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Lucas Herbert
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The Roundup

Expert Picks: Vic Open

by Matt Cooper
Updated On: February 5, 2019, 12:23 pm 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






Lucas Herbert ($10,700) – I rate him above Scrivener and Fox and he’s cheaper than both. Great chance to land a first European Tour victory at a venue he knows well.


Aaron Rai ($9,900) – Sits fourth in my tournament rankings so under $10k looks a solid investment on the young Englishman, who should relish this test.


Jake Higginbottom ($7,400) – Aussie youngster was T9 in Hong Kong and T18 in Singapore either side of the Festive break and says he’s much better prepared this year. Has a T6 at this venue.


Andrew Johnston ($7,200) – Almost bizarrely cheap on a player with T15 and T9 in two of his three starts in Australia and a top 25 in the Dubai Desert Classic.


Richard Green ($7,000) – Really leaning heavily on the local angle with Green, who is attached to 13th Beach. Won the Victorian Open here in 2015 and T4 two years ago. T14 in the co-sanctioned Fiji International back in August so can still play.


Matthew Griffin ($7,500) – Another past winner of the Victorian Open at this venue and only once outside the top 25 in six starts at that event. Played nicely in Japan at the back end of 2018.


Total salary: $49,600


On the cusp: Oliver Wilson ($9,200), Dimitrios Papadatos ($9,100), Brad Kennedy ($8,300), Ben Eccles ($8,000), David Drysdale ($7,400), Niklas Lemke ($7,200), Gareth Paddison ($7,100).



2019 Fantasy Race to Dubai – European Tour


Last week: DeChambeau did decent job (T6) as skipper but the rest flopped. A drop of over 700 spots although I didn’t react like Sergio.


Pos: 1,604


Lucas Herbert (captain): On trajectory to be a Presidents Cup player sooner rather than later. Backed up that opinion with T7 in Dubai on his last start and T6 at this venue in 2017.


Jason Scrivener: The Aussie’s T11 at 13th Beach on his last visit in 2015 is a bonus. He gets in anyway after connecting six top 25s (three of those top sevens) on his latest six worldwide starts.


Ryan Fox: Let’s throw a Kiwi into the mix. Back to form with an impressive T6 in the Saudi International and knows this venue too (T20 on last appearance).


Jazz Janewattananond: Time to spread the net and add in one of Asia’s bright young talents. Jazz (look, it’s easier to spell), won the Singapore Open on his latest start and had three top fives prior to that. Also made the top six in August’s Nordea Masters in Sweden and a great low ownership option.


Aaron Rai: It’s small greens and short yardage this week and that should remind Rai of Hong Kong where he posted his first European Tour win a couple of months ago.


Andrew Johnston: ‘Beef’ finished T9 in the Aussie PGA in December and played nicely for T24 in the Dubai Desert Classic last time. He’ll enjoy everything about this week, including the venue.



Matt Cooper





Lucas Herbert ($10,700) – It might have taken him five starts in the event to crack the top 30, but he achieved that last year and he was impressive last time out when tied for the halfway lead in Dubai ahead of T7.


Ryan Fox ($10,900) – It’s been a bit of a struggle for him on the course (MC-MC-T20), but he’s ticked four top sixes on the links of the Scottish and Irish Opens. Good chance for him to grab the first win.


Andrew Johnson ($7,200) – Finished T9 in Australia at the end of 2018, has lost four stone, smashed a round three 65 in Dubai, is feeling good about life. That he is cheaper than Oliver Wilson seems very peculiar.


Adam Bland ($7,600) – The Aussie grinder has three top six finishes on the course in six starts. Value for money.


Michael Hoey ($6,400) – The Northern Irishman has tweeted his fondness for the courses and likened them to a links challenge. As a British Amateur winner at Prestwick and Dunhill Links champion he should like that.


Gregory Bourdy ($6,900) – Hunch time. The conditions and visuals are very like Oitavos (where he won) and East London (second). 


Total salary: $49,700


On the cusp: Adrian Otaegui $9,300, Dimi Papadatos $9,100, Wade Ormsby $8,500, Callum Shinkwin $7,900, Ashley Chesters $7,300, Nick Cullen $7,300



2019 Fantasy Race to Dubai – European Tour


Last week: I left HaoTong Li out of the team at the very last second and it cost me, but not as badly as I feared. A week of treading water with Joost Luiten helping me out and DeChambeau’s captaincy useful.


Position: 1,593th


Lucas Herbert (captain): In addition to the argument posted above, I really like the fact that he finished top five five times last season and at gusty Verdura in the Sicily Open too (a decent pointer?).


Ryan Fox: Again, those efforts in Scotland and Ireland shout out. Do does the T6 last week and the fact that he’s a much stronger player than when he logged those course results (see above).


Jason Scrivener: Not one I’d want money on this week (he’s favourite), but his consistency works in this game. Led by one after 54 holes last time he played the event (T11 in 2015).


Adrian Otaegui: We suspect there is a touch of class about the Spaniard and, if we’re right, he’s got a good chance to grab a first strokeplay win. His caddie is back in old territory this week having started his career on the Ladies European Tour. 


Callum Shinkwin: Played well for 36 holes last time out in Dubai (66-68 for T5), a links challenge might be just what he needs to strike a real blow in his card recovery mission.


Dimi Papadatos: The Aussie won this event in 2017 and was sixth in 2015. Made the top 20 in four of his last seven ET starts and only failed to make it five last time out when he had a poor R3.