Daily Fantasy Golf Course Primer: RBC Heritage
After a tremendous week at Augusta National, we head to an altogether different challenge for the PGA Tour. Harbour Town Golf Links in Hilton Head, South Carolina plays host to the RBC Heritage this week, a course that evens the playing field as much as any on Tour. At Augusta, distance is an essential element, pine straw replaces rough, and golfers must deal with huge undulating greens and diabolical pin placements, accuracy is the name of the game at Harbour Town, which features the smallest greens on Tour.
The 7,099-yard par 71 features an eclectic list of winners over the years, with Cheng-Tsung Pan, Satoshi Kodaira, and Wesley Bryan the three most recent winners in this event's typical slot on the calendar. Even the trophy is a little off-center, with last week's green jacket supplanted by a not at all hideous red plaid jacket this week.
The Heritage was one of the first events upon the return to action last year and was played in mid-June, which led to a star-studded field that typically avoids the Masters follow up and far friendlier scoring conditions than we are accustomed to seeing at Harbour Town. The stronger field certainly played a role in scoring, but the wind was down and for projection purposes, we can basically ignore last year's event. A few fairways were widened leading up to last year's installment, and given how easily the course played, we can expect the organizers to get this course back to its roots.
This Pete Dye design requires shot-shaping and strategy, and tree-lined fairways with overhanging branches and leaves make the approaches into these small greens all the more challenging. Water is in play on almost every hole, and dogleg fairways mitigate the distance game off the tee.
We'll get some wind for sure, and keeping tabs on the tee times will be more important than normal this week if it looks like one wave has an advantage. Mostly sunny skies are forecasted for most of this week.
Let's dig into the course and see what stats we can use to build our daily fantasy lineups this week.
Course and Tournament Info
Course: Harbour Town Golf Links
Distance: 7,099 yards
Fairways/Rough: Celebration Bermudagrass overseeded with perennial rye
Greens: TifEagle Bermudagrass overseeded with poa trivialis
As covered briefly above, we can largely throw out the June numbers thanks to the calmer conditions. Twenty golfers cracked 15-under par or better after no one had managed a number that low since 2015. The grass is also back to its typical overseeded conditions after playing as pure bermuda in the summer season last year.
For comparison courses, we can look to events with windy conditions and hard-to-hit greens such as Colonial Country Club (Charles Schwab Challenge) and Waialae Country Club (Sony Open). The golfers who succeed at these tracks are often the shorter, straight hitters that excel around and on the greens.
These stats will be key to success in the RBC Heritage at Harbour Town GL.
|Key Stats for the RBC Heritage at Harbour Town Golf Links|
|Greens In Regulation Gained|
|Strokes Gained: Around the Green|
|Total Strokes Gained in Windy Conditions|
Accuracy, accuracy, accuracy. Keeping it not just in the short grass but also on the right side of the fairway is essential this week, so we'll combine fairways gained and greens in regulation gained to try to find golfers who not only keep it in play but regularly outpace the field on their first two shots.
Even the best iron and wedge players will have trouble finding these greens, and touch in the chipping game takes on extra prevalence this week. There is no replacement for quality ballstriking, but you'll see some oddball names on the leaderboard this week. Look for golfers who regularly find success in the more variant aspects of the game -- or who have the potential for spike weeks around or on the greens.
Performance in the wind is also a good indicator, and we'll check out golfers' performance on courses with Fantasy National Golf Club's tags of "Moderate" and "Windy AF".
Course History Studs
Matt Kuchar won here in 2014 and since then has four more top-11 finishes, a 23rd, and a 41st in the June edition. He gained 4.6 strokes putting in his winning year and has far exceeded that impressive total in two installments since, gaining 7.5 on the greens in 2015 when finishing 5th, and an incredible 9.5 as runner up to Cheng-Tsung Pan in 2019.
Webb Simpson not only won in last year's late edition but also has solid results in prior April installments, including T16 in 2019, T5 in 2018, T11 in 2017, and 2nd in 2013. He generally boasts a great record on bermuda and especially in the Carolinas.
Ian Poulter has played here each of the past six years and has made the cut each time, with finishes of T18 or better in five of the six.
Patrick Cantlay skipped this event last year but has historically played very well here, with finishes of 3rd, 7th, and 3rd in 2017 - 2019.
It's all or nothing for Bryson DeChambeau and Luke Donald, two golfers who couldn't be more different. DeChambeau's finishes the past five years are 8th, MC, 3rd, MC, and 4th. Donald is obviously in a different stage of his career, but finishes of MC, 33rd, MC the last three years should not make us forget he was in the top-five here in four of the five years prior.
Mike Rodden is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Mike Rodden also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username mike_rodden. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in his articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.