, 13th in SG: Approach, 14th in Par-3: 225-plus efficiency and 19th in SG: OTT over his last 24 rounds. On the season, Kokrak resides eighth in birdie average, 28th in GIR percentage and an elite fourth in SG: Putting.
Stewart Cink - $28
A 42-year-old Darren Clarke hoisted the Claret Jug when Royal St. George's GC last hosted the Open back in 2011, and it wouldn't be all that surprising to see another veteran in his forties excel this week given the way Cink has been playing since winning the Safeway Open last September. Cink, who ranks seventh on the PGA Tour in GIR percentage at 48 years old, joins the aforementioned Kokrak among the crew of just five total players to have won twice this season. Reducing the sample size to his most recent 24 rounds, Cink is seventh in SG: APP, eighth in P4: 400-450 scoring, ninth in Opportunities Gained and 10th in proximity from 75-100 yards.
Keegan Bradley - $26
Bradley is a nightmare with the putter from 4-8 feet, but his overall short game has improved to the point that he's managed to gain 1.3 or more strokes around the green in eight of 10 measured starts dating to the Arnold Palmer Invitational. But the ball striking is obviously why we'd be inclined to roster him at $26, and Bradley ranks fourth in Prox: 100-125, eighth in SG: Approach, 10th in Opportunities Gained and 25th in SG: OTT over his past 24 rounds. He's also placed T19 or better in three of seven career trips to the Open.
Branden Grace - $22
Prior to his T54 at the abrdn Scottish Open last week, Grace gained a combined 11.6 strokes with his irons in eight rounds on the way to finishes of 4-T7 at the Memorial Tournament and the U.S. Open. The South African's short game has also impressed as of late, gaining a total of 13.6 strokes around the green and 7.1 strokes putting throughout his past three measured tourneys. Grace's Open Championship resume includes 8 of 9 cuts made and a T6 in 2017 at Royal Birkdale.