Another major golf tournament, another Millionaire Maker.
The PGA Tour has gone across the pond this week to the cradle of golf for the third leg of golf’s annual grand slam — the 144th Open Championship.
That means DraftKings’ third PGA Millionaire Maker golf contest of the year is in full swing, and the British Open brings with it its highest guarantee yet in daily fantasy sports for golf — $3 million. DraftKings is accepting more than 171,000 entries, up from more than 143,000 entries for last month’s U.S. Open. Nearly 38,000 entries will receive a payout, and of course $1 million goes to the winner.
Once again, DraftKings expects the contest to do well, telling Legal Sports Report last month that, “The response we have gotten to our Millionaire Maker offerings for PGA’s majors does indicate that we may have only scratched the surface.”
Golf DFS is more than DraftKings
DraftKings’ PGA Millionaire Maker contests have made the site the leader in DFS for golf. But it is not the only site to pour significant resources into this vertical.
Despite the legal questions, DFS golf remains attractive to smaller sites, too. And not just because DFS heavyweight FanDuel remains absent from the sport.
“The popularity of daily PGA is obvious,” Earl Mitchell, the chief information officer at Victiv who led the creation of the company’s PGA product, told Legal Sports Report. “I’ve been playing PGA DFS for 4 years now, since the very first games were offered — as a longtime enthusiast I definitely saw the potential. I think it represents an opportunity for any site that’s willing to put effort into making a solid PGA product, which is what we feel we’ve done at Victiv.”
Rapid growth is not isolated to DraftKings’ golf product, either. Victiv launched its PGA Tour game in January and has seen the popularity of its games explode, too.
“I think we had a good idea of the potential of PGA in the daily format going in,” Mitchell said. “That being said, I think it’s fair to say even our outsized expectations have been eclipsed — it’s one of our fastest growing products and shows no signs of slowing down.”
Interestingly, Mitchell said that DraftKings’ success with its Millionaire Maker contests — which have grabbed the mainstream golf press’ attention to some degree at every major championship this year — is a help to Victiv.
At the very least, the large guaranteed contests at DraftKings inform a greater audience that DFS for golf exists at all, Mitchell said.
“We haven’t had any issues gaining traction,” Mitchell said. “I think DFS in general, and PGA DFS in particular, is closer to a rising tide that lifts all ships than a winner-take-all scenario. Anything that brings PGA DFS into the limelight and brings new users to the game ultimately benefits a site like Victiv.”
Here is a look at some of the other sites offering DFS golf and their top games for the Open Championship:
Victiv’s bonus scoring (points for pars, birdies, etc., while penalizing for negative hole scores) system differs from DraftKings’ format — which asks players to draft six golfers with a $50,000 salary cap. At Victiv, players draft seven golfers and count only the top five scorers at tournament’s end. Counting five of seven offers players some protection from golfers who miss the tournament’s 36-hole cut.
The site is offering myriad games for The Open, including a $20,000 guarantee that is limited to just 220 entries at $100 apiece.
The only site that does not use a form of bonus scoring, Fantasy Feud’s scoring relies on each golfer’s finish in the tournament. The site’s salary cap game asks players to draft 10 players under a salary cap of $1 million. Only six players’ finishes count toward the team score.
Fantasy Feud is offering the second-largest guarantee for the British Open, a $30,000 contest limited to 1,032 entries at a $33 buy-in among its myriad of offerings.
Like Victiv and DraftKings, DraftDay uses a bonus scoring system, though the point values for each hole differ. Players must draft six golfers with a $100,000 cap.
The Open games include a $4,000 guarantee with a $215 buy-in (only 20 entries), and a $2,000 guarantee with a $27 buy-in.
Fantasy Aces is among the newest entries in the golf vertical, launching its game in June. Its $10,000 guarantee ($27.50 entry fee) for The Open requires players to draft six golfers under a $30,000 salary cap.
Other games at FantasyAces include a $100 freeroll format.
One last thing to remember for all the games. The Open tees off at 1:32 a.m. (Eastern) on Thursday, so entries need to be in early.
Photo by Cactus.man used under license CC BY-SA 2.0.