The question is about Jordan Spieth. The golf world will be focused on him at St. Andrews for two reasons.
The first is the most important. He has won the Masters and the U.S. Open, and he's the first golfer to win the first two majors of the year since Tiger Woods did it in 2002. Can he make it three in a row by winning the British Open, or is that too much to ask for the 21-year-old phenom?
The other reason the golf world will be focused on Spieth is that his No. 1 rival, Rory McIlroy, will not be there. McIlroy ruptured an ankle ligament while playing soccer with his "lads" a couple of weeks ago, and he will not be able to defend his title.
While McIlroy's presence would have made the competition tougher for Spieth, he might have deflected some of the attention from the media. Spieth has handled the spotlight well, but this may be the most pressure he has ever faced.
So what does a fantasy player do with Spieth? He is a brilliant player, but he can't win the first three majors of the year, can he? In DraftKings' British Open fantasy golf contest, we have to pick six golfers who can get the job done and stay under the $50,000 salary cap.
Not only do you want to select the winner of the Claret Jug, but you also want five other golfers who are going to end up close to the lead at the end of the final round.
|DraftKings British Open Selections|
|Adam Scott||65.2||Best swing in the game will be difficult to beat here||$10,700|
|Rickie Fowler||65.4||Rickie has momentum after winning Scottish Open||$9,700|
|Patrick Reed||76.4||Desperately wants to nail his first major||$8,400|
|Zach Johnson||70.8||Brilliant show at John Deere Classic||$7,400|
|Marc Leishman||55.6||Family issues slowed him earlier in the year; ready to make a move||$7,000|
|Kevin Na||67.1||Consistent shot maker||$6,800|
|Draft Kings and PGATour.com|
Elite Level: Adam Scott, $10,700
We have swallowed hard and made our choice. Spieth is a great golfer who is having a brilliant year. But if we believe he is going to win his third straight major of the calendar year, it means we believe he ranks with all-time greats such as Ben Hogan, Sam Snead, Jack Nicklaus and, gulp, Woods.
Spieth may eventually prove himself, but it won't be in this year's British Open. Of all the elite-level golfers in the field, we believe Adam Scott has the best chance to win the title. Scott has perhaps the purest swing in the game of golf, and he is not going to be denied here.
When he is at his best, he will hit the ball nearly as far as Dustin Johnson and nearly as straight as Spieth.
Scott ranks 11th in the Official World Golf Ranking. He has won 33 golf tournaments around the world. As long as his putting doesn't let him down, Scott will have an excellent chance to hoist the Claret Jug.
Rising Star: Rickie Fowler, $9,700
It would be prudent to look at the sport's recent history. Two years ago, Phil Mickelson decided to play the Scottish Open the week before the British Open. He won both tournaments, and his win in the British Open is considered one of the signature moments of his career.
Rickie Fowler won the Scottish Open on Sunday, and he goes into St. Andrews with full momentum. While he was awful at the U.S. Open in Chambers Bay, the Scottish Open win negates that showing.
Fowler has a chance to win or get close at St. Andrews because he is accurate. He is especially clutch on his approach shots in the 75- to 100-yard range, because he ranks fourth on the tour in that category. Fowler is the fifth-ranked golfer in the world.
Time to Make a Move: Patrick Reed, $8,400
Patrick Reed has seen Spieth's success up close and personal, and he knows it's time to make a legitimate run at a major.
Reed and Spieth seemed like contemporaries a couple of years ago, as both were talented, young performers who looked like Generation Next on the PGA Tour. While Reed has made a respectable showing, Spieth has been otherworldly and left Reed in the dust.
Reed ranks seventh in FedEx Cup points this year, and he is the 16th-ranked golfer in the world. If Reed can avoid making big mistakes at key moments, he will be in excellent position to fight for a top-three or top-four finish in the British Open.
Solid Pro: Zach Johnson, $7,400
Take a look at the way Johnson played last week at the John Deere Classic, and it's clear that he's ready to make a solid showing at the British Open.
Johnson fired a 19-under-par 265 last week in Silvis, Illinois, and finished in a tie for third. That means he should feel good about his game as he gets ready to play at St. Andrews.
Johnson's accuracy off the tee should be one of his greatest strengths. He finds the fairway on 72.48 percent of his drives, which ranks sixth on the tour. Johnson is also averaging 69.941 strokes per round, a figure that ranks 12th on the tour.
Bargain Prices: Marc Leishman ($7,000) and Kevin Na ($6,800)
One of the things that makes DraftKings fantasy golf such a challenging game is that there are no throwaway picks. You can't select two or three high-priced studs and fill in with two or three poor players and figure the heavyweights will carry you through.
The big names may win, but the poor players will drag you down.
You have to find excellent low-priced players if you are going to compete. That's why we're going with Leishman and Na.
Leishman has struggled a bit this year, as he has dealt with his wife's health problems, but he won more than $2.5 million on the tour last year and had second- and third-place finishes to his credit.
Na started off strong in the U.S. Open with rounds of 70 and 72 before he faded in the final two rounds. He has made the cut in 17 of the 20 events he has played this year and has earned more than $2.1 million.
Na is one of the best bunker players in the world. He ranks third on the tour in sand saves, and that skill will be vital to his chances at venerable and bunker-laden St. Andrews.