DraftKings Fantasy Golf Picks & Plays for The RBC Heritage
Welcome back for another week of PGA DFS at DraftKings, FanDuel, and FantasyDraft. We’re here to give you the full report on picks at Harbour Town Golf Links for The RBC Heritage, and the second most prestigious jacket a player can earn in the game. While it’s not quite the green jacket of the Master’s, Harbour Town’s Plaid Jacket is as iconic as the red and white lighthouse rising up behind the 18th at Harbour Town. They also have a really cool start to the tournament, blasting off cannons (as well as a tee shot) into the Calibogue Sound.
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Harbour Town GL is nestled in between an established community and intricately routed through the mature oaks at the southern tip of Hilton Head Island, a meager 7,100-yard par 71 with Bermuda greens designed by Pete Dye in collaboration with Jack Nicklaus. This would become the layout that put Nicklaus on the map as a course designer but he may have somebody to thank besides Pete Dye…
Like so many things in golf, Arnold Palmer had a hand in making it great and Harbour Town is no different. You will hear plenty of talk this week about the course, Pete Dye and the Nicklaus influence that the Golden Bear brought to his first course design. They built the course, but make no mistake, Arnie built this tournament with his win in 1969. The tournament and course designs initially drew a somber reception for being too difficult, but quickly turned to praises of innovation after Palmer declared it required competitors to play “smart golf”. In a moment, the concept of course management was born, and through Arnold Palmer the tournament’s future was secured.
Now that the brief history lesson and ode the unsung hero of Harbour Town, a little more about what kind of course these guys are gonna be facing.
Harbor town is situated on the south end of Hilton Head Island and very much exposed to frequently powerful, gusty, and swirling winds that plague golfers. What makes this challenge a bit unusual is how tree lined the course is. When players are on the course, you don’t feel like you are playing a wind-whipped course. But once your shot gets in the air, players are quickly reminded just how tricky this course can be.
The mature oaks and hanging Spanish moss are defining features throughout this shot makers course and will give golfers as much if not more trouble than the wind this week. Positioning off the tee is crucial to even give yourself a shot into the green, let alone trying to go at a tight tucked pin. Angles are important at Harbour Town and players on the wrong side of the fairway will frequently find themselves trying to navigate around a well-placed tree or a branch that is just a bit too far out for comfort.
At 7,100 yards for a tour course, Harbour Town is one of the shortest on tour and requires players to use discretion off the tee when pulling the big stick. In a given round, players may only find themselves hitting driver 5-7 times, favoring position and distance control over raw distance this week. This is the first technical type of golf course pros face each season and a stark departure from the bomber’s paradise courses of the swing season. Get ready to play some grinders this week.
Taking the initial glance at the scorecard you probably noticed that there is one really easy hole and one really difficult hole, comparatively speaking, at Harbour Town. On the front side, the easy hole is the short par 5 5th, with 50% or more grabbing a quick birdie right out of the gate. Number 14, is a moderately long (192 yd) par 3 over water to a narrow and diagonally situated green. Offering little bailout left, some very difficult pin placements, and no respite for any shot mis-hit or left out to the right, as they usually find the water! The 14th is truly a carnage hole that will deliver a double or worse to 10% of the field and a bogey for another 20%. The double bogey rate at the 14th is one of the highest on tour and frequently shapes the outcome of this golf tournament come Sunday.
The lone par 5 on the back nine usually plays as a three-shot hole for the majority of the field but is the best opportunity to recover from an all too likely blunder at the 14th.
The short par 4 13th will see the most birdies of any of the par 4’s this week, clocking in at only 373 yards. Plenty of players will have short wedges into this green. As you can see, the par 4’s this week account for 51% of the DK points scored.
- Birdie or Better / DK Points
2. Strokes Gained Approach
3. Par 4 Scoring
4. Par 5 Scoring
6. Bogey Avoidance (only if the winds are projected to up)
PGA DFS Players:
Top Tier: $12K – $10.2K
Paul Casey ($11.3K) is coming in HOT after his course blistering Sunday round at The Masters and fresh off the Valspar victory (a similar type of course). In general, Casey is a great play and has a game well suited for this track despite his MC here in 2016. Scoring well this year and sensational from tee to green, look for Casey in the mix on the weekend. Could potentially be the 3rd highest owned golfer out of the four up here and an extremely high upside GPP play.
Matt Kuchar ($10.8K) is the annual lock at this course. His game suits it perfectly and it shows in the results here year after year. He is also coming into form at the right time after a rough start to the season. Kuch is as consistent as they come and should be in the mix come Sunday. Kuchar is the early leader in tags on FanShare and will likely only get more traction as the week rolls on and cement himself as the top tier chalk.
Other to consider: DJ is of course in play up here but doesn’t fit the course well and is here for his sponsor’s obligations. DJ is from the area and could win walking away so I will have some exposure but GPP only. Leishman will be the contrarian option up in this range if you believe in him this week.
My take in general about this range is that I will have limited exposure. As I start to build lineups this week, I find my confidence in players a bit lower and favoring balanced lineup construction. I get the impression that will be the field’s take as well, and balanced will be the dominate lineup type we see this week (especially in cash). The tags on FanShare also seem to support the balanced lineup construction this week as well. Suggesting that going stars and scrubs style in GPP could provide significant leverage if wanting to roster a highly owned mid-low range golfer.
Mid Tier: $9.8K – $8.5K
Webb Simpson ($9.4K) absolutely stomped Augusta National in the final round! It was impressive and watched by all, heading into a course that he has previously finished second and that theoretically suits his game best of any recently. All that is great, but makes Webb UBER chalk this week and is tied with Kuchar as the early leader in most tagged golfer on FanShareSports. Webb is putting better than ever and should play well enough this week to pay off his price — if not contend on Sunday. While I like what I see from Webb, I won’t be terribly surprised if finds a way to disappoint this week at such projected high ownership.
Kevin Kisner ($9.1K) found a little something at the Matchplay and rode that form a bit into Augusta. He seems to be getting his game in order as we get into the part of the season that favors Kisner’s style of play. It helps that we are going in to the Pete Dye swing as Kisner has dominated Pete Dye courses throughout his career. Finding most fairways, great long irons, a deadly short game, and an excellent course manager, Kiz knows how to win. He loves Bermuda and will be eyeing a top 10 here this week.
Cam Smith ($9K) is another player that lit it up on Sunday at The Masters and is well suited for a potentially windy, tight track with Bermuda greens. Cam is in great form and has posted solid results here in the past with a 29th and 15th in his two tries. His Masters showing should have people onto the Baby Faced Aussie but with his talent, he will be hard to fade for the guys favoring a more balanced construction this week. He’s a solid putter that knows how to contend on a Sunday.
Others to consider: Patrick Cantlay & Brian Harman (Both are great GPP Play, lots of upside), Emiliano Grillo, Ian Poulter
Value Tier: $8.5K and Lower
Russell Knox ($7.8K) has taken a while to his game back together, but it does seem to be trending in the right direction this year. Coming into a place like Harbour Town could definitely make all the difference for Knox to put everything together. Knox has played extremely well here the past four years (11/2/18/9) and is right up there with Donald and Kuchar as course history darlings. Knox also has the prototypical game for the “course management” layout here. You know what you get with Knox. Short and steady off the tee, excellent mid and long irons, and solid putting. Expect Knox to back up his previous performances here again this week.
Francesco Molinari ($7.5K) is rating out #1 overall in my models while gaining 7.25 strokes on the field his last time out here. It’s gonna be hard to get away from Moli this week. He’s another player with the prototypical game for this track. Straight off the tee, exceedingly accurate with his irons, and a putter that can get hot on flat greens. Moli is ranked higher than the rest of the guys in this range and at his price but represents the value of a top-tier talent in this field. The knock on Moli is he can’t win, but neither could Casey until three weeks ago.
Ollie Schniderjans ($7.4K) came very close here last year and has been in contention several other times but failed to close it out. A bomber that knows how to club down effectively and is a prolific scorer, Ollie is excellent with his long irons and should be able to navigate around here despite not having his best stuff recently. I look for Ollie to use this week as a get right spot and draw on some positive vibes from the previous year. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him get himself in the mix on the weekend with an eye towards a top 10 or 15. Ollie can certainly pay off his DK price easily, even without a high finish.
Bud Cauley ($7.3K) is the forgotten member of JT/Rickie/Jordan group and has been showing signs of life lately, gaining 4.7 strokes on the field in Houston and 4.7 with his putter at the API. Bud is close to putting it all together and is looking for that victory to cement himself on tour for the foreseeable future. Bud has shown well here before, most recently finishing ninth last year. A squirrelly kind of player that can hit it long but plays better when he is forced under control, having to club down off the tee should help him stay away from the big numbers and let his irons can do the rest. Bud will be a little more owned than we’d like with him being tied for fourth in FanShare tags. That’s a lot for a value golfer, but I will still have exposure to him for sure.
Others to consider: Adam Hadwin (super chalky & highly tagged on FanShareSports), Jim Furyk, Kevin Chappell, William McGirt, Luke Donald (Mr. 2nd place), Matthew Fitzpatrick (his favorite event of the year, supposedly), Brice Garnett, Super DEEP Play: Ted Potter Jr.
That does it for the RBC Heritage breakdown. Good luck this week, and I’ll see you next for The Valero. Good Luck.