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Thomas Pieters
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Playing the Tips

Expert Picks: European Open

by Matt Cooper
Updated On: September 3, 2019, 3:55 am ET

Each week, Dave Tindall and Matt Cooper will give their picks for the two main European Tour options – DraftKings and the official season-long 2019 Fantasy Race to Dubai game run by europeantour.com.

The latter is no-salary. Simply select a team of six golfers and nominate a captain whose points are doubled. Points are based on official Race to Dubai points earned by your players.

The DraftKings lineups will be entered into a large-entry Guaranteed Prize Pool. That means we need to take a risk or two, in order to separate ourselves from the field.

The idea is to provide you a list of names to consider. We would not recommend copying these teams, golfer for golfer. Duplicate teams are no fun and don't help anyone.

Dave Tindall



Thomas Pieters ($10,100) – The win at the Czech Masters was noteworthy but so was the T12 at Crans last week. Confidence is back and that makes him dangerous.

Alexander Levy ($8,800) – Couldn’t continue his return to form at tight and twisty Crans but Green Eagle is much more up his street – as shown by course form of 13-2.

Lucas Herbert ($8,000) – Admitted he’d fallen out of love with the game a little but T8 last week (67-64 on the weekend) got the juices flowing again. T29 here last year.

Paul Waring ($7,900) – Continued his solid season with T20 on latest start in Sweden. Sixth on All-Around showed that everything is working well.

Dean Burmester ($7,600) – Cracked the top three in the Scandinavian Invitation two weeks ago and big hitting should be an asset at this course which has five par 5s.

Kurt Kitayama ($7,400) – Am hoping the American’s huge hitting (3rd in DD) will serve him well here and spark a return to the form which has produced two wins this season.

Total salary: $49,800

On the cusp: Xander Schauffele ($11,500), Patrick Reed ($11,000), Lucas Bjerregaard ($9,200), Lorenzo Gagli ($7,500), James Morrison ($7,000), Allen John ($6,700)


2019 Fantasy Race to Dubai – European Tour

Last week: Some of the big names flopped so another drop.

Pos: 2,622nd

Xander Schauffele (captain): The German connections in his family just add a little ‘X’ factor to his obvious credentials so I’ll give him the skipper’s armband.

Patrick Reed: The other strong contender to be captain. As well as the current form – eight straight top 25s including a win at The Northern Trust – he’s played both editions here with one top ten and one top 20.

Thomas Pieters: At his best, the Belgian belongs in elite company and those days are coming back. Will enjoy having the big-name Americans to take aim at.

Paul Casey: The Englishman has been very effective on courses like these and shot three 69s and a closing 73 for T7 last year. Coming in off top three at the TOUR Championship which earned him a nice payday.

Alexander Levy: Boom or bust in recent times but has played seven good rounds here, finishing runner-up in 2017 and making the top 15 last time.

Rory Sabbatini: Has been racking up the top tens in America and playing four rounds (71-65-68-75 for T63) in Switzerland last week will hopefully set him up for a big run on a more suitable track.


Matt Cooper



Thomas Pieters ($10,100) – Far from stunning on the par-5s (34th for the year) but his distance should be an advantage this week and he’s fresh enough from a win in Prague.

Bernd Wiesberger ($9,800) – His pair of 74s nine years ago don’t suggest it, but this sort of test strikes me as being the Austrian’s cup of tea: modern, flat, suiting straight shots.

Alexander Levy ($8,800) – Loves the course, losing a play-off in 2017 and T13 a year ago (when he only struggled in the third round).

Christofer Blomstrand ($7,200) – Last week opened with a 64 and closed with a 63 for T3 on the Challenge Tour, T2 in this tournament last year.

Hideto Tanihara ($7,300) – Opened 66-66 last week in Crans on his way to T20 and last year he finished T5 here.

Romain Wattel ($6,800) – Not so long ago that he collected a pair of top 20s and he was T5 here 12 months ago.

Total salary: $50,000

On the cusp: Xander Schauffele ($11,500), Paul Casey ($11,300), Adri Arnaus ($9,000), Lucas Herbert ($8,000), Rikard Karlberg ($7,500), Ashun Wu ($7,400)


2019 Fantasy Race to Dubai – European Tour

Last week: McIlroy carrying the armband gave me the impetus to crack the top 400, but could have (should have?) been even better.

Position: 372nd

Xander Schauffele (captain): Ranks 18th for Par-5 Performance on the PGA Tour and his best is a class apart from most in the field.

Patrick Reed: 15th in Par-5 Performance and 2-for-2 at gaining top 20s on this course, a winner last month.

Paul Casey: T7 on his course debut last year when opening with a trio of 69s. Third when last seen at East Lake.

Thomas Pieters: In addition to the arguments made above I like the fact that he ticked a career best (by some distance) last week in Crans (T12 having not made the top 50 in three previous efforts).

Bernd Wiesberger: Missed the cut in Crans, but before that made 11 weekends in regular European Tour events, eight of them top 30 and two wins.

Alexander Levy: A promising T18 in the Czech Masters was followed by T5 in the Scadinavian Invitational. Missed the cut last week, but no great surprise; he has a poor record at Crans.