Another degree of normality returns to the PGA Tour this week, shortly after the Augusta National trip was restored to its traditional spot on the schedule because old favorite The RBC Heritage also regains its April date, having last year been bumped into June. It’s a tournament that the players enjoy. Hilton Head Island in South Carolina provides relaxed vibes and Harbour Town Golf Links is a less demanding challenge than Augusta National. The entire atmosphere is laid back, like a nice Sunday lunch after a hectic weekend of revelry. The tournament history stretches back to 1969 and the first winner was Arnold Palmer – in other words, it was rubber-stamped with quality from the get-go.
Harbour Town Golf Links
Harbour Town Golf Links brings together the design principles of two architects whose layouts are frequently used by the PGA Tour – Pete Dye and Jack Nicklaus. It features elements of both men’s key ideas, with the quirkiness of Dye (the par-3s especially) and the demands on approach play that Nicklaus enjoys.
The contrast between the challenge last week at Augusta National and this week is really quite profound. Augusta is wide, Harbour Town narrow – sometimes players will hit the fairway and find their approach impaired by a tree. Augusta is hilly, Harbour Town is flat as a pancake. Augusta has sweeping greens, Harbour Town has tiny putting surfaces. Dye’s TPC Sawgrass is a course that many elite players argue limits them, and that feeling is perhaps even greater at Harbour Town – it’s a factor to bear in mind.
This is a distinct test. The island setting provides blustery wind. The course twists through the forest for the most part so the ability to thread the ball down tree-lined fairways is a must. Nor is accurate ball-striking in the wind enough – players also need a good short game because the greens are so small missing them at some point is an inevitability. The flipside is that hitting the short grass almost always presents a birdie opportunity.
It is not a long test, at 7,099 yards, but nor is it one that can be overpowered by brute strength. Course form holds up this week and so, too, does a good record at the likes of Waialae, El Camaleonand Sea Island. Who thrives? Accurate tee-to-green merchants who ride the breeze rather than fight it.
The forecast for Hilton Head Island is not immediately concerning with regard to the strength of the wind. It will be tougher ahead of the cut (around 15mph), dropping to less than 10mph at the weekend. But key is that the direction of those breezes will vary every day. It plays into the hands of the cannier wind operators. Also note that it is expected to rain every day bar Friday.
Past Champions at Harbour Town Golf Links
Down the years the notion that some players really like this course has been proved with a roster of repeat winners. Hale Irwin, Johnny Miller, Hubert Green, Tom Watson and Fuzzy Zoeller kicked off that trend in the 1970s and 80s. They are stellar names and hint that when golf was more about shaping the ball, the elite thrived here.
Payne Stewart and Davis Love III maintained that trend in the 90s, but the tide was turning. Into the 21st century the world’s finest were big-hitters and they struggled here. Instead, Boo Weekley and Jim Furyk became two-time winners and the names of other champions hardens the notion of what sort of player contends.
Graeme McDowell and Branden Grace are European Tour raiders with links pedigree, Matt Kuchar and Wesley Bryan have neat games and sharp scrambling skills, Webb Simpson last year finally got the win he had been hinting at for years. Before him Satoshi Kodaira and CT Pan pulled off surprise wins for Asia – will there be a repeat one week after Hideki Matsuyama’s major championship breakthrough?
Here’s an entirely FREE lineup for you this week with MORE for subscribers (DraftKings Prices)
|Player #1||W. Simpson||$10,700|
|Player #2||K. Na||$8,100|
|Player #3||S. Garcia||$8,600|
|Player #4||M. Kuchar||$8,000|
|Player #5||K. Kisner||$8,100|
|Player #6||S. Cink||$6,700|
Remaining cash $200
Webb Simpson ($9,400) There are plenty of big-hitters to avoid this week (DJ has no top 15 at Harbour Town in five visits, for example). But Simpson is not one I am afraid of. Course form? He’s not missed a cut in his last 10 starts, the last four were all top 20, he returns as defending champion. Current form? He’s missed one cut in his last 16 starts. He loves a tight challenge that demands a tidy long game and he is never happier than when putting on Bermuda grass greens.
Kevin Na ($8,100) The Korean-American returned from the airport last week to watch Hideki Matsuyama become the first Asian winner of the Green Jacket and said afterward: “Many other Asian players out here that are going to win more, guys like Sungjae Im, Si Woo Kim, hopefully myself.” He was thinking of majors, but don’t discount an immediate boom either. In 13 completed starts on the course he’s made 10 cuts and landed seven top 20s. Also completed a tidy T–12 at Augusta himself.
Sergio Garcia ($9,100) Last year the Spaniard returned to the course for the first time in a decade and finished T–5. It was no surprise really because a track that demands a brilliant long game and great short game is right up his street, reminiscent, in fact, of his favourite layout – Valderrama in Spain. It helps that the putts tend to be simpler too. A missed cut last week, but his win at Augusta is an outraegous outlier – he’s been poor there for years. T–9 at TPC Sawgrass and the last eight of the WGC Dell Match Play are more telling.
Matt Kuchar ($8,000) The veteran has burst back into life ever since the WGC Dell Match Play reminded him he can play (don’t discount heading back to Texas also allowed him a good chat with his coach who is based there). He followed it with T–12 at the Texas Open and a hangover MC at Augusta was not so surprising. Course form matters here and Kooch hasn’t missed a cut in his last 16 starts, with no less than 10 top 25s.
Kevin Kisner ($7,700) Kisner has never been shy to say it as it is when it comes to venues he can perform on. He’s revealed plenty of stops he can’t compete on, never mind win, and he doesn’t attend them. But he is also happy to say where he likes and this track is one of them. True his record is bookended with missed cuts, but in-between he has played the weekend six times and landed three finishes of T–11 or better, including second in 2015. Was a play-off loser at Sea Island last Fall.
Stewart Cink ($6,700) I like a low salary vet and I especially like a low salary vet who has found new life in his last 40s and has a stellar course record like Cink. In his first 12 event visits he landed eight top 30s, including two wins. His career then hit the doldrums, but he won again late last year and arrives off top 20s in the Honda Classic and Masters. He’ll be feeling great about his form and the memories.
Now what do you get if you sign up now for $99?
- One week of our articles for free to test us out and then continued all-access to every sport that we do for a year after that!
- Check out another fully different line up for this PGA Tour event including a sneaky $6,300 pick.
- Different options to prepare for breaking news if and when it happens.
- A couple of good alternative picks to help you build out GPP options based around not one but two CORE lineups.
Here’s Another Alternate Lineup For The RBC Heritage
|Player #1||C. Morikawa||$10,500|
|Player #2||T. Hatton||$9,500|
|Player #3||SW. Kim||$7,900|
|Player #4||C. Hoffman||$7,800|
|Player #5||C. Bezuidenhout||$7,700|
|Player #6||P. Kizzire||$6,500|
$100 leftover salary
Collin Morikawa ($10,500) The first line-up was made up of steady and proven types. I’m taking a few risks with the second set, but each and every one has strong reasoning behind it. Morikawa leads the way and one reason is simple: He doesn’t miss many weekends. He was T–64 on course debut, but opened with three sub-70 rounds and here’s the nub: a week before he had lost in a playoff. Understandable to be a little downhearted therefore. With an improved Masters effort under his belt, a second look at the course and his exceptional tee-to-green game, he’s a good fit.
Tyrrell Hatton ($9,500) The Englishman is not especially pretty on the eye, but his long game is rugged and, like McDowell and Grace, he is a superb links golfer. If that bodes well, his superb short game is an added (and necessary) bonus on the course. The two clinchers are his career-best finish last week at Augusta; he admitted he struggles on the course but made the top 20. And his past record on the course: He was T–9 after 54 holes in 2017 before finishing T–29 and lasted all week for T–3 last year.
Si Woo Kim ($7,900) Clearly, Kim is among those who might be feeling flush with pride and excitement in the wake of Hideki Matsuyama’s success last week, but there is more to his case. He thrived early in his career, dipped and is now back on the way back up. In that early part of his career he finished T–14 and T–2 here and he was also T–12 last week. There’s more: he’s a two-time winner on Dye tracks.
Charley Hoffman ($7,800) Breezy courses have never held any fear for this San Diego native. He’s proved it with stunning form in Texas and a win at El Camaleon. He’s also backed it up on the course: eight of his last 10 cuts made with four top 25 finishes. He very nearly won the Texas Open two weeks ago, only a revitalised Jordan Spieth kept his hands off the trophy.
Christiaan Bezuidenhout ($7,700) In the first line-up I referenced Sergio Garcia’s fondness for Valerrama and Bezuidenhout likes it there too – he won his first European Tour title on the track. It’s a very tight and tree-lined venue, and whilst it is not right on the ocean it is near enough to be breezy. It also has small greens and requires a brilliant short game which the South African definitely has. In 2020 he hasn’t missed a cut – he’s on the rise, don’t miss out.
Patton Kizzire ($6,500) Kizzire has a profile a little like Kim’s: he played well early on and won twice, then fell back into the shadows, more recently he has re-emerged. He’s made 10 of his last 11 cuts and was T–9 last time out in Texas. More importantly, his two wins came at El Camalon and Waialae – and around that time he dropped hints here: T–14 in 2016 and T–32 in 2017.
Other Player Options For The RBC Heritage
• Jim Furyk was box office in this event. From 2002 through 2015 he recorded 10 top 25 finishes in 13 starts with two wins. Since then, however, he is 1-for-4 at making the cut with the exception just T–70.
• Similar story: Between 2009 and 2017 Luke Donald finished top three no less than seven times in nine visits to this tournament. But beware, he’s gone MC-33-MC since and hasn’t made a cut in nine start.
• Rafael Campos finished T–3 at the Puerto Rico Open and T–2 at the Corales Puntacana Championship, both blustery course with Bermuda grass greens. This is a big step up in class, but he was also T–34 at the Texas Open and T–32 here in 2017.
COVID-19 and Injury Warning:
Pro DFS players know it makes sense to stay up-to-date on Twitter, DraftKings, FanDuel and-or subscribe to any number of email feeds and whatever to remain up to speed with injuries or COVID-19 withdraws. Players that don’t make the cut are tough enough. Players that don’t play all four rounds (even when pulling out at the last minute) make for a pretty weak lineup.
Go win your lineups and then tell us how you did. Twitter (@FantasyDFSX) is a good place for that.
We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!
Let us improve this post!
Tell us how we can improve this post?