DraftKings PGA: RBC Heritage

DraftKings PGA: RBC Heritage

This article is part of our DraftKings PGA series.


Purse: $6.9M  
Winner's Share: $1.242M  
FedEx Cup Points: 500 to the Winner  
Location: Hilton Head Island, S.C. 
Course: Harbour Town Golf Links  
Yardage: 7,099  
Par: 71 
2018 champion: Satoshi Kodaira

Tournament Preview 

In 1969, an aging Arnold Palmer, winless for more than a year, came to Hilton Head Island and captured the inaugural Heritage Golf Classic. Fifty years later, some of the biggest names in golf are still heading to Harbour Town, the only the course this tournament has ever known. Situated a week after the Masters, you'd think the top players would take a pass. But so many of them love, love, love this place so much that they come back year after year and year. It's especially so this time around, as a particularly strong field will vie for that hideous plaid jacket. 

Almost half the Masters field – 40 guys – has made the short trek from Augusta to be part of the 132-man contingent this week. No, Tiger Woods is not one of them. But world No. 1 Dustin Johnson leads a parade of bold-faced names, including Jordan Spieth, Francesco Molinari, Xander Schauffele, Bryson DeChambeau, Matt Kuchar, Patrick Cantlay, Webb Simpson, Ian Poulter and Tommy Fleetwood. One of the big questions we have to ask is, How "into it" will these guys be, coming down off the super-high of playing Augusta? The guys in contention last week could be especially challenged to put their disappointment in the rear-view mirror so quickly. The Harbour Town winner usually has been a Masters participant. Only seven times since 1983 has the winner not played Augusta the week before, though five of those have come in the past 13 years. In all, nearly half of the top 50 in the world are on hand, making for an especially deep field. 

But why? Maybe because Harbour Town reminds of a bygone era, when golf courses weren't a-thousandy-billion yards. No, this quaint little track checks in under 7,100 yards, and the golfers will have to be more tacticians than bombers. Kuchar is back for the 13th straight year and has said the narrow, tree-lined fairways and dog legs "make it exciting to try to truly play chess around this golf course." Kuchar got his checkmate when he won the tournament in 2014. He is part of a who's-who of former champions here that could fill a wing in the Hall of Fame. Beginning with Palmer, who was 40 when he won, get a load of this list: Nicklaus, Miller, Watson, Irwin, Faldo, Langer, Norman, Stewart, Price, Furyk and five-time champion David Love III. 

Harbour Town underwent extensive renovations in 2015. A year later, Hurricane Matthew roared through, felling thousands of trees on the island. What we've seen the past three years are some pretty tight scores. Branden Grace won at 8-under in 2016, followed by Wesley Bryan's 13-under and, last year, Satoshi Kodaira's 12-under, which goes to show that a short track still can have some teeth. Some of Harbour Town's best defenses are its tiny greens, averaging less than 4,000 square feet. That makes getting on the green in regulation a challenge. This is traditionally the hardest GIR week of the season and therefore there is a premium on scrambling. More on that in the key stats and Champion's Profile below. The signature hole is the 18th, a 472-yarder leading to the famed red-and-white-striped lighthouse and marina. 

Weather-wise, the forecast looks bleak for Friday, with a 100 percent chance of rain. So, this could be a week where tee times determine your lineup. There's a 20 percent chance of rain on Thursday, but with a field of only 132, let's say everyone completes their round. That would mean the late/early would have the best chance of completing their second rounds on Friday. But the early/late, while maybe not finishing till Saturday, might play in better conditions. It's surely best to check back closer to the lock. Otherwise, temperatures will be in the 70s and the wind will be blowing all four days. 

Key Stats to Winning at Harbour Town (in order of importance) 

Note - The most important indicators every week are current form and course history. "Key stats" follow in importance. 

• Greens in regulation/strokes gained: approach 
• Scrambling/Strokes gained: around the green 
• Driving accuracy/strokes gained: off the tee 
• Putting average/strokes gained: putting 

Past Champions  

2018 - Satoshi Kodaira
2017 - Wesley Bryan
2016 - Branden Grace  
2015 - Jim Furyk
2014 - Matt Kuchar
2013 - Graeme McDowell
2012 - Carl Pettersson
2011 - Brandt Snedeker
2010 - Jim Furyk
2009 - Brian Gay

Champion's Profile  

Not only hasn't a long hitter won here in forever, they actually may be at a disadvantage. Dustin Johnson has played here three times and missed two cuts with a tie for 16th last year. Both Bryan and Kodaira were well outside the top-100 in driving distance the years they won. They both seem like real outliers, having all but fallen off the PGA Tour map. At the 300-yard mark, the fairways narrow to an average of 22 yards, just about the slimmest we see all year. The week generally results in the shortest average drives of any tournament and the worst greens-in-regulation numbers. Firing at the tiny greens, even the most accurate of iron players will see their GIR numbers dip. Bryan ranked 66th in the field in greens in regulation, almost unheard of for a tournament champion. But he was first in scrambling and 11th in strokes gained: putting. Kodaira took a more conventional path, ranking seventh in GIR, first in proximity, 13th in scrambling and 16th in SG: putting. As we often say, smaller greens tend to neutralize the better putters. That doesn't necessarily mean that putting doesn't matter this week; it's just that poorer putters have a better chance of having a good putting week. If your guy isn't winning heading into Sunday, take heart with this little factoid: Each of the past six winners at Harbour Town rallied from at least three shots back on the final day. 

DRAFTKINGS VALUE PICKS (Based on Standard $50K Salary Cap)  

Tier 1 Values  

Dustin Johnson - $11,600 (Winning odds at golfodds.com: 8-1) 
If there's one guy who could put the disappointment of coming in second in a major by one shot, it's Johnson. He should be ready to go by Thursday. Heck, he probably forgot about the Masters as soon as he left the Augusta grounds. Don't be worried about Johnson being a big hitter; his short game is so good he could probably contend hitting 5-iron off every tee. The South Carolina native has played here only three times, but now that he's an RBC pitchman, this should be an annual thing. Johnson tied for 16th last year. 

Bryson DeChambeau - $10,400 (18-1) 
The good news is, DeChambeau, much like Johnson, should have no trouble leaving the Masters in the past. Unlike Johnson, that's because he was pretty much out of the tournament at the 36-hole mark. Saturday and Sunday were garbage time. DeChambeau has not been at this best in recent weeks, but he has finished top-5 here two of the past three years. After all, if there's anyone who could figure out the chess board that is Harbour Town, it's this guy, 

Matt Kuchar - $10,000 (20-1) 
Kuchar plays the Masters every year, then comes here and does pretty well. And often that's the case when he was in the mix on Sunday at Augusta. Since winning at Harbour Town in 2014, this has been Kuchar's resume there: 1-5-9-11-23. And the 23 last year came when his game was far from where it is now. 

Tier 2 Values  

Jim Furyk - $9,400 (30-1) 
At the No. 8 guy on the DraftKings board, Furyk is the top player to have not competed in the Masters. So not only will he be fresh, he'll probably be a bit angry and with something to prove. Despite being 48, Furyk has shown he can still compete, especially on shorter courses. He has won this tournament twice, in 2010 and 2015. 

Kevin Kisner - $9,100 (25-1) 
The South Carolina native certainly arrives on form. Even if you want to discount Kisner winning the Match Play, the tied for 21st at the Masters. He was runner-up here to Furyk in 2015, and he's also notched a T11 in 2017 and a T7 last year. 

Jason Kokrak - $8,800 (40-1) 
Kokrak is playing some of the best golf of his life. Still seeking his first career win, he has finished top-10 in four of his past five starts. Kokrak missed the Harbour Town cut the past two year, but before than he finished 6-18-12, and we think that is far more indicative of his possibilities this week. 

Matthew Fitzpatrick - $8,500 (40-1) 
The young Englishman has already locked up and accepted Special Temporary Membership for this season, thanks largely to his runner-up at Bay Hill. Fitzpatrick is no stranger to Harbour Town, playing four of the past five years. He debuted with a top-25 in 2014 and tied for 14th last year. 

Ryan Moore - $8,100 (50-1) 
Early in his career, more than a decade ago, Moore tried his hand at Harbour Town without much success. Which is odd, since this track seems right in his wheelhouse. Well, Moore returned last and tied for 16th. He's coming off a solo third two weeks ago at TPC San Antonio. 

Tier 3 Values  

Cameron Smith - $7,900 (50-1) 
Smith has played the Heritage three times, getting worse every year, from T15 to T29 to T32 last year. But last year, Smith was still riding the high of tying for fifth at the Masters, so being able to regroup so quickly and come close to a top-25 doesn't seem so bad. Smith has made 11-of-12 cuts this season, with three top-10s and three more top-25s. 

Charley Hoffman - $7,800 (50-1) 
We took a leap of faith with Hoffman last week, and he did well, tying for 29th at the Masters. After an absolutely horrible start to the season, Hoffman has run off three good results in row, with a tie for 18th at the Valspar and a runner-up at the Valero. Hoffman has a good track record at Harbour Town, making six of the past seven cuts, with two top-10s and two more top-25s, one of them last year. 

Brandt Snedeker - $7,500 (50-1) 
Snedeker has to put the embarrassment of being in the small number of golfers to miss the cut at the Masters behind him. One way to do that is by remembering he is a former champion here, back in 2011. That began a stretch of seven cashes in his past eight starts at Harbour Town, including a T23 last year and a T11 the year before. 

Luke Donald - $7,200 (60-1) 
Donald of course has an incredible track record here, finish runner-up five times. He missed the cut last year, but was playing injured. Now on a major medical extension, Donald has teed it up only three times in 2019, with a tie for ninth at the Valspar his best showing. If the 41-year-old former No. 1 player in the world is ever going to win another PGA Tour event, it will be at Harbour Town. 

Long-Shot Values

Bill Haas - $6,900 (125-1) 
Haas tied for seventh a year ago, pretty remarkable since it was just two months after he was involved in a fatal car accident in Los Angeles. He didn't do much the rest of the year, and began this year on a minor medical extension. He didn't fulfill the terms, but he's still been getting into fields and showing the occasional good result. His last time out he tied for 13th at the Valspar. 

Scott Piercy - $6,700 (100-1) 
Piercy tied for 16th a year ago in his first visit in seven years. He's among the most accurate iron players on Tour, ranked 18th in greens in regulation. Piercy has made 11-of-13 cuts this season with four top-10s and six top-25s. 

Brian Gay - $6,700 (Field, 16-1) 
Gay is 47 years old and doesn't hit the ball very far. In fact, he's 213th in driving distance this season, which is really, really bad. But you know what? It won't hurt him so much this week. His other skills, such as ranking fourth in driving accuracy and fifth in strokes gained: putting, could carry him. Gay tied for 70th a year ago but was sixth the year before and even won this tournament a decade ago in 2009. 

Wyndham Clark - $6,600 (Field, 16-1) 
Clark has not missed a cut since the Sony the second week in January. And now he's starting to deliver some better finishes. He tied for 20th at the Valero, his third top-20 in his past five outings. He also tied for seventh at the difficult Honda. Clark, making his Harbour Town debut, is ranked 20th on Tour in strokes gained: putting and, even more impressively 62nd in SG: total. 

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire. Len Hochberg plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: DK: Bunker Mentality.
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Len Hochberg
Hochberg covers golf for RotoWire. A veteran sports journalist, he contributes to Sports on Earth and was an editor and reporter at The Washington Post for many years.
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