5 Potential PGA TOUR Golf Sleeper Picks: 2022 British Open

Written By John Haslbauer on July 12, 2022
British Open picks

We’ve made it to the final major of the 2022 season already, and this one is shaping up to be as grand of a finale as we could have hoped. The storylines write themselves at the 150th Open Championship between Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy’s chase as the favorite, Xander Schauffele on a potentially historic heater, and the overall historic atmosphere that surrounds the Old Course. Beyond the big names, some unforeseen names will surely find themselves in the hunt, though. What longshot British Open picks could cash?

With all the world’s best in one place, it’s going to put an emphasis on identifying the right salary savers for DFS purposes. We would typically expect the cream to rise to the top in an event like this. While the win equity at Open Championships has proven to be tied up with the OWGR top-40, there’s still plenty of viable high placement options towards the bottom of the board.

Below we’ll look at potential British Open picks and dig in deep as we look for sleepers in this week’s golf oddsClick on the odds to bet now. 

FREE BRITISH OPEN CONTEST – MAKE PICKS TO WIN

Free Pick’Em Contests! Compete for prizes every day by entering our free betting games. MLB, UFC, golf and more!

COURSE INTRODUCTION

The Old Course at St. Andrews has no clear or explicit roadmap to follow that rewards any particular style of play. It represents a completely different test from anything a majority of this field faces on the PGA TOUR schedule. Any experience to links golf, whether good or bad, helps contenders this week.

Plenty have opined that modern distance-chasers could overpower this course. While that appears true on paper with conceivable eagle putts on eight or nine holes, a class short game to comfortably hit lengthy putts works wonders.

For a deeper dive into the course, read my British Open preview. Without any further delay, let’s get to our British Open picks with a focus on longshots and sleepers for your DFS lineups.

POTENTIAL SLEEPER BRITISH OPEN PICKS

From a golf betting perspective, I’m a bit wary to go all in on any top favorites this week. Links golf breeds randomness, whether from weather draws or unfavorable bounces throughout the fast undulations on the course. With that said, in a major championship, history has shown the ability to contend earlier in the same season as a pre-requisite for hoisting the Claret Jug. Players won’t stumble into form on these conditions. So, I’m building my card in the 25- to 60-to-1 odds range around proven winners who can handle the stakes.

For DFS, the majors tend to produce the most dramatic concentration of ownership. That stems from pricing released early, before the conclusion of the prior week’s event. Given all the randomness in links conditions, I’ll keep a close eye on ownership and any wave advantages more so than any other week of the year before locking in my lineups. With that said, all things equal, the below group stands out as the best potential values, with ownership not completely out of hand.

Below, find my favorite value leverage plays and longshots for the 2022 Open Championship. Stats pulled across Last 36 Rounds unless otherwise noted.

Sungjae Im (, $8,300)

I typically reserve the “sleeper” designation in this article to players in the $7K-or-below range on DraftKings. In the case of Sungjae Im, he may be priced in an upper tier. But the low projected ownership coupled with odds still available beyond 80-to-1 suggest the South Korean flies under the radar this week.

You can question Im’s form on the heels of back-to-back missed cuts at the U.S. Open and Scottish Open, which explain this price. But if we cast aside four mediocre rounds of golf, then his form over the last three months tells a much better story. He has four top-20 finishes, including top-10 finishes at the Masters and the Memorial. Whether you look back over Im’s last 5, 10, 20 or 100 rounds, he averages positive strokes gained across all the major categories (OTT, APP, ARG, and P). Exactly the profile you look for in a prospective major champion.

Im missed the cut in his only prior appearance at the Open back in his rookie season. But, I’m encouraged by his dominance on desert courses in the absence of a significant links sample. Im won earlier this season at the Shriners Open and has finished top 35 in each of his first seven career starts in desert conditions. His ability to flight the ball low and straight off the tee should position well in these conditions at St. Andrews, allowing him to lean on the strength of his short game to contend.

Webb Simpson (, $7,600)

The recent form checks out at this point for Webb Simpson. Despite a disappointing MC at the John Deere Classic, he still trends well with three top-20 finishes over his prior four starts. That puts me more at ease over any potential lingering injury concerns.

In calm conditions, Simpson will have his hands full contending with the ample eagle opportunities in store for the longer hitters. But if the script flips and we find ourselves in proper links conditions, Simpson will quickly make up for the distance discrepancy with his class short game. That pedigree and ability to flight low drives down these firm and fast fairways has led to top-30 finishes in each of his last three appearances at the Open. So, I don’t mind overlooking some inconsistent ball-striking form in the weeks leading into St. Andrews.

Looking at comp conditions for this week, Simpson profiles perfectly for the Old Course. He ranks top 20 in British Open History, Comp Course History, SG: TOT (High Winds) and SG: ARG (Tight lie conditions). Simpson won the 2018 PLAYERS Championship on the merit of his short game alone. If conditions are anything like what we saw at the Scottish Open, he can follow that same path to victory at very palatable odds.

Ryan Fox (, $7,100)

A clear mis-price here on DraftKings. One week removed from a T47 at the Scottish Open ($8,500), Fox now plummets down to $7,100. Had Fox continued his run of four top-three finishes over his prior six starts at the Scottish, we may have debated his value in the $9K range. From an outright perspective, Fox sits right in line with Sungjae Im’s odds. So a $1,200 price discount brings significant value.

Fox profiles as a bomber, which should suit him well on the six reachable par 4s at St. Andrews, especially if winds don’t disrupt.

Unlike some other options in the low-$7K range, Fox has plenty of experience under his belt at The Old Course. He played here at the 2015 Open Championship where he finished a respectable T49. He’s also made it through the cut in each of his last three trips to the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship — which plays two out of its four rounds on the Old Course — highlighted by a T27 in 2018. His history at the Open Championship is solid as well, making it through the cut in four out of five career appearances, including a T16 in 2019.

Statistically, 2022 has been the best season of Fox’s career by a distance. He averages +1.31 SG: TOT per round on the season. Over eight full professional seasons, Fox has only averaged positive total strokes per round once before, in 2018 (+0.39). Although his past links results don’t jump off the page, this remains an appealing price tag for a player who, without form, has displayed a solid T50 floor in links conditions. With projected DraftKings ownership still relegated in single digits, he’ll be a staple play this week.

Chris Kirk (, $6,800)

You’ll be hard pressed to find a golfer with more consistent form in the $6K range than Chris Kirk. While it’s difficult to picture him capturing his first victory since the 2015 Charles Schwab Challenge on this stage versus this field, he still holds plenty of placement appeal given his well-rounded tee-to-green game.

Kirk has been a model of consistency OTT, gaining strokes in all 20 events played in the 2022 season entering last week’s Scottish Open. He leans on his accuracy to gain on fields, as Kirk ranks No. 14 in Fairways Gained and No. 10 in Good Drives Gained. As Zach Johnson displayed in 2015, that precision can give a leg up at St. Andrews when pinpointing tee shots around fairway pot bunkers.

From a short-game perspective, Kirk ranks No. 1 in this field in SG: ARG, a great skillset to possess on a course that demands creativity and comfortability with an arsenal of different shots. And while the putter has kept him from contending more regularly, he ranks top 30 in both 3-Putt Avoidance and SG: P 25+ Ft. Two-putting from these massive greens rates as a premium skill for St. Andrews.

Kirk has limited links experience. However, he has one top-20 finish under his belt at the Open over three appearances. With four top-10 finishes over the last four months, including a T5 at the PGA Championship, I love the upside for Kirk’s price. I will have exposure in both DFS and placement markets.

Joohyung Kim (+15000, $6,500)

You may know him better as Tom Kim if you tuned in to the Scottish Open broadcast. Whatever you want to call him, it won’t be long before the 20 year old Asian Tour standout bursts onto everyone’s radar.

Kim has already picked up three wins over the last three years between the Korean and Japan Tours. He has proven early on that his success translates to the PGA TOUR as well. In 2021, he made it through the cut in four out of five PGA TOUR starts, including a T15 at the Puerto Rico Open. In the 2022 season, Kim has made another five starts on the PGA TOUR, and again made it through the cut in four. The results have gotten more impressive too. Over his last four starts, he’s recorded T17 at the AT&T Byron Nelson, T23 at the U.S. Open, and T3 at the Scottish Open.

It’s fair to say this sustained run is becoming more than just a heater. Comparing his stat profile to another TOUR pro’s at this early stage isn’t easy. But, he’s proven he won’t shy away from the big stage. I can’t say I expect him to win or contend come Sunday versus this loaded field. But, Kim could make a difference in your Open Championship office pools or save the salary you need to squeeze in a top-heavy DFS lineup.

Best of luck making your British Open picks.

John Haslbauer Avatar
Written by
John Haslbauer

John Haslbauer writes about golf betting and advanced golf metrics for TheLines.com. He is a passionate golf fan, golf writer, and (casual) golfer. A graduate at Syracuse University, John works out of Jersey City as a Director of Media Strategy for HBO and HBO Max. He created the website thepgatout.com at the start of 2021 and is active on Twitter (@PGATout). No, he is not a tout. The Twitter handle is a joke. Touts are lame. We hate touts.

View all posts by John Haslbauer
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]