Daily Fantasy Golf Course Primer: The Heritage
The RBC Heritage is no Masters. Far from it.
Still, it's a great course, and we still get to play some FanDuel PGA. We can't complain too much.
Harbour Town Golf Links boasts a lengthy history, but what matters for us when we're building DFS lineups?
Let's dig in and find out.
Course and Tournament Overview
Pete Dye designed the course, which currently stands as a 7,099-yard par 71. Open since 1969, Harbour Town has plenty of history from which to draw.
Last season, the post-Masters event graded out 1.298 strokes over par, making it the eighth-toughest course on tour. In 2015, Harbour Towns actually was played 0.486 strokes below par, but that looked to be a bit of an anomaly, as it was ninth-toughest in 2014 (1.050 over par). The course has played over par dating back to 2010, as well.
Accuracy and precision will win out over power, so keep that in mind when narrowing down your player pool. You need not look further than the recent winners for proof.
The field is made up of 132 golfers, and the top 70 -- including ties -- after Round 2 make the cut.
Recent Tournament History
Branden Grace won last year, with Luke Donald and Russell Knox tying for second. Bryson DeChambeau and Kevin Na tied for fourth.
Jim Furyk won in 2015. Kevin Kisner, Troy Merritt, Brendon Todd, Matt Kuchar, and Sean O'Hair finished second through sixth. Grace was T7 in 2015.
Kuchar earned the victory in 2014, with Donald finishing second. Furyk was T7, and Knox was T9.
Most of those golfers profile similarly: accurate but not long off the tee. Of the 31 golfers to finish inside the top 10 the past three years (including ties, of course) and who qualified for the PGA Tour leaderboard, only 10 ranked inside the top 100 in driving distance on the season (and only five of those were top 50).
Nearly half (14) were inside the top 34 in driving accuracy on the year (and none of those players also ranked top-100 in driving distance). In all, just 9 of the 31 golfers in the subset finished outside the top 100 in driving accuracy.
Certain stats, such as strokes gained: tee-to-green, birdie or better percentage, and putting efficiency will always be worth monitoring, but these are some of the most important stats to look for when rostering golfers at Harbour Town.
|Key Stats for the RBC Heritage at Harbour Town|
|Strokes Gained: Approach-the-Green|
|Par 4 Scoring|
You can lock and load strokes gained: tee-to-green and birdie-or-better percentage into your research process each week. They just correlate well to fantasy points and making the cut.
We've already hit on the importance of accuracy off the tee, but strokes gained: approach-the-green have correlated well with success here in the past few years, too. Getting to the small greens is paramount for success here.
Going hand-in-hand with that, bogey avoidance and scrambling should be stats you weight a little extra this week.
Course History Studs
Kuchar, fresh off a T4 at the Masters, probably has the strongest course history of anyone in the field. In 2016, he finished T9. Prior to that, he finished 5, 1, T35, T44, T21, T14, T48, T7, T61. That's 10 straight made cuts in case you lost count, as well as four top-10s (three in a row, too). He's the odds-on favorite, per Bovada, for a reason.
The reason I said Kuchar "probably" has the strongest history here is because, while Luke Donald hasn't captured a win here, he has made eight straight cuts. The finishes? T2, T3, 2, T37, T3, 2, T15, T2. That gives him six top threes in eight tries.
Furyk isn't far off. He didn't play here last year but won it in 2015 and was T7 in 2014. Prior to that, he had a T42, a T8, a T21, and another win in 2010.
Grace, the defending champ, was T7 in 2015, so he could be primed to build on that with another strong showing. He's 25/1 to win outright, tied for the fourth-highest odds in the field.
Graeme McDowell is another former winner (2013) and narrowly had two straight top-25s, too, finishing T23 in 2014 and T26 in 2015. He did miss the cut last year, however.